Tag Archives: leanstartup

Come to the Presentation of the French Translation of Steve Blank’s The Four Steps to the Epiphany – Coworking Brussels – Bruxelles Coworking – Brussel BetaGroup Betacowork


The Betagroup Coworking Brussels is proud to host the worlwide premiere of the brand new translation in French of the Lean Startup and Customer Development bible: The Four Steps to the Epiphany, now also known as Les 4 ??tapes vers l’??piphanie.  

When Antoine Bruyns contacted us, we knew instantly that we had to do it. He’s an example of the kind of entrepreneurial individual that makes things happen: he contacted Steve Blank and offered to do the translation. Then, he has spent a lot of hours after his job to help with the promotion of this concepts in French. 

Don’t let the title misslead you, this book synthesizes the basic steps to bring a product to market, nothing to do with religion.

I, Ramon, have a lot of interest in everything Lean Startup  and Customer Development, and so do a lot of the entrepreneurial minds around the Betagroup. This is the perfect opportunity for the CustDev & Lean Startup communities to get together in Brussels

The presentation will be followed by the glorious drinks and chips that fit so well the Betagroup events. 
Buy the book! Achetez Les 4 ??tapes vers l’??piphanie !
PS: on the 23 we will be hosting the livecast of the 2011 Startup Lessons Learned, with Eric Ries, Steve Blank and many more.

Startup Lessons Learned Livecast at the Betagroup Coworking: May 23

StartupLessons Learned 2011 is the sequel to last year’s inaugural event, whichbrought together nearly 400 entrepreneurs and executives interested in buildingand supporting lean startups.  The goal for this event is to givepractitioners and students of the lean startup methodology the opportunity tohear insights from leaders in embracing and deploying the core principles of thelean startup methodology. The day-long event will feature a mix of panels andtalks focused on the key challenges and issues that technical and market-facingpeople at startups need to understand in order to succeed in buildingsuccessful lean startups.

ConfirmedSpeakers Include:
Eric Ries, The Lean Startup (@ericries)
Brad Smith, President and CEO, Intuit (@IntuitInc)
Mitch Kapor (@mkapor)
Steve Blank (@sgblank)
Suneel Gupta, VP Product, Groupon (@guptathink)
Drew Houston, Co-Founder and CEO, Dropbox (@drewhouston)
Clara Shih, Founder and CEO, Hearsay Social (@clarashih)
Janice Fraser, Lean User Experience Residency (@clevergirl)
Manuel Rosso, Founder, Food on the Table (@manuelrosso)
Dave Binetti, Founder and CEO, Votizen (@dbinetti)
Pascal-Louis Perez, VP Engineering and CTO, Wealthfront (@pascallouis)
Tim McCoy, Dir, Integrated Product Development, Cooper (@seriouslynow)
Jeff Gothelf, Dir of User Experience, TheLadders.com (@jboogie)
Josh Seiden, Program Dir, LUXr NYC (@jseiden)
Zach Larson, Entrepreneur/Former CPO, SideReel (@zachlarson)

Signup and enjoy the Lean Startup and Customer Development networking.

Very happy to present @brantcooper at #swbru


He gave a terrific talk about customer development and lean startup methodology.

You guys missed a great talk. In 15 minutes Brant was able to motivate and help the participants more than some business courses can do in a semester. Inspiring, practical and funny.

The best way to kickstart Startup Weekend Brussels, live from sunny San Diego.

Presentation de Startup Weekend Bruxelles

A bit more tired everyday and also a lot more thrilled about the great experience we are going to have starting tomorrow at Startup Weekend Brussels. I can’t wait!

Video interview by Gérald Trockart.

Cobot Business Model (Lean Startup Canvas)


What???s the problem we think we have identified?

Running a coworking space involves too much repetitive work (which costs too much money to do by hand):

  • managing members (sign up, sign contract, change plan or other details from time to time)
  • collecting payments, invoicing

In order to be profitable coworking spaces need to make more money by providing extra services/access to resources.

  • The management/accounting part is hard, so it keeps spaces from doing it.

Coworking spaces don???t know how much money they could actually make because of missing metrics.


What???s our proposed solution?

Users can sign up and manage their memberships themselves using cobot, taking a lot of work from the space managers.

Spaces can automate collecting payments for rent and extra services, which again reduces their work load and makes offering some services feasible in the first place.

Our analytics section provides spaces with the numbers they need to optimize their business and make more/enough money.

Unique Value Proposition

What value do we provide that no-one else does?

By combining features from different areas like accounting, payments and member management into a single tool and tailoring them to coworking we can help a coworking space much better than other, more generic and not so well integrated tools can.

Unfair Advantage

What makes cobot stand out against the competition, why can???t it be copied easily?

It???s pretty complicated to build a system that fits all the different requirements the coworking spaces have. As a software company that also runs a coworking space we have a lot of knowledge about both – coworking and creating software.

Customer Segments

Coworking spaces around the world (at the time ~600 spaces worldwide)

Spaces can be segmented by size and location


  • U.S. where coworking is already very popular and there are hundreds of spaces, language is English
  • Europe: ~ 200 spaces (Oct 2010), many speak English, but also requirements for localization
  • Rest of the world – probably a large market but many different languages, we don???t know anyone there yet


  • Small spaces that just started, < 20 members – don???t really need cobot that much, but it???s easier to use it from the start than to transition later
  • Medium spaces, 20 to 60 members, this is our main target group
  • Large, > 60 members, might still use cobot, but maybe some of those need their own, more specific/customized tools


How can we reach new customers?

The global coworking mailing list allows us to see when and where new spaces open and we can get in contact with existing spaces as well.

Word of mouth: new spaces ask the established ones for advice, they will recommend us if we can build a great product.

Coworking conferences and other events, where we can give talks and demo cobot.

Key Activity

What will our users do on cobot?

Coworking managers will manage their members, charge people for services, collect payments.

Coworkers will use the site to book additional services, change their information/plan etc.

Revenue Streams

Where does the money come from?

We charge the coworking spaces money for using cobot, depending on their size (more coworkers = more income = higher fee)

We expect a coworking space who uses cobot as its business backend to keep using it pretty much for the lifetime of the space (> 5 years). An average space with ~30 coworkers would pay us 3600 EUR in 5 years (2 EUR * 30 coworkers * 12 months * 5 years)

If we can sign up 66 spaces within 1 year our monthly revenue would be 4000 EUR

If we can sign up 200 spaces in 2 years our monthly revenue would be 12000 EUR

Cost Structure

After 1 year


  • Alex: 3500 EUR/month
  • contractors for sales: ?

Servers: ~200 EUR

After 2 years


  • Thilo, Alex: 8000 EUR/month
    • 1 support/PR/sales: 3000 EUR/month
  • = 11k EUR

cobot is not inherently viral so we need to do sales to get new customers (esp. in the beginning, until word of mouth generates enough customers)

  • New customers are acquired by email/phone, demoing/explaining the product, giving support. If we convert 5.5 spaces per month and a sales person costs us 1.5k/month our acquisition cost would be 300 EUR

Hosting: the more spaces we add the more servers we have to add

  • Right now we are running 170 coworkers on a small EC2 instance for ~60 EUR/month with some space to spare
  • 200 spaces with 30 coworkers would be 6000 coworkers = 20 instances; I think we could do with 15 instances = 900 EUR/month; with larger, more cost effective instances we can bring this down to 500 EUR/month

Overall cost = 11.5k EUR/month


Nadine and other open source projects:

  • advantages: people can extend it the way they want, don???t have to pay for it (at least no service fee, they have to pay for setup, maintenance, development though)
  • disadvantages: no commercial support (for now), spaces have to set up hosting themselves, no clear product vision or product owner

Existing (membership) management apps:

  • advantages: they may be better than cobot at specific tasks
  • disadvantages: not an integrated solution specifically for coworking, so will never be an ideal solution

A great exercise by Alex: public distribution of the business model of his great tool to manage coworking spaces and a step further into lean startup. Can only say bravo!