Hidden Founders helps first-time startup founders build and test their MVP

Here is how we do it

The evolution of the Startup pitch: from Napkin to Traction Data

By Yassine El Kachchani • November 16, 2015

When I was first introduced to the Startup world, the word “pitch” came up in nearly every conversation. It certainly didn’t help the fresh-faced foreigner I was that the term came from Baseball, a sport I have yet to understand.
I’ve listened to hundreds of pitches from Hidden Founders applicants these last 8 months. Most have confessed that they expected more return from their pitching efforts when they started.
I’m hoping some insight will save first time founders time and help them avoid stagnation while trying to involve more and more people in their journey.

Read more…

How analytics will make you better founder material

By Yassine El Kachchani • April 22, 2015

In an earlier blog post, we discussed how these last few years, the startup industry has firmly decided that “business profile” founders are bad guys. In the in-crowds –investors in the know, accelerators, up-and-coming mentors, tech bloggers- people bond over beer and business-founders bashing. It could seem like bad news for these business graduate founders, but it’s not. A lot of this aversion is grounded in valid reasons. It means there are concrete steps you can take to not be judged a useless profiteering fake with no appreciation for other people’s “real” skills.

Read more…

Hidden Founders first application round closed

By Yassine El Kachchani • January 20, 2015

We have officially kicked off Hidden Founders’ first batch!

Closing this first round took us longer than expected, because each time we’d think of stopping the late applications, we’d receive yet another exciting project that would make us want to wait just a little longer for things to “slow down”. Except they are not really going to slow down, because there are amazing startup projects out there, and the longer we wait, the more chances there will be that they hear about Hidden Founders and apply, and that would not make the selection any easier for us. So we just clamped our teeth, shut down the process until the next batch, and sweated a little on that final list of startups.

Read more…

Product Hunt: How Hidden Founders learned Russian

By Yassine El Kachchani • December 29, 2014

We’re big fans of consistency. Building a new business is a sporty journey, with a lot of surprises along the way, so we appreciate a little predictability when we have it. Our growth strategy shows that pretty strongly: we first put Hidden Founders out there by relying almost exclusively on networking, emails, and plain old one-to-one. It’s only very recently, when Hidden Founders ranked first on Product Hunt, that we had to put our love for predictable results aside for a minute, and just enjoy the ride.

In the past four months, we have skyped with at least five new prospective founders every day. It was hideously time-consuming and pretty much the opposite of scalable, and the applications came in slowly, but we still kept it up because it delivered consistent results. Talking to people gives you the opportunity to build your case and to respond to questions and feedback in real-time. You’re a person with a set of skills, not just a company name. That is already an advantage.

Read more…

European Startup Tour (second stop): Stockholm (yep, exactly)

By Yassine El Kachchani • July 1, 2014

Here’s the real title of this post: Handsome Smart People with Motivation and Passion (WHAT ?!). We just couldn’t use it for SEO concerns….

After Berlin, we headed to Stockholm as our second stop for our European Tour. Here’s what happened.

We started by the usual city visit. Felt like a city of Clooneys and Therons (we didn’t melt in the background this time because you just fucking can’t).

City is royal. I think they recruit princes and princesses from there. It felt like every person was in product/market fit physically, no more iteration needed, sir Steve Blank.

Jokes aside, we had quality time hanging out with the swedish startup scene.

Read more…

Les Visiteurs: We Speak the Startup Language

By Yassine El Kachchani • June 9, 2014
European Tour Departure: Dusseldorf. Yassine (VP Product) left, Nabil (VP Business Dev.) right.

hiddenfounders.com: the European Tour

We are moving forward with our Hidden Founders offerings; And being a startup that works for startups, inception style, we needed to follow the customer development cycle and initiate our customer discovery process. So we decided to start a european tour.

We will be staying a week per month in a european destination that has a startup scene. The purpose is to meet with as many founders/incubators/investors/tech journalists as possible. We will be working from co-working spaces and attending each and every tech event out there (you can send us an email at [email protected] if you have an event in mind).

Read more…

(perceived) Cheesy Industry, Non-Cheesy People

By Yassine El Kachchani • June 5, 2014

Who we are and why are we doing this:

We are a bunch of software engineers (a.k.a hackers) lucky enough to live in this era. The software celebration era. The founders and makers era. The fast lane era. At this point you must have an idea of how passionate we are about this particular industry.

We started working as regular software engineers at different IT service providers and enjoyed working on big clients’ systems. Now we can say with certainty that it wasn’t enough. We made the switch after discovering the startup industry, and since 2009 we’ve been doing just that, exclusively (thx San Francisco).

Read more…