Fanduel founder Rob Jones met five budding entrepreneurs who won the TalentSpark competition, and shared his top entrepreneurial tips.
TalentSpark created the competition for winners to get some valuable insight from someone who has been through the whole process, from concept to the creation of a £1bn company - something Rob felt doesn’t happen enough in British business culture.
Earlier this month, they gathered at Kyloe in Edinburgh for some real insight from Rob on his journey and to pick his brain on the various issues that were troubling our aspiring entrepreneurs. These were Rob’s top three entrepreneur tips on the evening.
“My design and digital marketing background meant I knew the value of testing all marketing. No matter your size, the necessity to A/B test every aspect of your communications is vital.
“You must be absolutely clear what your expected outcome is and have some mechanism for tracking the results. It’s doesn’t necessarily have to be about social media advertising either, there is a whole promotional mix at your disposal and you need to maximise the tools that work best for your target market.
“For FanDuel we found radio a very useful medium over in America. In the lead up to big NFL games everyone was listening to the radio on the way to the games. This was where our target market were most receptive to marketing messages and we were able to test different messages at different times to see a spike in online activity.”
Have a clear vision
“One of the key things.
“We had a clear vision from the top. Nigel Eccles, another of the co-founders, had a vision to build a $1b company. He never lost sight of that and knew that they were destined to succeed.
“Nigel didn’t always know how we were going to achieve it but right from the early days he made sure everyone knew where we were going and inspired passion amongst the team”
Meet the end user
“It’s vital to get it in the hands of your end user as soon as possible.
“In the early days we took a prototype of FanDuel out to a coffee shop on a laptop with a post-it-note on the back inviting people to try the game for a free coffee.
“People tried early versions of FanDuel and gave our team real time feedback. This was based on the product/market fit concept, part of the Start-up Pyramid, championed by Sean Ellis which has been highlighted by entrepreneurs the world over as a critical stage of the process.
“We asked members of the public how they would feel if they could no longer use the game. Once we had a 40% positive response we knew we had a product to work with.
“Getting real time customer feedback will give investors’ confidence that there is a market out there for your product and it’s worth investing in.”
Rob not only highlighted the need to test everything, have a clear vision and get your product into the hands of your customer early - but also how important it is to speak to others and seek their advice. There are lots of people out there who are keen to help, you just need to ask.
The winners were:
Callum Murray – Amiqus
David Townsend – Town Rock Energy
David Hunter – ShotScope
Sarah Stenhouse – Pixey
David Millard – Global Rugby Network