December, 2011

Mocked And Misunderstood

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

When people ask me, "how do you know which companies and services are going to be the biggest successes?", ", I usually tell them to look for the companies and services that are mocked and misunderstood. For some reason, that correlates highly with the biggest breakout successes.

Should Startups Focus on Profitability or Not?

Both Sides of the Table

There are certain topics that even some of the best journalists can’t fully grok. One of them is profitability.

Trending Sources

The Government Starts an Incubator: The National Science Foundation Innovation Corps

Steve Blank

Over the last two months the U.S. government has been running one of the most audacious experiments in entrepreneurship since World War II. They launched an incubator for the top scientists and engineers in the U.S. This week we saw the results.

When Do You Throw in the Towel On Your Struggling Project?

Vinicius Vacanti

First-time reader? Get future posts via my RSS feed , following me on Twitter , or subscribing via email. Hope you enjoy the posts! One of the hardest decisions you have to make, as an entrepreneur, is deciding when to give up on your current struggling project.

Hiring Employee #1

A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks

(Powered by LaunchBit ). Tweet. --> It’s a big decision to make your first hire, because what you’re really deciding is whether you want to keep a lifestyle business or attempt to “cross the chasm” and maybe even get rich.

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More Trending

The Startup Team

Steve Blank

Individuals play the game, but teams beat the odds. SEAL Team saying. Over the last 40 years Technology investors have learned that the success of startups are not just about the technology but “it’s about the team.”. We spent a year screwing it up in our Lean LaunchPad classes until we figured out it was about having the right team. Startup Team Lessons Learned.

The Silent Killers

Feld Thoughts

On my run yesterday in Central Park, I was thinking about the characteristics of some of my favorite companies. Suddenly a phrase popped into my head about what ties all of these companies together – they are the silent killers. When I look at the Foundry Group portfolio , we’ve got a bunch of them in it. They don’t spend a lot of time trying to get written up in TechCrunch. They often aren’t based in the bay area.

Easy to criticize, hard to create

A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks

(Powered by LaunchBit ). I can rip any business idea to shreds. Take NetFlix: The costs of inventory logistics, millions of non-technical customers, the Postal Service, and loss from wear and delivery will make profit impossible with a reasonable retail price.

7 Reasons Big-Company Executives Fail in a Startup

Startup Professionals Musings

Mid-level or even top executives who “grew up” in large companies often look with envy at startups, and dream of how easy it must be running a small organization, where you can see the whole picture and it appears you have total control.

2012: The Year That Movements Go Mainstream?

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

I returned from ten days of skiing with my family last night. I'm on mountain time and plan to stay there until the new year. Staying up late and sleeping late seems to be a good way to bring in the New Year. But even so, my version of sleeping late is getting up at 8am. My family's version of sleeping late is getting up at noon. That leaves a fair bit of time to read and think. And so that's what I did this morning.

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The End of the Web? Don’t Bet on It. Here’s Why

Both Sides of the Table

Fred Wilson recently posted a great video on his blog with the CEO of Forrester Research, George Colony. The money slide is the graphic below. The chart shows three scarce resources and their improvements over time.

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Best Web Metrics / KPIs for a Small, Medium or Large Sized Business

Occam's Razor

We have access to more data than God wants anyone to have. Thus it is not surprising that we feel overwhelmed, and rather than being data driven we just get paralyzed. Life does not have to be that scary. In fact a data driven life is sexiest digital life you can imagine.

Resistance Is Futile

Feld Thoughts

Marc Andreessen recently wrote a long article in the WSJ which he asserted that “ Software Is Eating The World.” ” I enjoyed reading it, but I don’t think it goes far enough. I believe the machines have already taken over and resistance is futile.

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When being “first” is not a competitive advantage

A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks

(Powered by LaunchBit ). “WE STARTED THE TREND” “Wherever you hear companies talking about Managed WordPress Hosting, they are following our lead.” ” This is how one of our competitors attempts to differentiate and compete with us at WP Engine. Is it effective?

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Recruiting programmers to your startup

Chris Dixon

Here are some things I’ve learned over the years about recruiting programmers to startups. This is a big topic: many of the points I make briefly here could warrant their own blog posts, and I’m sure I’ve omitted a lot. - The most important thing to understand is what motivates programmers. This is where having been a programmer yourself can be very helpful.

Should You Introduce Yourself To Me At A Bar?

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

Saw this question on Hacker News today: Went to a talk by a VC who is very active in my area. Didn't get a chance to introduce myself after the talk (there were < 25 ppl at the talk but the VC had to run). A few hours later, was out for drinks with a friend and saw he was at the same bar but talking with someone else. Discussion ensued with my buddies around whether or not I should intro myself considering I didn't have a chance earlier in the day, but I ultimately decided against it.

Why I’d Rather Err on the Side of Direct Feedback Than Pleasantries

Both Sides of the Table

A few weeks ago I was reading a blog post by MG Siegler that really struck a chord. The title was “The Jerk,” which is a reference to both the Steve Martin film but more precisely to Robert Scoble’s interpretation of Steve Jobs having just read his biography.

10 Rules For Picking a Company Name That Sticks

Startup Professionals Musings

First things first – your startup needs a name! This may seem a silly and frivolous task, but it may be the most important decision you make. The name of your business has a tremendous impact on how customers and investors view you, and in today’s small world, it’s a world-wide decision.

Kauffman Sketchbook: Where Do Entrepreneurs Get Their Money?

Feld Thoughts

My friend Paul Kedrosky – who spends some of his time as a Senior Fellow at the Kauffman Foundation – has a thoughtful short video (as part of the Kauffman Sketchbook series) on where entrepreneurs get their money. While it’s easy to get confused and think that VCs are the center of the financing universe, Paul reminds us that most entrepreneurial companies are funded by the entrepreneur’s savings, cash flow, credit cards, friends, and family.

Video 101

What is Wrong With Today's CMS

I started using my first content management system around 1997, when things were crude and clumsy. You would think in the past 15 or so years time would heal all and improvements would be made, but you would be wrong. The modern CMS is still in a state of flux.


CEO Interview with BlazeMeter, Self-Served Load Testing in the Cloud

VC Cafe

Israeli startup Blaze Meter , a load testing in the cloud compatible with open source Apache Jmeter, has recently raised an undisclosed round from Yoav Leitersdorf’s YL Ventures.

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Some Thoughts On The IPO Market For Web Companies

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

We have an IPO market for web companies again. I don't have all the names in front of me, but this year has brought IPOs for Pandora, LinkedIn, Groupon, Zynga, and TripAdvisor. These five companies are all trading for north of $1bn market cap. Pandora is at ~$1.5bn. LinkedIn is at ~$6bn. Groupon is at ~$15bn, Zynga is at ~$7bn, and TripAdvisor is at ~$3.5bn. We can (and surely will in the comments) argue about these valuations. Some will say they are too high. Some will say they are too low.

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Let Me Introduce Myself

Both Sides of the Table

I am a big believer in VC pitches that the bio slide should come up front. Actually, I think the advice in this post applies to any sales meeting also.

7 Keys to Startup Survival in Today’s Now Economy

Startup Professionals Musings

Since the days of Henry Ford, mass production has been the Holy Grail of business, rather than build-to-order. Too many businesses haven’t noticed that we have come full-circle, where mass customization is required now to win.

Google Apps Marketplace Ecosystem

Feld Thoughts

Recently my partners and I spent some time discussing three of our recent investments – Spanning , Yesware , and Attachments – which are each applications built on top of Google Apps. Specifically, they are built for Google Apps and available in the Google Apps Marketplace or the Chrome Web Store. Each company is going after something very different. Spanning is all about cloud backup. Attachments is all about getting control of your email attachments.

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An internet of people

Chris Dixon

Over the past few years, a bunch of web-based marketplaces have gotten popular – Etsy, Kickstarter, AirBnb, to name a few. Many of these business ideas had been tried before but are succeeding only now. When a trend like this emerges, it’s always interesting to ask “ why now ?”

The National Science Foundation Innovation Corps – Class 2: The Business Model Canvas

Steve Blank

The Lean LaunchPad class for the National Science Foundation Innovation Corps is a new model of teaching startup entrepreneurship. This post is part two. Part one is here. Syllabus here.

How to make failure sustainable (and career entrepreneurship possible)

The Startup Toolkit

I’ve done nothing for the past 5 years but drive companies out of business. Through doing so, I’ve learned how to make failure sustainable. Career entrepreneurship isn’t viable if you’re forced to return to a full-time job after every slip-up. Upside versus downside.

Eat Global, Not Local

Ben Casnocha: The Blog

It is fashionable these days to decry "food miles." The longer food has spent traveling to your plate, the more oil has been burnt and the more peace has been shattered along the way. But why single out food? Should we not protest against T-shirt miles, too, and laptop miles?

6 Important Startup Trends that Defined 2011

Top Stories Photo & Video Galleries Top Lists Trending Topics Twitter YouTube Facebook iPhone Google Video More Topics. People Recommended Mashable Staff More people. Jobs Awards Join Mashable on Google+ Welcome to Mashable!

Startup Communities: Creating A Great Entrepreneurial Ecosystem In Your City

Feld Thoughts

I’m deep into writing my latest book. For now, the title is “ Startup Communities: Creating A Great Entrepreneurial Ecosystem In Your City.” ” I’m open to different titles – if you’ve got ideas just put them in the comments. Following is the current table of contents. It’s still pretty dynamic as I’m adding stuff while I’m writing.

10 Ways I Sabotaged My Success And How To Avoid My Mistakes by Yaro Starak

There are many reasons why success took its time for me. Nearly all the reasons were my own fault. Interestingly however, I have recently noticed that many others stumble with some of the very same issues.

Using Evernote to manage your Startup

47 Hats

Whether it’s the latest set of Heroku commands or alternative revenue models for your startup, you need one place to store all the vital bits, ideas, and decisions. I recommend Evernote. While there are lots of alternatives (Wikis, Circus Ponies Notebook, plain text files, etc), Evernote gives you a set of nice features (versioning, formatting, device ubiquity, robust search) that no other single app has.

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How I come up with new startup ideas (in 4 steps)

The Startup Toolkit

The approach I follow is a combination of customer discovery and effectuation , constrained by lifestyle goals. Begin with constraints. Which parts of the business model do you care about? This takes a little bit of soul searching.