May, 2012

Where's My Billion Dollar Check, I Wonder

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

When a blockbuster deal happens, a lot of people get excited. The press is all over it, money comes pouring into startups in search of the next one, people quit jobs and school to get in the game. It's a gold rush. But there's another reaction that I have heard a lot in the past few weeks that is quite different. It is "why not me?" " The title of this post is from an email between me and an entrepreneur I know who will go nameless. It sums up the emotion so well for me.

9 Deadliest Start-up Sins

Steve Blank

magazine is publishing a 12-part series of excerpts from The Startup Owner’s Manual , the new step-by-step “how to” guide for startups.

Trending Sources

It’s Morning in Venture Capital

Both Sides of the Table

This article originally ran on PEHub. If you prefer the super short version – I’ve summarized the post in the final section. Many observers of the venture capital industry have questioned whether its best days are behind it.

Which is better: Many customers at low price-point or few at high price?

A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks

The results of a serendipitous live experiment were recently published as guest posts on this blog.

How to Succeed in Living the Entrepreneur Lifestyle

Startup Professionals Musings

As we recover from some tough economic times, more and more people seem to be turning to entrepreneurship as an alternative to traditional employment. I applaud this trend, but caution all of you thinking this direction to approach entrepreneurship with your eyes wide open.

More Trending

A Better Way To Ask For Investor Intros

Seed Stage Capital

8 Tips To Optimize Your Fundraising Process. About once or twice a week I get an email that goes something like this: “We are starting to raise our seed round; who should we be talking to?”.

To Be Successful You’ll Need to Shake Hands and Kiss Babies.

Both Sides of the Table

It’s Wednesday late afternoon. I’m aboard Delta flight 1833 from Cincinnati (actually, Northern Kentucky for what it’s worth) to Los Angeles. I had a very enjoyable day in Cincinnati meeting many local entrepreneurs, angels and accelerators.

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Feld Thoughts

Today SEOMoz announced that Foundry Group has led an $18 million financing and I’m joining the board. Rand Fishkin (The Wizard of Moz) has an incredibly detailed post up titled Moz’s $18 Million Venture Financing: Our Story, Metrics and Future describing the financing process and company history in great depth.

Companies Are Afraid Of Innovation | Deimar ~ Business Tips and.


Businessman afraid of innovation. Many companies got to the top through a culture of innovation, as they were not afraid of thinking differently, changes or criticism. However, once there it appears that such a culture is history


A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

The NY Tech Meetup has produced a series of short videos talking about some of the key early challenges that startups face. They call this series #startupstories and currently there are three videos up on the web, one about pitching your company, one about building the team, and one about failing.

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Why Facebook is Killing Silicon Valley

Steve Blank

We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win… John F. Kennedy, September 1962. Innovation.

How to Maximize the Value of Mentors in Accelerators

Instigator Blog

The questioning (negative) press about startup accelerators and incubators isn’t going to stop. It’s going to continue and likely increase. Some of it will be meaningless drivel mixed in with a healthy dose of ranting and raving (not dissimilar to the endless and cyclical discussions on whether we’re in a bubble or not.) But a lot of the press and blog posts we’ll see about accelerators and incubators will be very meaningful and important.

What to do About that Chip on Your Shoulder?

Both Sides of the Table

I’m fond of saying that I look for entrepreneurs that have a chip on their shoulder. That they have something to prove. That they’re not afraid to stick their noses up to the establishment. I have always felt this way. It’s something I kind of seek out.

Guidelines For Interviewing At A Startup

Feld Thoughts

My long time friend Chris Moody , president and COO of Gnip, has offered to write some guest posts on management – we’ll call the series Moody on Management. In addition to being an outstanding early stage / high growth executive, Chris has made a study of management in startups and is extremely thoughtful about what does and doesn’t work. His first post is aimed at anyone looking to get a job in a startup and talks about how to be effective at interviewing for a job.

6 reasons to use Asana to build your startup.

47 Hats

So you want to successfully build your startup and that means building systems that get all sorts of work done. If you’re funded, you can hire someone to define all the task, marketing, support, recruiting, planning, agile project management and operation systems you need.

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A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

With all the talk of massive amounts of cash sloshing around the web/mobile startup ecosystem (including things I've said recently), you would think that nobody bootstraps anymore. But that is not true at all. Last week my partner Albert blogged about our most recent investment in Behance. Behance was bootstrapped for its first five years. As Scott Belsky , Behance's founder and CEO, wrote on the Behance blog : For the past five years, Behance has been a bootstrapped enterprise.

Congrats SlideShare + LinkedIn -- Best Wishes Rashmi, Jon, & Amit :)

500 Hats

This is a very special post for me to write, to congratulate some good friends on a job well done. I first met Rashmi many years back at TagCamp while i was still working at Simply Hired in 2005, then again at Dana Street Coffee in early 2007 when i was consulting for

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8 Attributes of a Real Entrepreneur That Run Deep


Business success begins in the mind of the startup founder and his team. A winning startup is a team of entrepreneurs who build and run the business as an extension of who they are, rather than some extrapolation of the Google or Facebook model.

Los Angeles Startup Events


I recently posted about the Increase in Early-Stage Startup Activity in Los Angeles. In that post, I mentioned how one of the signals is the big increase in number of startup events and the number of attendees at those events. I realized that it has been a little while since I posted about the Los Angeles Startup Community and so needed to update my list of startup events that will be out of date almost before I finish publishing it.

Too Many Seed Investment Choices

Feld Thoughts

Yesterday I sent emails out passing on participating in two seed rounds for companies I really like. They had lots of investors trying to invest and each company was competitive with two other seed stage companies we’ve seen in the past 30 days. All are exciting, all are working on something that we like, and all of them are at the starting line with different strengths and weaknesses.

We're creating a culture of distraction - Joe Kraus Blog

Joe Kraus

A few weeks ago I gave this rough presentation on a topic called SlowTech. I wanted to cover three things. We are creating and encouraging a culture of distraction where we are increasingly disconnected from the people


Tolerance and Prosperity

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

Yesterday, my partners and I invited Paul Romer over to USV for lunch. For those that don't know, Paul is a leading thinker in the world of economics and currently a Professor at NYU. It was a fascinating conversation. My favorite part of it was Paul's "lecture" on William Penn, early Pennsylvania, and the reaction to the growth of Pennsylvania from neighboring states.

Principles of User Interface Design

Principles of User Interface Design. "To To design is much more than simply to assemble, to order, or even to edit; it is to add value and meaning, to illuminate, to simplify, to clarify, to modify, to dignify, to dramatize, to persuade, and perhaps even to amuse." - Paul Rand.

A Relevant Tale: How Google Killed Inktomi

Diego Basch

On March 20th, 2000 Inktomi had a market capitalization of 25 billion dollars. As a relatively early employee, I was a multimillionaire on paper. Life was good. In the next year and a half the stock went down by 99.9%. In the end, Inktomi was acquired by Yahoo for 250M. What happened?

A new field guide for entrepreneurs of all stripes

Startup Lessons Learned

TLDR: Brant Cooper and Patrick Vlaskovits , authors of The Entrepreneur's Guide to Customer Development are back with a new book called The Lean Entrepreneur. Illustrations by FAKEGRIMLOCK. You can pre-order it starting today.

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VC Rights: Up, Down, And Know What The Fuck Is Going On

Feld Thoughts

At the HBS VC Alumni event I was at last week (no – I didn’t go to HBS – I was a panelist) I heard a great line from a wise old VC who has been a VC about as long as I’ve existed on this planet. “VCs only need three rights: Up, Down, and Know What The Fuck Is Going On” If you’ve read Venture Deals: How To Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist , you already know that Jason and I agree with this statement.

Building It Is Not Enough: 5 Practical Tips On User Acquisition


The following is a guest post by Brian Balfour , Co-Founder and CMO of Boundless. You can read more of his writing on his blog at

Mastery And Mimicry

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

The Internet is an amazing place. Last weekend an email arrived in my inbox with the subject line "Hello From MIT" That got me to open it. Turns out it was from Sep Kamvar , a faculty member at the MIT Media Lab, and before that the Stanford computer science department. I don't know Sep and was not familiar with his work. I am now. Sep pointed me to a series of essays he has written called Mastery and Mimicry.

When to Post on Facebook, Twitter, Tumbler for Maximum Effect

bitly blog. back to bitly. May 8, 2012. Time Is On Your Side. Did you see those silly cats on Tumblr, that breaking news on Twitter, and those photos of your friend’s kids on Facebook? Different social networks have their own distinct personalities.

6 Tips to Max Your Business Problem Solving Skills

Startup Professionals Musings

If you can’t solve problems and enjoy it, you won’t make it as an entrepreneur. By definition, an entrepreneur is the first to undertake a given business, and firsts never happen without problems and people frustrations.

The default state of a startup is failure

Chris Dixon

If you are starting a company and wondering why nothing good seems to happen unless you force it to happen, that’s because the world wants to stay the way it is. Customers, partners, and most of all incumbents don’t want to think hard, try new things, or change in any way. The world is lazy and just wants to keep doing what it’s doing. A friend of mine got a job at a big company and was shocked to see his colleagues worked just a few productive hours a day.

MobileDay – Making Audio Conference Calls Work On Smart Phones

Feld Thoughts

Each day I do at least two, and sometimes as many as a half dozen, audio conference calls. I make almost all of them from my iPhone when I’m walking somewhere or driving in my car. I find the process of dialing into a conference totally insane, maddening, and archaic. Here’s how it usually goes when I’m in the car. I go to my calendar on my iPhone at the appointed conference time. I try to memorize the conference call id.

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Many-to-Many Sharing

Vinicius Vacanti

You can put all of today’s apps into two user acquisition buckets. There are the apps where people push their actions to Facebook and their Facebook friends sign-up for the app (e.g. Instagram, Foursquare, Socialcam, Pinterest) and then there’s everyone else.

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8 Universal Web Design Principles You Should Know


The design of your website is more important for conversions than you think. You can implement any conversion boosting tactic in the world, but if it looks like crap, it won’t do you much good. Design is not just something designers do. Design is marketing.

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