December, 2010

The Shortcut We Took to Build Yipit in Three Days

Vinicius Vacanti

Family, friends, journalists, potential investors and palm readers will tell your idea is brilliant or foolish but they don’t really know. Very few ideas are clearly amazing. The success of most ideas is very much unclear. So, how can you find out if your startup idea is good or bad?

Email 115

14 Ways To Be A Great Startup CEO


Everyone thinks that being a startup CEO is a glamorous job or one that has to be a ton of fun. That's what I now refer to as the "glamour brain" speaking aka the startup life you hear about from the press. You know the press articles I'm talking about.

Trending Sources

Data is the Next Major Layer of the Cloud & A Major Victory for Startups

Both Sides of the Table

Today Factual announced that it raised $25 million from Andreessen Horowitz & Index Ventures. I believe that this is a major new area of growth & innovation for the Internet as Cloud Services start to form deeper & richer layers. Let me explain.

Cloud 82

Ten Top Product Pricing Models for Startups

Startup Professionals Musings

One of the toughest decisions for a startup is how to price their product or service. The alternatives range from giving it away for free (like Twitter), to pricing based on costs, to charging what the market will bear (premium pricing).

Just Make It Faster

Feld Thoughts

As a user, how often have you thought “I wish this web service was faster.&# As a CEO, how often have you said “just make it faster.&# Or, more simply, “why is this damn thing so slow?&#. This is a not a new question. I’ve been thinking about this since I first started writing code (APL) when I was 12 (ahem – 33 years ago) on a computer in the basement of a Frito-Lay data center in Dallas.

SQL 68

More Trending

Why You Should Make Your Competitors Your Frenemies

Both Sides of the Table

Yesterday I wrote about how to talk to investors about your competitors. In short, acknowledge they exist, be transparent about strengths & weaknesses and use your differences to talk about how you want to position yourself in the market.

How David Garland built a community of 100,000 followers in 24 months

A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks

This is a guest post by David Garland, author of a new book: Smarter, Faster, Cheaper : Non-Boring, Fluff-Free Strategies For Marketing & Promoting Your Business.

The Secret to Successful Job Referrals

Instigator Blog

Lots of companies are entering the job referral space. It’s heating up like crazy. They’re looking at someone’s social graph and trying to figure out how to convince and incentivize that person to recommend friends for jobs. And from what I’ve seen, they don’t work. I don’t know of a single recruitment company or startup that’s significantly improved how we make job referrals.

Invest In The Mess

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

There's a front page story in the NY Times today about the hyperactivity in web startupland. They quote from a few posts I've made on this blog and I think Jenna and Evelyn did a nice job with the story. The thing that's clear from reading the story is the hyperactivity is in the early/seed stage market and the late stage market. Investors are throwing money at energetic entrpreneurs with plans, hopes, and dreams and at emerging winners like Groupon, Gilt, Twitter, Facebook, etc.

Going Down? Q3 VC Investments in US Tech Drop 14%

VC Cafe

T he latest VentureDeal quarterly report is out (see pdf) and it suggests that VC activity in tech has slowed down in the third quarter. Overall, 343 US companies raised $1.8

Some Entrepreneurs Neglect to Enjoy the Holidays

Startup Professionals Musings

It’s been a tough business year, but I hope you are all taking some time off this holiday weekend, to celebrate with the family. Even those of you who are not Christian and see Christmas as just another day should still enjoy the holiday spirit, take a break from work, and count your blessings.

The Power of Twitter in Information Discovery

Both Sides of the Table

It surprises me how many really smart people I meet still doubt the power of Twitter. It seems the urge to be a naysayer of Twitter is really strong for some.

How to master your iPad

How to Change the World

Are you trying to master your iPad? I’ve got a deal for you. For one week, you can download a free copy of Tanya Engst’s Take Control of iPad Basics ebook. Just go here and “like&# the page to get it.



Startup Lessons Learned

Thank you, 2010. I'm excited for 2011, and I want to share some of my plans for the coming year. But before I do, I also feel obligated to take a look back on my plans for last year.

Lean 30

How To Become Legendary- 23 Things Michael Jordan Taught Me About Entrepreneurship


If you know me personally, or even digitally , then you know that I am a physical fitness and athletic enthusiast. I find that there is a certain level of determination that is built up by being physically fit and sticking to a regimen.

Israeli Startups Look to New York, and increasingly Shanghai

VC Cafe

A lan Patricof, a veteran venture capital investor and partner in NY based Greycroft Partners, said that “an Israeli company has to come to New York to access advertisers and content&# , during the BootCamp Ventures Innovation Marathon in his recent visit to Israel.

Vetting a startup (or two): The systematic birth of @WPEngine

A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks

Let me dispose of any lingering ideas that WPEngine was a great flash of insight , born perfect from conception like a Greek God emerging from the ocean, a once-per-decade occurrence sourced from unsystematic inspiration.

How to Run Better Presentations & Improve Results

Both Sides of the Table

I sit through a lot of presentations. It’s usually people wanting to raise money and/or persuade me of something. Many of these are not as effective as they could be.

The “thin edge of the wedge” strategy

Chris Dixon

Establishing relationships with new users is the hardest part of growing a startup. For consumer products establishing relationships can mean many things: installs, registrations, purchases, or even just getting users to think of your website as a place to go for certain purposes. For B2B products, establishing relationships means getting internal users or testers and eventually contracts and payments.

Reaching Corporate goals using Business Intelligence

Active Garage

Most companies have a mission. This mission, many times, is some morally high statement that the company will, say, help all the people of the world live in harmony. While this is a noble gesture, is it realistic? Unless you’re the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation, probably not.

SaaS Economics – Part 1: The SaaS Cash Flow Trough

For Entrepreneurs

Provides SaaS entrepreneurs with an Excel spreadsheet model and graphs that show the cash flow trough that happens to SaaS or subscription businesses that use a sales organization. Building for Success Business Model SaaS Sales & Marketing Machine Software as a Service

3 Awesome, Downloadable, Custom Web Analytics Reports

Occam's Razor

In a world where we are overwhelmed with data and metrics and key performance indicators and reports and dashboards and. sometimes all it takes to make some sense of all this "mess" is someone stepping up to share a tiny slice of wisdom from their experience.

5 Ideas to Spot an Opportunity

Life Beyond Code

Note : A shorter version of this article was published first in my newsletter. Based on the response there, I decided to expand and repost it on the blog.

Talking to a VC About Your Competitors

Both Sides of the Table

Competition. Unless you’re Microsoft selling an OS for a PC you probably have some. And even then Microsoft has substitute products as anyone who has taken Econ 101 will tell you.

Mobile Economics Will Trend Toward Web Economics

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

I've been saying for a while now that I think mobile economics will trend toward web economics as the mobile web goes mainstream. In other words, the business models that work best on the web will ultimately work best in mobile.The corrolary to that is that the business models that don't work well on the web will not work well in mobile in the long run. And that includes tablets. There is some discussion in the tech blogs today about why iPad magazine sales have been disappointing.

Web 24

Young Entrepreneur Jason Brian Takes on Auto Insurance Market with

NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation Blog

21 year-old auto insurance industry entrepreneur Jason Brian has created a bot to help you get the best deals. How did he get involved in entrepreneurship? Read our Q&A with Jason below. Jason Brian. Status. Founder and CEO of Tell us about yourself.

DC 24

New Entrepreneurs Think Investor Money is All Fun

Startup Professionals Musings

The naïve entrepreneur thinks he can relax, after he finally cashes the check from a professional investor, but in reality that’s when the work and the pressure starts.

Paradigm shifts - why the market leaders get left behind

Don Dodge on The Next Big Thing

Paradigm shifts in technology usually leave the incumbent leaders behind. Because the leaders are so focused on maintaining their market share leadership they ignore the new wave. IBM was once the most dominant computer technology company in the world. IBM didn't lose its dominance because someone came along and built a better mainframe computer. They lost it because the market moved down to simpler, less expensive, mini-computers from companies like Digital Equipment, Sun, and Data General.

Cloud 22

My Life Is Most Likely More Than Half Over

Feld Thoughts

After reflecting over the past few weeks on Turning 45 as well as Death and Dying , I’ve reached a conclusion that I’ve said out loud several times: “My life is most likely more than half over.&# The singularity not withstanding, the chances, at least today, that I’ll live to be over 90 aren’t great.

Lean Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses and Startups

crowdSPRING Blog

Small businesses and startups face many challenges when marketing their products and services.

Lean 30

The Origin of Leaders #4: Self-discipline. Cultivating the habit of completion

Active Garage

I feel a fraud writing on self-discipline. I started this post over 6 weeks ago. Yet, here I am—just days before deadline–finally coming back to push through the hard work of completing it and making it readable. I am definitely not a guru or master of self-discipline.

Spain 20

How to Detect a Toxic Customer

Software By Rob

A month ago I received a sales inquiry via email for my invoicing software package. The prospect asked if we could complete the questions he had attached in a spreadsheet: I will need the attached questions answered in order to proceed as I can’t get them all answered off your website. There were nearly 80 questions, at least half of which could be answered from our website.

Startups With Timely Action Get Investor Traction

Startup Professionals Musings

The official start date for your startup is the date you incorporate the business. This is obviously important for tax purposes, but may also dramatically influence how potential investors, customers, and competitors look at you.

LLC 21

The Product Guy: Astonishin’ in 2010!

The Product Guy

Another year of The Product Guy is now coming to a close… an awesomely astonishin’ 2010!