June, 2012

Startups and a Common Misunderstanding in Agile Software Development


I've done four Free CTO Consulting Sessions in the past month with startup founders who all had run into variations of the same problem. They didn't feel they had visibility into timelines and costs for development of their software. They couldn't plan their business.

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What Do You Look For?

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

I'm asked this question all the time. Is it team? Is it the idea? Is it product? Is it market? The answer is that it is all of them and most importantly it is the way they all come together in a single company. Why is this the right team to do this?

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Trending Sources

Gust Blog - Thoughts on startups by investors that fund them


Last weekend I caught Mashable announcing that Ebook Sales Surpass Hardcover in the U.S., something I've expected since I first bought a Rocket ebook reader about 10 years. And in January I saw that digital music

Entrepreneurship for the 99%

Steve Blank

This is a guest post from Jerry Engel, the Faculty Director of the National Science Foundation Innovation Corps (and the Founding Faculty Director of the Lester Center for Entrepreneurship at UC Berkeley.). ———– The 99%.

The Role of Product Managers

Instigator Blog

I came across an interesting discussion on Branch about the role and future of product managers. I’m not a member there so I couldn’t respond directly, but figured I’d put my thoughts here instead. Yesterday the discussion only had a few comments on it. Today there are more and one of them is very similar to what I was going to say.

More Trending

Business Model Canvas for User Experience

Grasshopper Herder

The Business Model Canvas is the tool of choice for a business dashboard. It very much appeals to the business guy in me. It irks the UX part of my brain. Business Model User Experience business model business model canvas business plans user experience

The 10 Best Sources of Cash to Start Your Business

Startup Professionals Musings

Money to build the business is the number one challenge for most startups. Don’t believe the urban myth that you can sketch your idea on a napkin, and professional investors will throw money at you.

There is No Risk

Instigator Blog

When I started Year One Labs (with Ray, Alistair and Ian), we spent a lot of time looking for founders. It took us six months to make five investments. During that time we spoke with, interviewed, and hung out with lots of people, looking for teams, but also looking for individuals that we thought had what it takes to be startup founders. I want to share the story of one conversation I had with a guy that I was talking to about joining Year One Labs.

When do I *stop* doing customer interviews and start writing code?

A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks

Robert Graham of WhiteTail Software (and this awesome guest post on cold calling ) asks: @whitetailsoft When do you stop #custdev efforts and build the product? I’ve been wrestling with the details of #leanstartup.

Startup Culture: Values vs. Vibe

Feld Thoughts

My friend Chris Moody , the COO of Gnip, has another guest post up today titled Startup Culture: Values vs. Vibe. He’s written about this in the past on his blog, but we both thought it was worth reposting. Enjoy – and comment freely, especially if you disagree or have constructive feedback.

The art of important work, of making a ruckus and of inventing the future

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

Entrepreneurs teach VCs , not the other way around. And I was lucky early in my career to back Seth Godin , who taught me a lot. When I met Seth, he was writing books and building a web company. I backed that web company, Yoyodyne, which exited to Yahoo! a few years later. But books were always Seth's passion and he's written a bunch of them. He's also deconstructed the book publishing business and pushed it to do things that were considered unacceptable.

Why the integrated approach to mobile devices is winning

Chris Dixon

Until last week’s announcement of the new Surface tablet, Microsoft had taken the same approach to mobile devices that they had with PCs: build the software themselves and let partners build the hardware.

Startups Today Need Anticipatory Customer Service

Startup Professionals Musings

Customer service has always been reactionary, meaning someone to wake up and answer website email requests. That’s just not sufficient to hold today’s fickle, less loyal, and ready to jump customer.

Free Startup Docs: How Much Equity Should Advisors Get?


Startups. Mobile. Gadgets. Europe. Video. Enterprise. Venture. Social. GreenTech. Gaming. Opinion. Drama. Guides. Smartphones. Tablets. Digital Cameras. Laptops. Headphones. Events. CrunchBase. Hot topics. Facebook. Apple. Google. Android. Disrupt SF. Startup Battlefield. startups. Comment.

Top 40 Mompreneurs You Should Follow on Twitter

Blogtrepreneur | Entrepreneur Blog

Holly Hanna – TheWorkatHomeWoman. Austin Work at Home Mom, Blogger & Woman Entrepreneur. The Work at Home Woman is an Award Winning Blog & Business Resource for Women & Moms who Work at Home! link]. Roz Walker – The Savvy Mompreneur.

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Startup Iceland Interview With The Brads (Feld and Burnham)

Feld Thoughts

Brad Burnham ( Union Square Ventures ) and I were in Iceland a few weeks ago for the Startup Iceland event. Bala Kamallakharan organized the event and moderated the discussion (and was an amazing host.)

Some Perspective

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

I don't disagree with PG when he says that Facebook's IPO performance (or lack thereof) has the potential to impact valuations in startup land. I think it will be particularly impactful on the late stage and secondary markets where most of the IPO valuation speculation is happening. But let's put Facebook's current valuation in perspective. At the closing price of $26.90, Facebook commands a valuation of $57.5bn ( according to Google Finance ).

Exploiting Silicon Valley For Profit (and Maybe Fun)

Diego Basch

I believe that Silicon Valley is like Las Vegas, except they make you pass a number of tests before they let you gamble. This means that only a relatively select group gets to sit at the table.

8 Attributes of a Real Entrepreneur That Run Deep

Startup Professionals Musings

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.

Sketching A New Mobile Web


- select -. Books. eBooks. Job Board. Books. eBooks. Job Board. Facebook. Twitter. Newsletter. Search Go! select -. Books. eBooks. Job Board. Coding. Design. Mobile. Graphics. UX Design. WordPress. Coding. JavaScript. Techniques. Design. Web Design. Typography. Inspiration. Business. Mobile.

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Google Analytics Custom Reports: Paid Search Campaigns Analysis

Occam's Razor

Every Analysis Ninja knows that standard reports are lame. The lameness stems from the fact that they are created for everyone, stuffed with as much "stuff" as anyone might want and hence in the end satiate no one.

The Microsoft Accelerator (Powered By TechStars) Is A Hit And It’s Expanding

Feld Thoughts

The first cycle of The Microsoft Accelerator , powered by TechStars , is in its final run up to demo day.

Disqus2012 Launches

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

Today is launch day for Disqus2012. The speedy new commenting system built from the ground up by our portfolio company Disqus is generally available today.

The Power of Torso TV (Why Media is Racing to the Middle)

Both Sides of the Table

This article originally ran on TechCrunch. Chris Anderson wrote a really influential book some years ago called “ The Long Tail ” that shaped how many people think about emerging Internet markets. If you haven’t read it you should consider adding it to you library. It was especially influential in my mind in thinking about media.

How to Reverse an Entrepreneur Downward Mood Spiral

Startup Professionals Musings

A “downer” is defined here as someone who seems to dwell on the negatives of every business challenge, and loves to highlight bad news or potential problems. No matter how smart or experienced this person may otherwise be, things must change or they will kill your startup.

Steve Would Be Proud: How Apple Won The War Against Flash


Late Thursday, an extraordinary thing happened: Adobe announced in a blog post that it would not provide Flash Player support for devices running Android 4.1 , and that it would pull the plugin from the Google Play store on August 15.

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Inspire and invest in our innovators

VC Cafe

This post was originally published in The Times newspaper on Tuesday, June 12th 2012 (Here’s a link to the original post ). Reposting on VC Cafe. The UK has everything it needs to build great startups.

The Brilliance of The Struggle

Feld Thoughts

Ben Horowitz from Andreessen Horowitz has a beautiful post up titled The Struggle. He captures – in words – what many entrepreneurs, especially entrepreneurial CEOs go through. I’ve heard variants of it many times over the years and have experienced it myself in several companies where I’ve been the entrepreneur and many companies where I’ve been the investor. Ben states that there is no answer to The Struggle but offers some things that may or may not help.

Social Proof Is Dangerous

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

Hunter Walk has a post up suggesting that "social proof" is not as helpful of an indicator of startup quality as it once was. I have always hated the idea of social proof. It's just the herd instinct at work. It's nonsense. If you can't figure out why you like an investment and why it will be successful, don't make it. Yesterday my partner Andy and I met with a company that has had a hard time rasing capital.

Mobile Payments: The Trillion Dollar Industry That's Never - AgileVC

Agile VC

Mobile payments are the trillion dollar industry that everybody's been waiting for but has never materialized. At first glance, mobile payments seem like a no brainer consumers [seemingly] want the convenience of paying

Even Startups Can’t Innovate Without a Process

Startup Professionals Musings

Most entrepreneurs I know are individually very innovative, but a successful startup can’t be a one-man show (for long). That means they need to build an innovative team, which is not a skill that most people are born with.

Ex-Facebookers launch MemSQL to make your database fly


Cloud Computing News. Events. Books. Research. Apple. Broadband. Cleantech. Cloud. Collaboration. Europe. Media. Mobile. Video. Cloud. Ex-Facebookers launch MemSQL to make your database fly. By Derrick Harris. 18, 2012, 4:30am PT. 4 Comments. Tweet.

What It's Like To Be The CEO: Revelations and Reflections


The following is a guest post from Paul DeJoe, founder at Ecquire and EIR at Fairbridge Venture Partners. This article is adapted from an answer on Quora that Paul left responding to the question “What does it feel like to be the CEO of a startup?”

The Power of TAGFEE and Just Executing

Feld Thoughts

So far I’m pleased with my shift to Maker Mode this summer. I’ve managed to get in a solid four hours of writing on my Startup Communities book each day and will have a full draft to circulate to a small group of people on Saturday. I chose deliberately to skip TechStars New York Demo Day (which looks like it went great) this year, which was a hard choice for me but I just didn’t want to break the flow of what I’m doing.