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

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

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.

When Should A Company Be Formed Around an Idea?

Ask The VC

Question: I participated in a company’s “app challenge weekend” (which they described as somewhere between a hackathon and a startup weekend). I am excited to continue working on the product that my team built over the weekend with 2 of the team members (my brother and the guy who pitched the idea). My preference is to formalize a relationship by forming a company.

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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.

What A VC Orders for Breakfast Says

Genuine VC

One of the things that surprised me most about venture capital when I got into the business is how much VCs seem to like to meet for breakfast. VCs usually typically reserve dinners for portfolio companies’ CEOs and board members. And “doing lunch” doesn’t happen that often because VCs don’t like going out of the office mid-day much. But breakfast for venture capitalists is an open free-for-all for all sorts of networking meetings and conversations.

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.

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 ).

Pro-rata Rights For Angels

Ask The VC

Joanne Wilson (aka Gotham Gal ) has an outstanding post today titled Pro-rata rights. In it she makes two important points about angel investing. She won’t do a deal if the legal documents aren’t good. She won’t do a deal if she doesn’t get pro-rata rights. She then goes on to discuss a thing that happens continually in VC deals.

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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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.

Josh Breinlinger: Why VCs Lie

Ask The VC

I discovered Josh Breinlinger’s blog this morning via a tweet from @stefanobernardi. I added it to the Ask the VC blogroll and read through VCs are liars. And so am I. And – Josh is right – it’s super hard to say “you suck” or “your team sucks” as a reason for passing. I’ve written more about this in the post on Feld Thoughts titled It’s Hard To Tell Someone They Suck. VC Post of the Day breinlinger sigma vc post of the day


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 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.

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.

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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The Difference Between Apple & Facebook ? AGILEVC

Agile VC

Apple and Facebook are both platforms, in the sense that their software and user networks are utilized by countless software developers to build their own businesses. In 2011 Facebook paid out $1.4 billion to developers and

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.