Sat.Mar 31, 2012 - Fri.Apr 06, 2012

How We Fooled Ourselves into Delaying Our Startup’s Launch

Vinicius Vacanti

I remember reading the first few pages of Steve Blank’s book, Four Steps to Epiphany , and thinking two things: This is not exactly a page-turner. This is a really smart way of thinking about startups.

Cloning Successful Startups

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

Jeff Leventhal, the CEO of our portfolio company WorkMarket , emailed me yesterday. He said: i would love to see an avc post about copycats like samwer bros. what do u think of this form of entrepreneurs, etc? I looked back over my archives and I guess I've never addressed this topic here at AVC. So here goes. It's a free market out there. People can do what they want. That's even more true globally. If you are successful, you will be cloned. That's life.

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Blinded by the Light – The Epiphany

Steve Blank

Epiphany e·piph·a·ny noun ?/i?pif?n?/. A moment of sudden revelation or insight. We now know how to teach entrepreneurs how to think about business models and use customer development to turn hypotheses into facts. But there is no process to teach how to get an epiphany.

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Perfect Pricing Part Deux — More money from fewer sales

A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks

This is a guest post by Jarrod Drysdale — a web designer and bootstrapper who recently broke five figure sales for his ebook that teaches bootstrappers do-it-yourself design principles and strategies.

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Hiring Developers Before Product/Market Fit?

SoCal CTO

Using my StartupRoar as a radar, I came across a great post by Gabriel Weinberg Do you really need a full-time hire for that? Hiring seems to be the preferred use of seed funds (by investors and founders), whereas I'd prefer a focus on customer acquisition.

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How Often Do Employees Of VC-backed Startups Get Stock Options?

Ask The VC

Question: How often do venture-backed start-up employees (let’s say non-executives) get stock option grants? Besides the initial grant when they start, how often do “re-up” grants come? Should they be expected after further funding rounds? After significant accomplishments/promotions? Never? The short answer, at least in the US, is “most of the time.”

Multi-Channel Attribution: Definitions, Models and a Reality Check

Occam's Razor

A wise person said: "To guarantee success, spend 95% of your time defining the problem and 5% of the time solving it." " I believe deeply in that quote. In my life I spend an extraordinary amount of time understanding the problem and attempting to define it clearly.

7 Key Drivers to the Best Investor For Your Startup

Startup Professionals Musings

If your startup desperately needs an investor, you may not care if the investor is a so-called “angel” investor, or a venture capitalist (VC). The money is the same color in either case.

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The Ultimate Guide to Increasing Ecommerce Conversion Rates

ConversionXL

If you run an online store, you’re always trying to boost your sales. Here’s how to increase the conversion rate of your ecommerce site. What’s the conversion rate I can be happy with? Don’t worry about ‘average’ rates.

If Steve Jobs Worked For You, You’d Probably Fire Him

Gregg Fraley, Author of Jack's Notebook

There is a great deal being said and written about the late, great, Steve Jobs. He was a complex personality — and a remarkable leader. Folks often overlook the personality piece and focus on the leadership.

BigDoor Cracks The Code On Web Site Engagement

Feld Thoughts

One of the most enduring challenges any Internet marketer faces is getting users to come back regularly and engage on their website. In other words; loyalty.

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Many Entrepreneurs Never Leave Their Comfort Zone

Startup Professionals Musings

One of the biggest impediments to starting a new venture is the “terror barrier,” as popularized by Bob Proctor , a 75-year-old millionaire and world renowned entrepreneur.

How can Twitter chat help your business?

Up and Running

One of the best ways for small businesses to build their networks and increase their influence is by participating in Twitter Chats.

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Seriously, what’s up with old media not crediting bloggers?

Chris Dixon

From my March 16 blog post “ The myth of the overnight success “: Angry Birds was Rovio’s 52nd game. They spent eight years and almost went bankrupt before finally creating their massive hit. Pinterest is one of the fastest growing websites in history, but struggled for a long time.

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Why SOME Smart People Fall Hard From the Top?

Life Beyond Code

Why do smart people fall from the top? You can simply brush this off by attributing the cause to statistics. But the topic is worth exploring a bit more. Here is what I have on this based on a series of interviews, reflection and thinking. There are many reasons smart people fall hard from the top.

5 Ways to See If Your Business Integrity is Showing

Startup Professionals Musings

As an entrepreneur, your personal integrity is critical for getting and keeping the support of investors and team members, and your company’s integrity is critical for getting and keeping customers and vendors. But in a practical sense, what does that really mean?

7 reasons you have trouble getting things done (and 7 easy solutions)

Up and Running

Ever wonder why you don’t get more done every day? You might be trying to do too much, and competing demands in the office aren’t making it any easier to accomplish what you set out to do.

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Profiting With Pinterest

Blogtrepreneur | Entrepreneur Blog

Who doesn’t love pinning things on Pinterest? It’s highly addictive and it’s predominantly populated by an abundance of women with a mindset to shop. Every board is comparable to a full scale wish list of purchases waiting to happen.

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Why I’m Joining The Application Developers Alliance Board of Directors

Feld Thoughts

I spend all of my working time in the domain of software, Internet, and entrepreneurship. Over the past few years I’ve gotten increasingly involved in a handful of political situations – local, state, and national – that directly impact companies either in the ecosystem I’m part of or that I’ve invested in. Many of these political situations stifle entrepreneurship, innovation, or opportunities for these companies.

5 Lessons From the Recession for Young Entrepreneurs

Startup Professionals Musings

Every dark cloud has a silver lining. Driven by the recent recession, smart entrepreneurs of all ages are jumping into the fray with new ideas, new recovery strategies, and discarding outmoded business models.

How Do I Protect My Option Grant From A Down Round In The Future?

Ask The VC

Question: I am considering joining a startup that is currently in the process of raising their next round of funding. I will be joining as a VP, reporting directly to the CEO, and considered an “executive” Given the environment for this particular industry, it is very likely that the company will face a down round – perhaps as much as 50% of their last financing a year ago.

The Single Most Important Way to Get More Out of the New Facebook

Duct Tape Marketing

The Single Most Important Way to Get More Out of the New Facebook This content from: Duct Tape Marketing. You’ve probably read your share of tutorials talking about the new Facebook Timeline changes and how to get the most from them.

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7 Messages You Carry With You ALL the Time

Life Beyond Code

Whether you are doing something or nothing, you are always carrying a few messages with you. These messages include but not limited to: 1. A Promise: You always make a promise to the world.

Why it’s Smarter to Barter

Blogtrepreneur | Entrepreneur Blog

It’s a system as old as mankind, a discourse that goes something like, “I can offer you this, in exchange for what you’ve got over there.” Bartering is for all intents and purposes a system of trading a good or service for another good or service, outside of the realm of monetary value.

10 Sure Ways to Get Your Plan Trashed by Investors

Startup Professionals Musings

After struggling to create your business plan for months, every entrepreneur likes to think that their document is inspirational and will reach someone who is smart enough to see the brilliance of the idea, intuitive enough to recognize their business acumen, and enthusiastic enough to offer the money required to make it happen.

Boston Mobile Madness

Early Stage Adventures

At Xconomy’s very successful Mobile Madness event a couple of weeks ago, I was struck by the vibrant mobile startup scene in Boston. Its not that mobile focused startups are new to Boston, but rather that the ecosystem “feels” vibrant at the moment.

The Stress and the Straddle

Life Beyond Code

In your heart, you want to stand out from the crowd. There comes the stress right there. The Stress. During the process of you transforming yourself to “stand out,” you are still part of the crowd.

Saas Math: Customer vs. Revenue Churn

StartupCFO

As I’ve mentioned many times before: churn (the rate at which customers cancel their subscription) is the most important metric for any recurring revenue business. This should make sense. The longer a customer keeps paying you, the more valuable that customer is.

Four Ways To Create A Positive Team Culture

YoungUpstarts

Clint Anderson Ph.D., founder and president of J. Clint Anderson Company. Between increased diversity, growing workload, geographic dispersion, and organizational changes, who has time to worry about a corporate culture? Research shows that when people connect well, organizations succeed.

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Damn, The Samwers Are Entertaining (& Dangerous)

Babbling VC

The Samwers have become the talk of the town when you're en-route in Germany. I was at Thomas Promny's D3Con event Friday and was again reminded of this. No, actually, I am reminded of how prevalent these guys are in the German VC scene whenever I leave the confines of my home. Not one party, event, business pitch nor even at times dinner conversation goes without mention of these infamous brothers.

Leadership Qualities & How to Develop Them

Growthink Blog

When I think about the great entrepreneurs of our time like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Richard Branson, I not only admire the companies they built, but their leadership skills. Since even the best idea, or the smartest individual, can't evolve into a massively successful company without leadership.

8 Reasons Why Cloud Computing is Even Better for Small Businesses

ReadWriteStart

Sure, cloud computing offers benefits to companies of all sizes. But the clouds' advantages apply even more dramatically the smaller and newer your company. At the same time, the standard objections to cloud computing matter less to small companies than to large ones.

45 Minutes With @albertwenger

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

It's really easy to appear intelligent when you are surrounded by smart people. I've written a fair bit about how my partner Brad is responsible for much of USV's investment thesis and the deep thinking we do as a firm. But USV is also extremely fortunate to have had the benefit of Albert Wenger 's big brain for the past five years, since he helped Joshua build and sell Delicious to Yahoo!

Now That The JOBS Act Has Passed, Immigration Reform Is Next

Seeing Both Sides

Yesterday was a pretty special day. Not only did I get to attend the White House ceremony at the Rose Garden for the passing of the JOBS Act, but I got to see one of our CEOs featured as an entrperneurial hero.