Sat.Aug 28, 2010 - Fri.Sep 03, 2010

How a startup should leverage a personal assistant

A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks

Rob Walling generously allowed me to reprint this excerpt from his new book, "Start Small, Stay Small: A Developer's Guide to Launching a Startup" available in paperback and Kindle from Amazon and in PDF and ePub from

Is Convertible Debt Preferable to Equity?

Both Sides of the Table

Seth Levine of Foundry Group addresses this important topic this morning on his blog with a post, “ Has Convertible Debt Won ?&# Seth was basing this on a Tweet by Paul Graham that said&#. “Convertible notes have won.

Trending Sources

The Art of the Customer Development Conversation

Market by Numbers

By now all Lean Startup and Customer Development practitioners should know that if you're not getting out of the building, you're not doing Customer Development. Each of the following, while often a necessary and beneficial activity

How To Make Money With Your Blog (With Case Studies As Proof) by Yaro Starak

People often come to me as an expert at monetizing blogs. Although my experience making money online is not limited only to blogs, I’ve been able to extract a lot of income from not necessarily a lot of traffic.

Raising Financing: Convertible Debt vs. Equity

Instigator Blog

Seth Levine from Foundry Group touched off a debate on which is the best way to raise startup financing: convertible debt or equity. Paul Graham (intentionally or not) actually started things with a tweet , “Convertible notes have won. Every investment so far in this YC batch (and there have been a lot) has been done on a convertible note.&#. Fred Wilson joined the conversation, as did Mark Suster. All prominent and successful investors.

More Trending

Service Exports - Driving U.S. Startups and Small Businesses

Growthink Blog

Almost completely shrouded in the anemic U.S. stock market performance and the drumbeat of negativity that passes as business reporting these days has been the massive growth in U.S. service exports – increasingly from U.S. startups and small businesses. By way of anecdote, from the time Dave Lavinsky and I founded Growthink in 1999 through 2008, more than 95% of our firm’s clients and investors were U.S. based.

12 keys to being excellent at anything

Jeff Hilimire

The Harvard Business Review has an article entitled, Six Keys to Being Excellent at Anything. I actually haven’t read it yet, or at least at the point of writing this post I hadn’t. I saw the title and thought that I’d like to read it, but then I thought it would be an interesting exercise if I would come up with my six keys, then compare them to the ones that HBR had. So here are MY six keys to being excellent at anything: 1) You have to be passionate about it.

Converts versus equity deals

Chris Dixon

There has been a debate going on the past few days over whether seed deals should be funded using equity or convertible notes (converts). Paul Graham kicked it off by noting that all the financings in the recent YC batch were converts. Prominent investors including Mark Suster and Seth Levine weighed in (I highly recommend reading their posts). While this debate might sound technical, at its core it is really about a difference in seed investing philosophy.

The Right Kind of Ambition

Ben's Blog

“Some say that I’m they favorite. But I aint hearing none of that. I’m about my team ho. Young money running back”. Drake. Stay in your place. While I sit here and rule. I’m king of a cow. And I’m king of a mule”. Yertle the Turtle. In my last post, I mentioned that you should strive to hire people with the right kind of ambition. Surprisingly to me, I received a large number of responses from readers questioning whether or not this was good advice.

Sales 10

Burnham's Beat: Why Convertible Debt Is A Sucker's Play

Burnham's Beat

Subscribe to This Blog. RSS/ATOM Feed Add This Feed To Bloglines Add to My Yahoo! Add to Netvibes. Subscribe Via Email. Tesla Worth $1.7BN. According To Its Bankers | Main

Co-founder dilution


When entrepreneurs talk about dilution to their share ownership, most of the time they’re talking about dilution from outside investors. Yet, more dilution, especially early on, can come from adding co-founders which is something no one seems to talk about. I am in favour of having a co-founder. It gives you someone to bounce ideas off, energize you when you’re down, etc. Investors generally like them too. They know that if one of you goes postal, there is another one there.

Coworking Spaces

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

I've never been much of a fan of incubators. Some have made the model work. My favorite of the bunch is Betaworks , based here in NYC. Betaworks is more than an incubator, but they have shown that they can make the incubation model work with projects like and chartbeat.

Incorporate Your Startup at the Right Time

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The CEO as Head of Product


One question I’m often asked is whether an early stage startup needs to hire a product manager or head of product. The answer really depends on the skills of the founders, especially the CEO. Much more often than not, I see the CEO as the head of product, and I argue that in most cases this is a good thing. This is especially true in consumer-facing companies.

Dealing with a Startup Creeper

The Startup Lawyer

Advisors are great for startups. They can provide your startup with guidance on a wide range of topics and typically take a seat on your startup’s advisory board. But sometimes a person who gives your startup infrequent, casual advice will broadcast to the world that he or she is an advisor to your startup in an “official&# capacity — which is (shocking) news to you and your co-founders. Awkward. How did this “advisor&# turn into a creeper? The Genesis of the Startup Creeper.

Founder Exchange Fund for Incubators?

Leveraging Ideas

Last year, First Round Capital made an announcement that I thought was pure genius: FRC was the first venture fund to offer an exchange fund for entrepreneurs. Portfolio company founders were given the option to trade a small piece of stock in their personal venture in exchange for a piece of the action of the larger pool of all FRC companies that choose to participate.

Incorporate Your Startup at the Right Time

Top Topics Twitter YouTube Facebook iPhone Google Video Google Buzz Social media Music Business Advertise Network Blippr iPhone App Mashable France MashDeck Twitter App Mobile Site Social Media Events Twitter Guide Book Facebook Guide Book Partners App Development WordPress Experts MaxCDN Content Delivery Dynect Managed DNS Rackspace Hosting Intridea About Us Submit a Tip!


Pricing a breakthrough product

Business of Software Blog

If you’re a horse rider then coming off your horse is something that’s going to happen to you occasionally: This rider survived – walked away, in fact – because he was wearing a special protective jacket. As the rider fell, a ripcord attaching his jacket to the saddle was pulled.

10 things about kids from which entrepreneurs can learn

crowdSPRING Blog

I have a couple of kids and, although they are getting older now and moving towards their own adult lives, I learn from them every day. Watching them grow, learn, and develop into individuals has taught me many lessons, including how to be a better entrepreneur.

US Economic Risks (Sept 2010): Impact on Investors & Entrepreneurs

Both Sides of the Table

This post was originally published in a shorter (more sensible) format in the Wall Street Journal online. If you’re short on time click on the WSJ link and read the 990 word version there. Otherwise, grab a cup ‘o coffee … Clicking on any graph below will take you to that article.

Why aren't there more women in Tech? My list of 30 great women

Don Dodge on The Next Big Thing

The Wall Street Journal today wrote about the lack of women in tech pointing out that 11% of venture backed companies have current or former women CEOs. The writer also pointed out that Ycombinator has just 14 female founders out of 208 companies funded. Then the article took a swipe at Techcrunc h - “ Part of changing the ratio is just changing awareness, so that the next time Techcrunch is planning a Techcrunch Disrupt, they won’t be able to not see the overwhelming maleness of it,” said Ms.


More Web Events in Los Angeles


I’ve updated my earlier post on Networking Events Los Angeles with some great suggestions from Lorin Cha who I just met through LinkedIn. Here were the new ones: LeanLA Startup Circle Meetup I’ve gone to a couple of these. Often the presentations are pretty basic because of a fair number of newbies in the audience. However, there are some great folks who have lots of experience also attending so the networking and discussion is generally pretty great.

Compensating Your Key Executives - The 'Carrot' Approach

Recent Buzzes - VC Experts, Inc.

By Joseph W. Bartlett, Of Counsel, Sullivan & Worcester LLP and Founder of Introduction. Since both start-ups and buyouts depend in large part on extraordinary performance by managers qua proprietors, one principal aim of the planners of new ventures is to put stock or stock equivalents in the hands of senior managers without occasioning tax liability.

Startup Employee Metrics: Looking Beyond Work Hours


Montreal-based entrepreneur and blogger Ben Yoskovitz knows a thing or two about hiring employees at startups. Yoskovitz formerly founded his own company, Standout Jobs - a tool designed to improve hiring and recruiting techniques for small businesses on the Web.

Good Ambition, Bad Ambition

Marc Andreessen

Ben’s last post on minimizing corporate politics generated a bunch of interesting comments


Some Thoughts On Convertible Debt

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

Seth Levine has a long and thoughtful post on convertible debt vs equity. If you are an entrepreneur or active in the angel/seed sector, you should read it. He wrote it in response to Paul Graham 's tweet that said: Convertible notes have won. Every investment so far in this YC batch (and there have been a lot) has been done on a convertible note.

Labor Day Advice for Employers

Inc Startups

How can you make sure your workers are motivated to do their best for you? Here are five tips from veteran entrepreneur Norm Brodsky

Don't Be Fooled-There Are Simple Ways to Plan A New Business


"How would you like to go into the shrimping business with me?" Bubba asks Forrest in the movie Forrest Gump. Bubba goes on to tell Forrest that he can find a way for them to use a boat without paying rent. Then he goes on to mention low overhead costs and how the management of the operation will be run. Forrest agrees to become Bubba's partner in this shrimp start-up business. Unfortunately, Bubba dies in the Vietnam War and Forrest is left to figure out the business for himself.

How to Get a Job at a Startup After College Graduation


College hiring is projected to rebound in time for the Class of 2011 to feel its effects, according to a new survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE). Employers who took part in NACE's survey say they're anticipating hiring 13.5%


A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

When you want to look up information on publicly traded companies, it helps to know the ticker symbol. Microsft's ticker is MSFT , Google's ticker is GOOG , Apple's ticker is AAPL. Every publicly traded company has a ticker. But private companies don't have tickers. And as more and more private companies are attaining status and drawing the attention of mainstream media and the investment community, it is time for that to change.

Ten Myths About Innovation – Startups Beware

Startup Professionals Musings

Most people think innovation is all about ideas, when in fact it is more about delivery, people, and process.

Time to start writing a new book…

47 Hats

I tend to write books when something in my life is very painful. My first book was dealing with the pain of all those non-programming things you have to do to sell commercial Windows desktop software; my last was getting my head around what a bootstrapping web startup needs to do.

Mafia Sourcing – How Insider’s Game User Generated News

Both Sides of the Table

The Web. Open, democratic, leveling, freeing information from closed networks. The wisdom of the crowds. Or so it seems.

More Women In Tech Discussions

Feld Thoughts

The blogo-twitter-sphere erupted this weekend in response to an article in the WSJ on Friday titled Addressing The Lack Of Women Leading Tech Start-ups. I missed most of it as I was pretty heads down this weekend going through the final page proofs of the upcoming book “Do More Faster.&#.