Sat.Apr 30, 2011 - Fri.May 06, 2011

How to Structure Good Hypotheses for Your Lean Startup

Instigator Blog

Tweet. Crafting good hypotheses for your startup is hard. Most people focus on solutions rather than problems. That leads to a ton of products getting launched with zero traction.; the all-to-common “solutions looking for problems.&# A good hypothesis is important because it leads to good experimental design. Good experimental design is important because you need it to properly validate or invalidate what you’re doing. A good hypothesis needs to be written down.

Lean 98

First Time vs Serial Entrepreneurs

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

I've been thinking a lot about the differences between first time and serial entrepreneurs. We invest in both and do not have a preference betweeen the two. But there are significant differences. The best first time entrepreneurs have been stewing on their idea for quite a while. It is a personal passion of theirs and they bring to it a fresh take, a stubborn insistence on their approach, and they obsess about the idea 24/7.

Trending Sources

The Future of Advertising will be Integrated

Both Sides of the Table

This article originally appeared on TechCrunch. Banner Ads. They first started in 1994 and are therefore almost as old as the Web itself. They were very effective back then, with the original ad garnering a 78% click-through rate (CTR) ! I guess from there we had nowhere to go but down.

Innovative Techniques To Simplify Sign-Ups and Log-Ins

www.smashingmagazine.com

AJAX 61

Gnip Is On Fire

Feld Thoughts

One of my favorite times for me in the life of a company is when it finds its sweet spot and really turns on the juice. Over the past year, we’ve had a number of our Boulder-based investments find this magic moment, including Trada and SendGrid. The most recent Boulder-based company to really hit its stride is Gnip. Gnip is around three years old and is a testament to our belief at Foundry Group that it often takes several years for a brand new company to really find its mojo.

More Trending

I Love Google’s Style

Feld Thoughts

Today Google announced that they had now raised the limit on number of contacts to 25,000 (from 10,000) for all Gmail users (including Google Apps users.) Boom – done – deployed for everyone – and announced in a short and to the point blog post. 70 days ago I wrote a post titled Dear Google, I Have More Than 10,000 Contacts where I bitched loudly about this problem.

NDA 72

Don’t Code What You Can Mechanical Turk

Instigator Blog

Tweet. Mechanical Turk is a great system for outsourcing repetitive, tedious tasks. People use it (and other similar services) for all sorts of things: filling out surveys, getting research done, data analysis & acquisition, etc. You submit your task, indicate how many times you want it done and how much you’ll pay, and people do the work for you. There are over 138,000 tasks available on Mechanical Turk right now.

Bootstrapped Analyzd Sells for Tens of Millions

VC Cafe

The wave of Israeli startup exits continues. Analyzd , a startup started by two brothers in a garage, developing fraud detection algorithms for e-commerce sites, has been acquired by Swedish company Klarna for an undisclosed sum estimated at tens of millions of Dollars.

HOW TO: Sign Up Users Even Before You Launch Your Startup

mashable.com

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Social Media Accounts are Intellectual Property

Startup Professionals Musings

A large portion of your competitive advantage and your potential value to investors is the size of your intellectual property portfolio. When someone says Intellectual Property (IP), most entrepreneurs think only of patents.

Best practices for raising a VC round

Chris Dixon

Having raised a number of VC rounds personally and observed many more as an investor or friend, I’ve come to think there are a set of dominant best practices that entrepreneurs should follow. Valuation: Come up with what minimum valuation you’d be happy with but never share that number with any investor. If the number is too low, you’ve set a low ceiling. If your number is too high, you scare people off.

Flying Software Engineers To Boulder For Startup Week

Feld Thoughts

Boulder is full of software engineers, but we need more. A lot more. So, several local companies pitched in some bucks and the organizers of Boulder Startup Week are buying plane tickets for five people to come out between May 18th and May 22nd. If you don’t know about Boulder Startup Week, take a look at the killer agenda. If you are a software engineer, send ryanwanger at gmail a note containing the following: 1. An answer to why you are interested in coming out to Boulder.

Startup Investor Makes a Deal: Engineers for Equity

mashable.com

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How To Temper Entrepreneur Passion With Reality

Startup Professionals Musings

Every entrepreneur wants to know how they can improve their odds on the road to success, and why some entrepreneurs seem to be able to squeeze success out of even a marginal business case.

Agile 37

I’m Back. Here’s Why.

47 Hats

For the past two months, hell for the past 3 decades, every time I sit down in front of computer to create I have to push myself to do it. It’s like a force field or some sort of invisble mind-sucking SciFi monster pushing me away from creating. I can spend all day answering emails, surfing the web, looking for new Mac or iOS apps to buy, doing essentially worthless things.

Email 40

Your idea is overrated

Seth Levine's VC Adventure

I’m not going to rehash the “why I don’t sign NDAs&# stuff that I’ve written about in the past ( here it is if you want to see it), but being asked a few times this week to sign NDAs has gotten me thinking about the value of ideas.

The Art of Giving and Getting Help – Part 2

Life Beyond Code

In the first part of the article , we covered the necessary background and ideas for effectively giving help. In this article, we will cover some ideas to effectively get help.

The Right Startup Advisory Board Has A Big Payback

Startup Professionals Musings

Every startup faces a myriad of challenges that are well beyond the scope of any founder, so you need a few guiding lights to illuminate the road ahead. These should be carefully selected, with a proven track record, willing and available to help, and be completely trustworthy.

3 Simple Steps to Increase Customer Retention

Blogtrepreneur | Entrepreneur Blog

It takes effort and money to bring customers to your website. When a customer visits your site and they leave it’s a major bummer! The best customers are the ones that already use your product. Here are some simple things you can do to keep the customers you already have and make them super users.

Use a Manifesto to build your brand, grow your list & sell more books

Active Garage

If you’re a business owner or an author using a sample chapter of your book, a report, or a tip sheet as a list-building incentive, consider replacing it with a manifesto.

Media 24

The Art of Giving and Getting Help – Part 1

Life Beyond Code

When I talk about this topic, most people raise their eyebrows. Some openly say “I didn’t know that there is an art and science for help. It seems like a stretch to me.”. What they are trying to say is I am complicating a very simple thing in life—giving and getting help. I respectfully disagree.

Primer On Funding Trends for Early-Stage Startups

Startup Professionals Musings

If you are new to the entrepreneurial world of startups, you are likely confused by the terminology of seed-stage, lean startups, micro-VCs, and Super Angels.

Entrepreneurship and Youth Go Hand-in-Hand

Growthink Blog

Younger workers – the so-called Millenials or those born after 1982 - with all of their creative talent and intellectual savvy, and all of their flightiness and senses of entitlement - offer unique challenges and opportunities for 21st Century managers seeking to build well-functioning teams that work and win together. Here are five best practices: #5. Understand that Entrepreneurship and Youth Go Hand-in-Hand.

What to expect from your Angels

StartupCFO

I spent last week in the Valley and met a number of entrepreneurs that either recently raised $ or were in the process of raising. I won’t comment on the crazy valuations going on out west (that’s been covered already ). Instead, I want to talk about an interesting phenomenon regarding high profile angels and the impact they can / cannot have on your startup. The Valley is blessed with a large pool of active angel investors.

Viral 22

42 Rules for Your New Leadership Role, by Pam Fox Rollin: a constructivist approach to leadership

Grade A Entrepreneurs

By Marylene Delbourg-Delphis @mddelphis. When I hear people speak of themselves as “leaders,&# frankly, I cringe, and I tend only to notice the signs of their inflated egos.

Texas 21

Business Communication is Not Just Talking Loud

Startup Professionals Musings

Effective communication is an absolute requirement for successfully starting a business, but it doesn’t come naturally to many entrepreneurs. Communication is considered a social skill, and inventors and engineers, for example, aren’t known to be social butterflies.

Get Busy Doing and Stop Being Busy Reading

Babbling VC

I was reminded of the wonderful quote from Shawshank Redemption where the main character says to "Get Busy Livin' or Get Busy Dyin'!" . . Well, it isn't much different in the business world.

The Five Advisors You Meet in the Deadpool

This is going to be BIG.

Advisors, investors and board members come in all shapes and sizes. I'm a strong believer in having a board, even at a seed stage, to report to and set strategy with. The most successful companies have strong boards and so as a good housekeeping practice, why not start acting like a great company as early as possible. Having a board and advisors is usually better than having none at all, but the following characters don't really provide the kind of value add you're looking for.

Twitter Link Roundup #84 – Small Business, Social Media, Design, Copywriting, Marketing And More

crowdSPRING Blog

Every day on the crowdSPRING Twitter account and on my own Twitter account , I post links to posts or videos I enjoyed reading or viewing. These posts and videos are about logo design , web design , startups, entrepreneurship, small business, leadership, social media, marketing, and more!

Your Toughest Competitor May be Your Best Partner

Startup Professionals Musings

Companies today are paranoid, afraid that even their friends will steal their business. Yet a creative collaboration with your biggest competitor may be the best opportunity for revenue and survival. But remember that “dancing with the wolves” can also get you eaten for lunch.

The Mentality Of The Young Entrepreneur

Entrepreneurs-Journey.com by Yaro Starak

My name is Ken Sundheim. I am a 29 year old business owner of an executive search firm by the name of KAS Placement based out of New York City at Herald Square. I started KAS shortly after I graduated from Fordham University , after resigning from a corporate sales job after three months of being at the company. Throughout my writing on Entrepreneur’s Journey, I plan to document how I opened a million dollar business with no experience, no contacts and even more odds against my favor.

Three Lean Startup Principles to Live By

Grasshopper Herder

Three principles that everyone at the TechBA lean startup bootcamp by TechBA agree on including Patrick Vlaskovits, Brant Cooper, Tim McCoy and Hiten Shah. Customer Development Entrepreneurship lean startup startup

Lean 28

10 Tips for small business: surveying your customers

crowdSPRING Blog

One of the most important things a business can do is to invest the time to understand its customers. This can be accomplished in several ways: by collecting and analyzing business data, by observing customer behavior, or by studying comparable companies.

Half In / Half Out

StartupCFO

Recently I met a great entrepreneur working in a hot space. Like many entrepreneurs he’s bootstrapping his company by running a services business on the side. Today, I passed on that opportunity. Does not yet have a clear vision and direction. - Not working on it full time. These points are completely related BTW. If his team was full time on this they might be much closer to having clarity around the problem, value proposition and ultimate vision. But they’re not there yet.