Sat.Jan 24, 2009 - Fri.Jan 30, 2009

Great Entrepreneurs are PASSIONATE about Customers & Products, NOT.

500 Hats

yeah, that's a super long-ass headline, i know. it's a personal soundbite from a Stanford BASES E-Challenge panel discussion i participated in earlier tonight over on campus. probably plenty of other people have said something similar

Lessons Learned: Achieving a failure

Startup Lessons Learned

We spend a lot of time planning. We even make contingency plans for what to do if the main plan goes wrong. But what if the plan goes right, and we still fail? This is the my most dreaded kind of failure, because it tricks you into

Lean 26

Trending Sources

Optimum Share and Option Vesting

Angel Blog

I believe vesting is the most important element of corporate structure. It is essential to ensuring that both entrepreneurs and investors are treated fairly and equitably. Vesting has incredibly powerful effects on the group psychology, culture and corporate performance. I have seen many companies literally fail due to flaws in their vesting. Widespread employee ownership is still a relatively new concept.

What Makes A Great Startup?

Startup Marketing Blog

What Makes A Great Startup? That's the zillion dollar question. And no one knows the answer definitively. Even the most successful VCs have major duds in their portfolios. But every startup that becomes a large profitable company has

Sway and Irrational VCs

Seeing Both Sides

I recently read Malcolm Gladwell’s new book, Outliers, with great interest and delight. Gladwell is a fantastic author: always thought-provoking on human behavior and a quick, entertaining read. But I confess this book did not resonate with me or strike me as relevant for the VC-entrepreneur dance in the same way his previous book, Blink, did (see: VCs Blink ). It was intellectually interesting, but not professionally illimunating.

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Ideas On Hiring

Ask The VC

Today's great VC post is from our partner Seth Levine who wrote a post on his blog titled Hiring As A Core Competency. It's worth a careful read for when you are ready to start hiring again

Lessons Learned: Refactoring yourself out of business

Startup Lessons Learned

Let me start out by saying I am a big fan of refactoring, the ongoing process of changing code so that it performs the same behaviors but has more elegant structure. It's an essential discipline of good software development

Spread the Wealth: The Gasparilla Experiment

Florida Venture Blog

In honor of FAQFriday, this post is about a bunch of questions our society wrestles with daily. I hope the example I share doesn't trivialize the magnitude of the questions.although I usually try to answer questions on FAQFriday, I'm the one asking today -- and I expect some answers!

Danger of Self-Confidence Bias

Startup Economy

Thanks to TechCrunch for publishing an article to amplify my post about biased decisions. I stumbled upon the post " The Economy According to Mint ", and I really do hope that Aaaron Patzer doesnt' really see the economy through the lens of data.

IDEA #96 - Agent Intermediary between Celebrities & Web Startups

Steve Poland

This idea sounds like a dream job if you're a techie and looking for access to spend other people's money. Manage getting celeb's to work with various startups … ensure their name goes with a well-funded startup; negotiate equity


Permanent Record

At the end of every year I always get asked what my New Year resolutions are. My answer is always the same….I I don’t make New Year resolutions (or even Chinese New Year resolutions— Gong hei fat choi!

Spread the Wealth: The Gasparilla Experiment

Florida Venture Blog

In honor of FAQFriday, this post is about a bunch of questions our society wrestles with daily. I hope the example I share doesn't trivialize the magnitude of the questions.although I usually try to answer questions on FAQFriday, I'm the one asking today -- and I expect some answers!

How to Make Unbiased Decisions in Startups

Startup Economy

A recent article in MIT Sloan Management Review "Decision 2.0: The Power of Collective Intelligence" presents a great decision framework.

IDEA #97 - Tagging All Photos with people, places, objects

Steve Poland

Fred Wilson discusses a (great!) band that he went out and saw the other night — and he brings up a great idea in it, which seems pretty obvious and I don't understand why it's not going on now. You'll probably see a few AVC community

Venture Cyclist: Greg Gretsch: The Midas Touch

Venture Cyclist

Sigma Partners' own Greg Gretsch continues to reap well-deserved recognition after the sale of his portfolio company EqualLogic, to Dell (reported by me in Nov 07), which was completed early in 2008. Greg is #19 on the

Burnham Institute Update

Florida Venture Blog

Asking the right questions - Using Negative to Draw on Customer Insights

Startup Economy

Let's just face it. When it comes to innovations and improving products/services, customers just do not give much valuable feedback. Wait, maybe it's an extreme position. So, let me just rephrase it: "Customers do not usually give tips on product improvements.

IDEA #94 - Dear WTF (aka “Dear Abby for Techies”)

Steve Poland

I really like this idea and thought I was going to really move forward with it. But it's amazing how such a simple idea can get involved (see my sitemap at bottom of this post). I still believe this idea has potential for a nice niche

WayTooEarly: @Martin RIP


Actually, I doubt that Martin wants peace - he always wanted to be where there was some interesting action. I, as many others, was shocked to learn yesterday that Martin Schaedel (@Martin), involved early with Farecompare

Burnham Institute Update

Florida Venture Blog

Market By Numbers

Market by Numbers

For the last several years, marketing professionals have been discussing and blogging about “marketing by numbers,” ie, metrics-driven marketing. As a matter of fact, marketing by numbers has become its own lucrative market

IDEA #98 - Live Music Concert Tracking

Steve Poland

I wrote this email to the founders of Tourfilter, but had never sent it. I've sent it now and thought I'd republish here. This was from a few months ago, so some of these may have been carried out. Also since then, some competition by

Introducing Blidget Pro

Will Price

Widgetbox just released Blidget Pro : the next generation of our successful Blidget tool and our first subscription-based service. The Blidget Pro is a far more powerful version of the Blidget - a tool that has converted nearly 100,000 blogs into widgets and served 2.3 billion impressions since its initial launch in 2007. The Blidget Pro represents a major innovation and is the easiest, fastest way to turn all your feed-based content (videos, images, tweets, posts.) into dynamic, branded widgets.

How to Select an Angel Group

Ask the Angels

Last summer, Jason McDowall wrote a guest post about his own personal experiences raising angel capital (not from the Pasadena Angels) and some of the challenges that followed. I recently re-read Jason’s post from June ‘08 and thought it would be a good lead-in to evaluating an Angel organization and the process of finding ‘smart money.’

Sarajevo, Lehman Brothers, and the Panic of 2008

Pascal's View

The assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand at. Sarajevo on June 28, 1914, is commonly cited as the “proximate trigger” which. ushered in World War I.   The. resolution of this first Great War led not only to. 13.0pt;mso-bidi-font-family:Helvetica">the collapse and fragmentation of the. 13.0pt;mso-bidi-font-family:Helvetica;color:#122EB3;text-decoration:none; text-underline:none">Austro-Hungarian. 13.0pt;mso-bidi-font-family:Helvetica"> Empire, the.

IDEA #95 - URL Filter for filtering Adult websites using Google.

Steve Poland

It seems to me that there should be a web app with an API that I can easily send it a URL and it'll toss back to me whether that URL is an adult website, or has been scanned and has adult keywords on it, or the URL has been officially

Web 0

Wanted: Simple Skype

Andrew Payne

I love video chat, but I’m currently stuck with my dad where we can see his video but he can’t see ours (using Skype). We know it works on our end. My dad can’t figure out why it doesn’t work any more, and (debugging remotely) I can’t figure it out either. I loved Skype when it first came out: it was simple, punched through firewalls reliably, and had great audio quality.

Congratulations to Sendori!

Permanent Record

Congratulations to Ofer, Dave and the folks at Sendori for their acquisition by IAC. We met them just over a year ago and loved their novel idea for an ad network selling domainer inventory. Clearly IAC loved it too and so now Ofer and Dave are going to take over the world from a much bigger platform. We look forward to watching your continued growth and we hope you will look forward to watching this video

Hourly Wage @ Walmart

Entrepreneurship Blog

According to an NY Times article, Walmart's average hourly rate for full-time employees is $10.83. Most people seem to believe that Walmart pays only minimum wage but apparently thats not true.

Google: Chrome should use Gmail as my default mailto!

Steve Poland

Dear WTF, I can't believe Google hasn't fixed this mess. I'm using Vista and it loads up Outlook when I click on mailto links in Chrome; apparently it taps into Vista's default. OK, so I want to use Gmail [specifically Gmail in Chrome

Is Angel or VC Financing Best?

Angel Blog

Entrepreneurs and directors frequently ask me whether angel or VC financing would be best for their company. Fortunately, the answer is usually easy to determine based on the characteristics of the company and its current shareholders. The Corporate DNA of angel investors and venture capital investors is quite different. It's rare to find a situation where one choice is not clearly better.

Serial Inventor Woody Norris Talks Innovation at TED


I hadn't heard of this guy before seeing this talk, but he seems quite the entrepreneur. He describes a new invention of his that allows sound to be directed to a degree much tighter than anything before. My favorite snippet is the part

My wishlist for the future of the Blackberry

Eric Friedman

I am thinking about upgrading my Blackberry in a few weeks and have been bouncing around some ideas for what I wantneed in a mobile phone device. image from a great review of the Blackberry 8900. I recently mentioned that I wanted my phone to be a wallet, keys, and a universal ID system.

IDEA #93 - 125×125 Ad-ditional Info Skins (intermediads)

Steve Poland

This was not my idea, this was another idea of Boris (founder of twittercounter and thenextweb). This idea is actually called intermediads. He's looking for a partner to help him run with it. This post is published with his permission