2010

What The Hell Does Your Company Do?

Feld Thoughts

Terry Kawaja of Luma Partners created today’s hilarious XtraNormal to help us understand what is going on at ad:tech.

When It’s Darkest Men See the Stars

Steve Blank

When It’s Darkest Men See the Stars. Ralph Waldo Emerson. This Thanksgiving it might seem that there’s a lot less to be thankful for. One out of ten of Americans are out of work.

Women are Gaining as the Best Entrepreneurs

Startup Professionals Musings

I often get asked the age-old question (by men) of “Who are the best entrepreneurs, men or women?” Women already believe they know the answer, so they never ask. I always try the diplomatic answer of “It depends”, but that doesn’t satisfy anybody. First, here are a few facts to set the stage.

Be Careful not to Become a Conference Ho

Both Sides of the Table

You know the type. You see them on Twitter, Facebook or Plancast plotting out their next 12 conference. You see their Tweets from airports across the globe. Look at me! I’m in Spain! Now I’m in France. Next week I’m speaking in Cabo San Lucas!

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Alarming IT data points

deal architect

I am grateful for plenty of positive coverage my book has received. The coverage, though, has focused mostly on all the innovators I profile in the book. That’s not surprising because the vast majority of the book focuses on innovations

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Why I feel like a fraud

A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks

" I feel like a fraud. I've been at this for 16 years and I still feel like a fraud. I'm just waiting for the day they see through the façade, but they keep coming back every year." -- Jason Young. Ah yes, the awe-inspiring words of confidence from the seasoned entrepreneur.

My TEDxBoulder Presentation on The Quarterly Week Off The Grid

Feld Thoughts

My TEDxBoulder presentation on The Quarterly Week Off The Grid was recently posted on YouTube. I participated in TEDxBoulder on August 7th and it was an awesome Saturday evening in Boulder. Most of the talks were dynamite – the worst ones were merely good.

More Trending

The Power of Why

Feld Thoughts

Simon Sinek’s TED Talk from TedxPuget Sound (Sept 2009) has been posted and is just awesome.

Video 428

I’ve Failed Over and Over and Over Again in My Life

Feld Thoughts

What a great short Nike commercial staring Michael Jordan. “I’ve I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”.

Jordan 428

Do You Know The Difference Between A Browser and a Search Engine?

Feld Thoughts

Videos like this one remind me that I live in a very tiny corner of the universe. Only 8% of the people interviewed (out of a sample of over 50) correctly defined a browser.

Search 420

The Scary Robots Are Coming

Feld Thoughts

I do not want to tangle with an army of 10,000 of these. Especially ones that have lots of sharp pokey electrocution things built in to their foreheads. I wonder what my golden retriever would think of these dudes.

408

No Business Plan Survives First Contact With A Customer – The 5.2 billion dollar mistake.

Steve Blank

At $5.2-billion Iridium was one of the largest, boldest and audacious startup bets ever made. Conceived in 1987 by Motorola and spun out in 1990 as a separate company, Iridium planned to build a mobile telephone system that would work anywhere on earth.

Ten of the Worst Reasons for Starting a Business

Startup Professionals Musings

Every entrepreneur needs to be honest about their strengths and weaknesses, and realistic about their reasons for choosing the startup route. For any entrepreneur, even the best business opportunities, if entered for the wrong reasons, will likely fail.

73.6% of all Statistics are Made Up

Both Sides of the Table

How to Interpret Analyst Reports. The headlines in the media are filled with that latest stats. Stats sell. The stats are often quoted from the latest reports. People then parrot them around like they’re fact when most of them are complete bullsh*t. People throw them around at cocktail parties.

Enterprise software is entirely bereft of soul

deal architect

I was in a session last year with Dave Girouard of Google, when I asked him if he still believed in the statement he made 3 years prior about enterprise software. Without batting an eyelid, he asked me “Are you.

5 Lessons from 150 startup pitches

A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks

I just reviewed several hundred startup pitches for Capital Factory. Most were on paper and video; 20 were invited to pitch in person. Interesting patterns emerged: Everyone makes the same classes of error. Those who avoided just one of those errors stood out in the crowd.

How MIT Could Help With A Different Approach to the BP Gulf Crisis

Feld Thoughts

Do you remember the “Let’s Build a Filter&# scene from Apollo 13? It remains – at least in my mind – one of the most heroic engineering scenes in the movies.

Building Entrepreneurial Communities Is A 20 Year Journey

Feld Thoughts

The New Dork

Feld Thoughts

These people are way cooler than I could ever be. At least I have something to aspire to.

387

Who Wants To Be A Tech Star?

Feld Thoughts

Today’s first Tech Star video has nothing to do with TechStars. Instead, it will go down in history as another nerd period piece by Terry Kawaja from GCA Savvian. I first met Terry when we hired him to be CFO of Raindance Communications to help take it public.

Video 363

Van Gogh’s Starry Night Updated

Feld Thoughts

I’ve always been a huge Van Gogh fan. Starry Night is one of my favorites and is also regarded as one of Van Gogh’s best (or most) important works, even though he apparently didn’t like it very much.

358

Google I/O 2010 Panel on Making Freemium Work

Feld Thoughts

A few weeks ago I was on two panels at Google I/O 2010. The video from one of them – Making Freemium work – converting free users to paying customers is up. Don Dodge from Google is the moderator and my fellow panelists are Dave McClure, Jeff Clavier, Matt Holleran, and Joe Kraus.

Video 351

What’s A Startup? First Principles.

Steve Blank

Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm. Winston Churchill. Everyone knows what a startup is for – don’t they?

The Ten Commandments of an Entrepreneur

Startup Professionals Musings

If you expect to succeed in the thrill-a-minute, roller coaster ride of a startup, let me assure you it takes more than a good idea, a rich uncle, and luck. In fact, the idea is often the least important part of the equation.

Invest in Lines, not Dots

Both Sides of the Table

Everyone seems to be in such a rush to get shacked up these days. In normal times investors will look for “traction&# before investing. We want to make sure we’re in love.

My steady progress

deal architect

I went to my neurologist this week and he compared his notes from my first visit in October to updated tests he performed and his eyes gleamed over and over. Good progress. Come back and see me end of January. Little to do with IT, but interesting

261

No, that IS NOT a competitive advantage

A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks

This is part 1 of the series: 5 Lessons from 150 startup pitches. Listening to first-time entrepreneurs talk about their competitive advantages is as predictably invalid as the local weatherman's 10-day forecast.

Gearbox’s Smart Ball

Feld Thoughts

Gearbox , one of the teams that I’m mentoring in this year’s TechStars Boulder program, is starting to blog about their product. One of their taglines is “reinventing the ball&# and while this potentially generates plenty of 14 year old boy jokes it’s pretty amazing stuff.

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Startup Visa Interviews at O’Reilly Gov 2.0

Feld Thoughts

I spent the previous 36 hours in Washington DC, primarily at the O’Reilly Gov 2.0 conference. I did a ten minute speech on the Startup Visa and a ten minute interview about entrepreneurship, innovation, and the Startup Visa.

DC 347

Oblong’s TED Talk from 2010

Feld Thoughts

“In five years when you buy a computer you’ll get this.” John Underkoffler, Oblong’s Chief Scientist, at 14:20 in the video. I’ve been friends with John Underkoffler since 1984 and we’ve been investors in Oblong since 2007. Ever since I first met John I knew that he was an amazing thinker.

Video 348

The Orbotix Sphero in Action

Feld Thoughts

Want to see a robotic ball controlled by a smartphone? Take a look at the Orbotix Sphero Sneak Peek Video below. Sphero Sneak Peek from Paul Berberian on Vimeo. My friends at Orbortix will be at CES in Booth #5422 North Hall from January 6th to 9th showing off real working robotic balls. So psyched.

Video 336

Technical Demo of Oblong’s g-speak Spatial Operating Environment

Feld Thoughts

As investors, we believe that the way we interact with computer technology will be radically different 20 years from now. We’ve got a few new investments in our human computer interaction theme that we are in the process of closing so HCI has been on my mind lately.

Beginner’s Mind

Feld Thoughts

As I embarked on my journey to learn python , I began by exploring a number of different approaches. I finally settled on using “beginner’s mind&# ( shoshin to those of you out there that know anything about Zen Buddhism).

Job Titles That Can Sink Your Startup

Steve Blank

I had coffee with an ex student earlier in the week that reminded me yet again why startups burn through so many early VP’s. And after 30 years of Venture investing we still have a hard time articulating why.

Six Personality Traits of Serious Entrepreneurs

Startup Professionals Musings

A while back, when a startup founder mentioned to me that he wasn’t sure he had the personality to be an entrepreneur, I realized how important that insight was.

Life is 10% How You Make It and 90% How you Take It

Both Sides of the Table

Startups are hard. When you read the press you only read the glamorous bits. You read about Mark Zuckerberg or the guys at FourSquare, Twitter or Zynga. But that’s a bit like reading about your state lottery winner and feeling bummed out because you haven’t won despite years of trying.

Toronto Technology Tornado

deal architect

I find myself in Toronto every few years and my image of the city has been one of a financial services capital, a baseball town, and a well-run large city – someone called it “New York run by the Swiss