2017

Understanding What’s Going on in #LATech

Both Sides of the Table

Upfront Ventures was created 20 years ago as one of the original VC funds in Los Angeles. Back then only 15% of our dollars were invested locally whereas today 50% of our dollars are invested in LA. 10 years ago we found ourselves trying to persuade LPs and VCs that it was worth spending more time getting to know the LA market and now the most common refrain that I hear from them is “there really is something going on in LA.” Don’t we know it. It’s not just Snapchat, although there’s that.

The No Excuses Culture

Steve Blank

Getting ready for our next semester’s class, I asked my Teaching Assistant why I hadn’t seen the posters for our new class around campus. Hearing the litany of excuses that followed –“It was raining.” (The The posters go inside the building.) “We We still have time.” (We We had agreed they were to go up a week ago) — I had a strong sense of déjà vu. When I took the job of VP of Marketing in a company emerging from bankruptcy, excuses seemed to be our main product.

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EnumSet and EnumMap

TechEmpower

This article discusses java.util.EnumSet. and java.util.EnumMap. from Java's standard libraries. What are they? When should they be used? Could the implementations be improved? Could the APIs be improved? Conclusion. What are they? EnumSet. and EnumMap are compact, efficient implementations of the Set and Map interfaces. They have the constraint that their elements/keys come from a single enum type. Like HashSet and HashMap , they are modifiable.

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This could be mutually assured destruction in SAP world

deal architect

One of the most toxic contractual terms in SAP world is that of “indirect access” where users exchange information with the SAP software in dialog or prompt mode. The issue is not with licensed users who access the software using. Enterprise Software (IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP

Building Healthy Innovation Ecosystems for Your Projects

Speaker: Nick Noreña, Innovation Coach and Advisor, Kromatic

In this webinar, Nick Noreña will walk through an Innovation Ecosystem Model that he and his team at Kromatic have developed to help investors, heads of product, teachers, and executives understand how they can best support innovation in their own ecosystem. He'll also go over metrics we can use to measure the health of our ecosystems as we build more resources for innovators.

7 Steps To Finding Investors Aligned With Your Values

Startup Professionals Musings

One of the most common complaints I hear from new business owners and startups is about the pain and difficulty raising capital. The “venture capital” model is the only option they know, where they feel they get no mercy, giving up equity and control. Based on my experience with startups, I’m a strong believer that there are far better alternatives available, if you think outside the box.

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Student Startups: How To Launch Your Business While In College

YoungUpstarts

When we look at successful startups we often focus on how the company has been successful with their end products or services but we often ignore what the founders went through and did to be successful. Like any other startups, those started by students often begin with ideas, but venture capitalists may dismiss the individuals as being young, inexperienced and naive.

More Trending

I hate MVPs. So do your customers. Make it SLC instead.

A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks

Product teams have been repeating the MVP (Minimum Viable Product) mantra for a decade now, without re-evaluating whether it’s the right way to maximize learning while pleasing the customer. Well, it’s not the best system. It’s selfish and it hurts customers. We don’t build MVPs at WP Engine. The motivation behind the MVP is still valid: Build something small, because small things are predictable and inexpensive to test.

Summer is Not Here Yet, But Holiday Marketing Time Is!

Rembrandt Communications

Christmas starts in October. Are you ready for holiday marketing? It’s that time of year when you prepare for graduations, Father’s Day and upcoming vacations. But there is something else you need to think about now… Christmas. That’s right. Summer is not even officially here yet, but the winter holiday sales season starts in just […]. The post Summer is Not Here Yet, But Holiday Marketing Time Is!

Why Great Executives Avoid Shiny Objects

Both Sides of the Table

The modern world is filled with constant distractions. Only those with maniacal focus on results and a willingness not to engage in every activity achieve extraordinary results. As executives we’re all seemingly accessible at any moment to anybody via email, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Text. We are over-intro’d and at the same time under-resourced in terms of staff to handle the barrage of in-bound requests.

What Happens When Startups Turn from Their Innovation Stage to Operational Excellence?

Both Sides of the Table

Nearly every successful tech startup I’ve observed over the past 20 years has gone through a similar growth pattern: Innovate, systematize then scale operations. An alternate outcome that I also unfortunately observe in some cases are companies who had extreme early success with an initial product adoption but failed in key areas that limited the growth and therefore the ultimate financial outcomes.

Don’t let process distract you from finding the strategy

Steve Blank

When you’re up to your neck in alligators, don’t forget the goal was to drain the swamp. I love teaching because I learn something new every class. This time it was, “Don’t let process distract you from finding the strategy.”. The latest “aha” moment for me when I was at Columbia University teaching an intensive 5-day version of the Lean LaunchPad/I-Corps class.

The Case For & Against Cryptocurrencies (for those tired of all the noise)

Both Sides of the Table

In more than a decade of writing about the Internet and tech-enabled businesses I’ve learned that mobs don’t do nuance well. If you read the headlines or talk with zealous friends you may well think cryptocurrencies are either our savior from bureaucratic, ossified governments or are purely speculative Ponzi schemes. The reality is that cryptocurrencies can be both and can be liberating and corrupting at the same time.

Working Outside the Tech Bubble

Steve Blank

Annual note to self – most of the world exists outside the tech bubble. —– We have a summer home in New England in a semi-rural area, just ~10,000 people in town, with a potato farm across the street. Drive down the road and you can see the tall stalks of corn waving on other farms. Most people aren’t in tech or law or teaching in universities; they fall solidly in what is called working-class.

Hurricane Oracle

deal architect

Three presentations really stood out during the Oracle Cloud analyst day in NYC this week. Thomas Kurian, President of Product Development spoke with no slides and no props for 45 minutes on different aspects of the Oracle cloud – SaaS, Cloud Computing, SaaS Enterprise Software (IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP

6 Lessons From Navy SEALs For New Venture Founders

Startup Professionals Musings

You have to be extra tough mentally to start a new business venture. While thinking about it, I realized that it’s really not that different from the toughness required and trained into America’s elite military force of Navy SEALs, who are known to be cool under fire, able to sense danger before it’s too late, and never give up on achieving their objective. I learned some good lessons along these lines from the classic book “ The Way of the SEAL ,” by Mark Divine.

Surprising Tricks For Powerful Public Speaking

YoungUpstarts

by Paul Geiger, author of “ Better Business Speech: Techniques, Tricks, and Shortcuts for Public Speaking at Work “ Speaking in front of a group in any business setting, whether it’s a formal presentation, a meeting or on a conference call, requires not only that you have a well-prepared message, but that you deliver it clearly. Any number of glitches can sabotage your delivery. It’s critical to recognize and address them before you find yourself in the spotlight.

Diversity is an Innovation Metric

Grasshopper Herder

Diversity is a hot topic, but what is not often discussed is the fact that diverse teams are more innovative. Read more about why diversity is an innovation metric. The post Diversity is an Innovation Metric appeared first on GrasshopperHerder.com. Lean Startup Teamwork & Leadership Continuous Improvement diversity Productivity

Brittleness comes from “One Thing”

A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks

We’re tired of hearing how small software companies usually fail. The data show that the two most common causes are: (1) Product isn’t useful to enough people, and (2) Problems with the team. But what about the companies that die even though they did sell some copies of software, and where the early team isn’t dysfunctional? I don’t have data for that cohort (tell me if you do!),

How MakeSpace Recently Closed $30 million in New Funding

Both Sides of the Table

Just over a year ago I wrote about how MakeSpace had raised $17.5 million in capital to build out its operations in 4 cities: New York City , Los Angeles , Chicago and Washington D.C. I pointed out that the storage market in the US alone is ~$30 billion / year and there is no dominant provider — the largest player has < 10% market share. If you have a storage need in one of these cities please consider checking out MakeSpace.

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Details of Upfront Ventures New $400 Million Fund

Both Sides of the Table

I am so proud and humbled to be able to formally announce that Upfront Ventures has raised its 6th venture capital fund in the past 21 years. Upfront VI is our latest core fund and is $400 million to invest in early stage entrepreneurs. This brings our combined funds under management to nearly $2 billion. A huge thank you to all of the Limited Partners who have entrusted us with your capital, time and reputations.

I Only Have 7 Trips Left. On Managing Work / Life Balance, Love & Family

Both Sides of the Table

Like many people these days, I spent much of my 20’s and early 30’s thinking about work & fun and not too much about “the future.” Like characters from one of my favorite novels “ The Unbearable Lightness of Being ” life seemed very light. My first son was born the day before my 35th birthday so the decade that followed was very heavy and consequential. Life mattered for more than my pure enjoyment — I had to be responsible for the futures of these two lovable, little boys.

Plex evolves the Analyst Summit

deal architect

I get invited to a number of user conferences. I must admit I often feel I am intruding there on customer time with vendor executives. I much prefer smaller analyst summits and Plex has honed such summits to an art

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Marketing Communications

Steve Blank

I was having coffee with the CEO of a new startup, listening to her puzzle through how to communicate to potential customers. She was an academic on leave from Stanford now selling SAAS software to large companies, but was being inundated with marketing communications advice. “My

Why We Must Have Zero Tolerance for Sexual Misconduct in Venture Capital

Both Sides of the Table

Time Magazine published its “person of the year” edition today and honored “the silence breakers” for speaking up and forcing our society to confront its position towards men in power exploiting their power for sexual gain. Real change is clearly needed. These brave women who have taken on personal risks and faced doubters to change the culture globally to stop sexual misconduct, harassment & gender bias deserve the recognition x1000 along with the many other women who have spoken up.

The Surest Sign You’re Winning is When Goliath Takes a Swing at You

Both Sides of the Table

I’ve been involved with several startups where a giant incumbent attacks you and tries to sue you out of existence. When you first receive the threat it feels like the local pizza shop when they first get a call from the local mafia boss and you can feel the shake-down coming. The first instinct is fear, then dread, then panic. You begin to think about how hard it will be to fund raise, sign customers, hire employees, etc. with the cloud of a lawsuit hanging over you. That’s what bullies want.

10 Principles For Surviving New Business Challenges

Startup Professionals Musings

As the economy flourishes after some tough economic times, more and more people seem to be turning to entrepreneurship as an alternative to traditional employment. I applaud this trend, but caution all of you thinking this direction to approach entrepreneurship with your eyes wide open. It is not for everyone, as the entrepreneur’s path is fraught with challenges.

How Artificial Intelligence Can Help Your Business

YoungUpstarts

Artificial intelligence is increasingly making inroads into different areas of our lives. Many of the current and proposed uses for artificial intelligence are things that only a short time ago would have sounded right at home in speculative science fiction. As more and more of these seemingly magical uses of artificial intelligence come to be realized, there is also an increasing awareness developing of just how much we can achieve with truly intelligent machines and pieces of software.

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Iteration = Time to Learn, Not Time to Build

Grasshopper Herder

Burn rates are meaningless in isolation. Iteration time is a critical aspect of starting a new business and we've noted a few misconceptions. The post Iteration = Time to Learn, Not Time to Build appeared first on GrasshopperHerder.com. Lean Startup User Experience & Research Continuous Improvement Entrepreneur Metrics & Innovation Accounting prioritization

You can have two Big Things, but not three

A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks

Forget work/life integration for a minute. How much time do you have, regardless of partitioning? From your 24-hour daily allotment, the 1950s-style break-down is 8 hours for work, 8 for home and commute, and 8 for sleep and ablutions. So, “work” and “home” are the two things in which you can spend 40+ hours per week. This is the amount of time it takes to tackle something huge. A career. A parent. A startup.

The Talent Paradox

deal architect

Phil Fersht wrote a cheerful (not) post this weekend where he asks Is our sole purpose now simply to eliminate people? We spend a couple of decades displacing "expensive" workers because we could find less expensive able ones to do

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PowerPlex celebrating the American Mittelstand

deal architect

I leave every visit with Plex invigorated. Last week their user conference, PowerPlex in Atlanta was no different. Each time they showcase a growing number of customers – the majority are mid-sized US manufacturers. Plex now supports 566 customers, with. Cloud Computing, SaaS Enterprise Software (IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP

Predictions, Redactions

deal architect

At their annual Gartner Symposium event in Orlando today, Peter Sondergaard predicted "AI will be a net job creator starting in 2020" To that, Jason Hiner at TechRepublic snarkily commented “Gartner's research chief couldn't have opened the company's flagship conference. Cloud Computing, SaaS Industry analysts (Gartner, Forrester, AMR, others) Industry Commentary Silicon Collar

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Yet another alarmist automation report. This time from PwC.

deal architect

I groaned when I read this from my former employer, PwC “Our analysis suggests that up to 30% of UK jobs could potentially be at high risk of automation by the early 2030s, lower than the US (38%) or Germany. Industry Commentary Silicon Collar

Dalhousie University Commencement Speech – 2017

Steve Blank

Light a path for the better angels. Thank you, Chancellor McLellan, President Florizone, Dean Charlebois, Dr. Hewitt, and Dr. Kilfoil for the invitation to speak today and thank you for the honorary degree. I’m honored to speak at a university whose motto is: Pray and Work. It’s pretty close to the one I had as an entrepreneur, which was – Pray it Will Work. — First, my congratulations. Your degree is a big deal. This is your day, not mine.

Maybe this will spur SAP?

deal architect

I honestly cannot remember the last time SAP showed in the lower left quadrant – for niche players – in a Gartner MQ. But in the latest MQ for “Cloud Core Financial Management Suites for Midsize, Large and Global Enterprises”. Enterprise Software (IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP

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How This Founder Wants to Apply Her Technology to Help Save the Planet’s Resources

Both Sides of the Table

There are so many moments from the Upfront Summit that I want to share with you — it just takes time to watch through all the videos, do write ups and still do my day job. One of the most exciting thinkers at Summit was Rebecca Kantar, the founder of Imbellus. I was excited to see her perform on stage because I’ve long been telling people how crazy smart, ambitious and talented she is but I was excited for people to hear for themselves.