2015

What Happened In 2015

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

Last year in my What Just Happened post, I said: the social media phase of the Internet ended. I think we can go further than that now and say that sometime in the past year or two the consumer internet/social/mobile gold rush ended.

7 Digital Marketing Trends For Your Brand Success in 2016

Brandanew

Digital marketing has gone under some major makeovers over the last few years. From something that was associated only with eCommerce platforms to becoming an increasingly important medium for creating a brand name across industries.

Trending Sources

Should Startups Blog? An Essay (with Data) to Decide Once and For All

View from Seed

Visit a startup’s website, and you’ll eventually drift towards a few standard links, from About to Team to Contact. But among those options, appearing on almost every site, is one link that simply doesn’t belong with the rest: “Blog.”

Framework Benchmarks Round 10

TechEmpower

Round 10 of the Framework Benchmarks project is now available! It has been a little less than a year since the previous round and in that time, approximately 133 contributors have made 2,835 git commits.

Onboarding Isn’t About Signups, It’s About Long-Term Engagement

Instigator Blog

At some point in your startup’s existence you’ll need to focus a lot of attention on your product’s onboarding experience. Don’t worry about this right away. At the start just make sure people can sign up and go get some early adopters by any means necessary.

Mobile 141

More Trending

Organizational Debt is like Technical debt – but worse

Steve Blank

Startups focus on speed since they are burning cash every day as they search for product/market fit. But over time code/hardware written/built to validate hypotheses and find early customers can become unwieldy, difficult to maintain and incapable of scaling.

Salary 155

Niche to Win, Baby.

500 Hats

Don’t Go Big or Go Home. Go Small at first, then Iterate, Dominate, & WIN. Continue reading on Medium

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Scaling by “delegation” isn’t good enough

A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks

Founding a company is a selfish act. It will consume every waking moment for the next 1-10 years. It’s an act of defiance and irreverence towards competitors and the status quo.

The Rich Get Richer

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

The 2014 numbers for the VC category are out and it was a huge year, almost $50bn in total VC funding. ‘ But look at the numbers for “deals” vs the numbers for “dollars” In 2014, there were 4,356 deals vs 4,193 deals in 2013, an increase of 3.8% year over year.

That Didn’t Need To Take An Hour

Feld Thoughts

Have you ever finished something and thought to yourself, “That didn’t need to take an hour?” ” In my world, I have an endless stream of requests to do something for an hour.

Email 155

Flowchart: How a Seed VC Makes Investment Decisions

View from Seed

note: In 2013, Rob Go published a flowchart articulating his VC decision making process. Below, we’ve updated that graphic with new information in order to stay current and provide more context and transparency around each node.

11 Best Social Media Tools For Small Businesses And Individuals

Brandanew

Creating a brand presence on all major social platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+ and LinkedIn has become a must for businesses irrespective of their size. But does it all end at fancy social profiles or does social media marketing run deeper? I say, the latter.

“No Marketing” Isn’t as Impressive as You Think

Instigator Blog

Almost every early stage startup that pitches me these days talks about the traction they’ve had with absolutely no marketing whatsoever. “We have five hundred signups and we’ve done no marketing at all.” ” “Our beta list is growing quickly–and we’re not even marketing yet!” ” “Customers are knocking at our door, and that’s with no marketing.” ” […]. Startups

18 Ways to Make Your Financial Model Stand Out to Investors

Gust

The median investor looking at your proposal is in her 40s. Her eyes are going, not to mention her brain. I look at a lot of spreadsheets and analytic reports, and way too many are difficult to read and therefore hard to understand.

Playing Startup

Agile VC

I’ve observed what may be an emerging trend, at least in some startups, that I find somewhat unsettling. It has an impact at an individual level, a company level, and an ecosystem level.

Why Successful People Focus on the Bottom End of the Funnel

Both Sides of the Table

Business leaders have many tasks to accomplish and prioritizing stuff can be hard.

LP 155

Why Build, Measure, Learn – isn’t just throwing things against the wall to see if they work

Steve Blank

I am always surprised when critics complain that the Lean Startup’s Build, Measure, Learn approach is nothing more than “throwing incomplete products out of the building to see if they work.”. Unfortunately the Build, Measure, Learn diagram is the cause of that confusion.

Agile 155

Startups Need Great Execution More Than Great Ideas

Startup Professionals Musings

A popular approach for aspiring entrepreneurs these days seems to be to corner anyone who will listen, with a pitch on their current “million dollar idea.” The initial monologue usually ends with the question “How much money do you think this is worth?”

Your non-linear problem of 90% utilization

A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks

Does it feel like everyone is working very hard, all the time, and yet not accomplishing as much as everyone would like? Maybe this is why. Suppose a web server is running at 50% of its full capacity.

The Carlota Perez Framework

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

I was reading William’s post on the potential crash in the Bitcoin sector this morning and I thought of Carlota Perez.

Something New Is F *d Up In My World Every Day

Feld Thoughts

This is one of my favorite lines to use to explain the business life I live. When asked what it’s like to be a partner in a VC firm, be on a bunch of boards, and have a continuous stream of random interaction come my way, I like to level set my reality. It’s simple.

Marketing Your Startup: A Billion-Dollar Company’s First Marketer Reflects Back

View from Seed

Ellie Mirman was the first marketer hired by the CMO of HubSpot, the Boston-based marketing software startup that IPOed in 2014. Below, she shares lessons learned from the earliest days of marketing the company and how this has translated to her second startup role as VP of Marketing at Toast.

Fellow VCs: Here’s Where to Invest $1B+

Genuine VC

A couple weeks ago my colleague Dimitri Dadiomov published a post on NextView’s “View From Seed” blog which answered the question “Should we take Harvard MBAs Seriously as Startup Founders?”

Prioritize Product Development by the Four Stages of Use

Instigator Blog

When prioritizing feature development I like to think of a product in four pieces: Ongoing Engagement, Onboarding, First User Experience and Marketing/Growth. These are actually the steps a user goes through during their lifecycle with your product (listed in reverse). Think of your product less in terms of features and more in terms of the […]. Product Management

Raising Capital As A First Time Founder

Gust

A year ago, in mid September 2014, I walked out of a Starbucks in San Francisco with the very first check from an angel investor for Glassbreakers. Though it was only $5,000, it was enough to prove to myself and my co-founder, Lauren Mosenthal, that we could actually fundraise for our startup.

Performance Punishment - An Easy Way to Burnout Your Employees

Deimar

You might be punishing your best player's performance, and she/he might be about to walk out the door. It has always struck me how often the top performers of a company, regardless of size, tend to have a higher burden of work compared to that of their peers.

The Most Misunderstood Facts About Building a Business on YouTube

Both Sides of the Table

Any reader of this blog for a period of time will know that I’ve been long YouTube for years.

SEM 153

What Do I Do Now? The Startup Lifecycle

Steve Blank

Last week I got a call from Patrick an ex-student I hadn’t heard from for 8 years. He was now the CEO of a company and wanted to talk about what he admitted was a “first world” problem.

How Smart Startups Survive Investor Due Diligence

Startup Professionals Musings

For the elite startups and entrepreneurs who manage to attract the investor they dream of, and survive the term sheet negotiation, there is still one more hurdle before the money is in the bank. This is the mysterious and dreaded due diligence process, which can kill the whole deal.

Why it’s nice to compete against a large, profitable company

A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks

A big, profitable company seems like the hardest thing for a small company to compete against.

The No Hands Syndrome

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

Last week I saw this tweet from Dan Primack who covers the VC sector for Fortune: At VC breakfast (90 attendees), I asked how many would invest in Bitcoin startup (not general blockchain). Zero hands. FortuneTech. — Dan Primack (@danprimack) July 14, 2015.

Unicorpse

Feld Thoughts

The current usage of the word unicorn makes me tired. I could rant about it for a while, but that would make me tired of myself ranting about it.

Free Templates for Great Startup Pitch Decks, Direct from VCs

View from Seed

Today, NextView Ventures is excited to release a pillar project in our Growth Guides series: pitch deck templates for raising seed capital. These help address a common question which we frequently receive from entrepreneurs about how to create startup pitch decks for this crucial financial milestone.

Smaller Brands Have An Extreme Competitive Advantage in Content Marketing

Brandanew

As an ongoing series called the Social Expert Speak , today we present insights from @KenHerron , an exemplary social marketer and a leading expert on content and social media.