With the an estimated 150,000 new websites and 7.3 million new pages added to the Internet every day, the biggest challenge for every entrepreneur is to get found, and get some credibility for a new startup. I can attest from experience that publishing a regular blog to properly showcase your offering, even before you have it, is a most cost effective approach in time and money.
When a startup takes off, industry watchers note the company’s core offering, and many attribute its success solely to the founder(s) having a great idea. Investors rarely see it that way. For venture capitalists and angel financiers, a smart investment starts not only with a stellar concept but a smart, entrepreneurial team as well.
Here’s how discerning VCs recognize promising founders:
The era of VCs investing in successful consumer Internet startups such as eBay led to a belief system that seemed to permeate many enterprise software startups that hiring sales or implementation people was a bad thing.
“We want low-touch or zero-touch businesses” was the mantra.
I’ve launched half a dozen or so startup products in my career and in the process I’ve picked up my list of favorite tools to make each step easier, faster, and cheaper. Below are the sites and services I’ve had success with while launching startups. Depending on your skills and experience, you won’t need them all, but I hope some of these tools can help expedite your path to success.
Around this time of year I get sentimental and think about my life for once. It’s been slightly over two years since I attended Startup Weekend in September 2010, which literally changed my world for the better. At the time, I was an insecure lad who just came out of university. I was working for a large Dutch bank, and was not liking it very much. I was not very happy with my life, but didn’t really know why.
In today's entrepreneurial climate, ideas are nothing without traction. And traction doesn't come by accident. Traction is the sweated-over result of a well-honed pitch, a bootstrapped minimum viable product and often a proven product-market fit as well.
If your startup is looking for an Angel investor, it makes sense to present your plan to flocks of Angels, and assume that at least one will swoop down and scoop you up. Or does it? Actually numbers and locations are just the beginning. The challenge is to find the right Angel for you, and for your situation. Here are some basic principles:
Here’s a social situation almost everyone in the startup community will recognize: You're at a party, or a conference, or a networking event, and some young founder sidles up to you to chat about his big project. He says his idea is going to disrupt everything about everything. He tells you about how it's sure to scale massively the minute he deploys. He tells you about the flood of investment dollars that will surely be unleashed the moment his brilliant idea sees the light of day. But he refuses to tell you his idea, at least until you sign a non-disclosure agreement, which he conveniently has in his pocket.
The tech industry has a certain narrative on how startups are created. Given the immense wealth generated in a short period of time, entrepreneurial lessons are often lost in the measure of dollars and growth.
Reading is said to be the spark behind creative thinking, and is one of the most predominate traits of individuals said to pertain a level of “higher intelligence”. Is the thought of gaining intelligence through reading actually viable? I believe that it is not intelligence that is gained through reading; rather it’s the exposure to other people’s thoughts and perception of events and processes that generally will lead to you being better rounded thinker.
I’ll admit it, the title of this article is downright curmudgeonly. But between visioning sessions, collaborative software development and Linus’ Law of bug detection — we’ve been taught to accept the wisdom of crowds as necessary to most startup decision-making. In our world, consensus is treated as a type of quality control and our success as leaders depends on a culture of listening and openness. To an extent, all of this is true. But what happens when a constructive conversation becomes a futile one?
When you’re first getting your start-up off the ground, finding and reeling in awesome team members can be one of your biggest challenges.
In my experience, there are a few key factors that matter most to early stage start-up employees, and these are often the reasons that employees join start-ups in the first place. So, if you can show your top candidates how you can offer them those things, you’ll have a much better chance of people coming on board.
Master storyteller and blogger extraordinaire, Seth Godin, recently stopped by Intelligent.ly to share his marketing genius. From a group of over one hundred applicants, we selected a handful of Boston startups to serve up their greatest marketing challenges to Godin for advice. Boy, did he deliver.
Nikolas Daras's insight:
Take your time and watch this video (and also check intelligent.ly - it's an awesome blog). Seth Godin rocks!
Choosing your technology stack is one of many decisions you’ll have to make when creating a company from scratch. Along with this, you’ll need to figure out who you should found a company with, who you should take money from, what the company culture should be, management processes, and who to hire when. Joe will be covering basic technology stack choices (cloud v. hosted, frameworks, etc.) as well as other critical decisions one faces when starting a startup.
What’s the next big thing? There’s a good chance someone on this list is either starting it or funding it. The investors below have been a there as founders or investors for many of the companies that have shaped the internet like Amazon, eBay, AOL, Paypal, Facebook, Twitter, Google and many more. These investors have had incredible success and are major players in the tech industry.
Even if you never have the opportunity to work with them they can provide you with incredible insight into the tech world as well as provide an unlimited amount of knowledge and expertise for achieving whatever you want.
No entrepreneur is without a smartphone or tablet anymore, it seems. In fact, it’s hard to remember what, exactly, we did before we had the ability to stay on top of everything from operations to pitch deck edits on the fly (or in the middle of a family vacation — hey, it happens!). But with the proliferation of “apps” — particularly those targeting business owners and their employees — it’s hard to know which ones are worth the download.
I asked a panel of 13 successful young entrepreneurs the following question:
What was the most useful mobile app for your business in 2012 and why?
When we read Y Combinator applications there are always ideas we're hoping to see. In the past we've never said publicly what they are. If we say we're looking for x, we'll get applications proposing x, certainly. But then it actually becomes harder to judge them: is this group proposing x because they were already thinking about it, or because they know that's what we want to hear?
We don't like to sit on these ideas, though, because we really want people to work on them. So we're trying something new: we're going to list some of the ideas we've been waiting to see, but only describe them in general terms. It may be that recipes for ideas are the most useful form anyway, because imaginative people will take them in directions we didn't anticipate.
Nikolas Daras's insight:
The Blog Post article is rather old, but the ideas (and the problems behind them) are still fresh. Check them out!