IT’S A SUBTLE, SMART MANEUVER THAT JUST MIGHT WORK.
It’s rare that any of us is happy to hear something on the web. More likely, some advertisement autoplays through our speakers, right as our boss walks by in the office.
SoundCloud is a platform for 15 million users who share audio--everything from music, to rants to news reports. They’re working hard to “unmute the web,” and are the first to point out that “we have this little computer in our pockets, and we all recognize that it has a camera, but it also has an amazing microphone .[MORE]
There’s a lot of debate as to wether or not we are in a tech bubble. Some say yes, some say no. Where is the data that proves it one way or the other?In my quest for truth I came across this compelling infograph
Here are 10 of the best digital tools to help you launch and grow your startup:
Using a simplified drag and drop engine, Weebly makes it possible to create a content rich website in minutes, with loads of features. The best part: it’s completely free. Created in 2006, Weebly has become a go-to for startups.
2) Legal Zoom
Founded by a team of legal and tech experts, Legal Zoom provides users with legal documents without the lawyers. In doing so, they’ve made it cheap and quick to get those legal papers you need for your business.
3) Rock the Post
Rock the Post is a social networking platform for entrepreneurs to fund and swap resources. The free site is a great tool for entrepreneurs to leverage their networks and reach new ones, to fill the missing pieces of their projects. With thousands of users and many success cases, Rock the Post is emerging as one of the best crowdfunding sites for entrepreneurs.
Square, a creation of Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, turns your smartphone or tablet into a credit card reader. For 2.75% of every transaction, you have the ability to accept credit card payments for your business. No card reader, no credit check, more profit.
Hootsuite allows you to manage the social media madness by cross platform message scheduling and extensive data tracking. Seamless analytics across every platform ensures less time managing and more time growing your business. [MORE]
Facebook is rolling out its own app store in the coming weeks to give developers and users another way to promote and discover apps from multiple mobile platforms.
The Facebook App Center, will let users search for Facebook apps, regardless of where they run — on the Web, iOS, or Android. The only stipulation is that the app has to have some tie to Facebook (details here). [MORE]
Consider the cost of building a product only to find out that nobody wants it. Testing the hypothesis for a new product can save time and money. How to go about testing before a product is ever created is the topic of discussion for Eric Ries, author of The Lean Startup, and Intuit founder Scott Cook in this Lean Startup Lesson.
This is the eighth installment of a new series where Intuit leaders, including CEO Brad Smith, Founder Scott Cook and Vice President of Design Innovation Kaaren Hanson will sit down with author Eric Ries to expand on some of the themes in his best-selling book The Lean Startup. [Watch the interview]
Andreessen Horowitz Partners has just confirmed that it too has been operating a stealthy scout program.
In case you missed it, last week we uncovered a little-known trend of VCs secretly investing in cash-poor, network-rich entrepreneurs who in turn invest that money in other entrepreneurs as angels.
The idea is certainly innovative and makes a lot of sense given the macro trends we outlined in our original post. The only problem was a cloak of secrecy that made some entrepreneurs (and us) wonder what the big firms were hiding.
In a call with PandoDaily, AH partner Ben Horowitz said the only reason the firm kept the program a secret until now was to avoid the negative signaling that was getting venture firms in trouble with seed investing to begin with.
Venture capitalists commit far less money to seed deals and typically don’t get heavily involved with the companies. [MORE]
VentureBeat3-Person Startup Gumroad Raises $7 Million Series A from Kleiner PerkinsBusiness InsiderSahil Lavingia is only 19, but he hasn't had much trouble raising money for his startup, Gumroad. [MORE]
Starting a business with a friend isn't something to be taken lightly—but if you have the right partner, it can also be the best decision you ever make.
1. Use Your History to Your Advantage
Having known each other for 10 years, we know a lot about one another. And that’s been immensely helpful in our business. Claire is much better at asking for what she wants than I am, for example, and she always says that I have a strong sense of propriety. Knowing each other’s strengths and personalities inside and out shapes the way we interact in meetings, how we pitch the company to others, and who handles what part of the business. And coming to the table with that understanding behind us made us more productive and efficient in assigning roles and getting things done. Who doesn’t want that?
2. Learn How to Fight
Before Claire and I started working on Of a Kind, we never really had a major disagreement. Guess what? That’s completely unreasonable—undesirable, even—when you’re trying to build a company.
Now, we debate things and get all fired up on the reg. But, we try to compartmentalize those feelings and conversations to the specific topic at hand. You have to isolate the argument, hash it out, and try to move on—and definitely keep work discussions from getting personal. It’s hard, and it sometimes requires stepping away from the conversation for a bit, but that’s okay. We spend so much time together that if we let every disagreement take hold of our moods, we’d snip at each other all day long.
3. Take Time Apart
Schedule it in if you have to. If we can help it, Claire and I avoid each other like head lice on the weekends. The risk of becoming a single entity is high. [MORE]
Approaching investors for the first time is a daunting exercise for any startup. Regardless of whether you’re raising venture capital, approaching angels or still trying to figure out where to get started, it’s critical to stay level-headed about what you’re really pitching - and what it’s actually worth.
The best way to do that is to leverage the hard-won experience of real-world startup. So we asked a panel of eight successful young entrepreneurs from the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) about their startup funding successes (and failures) and the lessons they learned.
Turns out that while every startup is unique, they share some common difficulties in trying to find just the right strategies and tactics for funding their companies:
1. Ask for what you need – and nothing more.
“Funding is an exhausting experience, but worth it. My biggest failure during this experience was that I did not trust my instinct. I relied on someone who convinced me they had more experience, and by their advice, I asked for too much money from the start. This made things difficult because it puts you in a place that is hard to backpedal after you realize that you need to be realistic.[MORE]
Create Denver Week 2012, The Catalyst, The Short Film -The Catalyst for Collaboration- The Story Behind the Beer, Wynkoop Brewing Company and Create Denver will release a new, 20 barrel batch ale brewed especially for Create Denver Week.
THIS CONCEPT BY ISHAC BERTRAN IS SO SIMPLE AND CLEVER THAT YOU WONDER WHY IT DOESN’T EXIST ALREADY.
A few weeks ago, Ishac Bertran wanted to pluck some articles from his web browser and slip them into his Kindle to read later (and more comfortably), but he was so daunted by the labyrinthine process of transferring data, he decided to skip it altogether. We’ve all been there in our own way.
“Our devices are well connected virtually, through services like DropBox or iCloud,” Bertran, an interaction designer, tells Co.Design in an email. “Those offer wireless synchronization for data, but the devices that contain this data still miss a tangible connection. I thought that a representation of a physical connection would facilitate a more intuitive interaction based on traditional mental models from the physical world.” [MORE]
For the past couple of decades, venture capitalists have had the upper hand. They’ve had the funding and, traditionally, they’ve held most of the power in the startup ecosystem. But, Fred Wilson, managing partner of Union Square Ventures (and beloved blogger), believes that balance of power is shifting (As noted in Stacey’s take on a similar notion advanced by the Kauffman Foundation earlier Tuesday.) And as it does, venture capitalists themselves must rethink their role.
Speaking to a crowd of entrepreneurs at the Grind work space in New York this morning, Wilson said that since the mid-1990s institutional investors have poured $30 billion into the venture capitalist business every year, but venture capitalists have only been able to figure out how to generate good returns on half of it. (Actually, venture capitalists haven’t seen that much money flowing in since 2007, according to the National Venture Capital Association, which notes the recession dramatically lowered investment.) [MORE]
KICKSTARTER HAS UNCOVERED MANY UNTAPPED CONSUMER DREAMS. BUT THE MODEL NEEDS IMPROVEMENT BEFORE IT USHERS IN A HARDWARE RENAISSANCE, ARGUES FROG’S ROBERT FABRICANT.
It may seem like we have entered a golden era of product design, in which the world’s most valuable company has built its entire business on a dozen consumer products while heightening our appreciation of the subtleties of industrial design immeasurably. So why do I get a pervasive feeling of doom and gloom when I hang out with my product design pals? Maybe its because all of the action has moved to software and apps. There is a real startup frenzy out there with designers playing a meaningful role this time around. Yet it is still damn hard to get a VC to go along with any startup involving hardware unless you have already locked in distribution with Best Buy or Walmart. [MORE]
Startup Genome is also offering a new ranking for the world’s top 25 startup ecosystems, ordered by their average throughput:
1. Silicon Valley (San Francisco, Palo Alto, San Jose, Oakland) 2. New York City (NYC, Brooklyn) 3. London 4. Toronto 5. Tel Aviv 6. Los Angeles 7. Singapore 8. Sao Paulo 9. Bangalore 10. Moscow 11. Paris 12. Santiago 13. Seattle 14. Madrid 15. Chicago 16. Vancouver 17. Berlin 18. Boston 19. Austin 20. Mumbai 21. Sydney 22. Melbourne 23. Warsaw 24. Washington D.C. 25. Montreal Do you think this sounds right?
One of my first pieces of advice to any entrepreneur (including many that come in for funding) is to articulate what they’d like the company to accomplish in the next 12 to 18 months, based on their strategic vision. This may be what a company wants to accomplish with a given funding round or what they want to accomplish over a given period of time. Pick a timeframe that is far enough out (two years max) and write down five measureable objectives that you believe will define success. Make the objectives measureable as opposed to qualitative. It is not as easy as you think. In fact, try it right now and make sure that the goal can be measured. [MORE]
Being a social entrepreneur is tough work. Money hard to come by. Most before you have failed. Even your own family doubts your mental health.
For the iOnPoverty cameras, he described the raw truth about impact investing. “People are very attracted to social entrepreneurship right now. They spend a lot of money flying to conferences all over the world to talk about how great an idea social entrepreneurship is, but, when it comes to check writing time, they start coming up with reasons not to write the check.”
“At some point, if we want to create something [good] in places like Africa, Asia, India, we need to take some very serious risks,” he soberly adds.
To start his social enterprise, Chid tossed a solid Silicon Valley career with a great salary, a nice car, a comfortable place to live in swanky Sausalito, California and a seemingly endless capacity for late night drinking with his buddies. He talks about those days as essentially fooling himself about his happiness, but even then sensing the “seeds of misery.”
Clear as the brightest African diamond, Chid’s life is the living embodiment of a new kind of Return on Investment (ROI).
Today, Chid advises “know thyself” — the indispensable missing skill for new social entrepreneurs. If you know yourself, you can “really understand people” – both the impoverished client and, of equal importance, the potential impact investor. [MORE]