Nearly every entrepreneur has heard the refrain, "Get back to me when you have some traction,” while seeking funding. From an unsophisticated investor, this response might be a non-confrontational way of saying "No." However, when uttered by most Venture Capitalists (VCs) it conveys a desire to obtain validation of your venture's value proposition from dispassionate, objective third parties. In this context, your "value proposition" is defined as the utility you claim users will derive from your solution.
In two prior blog posts, A SuperAngel’s Investment Guide and Angel Investing Secrets, I presented our investment philosophy and many of our lessons learned. However, crossing this milestone is a great time to take stock on how things have played out and describe the adjustments we made in the past 18 months.
We all know that a lot of smart and talented people start startups. You see huge numbers of startups getting started, and yet there are actually only a handful of startups that are big successes. What happens along the way that causes such failure?
It's like there's a tunnel full of monsters that kill them along the way. I'm going to tell you what these monsters are so you know to avoid them.
Tony Schwartz's recent post The Magic of Doing One Thing at a Time made a convincing case for staying focused. His claim that multitasking reduces individual productivity by about 25% is well supported by a mountain of research and other evidence.
Back in July, we made an attempt at listing the best annual tech startup events in Europe, with some included from the Middle East and Africa. It was a 'first attempt' and as you can see, it's a complex patchwork of events.
Cédric Giorgi's insight:
Who else than Mike Butcher from Techcrunch to curate such a nice list!
As a co-founder of RockThePost, the leading crowdfunding platform for entrepreneurs, I naturally advocate for startups to get funding via crowdfunding, as it provides several additional benefits that can prove very useful early on.
Recently 37signals published an article titled Some advice from Jeff Bezos. This wasn’t your usual advice, and I found it interesting to read and how familiar it felt as I read each next line. The post was all about “changing your mind”. The way I would describe the overall theme, is “inconsistency”. Here’s the key part of the post, paraphrased :
"People who are right a lot of the time, are people who often change their mind. Consistency of thought is not a particularly positive trait."
I find this fascinating, because one of the biggest challenges I’ve found as a founder for the last few years is the times when I change my mind, when have a realisation and I become inconsistent on a thought I previously had. This is amplified as your startup grows, because you have users, co-workers and stakeholders who you are in touch with who are there to witness and be affected by your inconsistency.
The Founder Institute has developed a solution to this long-standing pain in the ass that all startups experience. After speaking with dozens of founders, mentors, advisors, and startup teams, the startup accelerator and network is publicly releasing what it calls the “Founder Advisor Standard Template” (FAST), a free document designed to provide founders and advisors with a simple legal framework to formalize their relationship without all the legal chaos.
Here are some thoughts on how to choose an idea for your startup for those who can’t make it.
Investors always tell you to pursue big ideas, find your passion and iterate rapidly.That’s valuable advice, but there are some other important considerations that you don’t hear very often: tackle a small market, look for bizarre behavior, don’t make waves, and be unwilling to do anything else.
"A startup is a company designed to grow fast. Being newly founded does not in itself make a company a startup. Nor is it necessary for a startup to work on technology, or take venture funding, or have some sort of "exit." The only essential thing is growth. Everything else we associate with startups follows from growth."
This is a guest post by Gonzo Arzuaga. Gonzo is a passionate internet entrepreneur who has been doing business online since 1996. He has lived in five countries, speaks five languages and has published five books. His goal is to be a motivational speaker. Loves quotes, writing and reading. In 2007 he started KillerStartups.com: ‘Where Internet Entrepreneurs Are The Stars’.