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Deena Varshavskaya: WANELO's CEO The Face of Clean Slate Brands [Charlie Rose Interview Video]

Deena Varshavskaya: WANELO's CEO The Face of Clean Slate Brands [Charlie Rose Interview Video] | Startup Revolution | Scoop.it

On “Charlie Rose,” Deena Varshavskaya, founder and chief executive officer at Wanelo. The online social media app connects millions of consumer with some of the biggest brands, as well as the tiniest of independent boutiques.

Marty Note
Listening to WaNeLo's founder discuss her experience raising money and goals for her social shopping company made me realize I was listening to the sound of a clean slate brand. Wanelo is the first salvo in the "social shopping" wars sure to erupt.

Rose asks a good question, "Why won't Twitter and Facebook follow your lead?" They will and Deeena's best defense is a good offense. I signed up for Wanelo and its an intriguing play that couldn't exist without smart phones.

There's "mobile first" and then there is a company like Wanelo who is conceived and could only be possible with mobile. When Deena mentioned that more than 80% of their traffic is mobile my heart skipped a beat and I realized how clean slate this affiliate money play really is.

By mashing up retailers and accepting affiliate money Wanelo has to create a fun and exciting interface. They are about half way there. The way you create your store with swiping is cool and a #muststeal idea, but there is little more to recommend or hold interest currently.

Rose asked all the right questions about WHY and being first is a big recommendation, but not the only thing needed to survive. The UI is worth some money and their more than a million young followers are worth a lot too. Deena correctly locates the biggest challenge in today's market - getting people to love and interact with your content NOT mining or creating some unique Intellectual Property (IP) that can be protected and held over others.

Wanelo walks into social shopping, creates a "game console" using smart phones and will probably be adding gamification soon (if they are half as smart as they seem) and there is the first mover advantage. Important interview about the future of "social shopping".

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Entrepreneurship Through Lens of Venture Capital: Jules Maltz, IVP On Customer Retention [video Stanford]

MS&E 71SI: Entrepreneurship through the Lens of Venture Capital: Disruption in Venture Capital The course explores disruption in venture capital and how successful startups navigate funding,...


Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

This is a class at Stanford so it takes a bit for this video to get going, but stick with it as late stage investor Jules' thoughts on customer retention and his 5 Things are worth listening to. Great thoughts on "creating retention".


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How Blogging Accelerates Startup Growth

How Blogging Accelerates Startup Growth | Startup Revolution | Scoop.it

Marty Note
I wish I could sit every startup entrepreneur down and have them read this post about how blogging accelerates growth. Need funding? Spending tons of time pitching? Why?

If I could share a way for a startup not to have to have absurd conversations with people who will NEVER invest in their startup they would ask me what they need to pay for that kind of magic.

Guess what, the magic is FREE, all you have to do is write what is happening, create some videos and share your progress. I've been writing about The Social Startup and blogging is a KEY aspect of creating the kind of content people find and want to CALL YOU.

If that last sentence translated like this, "You get to keep more of your company," then you get the idea. Even if you never make a dime from the content you share blogging is worth doing. You will LEARN so much from sharing, getting feedback and reacting.

That kind of feedback is MAGIC and worth its weight in gold. When I worked in marketing at M&M/Mars we paid BIG BUCKS for the kind of information any entrepreneur can get FREE now. So SHARE and then ASK, SHARE and ASK again. Bet you make more money that way than bieng 100% widget focused.


Via Marie Ennis-O'Connor
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How to Negotiate with VCs: One, Two, Three - HBR

How to Negotiate with VCs: One, Two, Three - HBR | Startup Revolution | Scoop.it
Business management magazine, blogs, case studies, articles, books, and webinars from Harvard Business Review, addressing today's topics and challenges in business management. (A strongly recommended read!
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

HELPFUL since this is truly a TRIBE unto itself. VCs are all about mitigating risks and finding teams they trust. Strange to think of a high risk profession as being risk adverse, but VCs are the card counters in vegas. They want the odds to be at least even and no so much wiht the house.

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Jose Gonzalez's curator insight, February 24, 2014 10:58 PM

Excellent !!!!!!!!!!

Thanks

Jose Gonzalez's curator insight, February 25, 2014 8:52 PM

Cool !

Marc Kneepkens's curator insight, February 26, 2014 11:04 AM

Important article showing the motivations of VC's and startups, and how human motivations can influence deals even many years after they have been made. Highly recommended.

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Don't Screw Your Partners and Other Angry VC Startup Lessons At SF Launch Festival

Don't Screw Your Partners and Other Angry VC Startup Lessons At SF Launch Festival | Startup Revolution | Scoop.it
At the Launch festival in San Francisco Monday, a few start-ups got an earful from the VC judges. Here's why their pitches didn't fly. (What You Can Learn From 3 Controversial Start-up Pitches: At the Launch festival in San Francisco Monday, a fe...
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

Love this recounted of the American Idol-like harsh judging of 3 ptiches at San Francisco's Launch Festival on Monday. 

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Win Investor Hearts & Minds in 5 Minutes: 10 Tips + @Scenttrail Note

Win Investor Hearts & Minds in 5 Minutes: 10 Tips + @Scenttrail Note | Startup Revolution | Scoop.it

Mark Twain noted few souls are saved after the first 10 minutes of the sermon. Your pitch has, maybe, half that time.

1. Do some research.

2. Connect with your audience on a human level.

3. Tell a story they can relate to.

4. Share facts.

5. Be subtle -- don't give it all away.

6. Make them laugh.

7. Create a sense of urgency.

8. Make a bold statement.

9. Make your final words count.

Marty Note
Great post I would change the order and add a few. Here are my 10 Tips To Win Investor Hearts & Minds:

1. Slow DOWN, SMILE and be IN THE MOMENT.
2. Open with a BOLD statement.

3. Note any connection no matter how remote (based on research).

4. Tease with cliffhangers & Speak In Sound Bites.
5. Tell A Story relevant to them based on your research. Don't say "I want to tell a story" as that sounds like it will take too much time.
6. Do Research To Know What Is Relevant.
7. Use P&G Presentation Summary (see below).
8. Find URGENCY in your story and highlight it.
9. Weave facts INTO your story.
10. Close with a question that ties your story to their context and ask if they are in. Whatever they say check it back with them by summarizing and asking if you understand.

Want to emphasis 3 things: NOW, P&G & Closing.

NOW
This is YOUR meeting. The first thing they are going to want to do is be IN CONTROL and be the ALPHA dogs. Money needs ideas and ideas need money. YOU are an EQUAL even if you are sitting in Kleiner Perkins Caufield (which I would imagine is fairly intimidating).

Powerful RICH people respect people who don't need them. Whoops, let me amend that. "Appear" to not need them. Think of SnapChat turning down billions. Why? Because they KNOW they have something and its THEIRS. When someone makes the right offer for collaboration they will do the deal.

Go hat in hand to an investor meeting and you are dead before you start. THINK about anything OTHER than what is happening in that room in that time and you are dead. If the meeting feels unequal or uncomfortable check-in, ask a question and channel the moment.

NEVER project. Don't meet thinking the partnership and the money will magically complete you. It doesn't and can't, so release any thought of yesterday or tomorrow and be simply and completely in that room listening with every atom in your body.

P&G
P&G taught a helpful way to organize a sales presentation:

* Summarize The Situation (discuss the market, macro trends & threads that led you to start a company).
* State The Idea.
* Explain How It Works.
* Discuss Benefits.

Done right this format becomes a seamless story with threads and hooks. Hooks are cliffhanger you pay off in the next section. If you are meeting with sailors frame some of your analogies with sailing references. Careful NOT to presume too much. Stay TOPICAL with your relevant analogies so you don't appear to be challenging their expertise (in golf, sailing, cycling, cancer survival, ivy league schools, prep schools or whatever).

Closing
"Close early and often," is how P&G taught me to sell soap. You aren't selling soap, but respect buying signals. My boss said, "Marty learn to take YES for an answer". You should too.

Don't win by talking. You win MONEY and HEARTS by LISTENING more than you talk. Treat every question as if there is a hidden subtext - something they want to share. Don't NOT answer a question, but always check-in after you do. "Did I answer your question," is a simple check-in.

If you are speaking in short "sound bites" not Hamlet-like speeches your answers won't delay the subtext they want to share. The people across do deals daily, so they will be FAST. Fast is fine as long as you don't feel pressured or ill-at-ease.

If you feel EITHER fast or ill-at-east RUN don't walk away from the deal. Whatever feeling you have in the "invest in you meeting" only gets magnified once you take their money. SO if you aren't in love with them too RUN AWAY.

One thing the Big C taught me is DO WHAT YOU LOVE with THOSE YOU LOVE and no amount of money is worth losing the company you love. Make no mistake. There are many ways to lose your company. One way is if it feels like a JOB. You don't work for them. You are collaborating with them.

Money isn't as hard to find as them make it feel. Great partners you can love are RARE and very hard to find. Focus on the PEOPLE not the money and you may win VC hearts and minds.


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Why Bootstrapping Startups Is a Better Choice

Why Bootstrapping Startups Is a Better Choice | Startup Revolution | Scoop.it

"In the age of startups and micro-enterprises, the first thing you hear about, when it comes to creating a new company, service or digital product is a whole new glossary of words starting ranging from venture capital to angel investors."


Via Robin Good, Wonil Lee Ph.D.
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

I changed the title here because the longer you can bootstrap your startup the less you give up and the more you get for your hard work.

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Brenda Collins's curator insight, May 8, 2014 3:37 PM

If you can boot strap your venture then do so before talking to investors. Gather around you people who have no vested interest in your company except your success and will speak honestly to you. 

OneView Tunis's curator insight, June 15, 2014 4:12 AM

Profitabilité vs. service rendu. Tout se décide dès le début

HUBMODE's curator insight, July 26, 2014 6:30 AM

Je crois au financement pas a pas et a l'argent bien dépensé,la philosophie du "bootstrapping" qui peut se traduire par "débrouille maximale"

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Royalty-Based Venture Financing, Born in Boston, Could Shake Up VCs

Royalty-Based Venture Financing, Born in Boston, Could Shake Up VCs | Startup Revolution | Scoop.it
Every once in a while, an investment model comes along that turns the innovation community on its head. The venture capital industry, still less than 50 ye
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

I heard Harvard's Christensen discuss this new startup financing concept here: http://sco.lt/5aC2oT. Got me curious enough to look up the concept of Royalty Financing.


There has been so LITTLE innovation in how we FUND things I'm ready for a FINANCE Revoluiton what about you?

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Gregory Sparzo's curator insight, May 15, 2013 8:45 AM

Not Crazy about the graphic above, but the concept seems interesting.

Terry W. Beaver's comment, May 15, 2013 11:23 AM
Lose the graphic..
Martin (Marty) Smith's comment, May 15, 2013 12:21 PM
Graphic changed, thanks for the feedback. Marty
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Venture Capital Firms Disappearing, Those Left Think Market Improving

Venture Capital Firms Disappearing, Those Left Think Market Improving | Startup Revolution | Scoop.it
About 400 firms have stopped investing or gone out of business since 2000, by one count, but VCs are optimistic about the next 18 months
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

Is VC As A Concept Dead Man Walking
Interesting article noting the steep decline of VC firms without a related decline in the number of startups. They credit the movie The Social Network (strange). 

I think the costs of starting a company are declining fast as OPP (Other People's Platforms) help entrepreneurs get started and prove a MVP (Minimal Viable Product). 

The article also notes an increase in angel investing. I would add alternative forms of financing such as bootstrapping and crowdfunding. Throw all of these ideas on the wall and one has to wonder if the idea of Venture Capitalists is either over about to morph into something other than what it has been. 

 

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