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Want Crowdfunding To Work? Read This - Curagami

Want Crowdfunding To Work? Read This - Curagami | Startup Revolution |

How Crowdfunding Can Work
Great Josef Holm post on Krowdster about why crowdfunding campaigns fail also shows why and how they can work. Easy? Not even a  little bit, but crowdfunding is an important new marketing channel.  

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STEAL THIS MoMA Kickstarter Store Idea Because Crowdfunding = Where BUZZ Lives

STEAL THIS MoMA Kickstarter Store Idea Because Crowdfunding = Where BUZZ Lives | Startup Revolution |

Crowdfunding Where BUZZ Lives In Time For the Holidays
Working on taught us important content marketing lessons such as:

* Buzz is HARD to create by yourself.
* Want buzz? Go to where the BUZZ is and mashup.
* Crowdfunding is highly SOCIAL and very BUZZ worthy.

* Crazy Guy / Girl in basement is a compelling aspirational story.

That last bullet is where the moneyball lives. The reason crowdfunding sites such as Kickstarter ROCK SEO and content marketing is great entrepreneurs share their cool ideas AND their social network. Platforms such as Kickstarter get to sit back and pick and choose what to help BLOW UP (or their algorithm does).

Here MoMA creates a curated content partnership with Kickstarter helping to add legitimacy to everyone's hand (for MoMA, Kickstarter and the projects curated into MoMA's holiday guide). What is stopping YOU from creating a similar partnership with a cool crowdfunding platform and featuring BUZZ worthy products you curate?

Answer: NOTHING other than the limitation of our merchandising imaginations and those boundaries should be few and far between :).M

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How Your Unique Greatness Meets Customer Aspirations To Scale Your Startup - via @AtlanticBT

How Your Unique Greatness Meets Customer Aspirations To Scale Your Startup - via @AtlanticBT | Startup Revolution |

Know thyself is great Internet marketing advice and this post helps explain how to define your Unique Selling Propositions and Unique Customer Aspirations.

UCA is the startups secret weapon. When you are aligned to UCA your startup scales. When your ideas are out of alignment or not communicated well (been there, done that) your startup doesn't scale.

Wrote this piece for Atlantic BT during my tenure as Marketing Director.

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5 Things You May Not Know About Crowdfunding [Big Brands & Startups]

5 Things You May Not Know About Crowdfunding [Big Brands & Startups] | Startup Revolution |

5 Things You May Not Know About Crowdfunding
* 75% of funds typically come from person who launched the campaign's network.
* Roughly half of all campaigns succeed.
* Average ask for successful campaigns is below $10K.
* Campaigns with 25% or more raised in first week or less have an 80% chance of reaching their goal.
* See our exclusive market share and fees estimates for the top 3 crowdfunding sites. 

Should your company create a crowdfunding campaign? Enterprise crowdfunding is different than entrepreneur or startup crowdfunding. Enterprise crowdfunding was one of the ideas fueling our Triangle Startup Factor funded startup .

We see crowdfunding as a new marketing channel since no vote counts as much as money. We wouldn't recommend Big Brands place crowdfunding campaigns on existing platforms since they would be out of sync with visitor expectations.

We would recommend Big Brands think about how they can create their own crowdfunding channel and give Curagami a call to help.  

Should Startups CrowdFund?
I think the answer to this question is always yes. Startups have little to lose and everything to gain from crowdfunding. Crowdfunding creates an effective way to introduce your startup and it helps identify your 1%eers - those people willing to support your new idea with advocacy, social shares and money.  

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Why Bootstrapping Startups Is a Better Choice

Why Bootstrapping Startups Is a Better Choice | Startup Revolution |

"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.

Robin Good's curator insight, April 15, 2014 10:41 AM

Does a startup really need to raise venture capital?

I guess it depends on what its goals and values really are.

If you are after the magic opportunity to do what happens to one in a thousand startups when it is bought up by a giant company like Google, then you shouldn't hesitate to party down with the VCs. 

But if you are after creating something that has personal value for you beyond the money that it will make, if you want to keep steering the direction of your service and if you don't like to come down to many compromises, then be very careful about jumping on the VC funding train.

Here my own thoughts and ideas on why it is so important, for those in this second group, to avoid the funding dream and to go after a bootstrapping (and possibly crowdfunded) approach. 

Full article: 

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

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Triangle Startup Factory ACCEPTS CrowdFunde For Spring 2014 Class

Triangle Startup Factory ACCEPTS CrowdFunde For Spring 2014 Class | Startup Revolution |

CrowdFunde Accepted Triangle Startup (TSF) Factory
Thanks to friends who wrote cards and letters and thanks to the team at Triangle Startup Factory, our Durham, NC based startup incubator, who are willing to take a risk on CrowdFUnde as we smash content marketing and crowdfunding together to see what happens.

Our TSF session starts March 10th and we hope you will join us as we share this great startup adventure.


Haiku Deck Pitch to TSF

Triangle Startup Factory

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Wishberg Raises $150K To Help Users Achieve Their Goals | TechCrunch

Wishberg Raises $150K To Help Users Achieve Their Goals | TechCrunch | Startup Revolution |
Wishberg, a startup that lets users share a "bucket list" of their goals, announced that it has raised $150,000 in seed funding from India Quotient, a venture..
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

India seems an appropriate place for funding this cool idea. Another form of crowdfunding. Crowdfunding aspirations :). M

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Is Crowdfunding About To Blow Up? A: Yes!

Is Crowdfunding About To Blow Up? A: Yes! | Startup Revolution |

November SEC ruling makes crowfunding stocks closer and the ruling changed the game:

"The law changes the landscape," said Shmerling, InCrowd's chief executive officer.

Federal lawmakers included crowdfunding in the 2012 Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act as a way to ease financing to small businesses. The SEC's proposed rules will be open 90 days for public comment.

While companies will be capped at raising $1 million per year through equity crowdfunding, Shmerling said it's an option for startups looking to raise under $100,000 to create an initial concept, prototype or business model.



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13 Most Effective Crowd Funding Tips For Startups

13 Most Effective Crowd Funding Tips For Startups | Startup Revolution |

All startups need money, unless the owners are loaded. Where does that money come from? From fundraising efforts, both offline and online. Online fundraising is a lot more effective because of its sheer reach. Here are several tips for startups on how to obtain crowd funding for their projects.

Via The Fish Firm
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

13 great tips here and about half of them are just great internet marketing tips. 

Angela Heath's curator insight, December 11, 2013 1:57 PM

Crowd  funding opportunities are expanding for small businesses.  It is important to stay on top of this subject.

mohammed lakhlili's curator insight, January 7, 2014 3:53 PM


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Silvia Aris's curator insight, March 5, 2014 6:11 AM

Seguire questi 13 passaggi è un ottimo modo per gestire il crowdfunding della vostra startup. Se avete in mente di finanziarla con questo metodo, i consigli di Art Of The Start fanno al caso vostro.

Rescooped by Martin (Marty) Smith from Communication design!

Kickstart A Startup Revolution In 7 Infographics

Kickstart A Startup Revolution In 7 Infographics | Startup Revolution |

Crowdfunding is on the rise, and Kickstarter is leading the pack. Not only is the trend increasing but, it I’ve noticed that the word “kickstart” has replaced some of the actual terms used when referring to other areas of crowdfunding.


Kickstarter Stats:

over 5 million daily visitors3700 ongoing projects funded$18 Million of fundingMultiple projects cross the $1 million thresholdFilm and Video, Games, Music, and Technology are the largest Categories

Via Lauren Moss, Antonios Bouris
Iron Dane Richards's comment, September 23, 2013 8:19 AM
In my latest book on business credit it discusses the value of crowd-funding and Indigogo as they will fund anything unlike Kickstarter that specializes in Media oriented endeavors.
Martin (Marty) Smith's comment, September 23, 2013 10:21 AM
Good insight from Iron Dane Richards. Easier to create a sure takeaway from Indigogo too since they will let campaigns increase the house take and walk away with something where Kickstarter is all or nothing. Either the campaign meets its goals or it gets nothing. 42% of the campaigns on Kickstarter meet their goals and most campaigns are funded at $10,000 or below.
Brett.Ashley.Crawford's curator insight, October 28, 2013 12:18 PM

Nonprofits are also looking to crowdfunding -- but it has a dark underbelly as well.


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Venture Capital Firms Disappearing, Those Left Think Market Improving

Venture Capital Firms Disappearing, Those Left Think Market Improving | Startup Revolution |
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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Crowdfunding Tips In 2 Minutes [Video + Marty Note]

You might know Stuart Ashens from his wildly successful (and hilarious) YouTube channel: He's currently running a campaign...
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

Crowdfunding Is Marketing Now

Scooped a post yesterday about #Startups using Contests and Games to sidestep traditional PR. Sidestepping is necessary because "traditional PR" lies in tatters on the ground. Crowdfunding isn't crowdfunding.

I had a good friend complain that it would take him as long to crowdfund as to raise money for his startup with VC. I didn't think of it at the time, but the correct comeback is, "Don't think in OR think in AND".

We tend to zero sum everything. Don't think of crowdfunding as zero sum, you do it INSTEAD of something else. Think of crowdfunding as an AND. You create crowdfunding AND you distribute a press release AND you create a social campaign AND so on.

What I love about the Pebble Watch crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter is not that they were able to raise $11M, though that is pretty cool. I love the way Pebble used OPP (Other People Platforms) to solve every startup problem from distribution to celebrity endorsements.

Crowdfunding your marketing forces a level of creativity it may not achieve without the exercise of crowddfunding, so don't think of crowdfunding as crowdfunding think of it as one of the very important tactical "AND" moves in your marketing plan.


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3 Must Read Books for Startups: Bold, Tilt and Start with Why

3 Books for Startups
This is the order we would read these books in AND we would read them all since each speaks to a different aspect of a startup's journey.

Bold: Go Big or Go Home
We are starting this list of 3 books for startups with Bold: How To Go Big, Create Wealth and Impact the world because it has the best crowdfunding summary we've ever read.

Since finding money is usually the #1 issue most startups face and many have questions about crowdfunding read Diamandis & Kotter's book first. Chances are, if you are a startup, you are already "thinking exponentially", but this is a great and inspirational read.

The section on preparing your psyche for the exponential startup journey is another standout mustread for startup entrepreneurs.

Tilt: Shifting Your Business From Products To Customers
Tilt is another great startup read. Niraj Dawar has the shift from products to customers SO RIGHT. He even knows why its so hard to change our thinking from How Much More Can We Sell to What Else Do Our Customers Need. If Bold has the best crowdfunding summary we've read Tilt describes marketing's hard to change muscle memory. Go downstream if you want to win.

Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action
Every business starts with a passionate why. Some like Tom's shoes, Zappos and Amazon know and don't lose their why. Some companies such as Walmart, Kodak and Xerox lose or have their why get fuzzy. A bad rain falls when your lose your WHY or your why doesn't evolve, respond to feedback and grow. Just as important as the Lean Startup by Ries Start with Why should be a compulsory read for any startup.

The common elements to all three of these books are:

* Share your honest passion and be all in.
* Think BIG and DIFFERENT and prepare yourself for pain such thinking brings.
* Focus on customers and LISTEN and don't get too attached to anything.

Remember Ferris Beuller's words:

Ferris: Not that I condone fascism, or any -ism for that matter. -Ism's in my opinion are not good. A person should not believe in an -ism, he should believe in himself. I quote John Lennon, "I don't believe in Beatles, I just believe in me." Good point there. After all, he was the walrus. I could be the walrus. I'd still have to bum rides off people.

Stay OPEN and read, read and read some more. Good luck. Marty and team

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IgnitionDeck WordPress Plugin Because Crowdfunding Is A Moveable Feast via @Atlanticbt

IgnitionDeck WordPress Plugin Because Crowdfunding Is A Moveable Feast via @Atlanticbt | Startup Revolution |

IgnitionDeck is the world's most popular WordPress crowdfunding plugin. Includes free WordPress Crowdfunding Theme. Integrates with Paypal, Stripe, Mailchimp.

Marty Note
At our starutp @Curagami we've been fascinated with the idea of "enterprise crowdfunding". This idea fascinates us because:

* Crowdfunding content is highly social.

* Social Shares - Content is supported by entrepreneurs social net.
* Crazy Guy / Girl In Basement - content is buzz worthy.

Ignition Deck's wordpress plugin means its easy to add crowdfunding to your site. Yes, you give up the "featured" aspect of having your campaign promoted by a big gun like Kickstarter or IndieGoGo, but you gain control and the SEO juice comes to YOU and YOUR SITE not them.

Ethan Mollic's Dynamics of Crowdfunding study showed what we expected:

* Most campaigns get funded by entrepreneurs own network.

* Most campaigns JUST MAKE their funding goals.
* Campaigns that have 25% in first days are 80% likely to meet their ASK. * Even small crowdfunding sites have high PageRank.

That last bullet is because crowdfunding sites benefit from the Facebook effect - create the environment and have everyone else provide the content and links. If most campaigns are funded by YOU anyway using a pluggin like IgnitionDeck may make sense.

Where it REALLY makes sense is at the enterprise level. Our Curagami customer can create a "board" asking for new headphone, headphone amp and audio gear ideas from their Ambassadors and other visitors.  

IgnitionDeck looks like a winner. We plan to investigate further and report back on . Thanks to Mark Foulkrod at Atlantic BT in Raleigh for the share. 

Rescooped by Martin (Marty) Smith from Marketing Revolution!

Does Your Startup Need A Million Bucks? Here's How To Get It via Crowdfunding

Does Your Startup Need A Million Bucks? Here's How To Get It via Crowdfunding | Startup Revolution |

Bunch O Balloons Featured on TODAY Show This morning!

Bunch O Balloons, an easy to use time saving water balloon invention, may make $1M on Kickstsarter thanks to great crowdfunding marketing and the new SEO. Team Curagami is in Charlotte at the Search Exchange Conference.

This Curatti post combines a fascinating new tool set capable of making "Editors of Chaos" come true and the story of how a crowdfunding project goes "mega-viral".

Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

add your insight...

Martin (Marty) Smith's curator insight, July 29, 2014 12:04 AM

add your insight...

malek's curator insight, July 31, 2014 11:39 AM

Curagami helps form the “Ambassador Layer” every website and brand needs these days. Ambassadors, people who’ve “bought in” to a brand’s mission and want to help, need to be given contextually appropriate “jobs”.

Rescooped by Martin (Marty) Smith from Digital-News on today!

Lean Startups: 10 Ways To Use Social Media To Crowd Source Marketing - Jeffbullas's Blog

Lean Startups: 10 Ways To Use Social Media To Crowd Source Marketing - Jeffbullas's Blog | Startup Revolution |
Marketers are always trying to finding ways to create viral conversations with social media. Here are 10 tips to tap the power of crowd sourced marketing.

Via Thomas Faltin
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

It is possible to crowdsource virtually everything you do, think, or are thinking about. It takes TIME and the right tools, but benefits are huge and line up well with Lean Startup ideas.

Jeremy Barton's curator insight, May 1, 2014 5:29 AM

An interesting statistic that 77% of consumers are more likely to buy a new product when they hear about it from friends or family.

Marc Kneepkens's curator insight, May 1, 2014 5:25 PM

Referrers are your best sales people. Another great article from Jeff Bullas.

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Rock Scoopit? Great Content Curator? CrowdFunde Hiring 10 Great Content Curators

Rock Scoopit? Great Content Curator? CrowdFunde Hiring 10 Great Content Curators | Startup Revolution |

If you love using we have a job for you. CrowdFunde, a Durham NC startup, is searching for the top 10 content curators in the world. CrowdFunde is a new company dedicated to helping websites, brands and companies tap wisdom of crowds.

And we need 10 great content curators to help!

If you are a great content curator we want to recognize your contribution, pay you to do something you love and include you in a cool new company about to change the way ecommerce merchants create content marketing and the way content marketers know what content to create.

If you are a great curator we hope you will apply at

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CrowdFunde Begins

CrowdFunde Begins | Startup Revolution |

Love It When A Plan Comes Together
And new #startup  is coming together. Working on homepage desings, have a meeting with Smashing Boxes on Friday and plan to apply for Triangle Startup Factory's Spring Term.

Hope you will JOIN us as we try to honor our "process is product" new marketing suggestion and share everything in places like this:



Google Plus 


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Pssst...hey man you got the Crowdfunde Enterprise Crowdfunding Biz Plan or What?

Pssst...hey man you got the Crowdfunde Enterprise Crowdfunding Biz Plan or What? | Startup Revolution |

Waterboarding or Business Plan Reading
I "retired" from my Marketing Director post at Atlantic BT last week to start my fifth company. Yes that's right the Shuffle Board World Championships will have to wait a few more years as we try to build a new tool to help B2C and B2B content marketers tap a rich new vein of User Generated Content gold - "enterprise crowdfunding".

Yes we realize "enterprise crowdfunding" sound like an oxymoron, but we think crowdfunding will become a new marketing channel for e-retailers and B2B content marketers. Our plan is due Monday. If you would like to be a "reader" and pass up the waterboarding let us know and we will make sure you get a copy of the Crowdfunde business plan.

All ides, comments and suggestions are much appreciated no matter how much we disagree (lol). Marty

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When is the best time to launch a crowdfunding campaign?

When is the best time to launch a crowdfunding campaign? | Startup Revolution |
What time of year, week, day is best? This is a question I am often asked at workshops. There is of course no one answer but here are some questions you should ask yourself. When do you need the mo...
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

Agree with this post. You might think crowdfunding around Christmas would be great. Not so much since there is so much NOISE and competition for every dollar.

Can you tell a great story and still get crowdfunded in 4Q? Sure, but exceptions make rules. The possible exception may be nonprofits whose donations would be tax deductible.

Even then every nonprofit is aware of the end of the year rush to take advantage of tax deductibility and because people feel good will toward each other during the holidays (or that is the theory :).

My preference would be to come in after the first of the year. Wait too long and you miss planning cycles, go too soon and you can get caught up in New Year's resolution and post-holiday assessments.

My second time would be dog days of summer. That timing may seem strange, but after July fourth nothing much happens until back to school begins in mid-August.

The other lesson I learned by launching, our crowdfunding cancer research website, is to seed your campaigns. Launch when you have 25% of the funding set.

Seeding creates a sense of momentum and excitement. Most crowdfunding campaigns start strong, bow in the middle and then finish up strong (as they head into deadlines). Saw a stat on Kickstarter that campaigns with at least 25% in by the end of the first week have an 80% chance of being funded.

Have a "funding party" and line up your donors on a "roll call" count basis. If you are asking for $10K, and most Kickstarter campaigns are funded for $10K or less, then make sure you have $3K (or so) in the campaign in the first few days.

YOUR list is very important too. Your list is the key to reaching "friends of friends" (or people you don't know). Great to think your idea would be picked up by the NYT, but better to work your list and ask for two things:

Advocacy (with their friends).

Make giving both of those as easy as possible.

Find more #crowdfunding tips on GPlus:

Scooped here:

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After 1 Week UNC Lineberger's Fibrocyte Research 45% FUNDED Thanks TO FOMs & Startups

After 1 Week UNC Lineberger's Fibrocyte Research 45% FUNDED Thanks TO FOMs & Startups | Startup Revolution |
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

Thank You STARTUPS and FOMs (Friends of Martin)
That is me yelling at my doctor in the video image above (lol). Dr. Han van Deventer's Fibrocyte cure cancer research is now 45% funded after only a week on our brand spanking new #startup (

THANK YOU to my friends who run, are creating or want to create a new startup. Your support, ideas and encouragement is why we got HERE. And HERE is pretty cool

Here is using the web to help cure cancer. It takes COURAGE to step up and use a new idea (bumps and strange things like wiping out your donation choice and moving it back to $5 after you save a creditcard). We are working on the car as we drive it, but to see people who have the courage to STEP UP and do something HERE AND NOW to change the world is inspiring.

There are 4 other great cancer research campaigns on our startup too:

Brain Cancer Vaccine From Roswell Park

Vitamin D & Lung Cancer From Froswell Park

Creating A Reolution In Colorectal Cancer Care from UW Carbone

Saving Generations Of Lives In Malwai UNC Lineberger Cancer Center

YES would be how most people would answer this question. If you could change the world in 5 minutes for $50 would you? Hope you will join the brave dragon fighters that have already answered YES.

Thanks to my fellow startups for your support!

BTW, 100% of all donations go to cancer research. No house money here as we are funding with my Atlantic BT Marketing Director salary and a generous grant from Atlantic BT, best damn website and software developers on earth (or the southeast anyway :). Marty

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Rescooped by Martin (Marty) Smith from Business and Economics: E-Learning and Blended Learning!

Innovators Dilemma Author Clayton Christensen Discusses Disruption via Startup Grind [Video]

Innovators Dilemma Author Clayton Christensen Discusses Disruption via Startup Grind [Video] | Startup Revolution |
I recently found this great interview that Mark Suster did with Clayton Christensen, who is without argument, the master of disruption.

Via Jenny Pesina
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

Disruption In BSchool Education

Most of this talk is about disruption in education, but Christensen is the "master of disruption" and this conversation with Mark Suster is fascinating for Internet marketers.

Lack of technological core means an industry can't be disrupted. Education was in this boat for a long time. Online learning brings to education a "technological core" matched with pricing that has lost touch with reality means disruption is possible and likely.

Online learning and corporate learning programs are killing Harvard Business School. Christensen says half of the University business schools are in trouble and will be forced to get with it or close in ten years.

Apple Computer
Fascinating discussion of Apple & proprietary architecture at 10:33. The inevitable opening of a once proprietary operating system means prices fall and the money is made in "sophisticated manufacturing". "It really is scary," says Christensen about the loss of sophisticated manufacturing.

He goes on to blame business school for looking to layoff costs because of the way we teach people to measure things.

Another fascinating conversation about Fremiums at 14:30. "As a general rule if you have a product that doesn't get the job done you have to offer it for free," with Suster weighing in on charging for services. Modularity drives commoditization and that drives profit out.

Free usually means there is money to be made, "Above and below and you can invest or be an entrepreneur there and you can make money". Suster then talks about Venture Capital disruption and crowdfunding at 19:50.

Royalty Capital
Royalty Capital = movement in Boston to license capital as a way around limitations of venture capital at 24:00. When revenue starts there is a royalty rate returned to the capitalists. Fascinating alternative financing experiment going on in Boston.

José Antônio Carlos - O Professor Pepe's curator insight, May 7, 2013 7:33 AM

Grande site e grande entrevista com Clayton Christensen.

Scooped by Martin (Marty) Smith!

Bad Girl Klein Inspires

Bad Girl Klein Inspires | Startup Revolution |

Mother Of Crowdfunding
Attended a great class on crowdfunding with Candace Klein from Candace is a new breed of startup entrepreneur. This new generation is comfortable with COPE (Create Once Publish Everywhere), live at ever increasing speeds to create, give away and create again. 

Too cool. Candace has many lessons for entrepreneurs, Internet marketers and crowdfunders.  

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