Here’s a short analysis of the top VCs in the world…
“This seems like a lot of work for God’s sake. I have a website. I have a Facebook account. I send emails. I am a busy so and so. Why do I also need to be creating all this “content”?”
Let’s discuss amongst ourselves:
by Ram Krishnan, Advisor & Retired Operations Executive
To build a high value company, an entrepreneur must convince investors that the addressed market is large, that the company is capable of meeting market demand and that the profit margin can be maintained regardless of market conditions. In addition to the revenue and profitability requirements, such financially attractive markets are characterized by tough quality requirements and rapidly eroding average selling prices (ASP). A good example of such a market is the smart-phone market where annual volumes are in the hundreds of millions, selling prices erode at 20-25% per year and quality requirements are stringent.
We just met Marilyn Yu, an award-winning author/artist/designer, and her new creative work-space sounds amazing.
SHARED takes the idea of co-working and applies it to the different types of space that creative people need. It has office space, work space, and a shared work shop with tools and equipment. In addition, SHARED has space for meetings, classes, and events.
SHARED is a space for creative people to work and collaborate together. It is based in the belief that together we can create greater things than we could individually or in isolation.
This month, as part of our Startup Tools series, we’re covering Visual Website Optimizer.
Visual Website Optimizer makes it easy to A/B test your site. Why should you care about A/B testing? A/B testing (sometimes called split testing) is comparing two versions of a web page to see which one performs best. You can compare two web pages by showing the two variants (let’s call them A and B) to visitors at the same time. Then you can measure what the visitors do on the site with heat maps and conversion goals.
by Steve Hoffman, Cofounder of Founders Space
This week’s Startup Spotlight is shining on GoAnimate.
There was a time when it required a professional team and thousands of dollars to create a video for your startup. Those days are gone thanks to GoAnimate. Within minutes, not days or weeks, you can create your own animations and get them live on your site, as well as YouTube and every major social network.
Here’s a video I created for Founders Space…
In today’s highly competitive world where any startup can launch a new service practically overnight and compete with you, how do you differentiate yourself? One way is by providing exceptional customer service.
If you run a startup, your biggest hurdle is probably customer acquisition. It’s expensive to acquire new customers. Most startups spend a huge amount of time worrying about how to get customers cheaply, but they often overlook what it takes to keep them. This is where customer service comes in. There’s no better way to retain customers and have them recommend you than by outdoing your competitors when it comes to service.
This video was created by Richard and his daughter. Fun, creative and highly educational! For more videos like it, visit Richard’s blog at http://hsutube.com/
Richard Hsu is a Silicon Valley Technology Lawyer who believes we are so overloaded with information that if you cannot be brutally pithy and honest, it won’t get read.
Karen Milde, CEO and Co-Founder, Reframe Marketing Inc.
Successful entrepreneurs begin their business with a vision – a dream. They act on these dream by taking small steps towards accomplishing their goals. With every step entrepreneurs get closer to attaining their ultimate goal or vision. However, not all steps are easy to take. Nothing worth fighting for is easy to attain, especially when beginning a business. Successful entrepreneurs only made it through difficult times by being strong-willed. They never let pessimism stand in their way.
Ryan Scott is a successful entrepreneur and pioneer, humanist and philanthropist. He’s also an investor and advisor to startup companies and charities.
In this video, he talks about what angel investors look for in entrepreneurs.
Jay Adelson talks about how startup incubators work. He discusses the pros and cons of being funded by one. Jay also offers tips and advice on pitching them.
- Sharon Wienbar, Scale Ventures
- Steve Kann, Bridgewater
- Brian Cohen, angel investor
- Howard Morgan, First Round
What do they look for in an investment?
Everyone wants a thoughtful numbers, even if you are wrong. Lots of patents in a field make them wary. At an event, meeting, or otherwise, don’t forget the value of energy and hand-to-hand sales tactics. But — with extra stress — you need to be very upfront about what your product does.
This is a fun, little animated video that dispels the myths of entrepreneurship. What does it take to be a great entrepreneur?
An old wise man once said:
‘To love is to suffer.
To avoid suffering one must not love.
But then one suffers from not loving.
Therefore to love is to suffer, not to love is to suffer.
To suffer is to suffer.
To be happy is to love.
To be happy then is to suffer.
But suffering makes one unhappy.
Therefore, to be unhappy one must love, or love to suffer, or suffer from too much happiness.
I hope you’re getting this down?’ -Woody Allen
Guy Kawasaki speaks at the UC Berkeley Startup Competition (Bplan) at the Haas School of Business.
Guy Kawasaki is the former chief evangelist of Apple and co-founder of Garage Technology Ventures. Here he explains the top ten mistakes that entrepreneurs make. His talk covers all stages of a startup, from inception to exit.
Guy Kawasaki is the co-founder of Alltop.com, an “online magazine rack” of popular topics on the web, and a founding partner at Garage Technology Ventures.
Previously, he was the chief evangelist of Apple. Kawasaki is the author of ten books including Enchantment, Reality Check, The Art of the Start, Rules for Revolutionaries, How to Drive Your Competition Crazy, Selling the Dream, and The Macintosh Way. Kawasaki has a BA from Stanford University and an MBA from UCLA as well as an honorary doctorate from Babson College.
This is an excellent video on optimizing Adwords using Google Analytics. Anyone with a website business should know this!
In this tough economy when many advertisers are cutting their online ad budgets, it’s important for all of us to review optimization tactics. What do you do when you start or are handed an AdWords account? Here’s an optimization “how-to” primer for you all.
We’ve been exploring all sorts of ways to get our apps on as many iPhones and iPads as possible.
One good platform we found is App-o-Day. Their model is to offer their users a free app every day. They do this through their own app, which features a single free app each day.
This will only work if you can make your app free for a few days and then turn it back to paid. The result is a huge number of downloads in a single day.
We tried this out on our game Beetle Bounce, and it worked like a charm.
by John Hagedorn, advisor to FLG Partners & retired CFO
Download the Full Paper: 21 Steps for Entrepreneurs
This paper’s primary purpose is to describe the research, analysis, and organizing sets which founders must complete with great rigor if they are to be successful in raising a first financing round from venture capital firms. The objective of the first 16 of these steps is to qualify the startup as having the potential to grow into a company which can reward the investors with the returns they require. This qualification is in not met by following an accepted outline for preparing documents and presentations. It is accomplished by the founders doing the homework that proves first to themselves, and then to investors that their venture meets the criteria for success posed at each step.
Karen Milde, CEO and Co-Founder, Reframe Marketing Inc.
When naming your company there are a number of things to consider. A name too common and it will be disregarded without a second thought, too original and abstract and the function of the company may be missed. This can be an overwhelming task, as a name is capable of making or breaking a company. Here are a few tips and tricks to get you started.
Eric Ries is the creator of the Lean Startup methodology and the author of the popular entrepreneurship blog Startup Lessons Learned. He previously co-founded and served as Chief Technology Officer of IMVU.
In 2007, BusinessWeek named Ries one of the Best Young Entrepreneurs of Tech and in 2009 he was honored with a TechFellow award in the category of Engineering Leadership. He serves on the advisory board of a number of technology startups, and has worked as a consultant to a number of startups, companies, and venture capital firms. In 2010, he became an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Harvard Business School.
Do you innovate and move to uncontested territory or improve in exisiting markets?
The curse of a manager is that feeling you have to do more to get your team to be productive. The irony is that sometimes doing less is more. When a leader steps back, it allows the executive team to do more, which empowers them. The most affective leaders delegate almost everything they do to staff, thereby freeing themselves up to see the big picture and plan for the future.
Very few tasks should actually be completed by the leader. Leaders should spend most their time acting as a facilitator and orchestrator. If you take the metaphor of an orchestra, the leader is the conductor and shouldn’t be down in the music pit trying to play the cello and violin.
This is a panel discussion from the Angel Investment Forum, which covers angel investing, fund raising and institutional investing. What is the return on investment? How much is being invested in the US and Europe? How do angel investors pick companies?
Jeff Clavier and John Lee talk about how newly formed companies in the seed stage can get funded.
Based in Palo Alto, California, Jean-Francois “Jeff” Clavier is the Founder and Managing Partner of SoftTech VC, one of the most active seed stage investors in Web 2.0 startups. Since 2004, Jeff has invested 110+ consumer internet startups in areas like social media, monetization, search, gaming or B2B/B2C web services. These investments are typically located in Silicon Valley, New-York and Boulder. With over 20 years of operational, entrepreneurial and venture capital experience, Jeff is able to add relevant perspective and value to his companies as they grow from inception to maturity, and hopefully, success.
Ruben Corbo, Freelance Writer
In this modern age of the web, designing a website doesn’t have to rely on trial and error. Once the initial concept, building, and launching phase is done, there are tools you can use to tweak the design here are there to make sure your web shop is getting those much needed conversions. You may not have to spring for that expensive re-design afterall, if you discover small adjustments to the elements on your pages lead to conversions.
Bill Coleman, Tom Kosnik, and David Hornik Discuss Entrepreneurship Through the Lens of Venture Capital
David Hornik, Bill Coleman and Tom Kosnik discuss their experiences working in Silicon Valley and share several lessons they have learned over the years.
For more than a decade, David has worked with technology startups throughout the software sector. In 2000, David joined August Capital to invest broadly in information technology companies, with a focus on enterprise application and infrastructure software, as well as consumer facing software and services.
Sean Park believes finance will change radically in the coming months. He talks about some of the fin-tech startups he believes in, from people reinventing banks to new payment systems. This video is about finance being reinvented by entrepreneurs with bold new ideas about what modern finance services should serve customers.
Which entity is best for a start-up?
First, let’s define each type of entity and how they can be formed. Then we will discuss which is best.
An LLC (Limited Liability Company) is a hybrid of a partnership and Corporation. Instead of “Shareholders”, owners are referred to as “Members”. In a corporation there are officers that run the company, such as President, Treasurer, Secretary. With an LLC there are no officers, instead they are referred to as “Managers”.
An LLC also has different documentation than a Corporation. Instead of Articles of Incorporation, an LLC has Articles of Organization. Instead of Stock Certificates in a Corporation, the LLC has Membership Certificates.
A group of entrepreneurs talk about what they learned in the trenches that they never could have learned in a classroom.