A version of this article previously appeared in Forbes. If you were not walking the halls of the Anaheim Convention last week, you missed a whole lot at the VidCon 2013. What follows is a blow-by-blow account of the convention's Industry Day keynotes, which focused on the current and future status of the online video ecosystem. Never heard of VidCon? Think "Consumer Electronics Show meets E! Entertainment." In the mold of ComicCon, VidCon is an annual convention centered around the online video community. The event was created in 2010 by Hank and John Green, when they hosted approximately 1,400 industry insiders and fans. The current year's event drew over 11,000 people and has been sold out for months.
Easy To Start, Hard To Control A version of this article previously appeared on Forbes. Brian Coryat, Founder and CEO of Local Market Launch and former founder of ValueClick (NASDAQ: VCLK) recently spoke as part of UCSB's Distinguished Lecture Series. His talk was entertaining and informative and contained a number of witty entrepreneurial insights, such as: "Startups are like high school. Both are fun, but mostly in hindsight." You can watch a 10-minute excerpt from Brian's talk, HERE.
A version of this article previously appeared on Forbes. In their new book Startup Life, serial entrepreneur and venture investor Brad Feld, along with his wife Amy Batchelor, describe what has, and has not, worked for them during their 22-year relationship. Brad is in the midst of writing a series of startup-oriented books. Startup Life is the follow-up to Startup Communities, which I reviewed HERE.
A version of this article previously appeared in The Wall Street Journal Tenderfoot Boy Scouts are taught to differentiate between the three combustibles required to build a sustainable fire: tinder, kindling and fuel wood. It's a long, cold night if the tinder does not light the kindling or if the kindling fails to ignite the fuel wood. However, once the fuel wood is lit, a fire is relatively easy to sustain, as the resulting hot coals readily trigger the combustion of new fuel. In the business world, a fire subsisting on fuel wood is equivalent to a startup that has achieved scale.
A version of this article previously appeared on Forbes. To the surprise of no one, other than snooty film critics, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey broke Christmas box office records. In addition to being a classic children's tale of good versus evil, the film also contains some surprising 2013 job hunting tips for joining a startup. Though you seldom encounter orcs or dragons in the startup world, the inevitable perils and risks of a startup are more akin to joining an adVenture than simply accepting a job.
A version of this article previously appeared on Inc. The ability to consistently give horrendous investor pitches is within your grasp. If you follow the tips outlined in this entry, you will be guaranteed to suffer absolutely no dilution, as there is zero chance a reasonable investor will give you money. Investors are overrated. Who needs them?
A version of this article previously appeared on Forbes. The CEO of Expertcity (creator of GoToMyPC and GoToMeeting, acquired by Citrix) was born in Germany and grew up in South Africa. Although his English was impeccable, he was occasionally tripped up by colloquialisms. One that he particularly struggled with was "word-of-mouth marketing,”which he consistently referred to as "mouth-to-mouth marketing." We adopted his phrasing and made it our mission to devise creative, mouth-to-mouth marketing initiatives. Startups must economically counteract the pervasive drone of large incumbents' messaging. One way to do so is to ensure that when your customers share their experiences with your products and solutions, they do so with the passion and intensity of a soulful kiss. Such mouth-to-mouth communications have sufficient intensity to cut through the confusion of the noisiest markets. Over the years, I have documented a number of clever mouth-to-mouth stunts, from DoubleClick to TestFlight. These articles have inspired readers to experiment with their own mouth-to-mouth campaigns, including the one described below by Hubba's Emma Nemtin.
A version of this article previously appeared on Forbes. Mike Falzone nearly died twice in a two-week period, during which he was also fired from his job. On the way home from the hospital, he vowed that he would never work for anyone again. Since that day, Mike has written a successful book and toured nationally as a musician and comedian. With nearly 70,000 subscribers to his BestFriendmenship YouTube channel and 6 million video views, Mike is an emerging YouTube star.
A version of this article previously appeared on Forbes. It is only a matter of time before a YouTube filmmaker wins Oscar gold and my money is on Joe Penna. His videos have 325 million views and he has over 2.5 million subscribers to his MysteryGuitarMan YouTube channel. Mainstream America was first introduced to him in THIS McDonald's commercial. YouTube is largely populated by videos that cater to the medium's overwhelming young and male demographic. Thus, channels focused on gaming and adolescent humor abound. Yet, despite the explosion in the number of YouTubers, the medium has relatively few genuine filmmakers. Joe's intelligent, creative and entertaining videos satisfy the young YouTube viewer's comedy fix while crossing over to a more mature and sophisticated audience.