Randy Churchill and his team at PricewaterhouseCoopers meticulously prepare a quarterly report detailing the venture landscape, called Shaking The Money Tree. The data consistently confirms that: (i) venture capitalists are typically not adventuresome, and (ii) most startups lack the three intoxicating factors which cause venture capitalists to pull out their checkbooks.
Messenger: Scott Dinsmore, Co-Founder Cumbre Capital and author of the inspirational blog, LiveYourLegend. You can watch my interview with Scott below or on YouTube here: http://youtu.be/-H6QuivgHqo What follows is a summary which paraphrases Scott’s responses. For his exact quotes, watch the video.
TestFlight’s mission is to reduce app developers’ pain. The company effectively leveraged this credo at Apple’s 2011 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). As Ben Satterfield, TestFlight’s CEO explains in the interview below, for the cost of some T-shirts and tacos, TestFlight was able to dominate the mindshare of many WWDC attendees. As Ben points out, successful guerrilla marketing is predicated on creativity and clever execution, not a huge budget. You can watch my four-minute interview with Ben below or on YouTube here: http://youtu.be/RzSrfTE87EY
Messenger: Mark Douglas, President & CEO, SteelHouse Media. Former Vice President of Technology at eHarmony and Vice President of Engineering at the Rubicon Project. In this interview, Mark discusses how his experiences at Oracle, eHarmony and the Rubicon Project contributed to the creation of his latest venture, SteelHouse Media. You can watch the video below or on YouTube here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_NWWtIAM68 What follows is a summary which paraphrases Mark’s responses. For his exact quotes, watch the video. Value Prop Twitter Style: SteelHouse's Behavioral Commerce platform increases online conversions via targeted incentives based on shopper personality and behavior
Note: This is part V of a five part series. Access the first installment HERE, part II HERE, part III HERE, and part IV HERE. What do Warren Buffet, Martin Luther King, John Wayne, Walt Disney, Harry Truman, Wayne Gretzky and Tony Hsieh all have in common? In addition to all of them reaching the pinnacle of their chosen professions, they also all started their careers performing the same job. All of these extremely successful individuals were paperboys.*
Messenger: Naval Ravikant, Co-Founder AngelList and Co-Maintainer Venture Hacks. Former Founder Epinions. Investor in Twitter, Foursquare, DISQUS, and (by Naval’s own admission) “a lot of other companies you have never heard of” Dharmesh Shah, Founder of HubSpot and of OnStartups, recently published a great post entitled, Raising Money On AngelList, which offers insights germane to my conversation with Naval. I recommend you first review Dharmesh’s article and then listen to Naval’s thoughts. You can watch my interview with Naval below or on YouTube here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IkuXQAvaKgY What follows is a summary which paraphrases Naval’s responses. For his exact quotes, watch the video. Value Prop Twitter Style: AngelList is the productization of raising startup funding.
Note: This is part IV of a five part series. Access the first installment HERE, part II HERE, part III HERE, and part V HERE. “[Poker] exemplifies the worst aspects of capitalism that have made our country so great.” Walter Matthau, American Actor I have discussed in this series a number of books and games parents can share with their children which will cultivate an entrepreneurial mindset. As your child matures, games which involve; luck, strategy, probabilities and financial wagering reinforce a child’s ability to take calculated risks. Poker is one such game.
“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man." George Bernard Shaw, Irish Playwright, Co-founder, London School of Economics Entrepreneurs must be unreasonable in order to dismiss the status quo and create novel solutions. However, an irrational lack of reasonableness will sabotage an entrepreneur’s efforts. In the following video, I explain how emerging entrepreneurs can develop the confidence, courage and conviction necessary to know where and when it is appropriate to be unreasonable.
“It's not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are.” Roy Disney, American Entrepreneur I recently gave some advice to a software engineer who was trying to decide between two startups. My advice is was not earth shattering, but the engineer was appreciative nonetheless. He must have read my Thank You entry, as he later sent me an awesome selection of beer and wine as an expression of his gratitude. I have summarized my straightforward counsel below, in the hopes that it might help someone else who is in the advantageous position of selecting between multiple startup opportunities.
US High School students are taught that Samuel Coleridge conceived one of the most anthologized poems in Western literature, Kubla Kahn, in an epiphany. As Mr. Coleridge described in the poem’s preface, he dozed after smoking opium and reading Samuel Purchas’ The Pilgrimage. He suddenly awoke and manically began documenting the first few stanzas of Kubla Kahn, which he had “dreamed”, fully formed. Unfortunately, he was interrupted by a visitor and the poem evaporated like the dream in which it originated, never to be finished. Despite the fact that Mr. Coleridge wrote Kubla Kahn over 200-years ago, the epiphany story has endured for good reason. It is romantic and compelling. Unfortunately, it is untrue. Recent research has uncovered evidence that Mr. Coleridge labored on Kubla Kahn for well over a decade. It was years later, when the poem was first published, that Coleridge created the myth of the epiphany to add to the poem’s enchantment and to explainwhy it remained unfinished. Wantrepreneurs desperately cling to the myth of the epiphany. It is seductive to believe one can achieve great things by daydreaming, sleeping or even becoming intoxicated. Unfortunately, most accomplishments, especially in the startup world, require a sustained and concerted effort. Overnight success is usually achieved over numerous sleepless nights.