A version of this article previously appeared on Forbes. Brandon Martinez, Co-Founder and CEO of INDMusic, is helping to the change the face of online music. INDMusic has over 300 partners, and has generated over 2.5 billion views on YouTube. By their own estimation, INDMusic is the largest music network on YouTube, with over 100 million monthly views and 2 million subscribers.
A version of this article previously appeared in The Wall Street Journal. Entrepreneurs typically embrace celebrity investments, while most sophisticated investors prefer to avoid famous entertainment or sports personalities on the cap table. What’s the cause of this incongruence?
A version of this article previously appeared on Forbes. How much will social media fame cost you in 2014? At $6,800, it is probably cheaper than you thought. This money will buy you a million Twitter followers, get you a million YouTube views and 20,000 Likes on your Facebook page. As a bonus, you'll also enjoy a robust number of Pinterest, Tumbler and Instagram followers and you'll still have room in your budget for 250 comments on your blog and about 100,000 views on Vimeo. What a bargain.
Tracy DiNunzio, Founder and CEO of Tradesy, recently shared her insights as part of UC Santa Barbara's Distinguished Lecture Series. Her story is especially inspiring, as she was told as a child that she would never walk, due to a birth defect. (Note: I am an investor in Tradesy via Rincon Venture Partners.)
A version of this article previously appeared in The Wall Street Journal. The money you pay your intellectual property (IP) lawyer should be judiciously spent. However, the potential costs associated with an IP mishap can be catastrophic. An invalidated patent or one deemed to infringe the rights of another party can devastate a startup. As such, save money buying used office furniture, not by selecting an inexpensive IP lawyer who lacks the appropriate level of experience in your technical domain.
A version of this article previously appeared on Forbes. Note: This is part II of a series exploring the power of mentorships. Access part I HERE. Mentor relationships are not immune to the laws of human interactions. They require judicious and consistent nurturing to be sustained. Without active management on the part of the protégé, the meetings with their mentor will become less frequent and less impactful, ultimately accelerating the end of the relationship. In my exchanges with my friend and mentor, Bob Wood, we engage in a number of activities which keep our time together both fun and productive. These endeavors have arisen organically, as we have identified our shared interests. However, rather than leave your mentor relationship to chance, you should proactively initiate activities that will strengthen your communications with your mentor.
A version of this article previously appeared on Forbes. Tracy DiNunzio, Founder and CEO of Tradesy, recently shared her insights regarding the best approach for entrepreneurs to address competition. Tracy's frank, pragmatic and somewhat controversial comments were presented as part of UC Santa Barbara's Distinguished Lecture Series. (Note: I am an investor in Tradesy via Rincon Venture Partners.)
A version of this article previously appeared on The Wall Street Journal. The empirical evidence highlights the lack of women and minority founders in the startup world. A 2012 Dow Jones' report entitled Women At The Wheel encompassed 15-years of data on venture-backed startups. During the period studied, only "1.3% of privately held companies had a female founder, 6.5% have a female CEO, and 20% had one or more female C-level executives." In a similar vein, a 2012 study by the Kauffman Foundation noted that women account for only 10% of all the founders of high-tech startups.
A version of this article previously appeared in The Wall Street Journal. How much should Founders pay themselves and their senior team? During a company's early stages, before it has achieved profitability, the answer is, "as little as possible." Dave Pink, in this popular video, makes it clear that money only modestly motivates knowledge workers. Once people are paid enough to cover their basic necessities, money is "taken off the table" and is no longer very motivational. Thus, Founders should pay themselves and their senior team just enough to make money a non-issue.
A version of this article previously appeared in Forbes. Adeo Ressi is a serial entrepreneur turned investor and entrepreneur advocate. Adeo Co-Founded the entrepreneur-friendly website The Funded and he is the Founder and CEO of The Founder Institute, whose goal is to create and foster local startup ecosystems across the globe.