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Articles Archive for July 2010

Anecdotes, Case Studies, Guest Posts »

[26 Jul 2010]
Getting Caught Mid-Pivot: Lessons from the Imercive Postmortem

I met Keith Nowak at the recent VC Demo Day event and he was kind enough to share the story and lessons of how his  startup, imercive, ran out of funding mid-pivot and  had to shut down. Learning from failure is in many ways more more effective than learning from success, and Keith’s story may just give you the pointers to avoid dead ends in your own ventures.

imercive postmortem

Keith Nowak
In December 2009, I made the incredibly difficult decision to shut down imercive. Three years, a lot of money, and …

Anecdotes »

[25 Jul 2010]

For those of you who haven’t read Part 1, here it is Part 1. For those of you who don’t want to read part 1, we’re taking part in a 54 hour lean startup contest that is similar to Startup Weekend called The Lean Startup Machine.
Now, let’s get more specific.
You might find my presentation video somewhere on the Lean Startup Machine Website over the next few days or weeks, but here were some of our key assumptions.
1.) Marketing students are highly motivated by money.
2.) Startups and Small …

Anecdotes »

[24 Jul 2010]

I’m taking part in The Lean Startup Machine. It’s similar startup weekend that’s specifically designed with lean startup principles. Steve Blank would be proud! Eric Ries is proud (he was at the event via online video to speak and answer questions)
The goal of the event is to teach rapid customer development and to build working CD/Lean principle prototypes as fast as possible to get feedback, pivot, and eventually build an awesome product.
The night started with a few talks, speeches, and need to knows. The full agenda …

Articles, Featured »

[21 Jul 2010]
A Peek Inside the NYC Venture Capital Ecosystem

Last night, AOL Ventures and Betaworks hosted a “reverse” demo day where VCs, not entrepreneurs, did all the pitching. RSVPs for the event filled to capacity with minimal publicity, but I managed to snag a last-minute seat. Most firms at the event are based in New York and focus on seed or Series A funding of early-stage technology ventures, although many are domain and location agnostic. Read on to meet the VCs!
Union Square Ventures
Well known as investors in Twitter and early backers of Foursquare, which recently raised $20 million in …

Articles, Featured »

[20 Jul 2010]
How to be a Genius at Word-of-Mouth Marketing

Face it. As a scrappy entrepreneur, you can barely afford to pay for AdWords campaigns, much less put up a billboard for your company in Times Square. Enter Word of Mouth Supergenius, a conference with an impressive lineup of media and marketing gurus all sharing their most effective tips for building buzz about your brands and empowering your followers. For those of you unable to front the $750 conference fee (including yours truly), the event’s liveblogging crew and twitter contributors have been absolutely meticulous in covering the event. With their …

Articles, Guest Posts »

[20 Jul 2010]
Things to Consider Before Becoming an Entrepreneur

When Congress was first proposing health care reform, I had a conversation with a member of the United States House of Representatives about health care reform. During our conversation, the Congressman made an interesting comment to me about entrepreneurship; he said that the biggest concern with health care costs now are that they prohibit people from becoming entrepreneurs.
When deciding whether or not to pursue an entrepreneurial opportunity, you are forced to choose between a job with a steady salary and health benefits or starting your own company with no salary …

Articles, Featured, Guest Posts »

[19 Jul 2010]
From Silicon Alley to Palermo Valley: Outsourcing to Argentina

Guest Post by Philip Hordijk
In a country famous for it’s steak, gauchos, tango, soccer religion and natural beauty, the latest trend has been tech. Hundreds of web and mobile development companies have started in Buenos Aires over the last decade, and successfully so. Now, in 2010, big companies like Google, IBM and Microsoft have built bases  in the city often called the Paris of the South. And for good reason, as this is one of the fastest growing internet markets in South America.
While outsourcing web development is traditionally associated with …

Articles, Featured, Headline »

[14 Jul 2010]
The Next Big Thing

Update: Google just made a significant move toward the future of the semantic web.  We’re going to see an all-out war between Google and Facebook soon.
Technology moves at a sometimes dizzying speed; Moore’s Law demands it.  The pace of tech innovation is such that people often speculate on what The Next Big Thing will be.  While the serious predictions are probably best left to the futurists, I have a few thoughts on the matter:
Whatever TNBT is, I believe it will be some combination of mobile internet, Big Data, the cloud, and the semantic …

Featured, Interviews »

[12 Jul 2010]
Aron Schoenfeld: The Importance of In-Person Communication

This week, Founders Block writer Gary Reloj interviews Aron Schoenfeld about his early entrepreneurial experiences. Aron is a serial entrepreneur and a member of the New York Entrepreneur Week board. His latest business venture is Do It In Person, a unique company focusing on teaching in-person communication skills and creating unique and effective networking events for people to use these skills.
In your words, what is “Do It in Person”?
Do It In Person is a unique media and lifestyle brand that aims to educate people about the importance of in …

Articles, Featured »

[8 Jul 2010]
Ingredients of a Successful Entrepreneur

I was fortunate enough to listen to the New York Entrepreneur Week keynote address delivered by James D. Robinson III, Co-Founder & General Partner of RRE Ventures and former Chairman & CEO of American Express.  Given his background and accomplishments, I figured it would be best to take notes! While commenting on his view of business trends occurring in the past, present, and future, he also shared his perspectives on what ingredients make a successful entrepreneur. Below are some of those traits any startup founder should consider practicing.
1) Surround yourself …