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[2 Dec 2010]
Free Money, Distrust, and The American Consumer

The following article takes a look at the state of entrepreneur business models and projections and how they can maximize value by taking notice of the level of distrust in the vast majority of American consumers.
Predictable Irrationality
In Dan Ariely’s Book, Predictable Irrationality, he showcases his experiments in Behavioral Economics.  In one such experiment, Ariely creates a booth at a crowded commercial area in Cambridge Massachusetts.  He erects a banner that reads “Free Money.” and gives away free bills for few hours.
What percentage of people do you think stopped by and …

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[1 Dec 2010]
How to Handle the Startup Dip

I read The Dip by Seth Godin a few weeks ago.  For those not familiar with The Dip, Godin’s book helps you figure out when it’s time to quit.  In a typical startup, there will be many dips.  I define a dip as anything that makes you question what you’re doing.  Have 1,000 visitors to your website last week and not 1 signup?  That’s a dip.  Send your startup link to a friend with excitement only to receive “advice” that your idea stinks and you should get a full time job? …

Articles, Featured, Interviews »

[15 Nov 2010]
Common Misconceptions about Customer Development: An Interview with Steve Blank

At New York Entrepreneur Week, I got a chance to chat with Steve Blank before he went onstage for his keynote speech, “Why Accountants Don’t Run Startups”. The customer development methodologies that Steve pioneered have become trendy with startups, particularly in conjunction with agile development methodologies. This is no surprise, as the right application of these principles can make a business 10x more productive. Yet, despite their widespread popularity and adoption, many entrepreneurs still misunderstand the customer development process. According to Steve, here are some common misapplications of his advice:
1) …

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[27 Oct 2010]
The Gender Gap in Venture Capital

Plenty of buzz has been tossed around recently about the lack of female entrepreneurs and technologists in the startup world. Although women own 41% of privately held companies in the US, only a mere 3-5% successfully obtain venture capital. While we’ve heard many of these shocking statistics about entrepreneurs, less has been written about the equally pathetic gender ratio on the investor side of the table. As Fred Wilson recently declared at a Change the Ratio event in New York City, “the VC industry is not just dominated by white males, but arrogant …

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[29 Sep 2010]
Pirates, Parrots, and Info Snacking

Sometimes I yearn for the days of 28.8k modems.  I imagine it was easier to get things done back then.  Let me explain.
Something that has troubled me recently is the ease with which I end up procrastinating from productive work with low value activities.   Distractions such as an inbox that demands attention, chatting over IM, and checking Facebook all conspire to steal time away from real priorities. Yet these things are at least easy to identify as inefficient uses of time. What disturbs me most is my …

Articles, Featured, Headline »

[27 Sep 2010]
Making the Transition From a Business Founder to a Technical Founder

Continuous learning is important in any profession.  Being a startup founder, there is perhaps no better education than software development.  I think it’s important for more business founders to make the leap and start developing software skills. Two years ago I simply considered myself a “business founder” and now I consider myself a “technical founder”.  So the goal of this post is to help other business cofounders to make this transition.
Two and a half years ago, I was relying on outsourcing (tasks-everyday.com) to develop code.  Now, I do the “hard stuff” …

Articles, Guest Posts »

[20 Sep 2010]
Creating a Business Plan that Successfully Raises Capital

Establishing a business plan is essential for any new startup, but for some aspiring entrepreneurs, writing a solid business plan can be a challenge. Ryan Kim , who provides business consultation for small businesses and startup ventures, was kind enough to share his insight with Founders Block on how to create a successful business plan. This is Part 1 – an overview of key general parts of a business plan.
Have you ever wondered why some companies get funded and others don’t? In this six part series we discuss the dynamics …

Articles, Guest Posts »

[19 Aug 2010]
An Analysis on Seed Funding in 2010 (Part 2 of 2)

This is a guest post by Gary Whitehill who was kind enough to allow Founders Block to repost his article, originally published on August 11th, 2010. In case you missed Part 1.
Seed Fund Opinions Numero Uno – The Nay Sayers
In a recent blog post, Paul Kredowsky voiced his disapproval of the seed funding phenomenon. However, his post is less about the entrepreneur, than the seed funding companies themselves.
His argument boils down to the fact that he believes many of the seed investors out there are running on very tight budgets themselves. …

Articles, Guest Posts »

[17 Aug 2010]
An Analysis on Seed Funding in 2010 (Part 1 of 2)

This is a guest post by Gary Whitehill who was kind enough to allow Founders Block to repost his article, originally published on August 11th, 2010.
The entrepreneur community is more closely knit than you’d believe, and when someone picks up on a notable event or trend, the blogosphere literally lights up with posts.
As far as entrepreneur blogs go, the flavor of the month appears to be the debate about whether the seed funding phenomenon is a bubble waiting to burst, or whether it’s a viable means of funding pre-revenue/start-up businesses. …

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[10 Aug 2010]
Utilizing Positive Self-Promotion To Help Your Brand

I had a great opportunity to listen to Peter Shankman, founder of Help a Reporter Out (HARO), talk about “self-promotion”. The following is a recap of his presentation.
There are good and bad ways to practice self-promotion. Here’s an analogy demonstrating the difference: As a guy, if I went up to a random girl at a bar and told her “I’m rich and I’m awesome. Let’s go back to my place”, I’m most likely going to have a drink thrown in my face. However, if I had a mutual female friend go …