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[9 Aug 2010]

This is a guest post by Steve Blank who has graciously allowed Founders Block to repost his article, originally published on August 5th, 2010.
Consumer Internet investing seems to have split off from traditional Venture Capital, and is creating a new category of VC’s: Lean VC’s.  I think you can blame Customer and Agile Development for a small part of it.
Here’s why.
Electron-based Venture Capital

When I first came to Silicon Valley the world of Venture Capital looked pretty simple. VC’s invested in things that ran on electrons: hardware, software and …

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[3 Aug 2010]
The Co-Founder Myth: Why You Might Not Need One, Especially in NYC

At a recent networking event aimed to help entrepreneurs find co-founders, a VC and an angel investor were on panel discussing why they usually avoid single founder companies. One common argument they brought up is that the burdens of building a startup are more easily shared between people. Venture Hacks famously proposes that startups with “the power of two” founders, preferably a “builder” and a “seller”, have the best shot at success. Another concern is that if you’re a single founder, it may be because you weren’t able to convince …

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[3 Aug 2010]
Don’t Be an Armchair CEO

If there’s something that startup people love to do, it’s to converse, and I’m no exception.  Whether the topic revolves around industry news, a controversial blog post, or brainstorming for ideas, I love a good exchange.  One of my favorite types of discussions involves analyzing a particular company and attempting to explain what it’s doing right and what it’s doing wrong.  These sorts of conversations can be interesting exercises and inspire new ways of thinking.  However, a dangerous pitfall exists for aspiring founders.  While evaluating potential competitors in the ideation …

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[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 …

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[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 …

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[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 …

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[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 …

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[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 …

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[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 …

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[8 Jul 2010]
Overcoming Mental Blocks, Part One: Switch Up Your Space

Writers frequently suffer from “writer’s block”. Similarly, we founders can get stuck into a rut I like to call “founder’s block”.  We’ve all undergone this painful scenario. Your business or initative is up against some abstract, undefinable obstacle you’re not quite sure how to tackle. Maybe you were turned down for funding. Maybe you just learned that a competitor has just come out of stealth and launched a product that unquestionably kicks yours in the ass. Maybe a recent marketing or business development campaign has fallen squarely on its face. …