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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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[7 Oct 2010]
25 Best Startup Failure Post-Mortems

The guys at Chubby Brain have graciously allowed Founder’s Block to repost this compendium, originally published October 3rd, of some of the best startup post-mortems from the web.
We love a good entrepreneurial success story – entrepreneur as protagonist overcomes obstacles and builds a thriving, successful company (and become wealthy while doing so). We want to hear about, learn from and even replicate what they’ve done. However, this survivorship bias is problematic. Jason Cohen of Smart Bear Software does a nice job articulating this issue stating:
The fact …

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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 …

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[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” …

Featured, Interviews, Misc. »

[7 Sep 2010]
[Video] 5 Steps to Successful Outsourcing

Gary Reloj talks with Keith Guirao, founder of Locality.cc, where he lists 5 basic steps when utilizing business process outsourcing (BPO).

Make a list of your core business activities.
Identify non-core activities as BPO candidates.
Research and select reliable outsource vendors.
Establish goals and strategies with vendor. Solidify with a written contract.
With the time saved from BPO, enhance core business activities.

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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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[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 …