David Ricardo’s economic Law of Comparative Advantage says that two parties can both gain if, in the absence of trade, they have different relative costs for producing the same goods. VC Jeffrey Bussgang writes that too often, entrepreneurs ignore this law and spend their time on the wrong things:
Unfortunately, I see too many founders ignoring the entrepreneurial corollary to this law, the Start-Up Law of Comparative Advantage. I’m no David Ricardo, but it seems to me that if entrepreneurs followed this “law”, the gains to their start-ups would be akin to the gains attributed to free trade. Here’s why: founders are typically gifted, multi-talented, versatile professionals. As such, they get sucked into spending time doing things that they may be better at than the others in their organization on an absolute basis, but that, comparatively speaking, they are worse at in relation to the handful of things that they are uniquely suited for.
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Erik Wolf has posted his lessons learned after five years of being an entrepreneur:
“Sales” doesn’t work. Everyone hates the “buy me” salesperson — that guy or gal armed with a briefcase full of brochures, hurling business cards at every warm body they see as if they were throwing stars, pitching product to anyone who will listen. So why is is that at some point, just about every small business owner BECOMES that person? Obviously, we all need to sell stuff in order to feed our families, but I’ve found that my business is most profitable when I stop pushing to sell and try actively to help instead. Nobody cares what I’m selling them, nobody cares about the features of MY service the way I do and no one is going to read my brochure. My customers are business owners with needs, challenges and sometimes problems. Understanding those needs/challenges/problems and articulating solutions is how I have always managed to demonstrate value and win business.
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While there are all kinds of Startup contests out there, few can offer a prize as compelling as time with Billionaire Richard Branson. That’s the tempting prize being offered by the ExtremeTechChallenge.
The ExtremeTechChallenge aims to bring out the best entrepreneurs and provide them with cash, infrastructure and world-class mentorship to launch groundbreaking ideas. Whether you’re just starting to put your ideas to paper, or have customers already using your product, participating in this contest may end up changing your life.
Who should apply? “We are seeking applications from relatively young start-ups who have raised less than $1 million. This is not a hard-and-fast rule, and we do encourage all start-ups to apply.”
Submissions are due by August 31, 2014.
How would you like to win $100 for your Startup? In this video from GTC 2014, Todd Mostak from MapD demonstrates the company’s GPU-powered in-memory relational database software for Big Data. The company was declared as the winner of the GPU Technology Conference’s Early Stage Challenge this year, and they will be going home with a cool $100,000 check.
Here is an early April Fool’s video. Tech Startups sometimes get enamored in their own jargon. In this parody video, Sun Microsystems employees talk shop. The company had its own technology dialect, and those who couldn’t understand it were expected to issue a Purchase Order anyway. Maybe that’s why the company failed. Produced by Rich Brueckner of insideHPC.
Note that this script is a parody of a parody. Check out the Turbo Encabulator from 1946.
While inside-Startups is my hobby, my day job at insideHPC keeps me busy traveling the globe. At the moment, I’m on a bit of a March Madness Road Trip for nearly a month straight covering the very latest in High Performance Computing. And now with help from the Startup folks at Go Pro Traveling, you can follow along.
Go pro travelling allows you to plan your travels whether you have dates or not and automatically make an animated map of your journey for you to keep. With Go Pro Travelling you can plan day by day, determine walking distances to nearby places of interest or vehicle routes to your next destination and search among 250.000 hotels worldwide.
Do you have an HPC Event coming up? Be sure to fill up the seats by listing your conference in our self-service insideHPC Events Calendar.
Randall Bennet over at the Startup Foundry writes that your best bet may be to go to work for the Startups that aren’t getting the money and attention from VCs:
While some companies do fit the Valley pipe-dream, we think there are many more startups who don’t have a shot at VCs, the top engineers in the world, or an ice cube’s chance in Hell at realizing those paper stock options. And guess what: We think it’s still a smart idea to work with them. We call them the no-shot startup, and it can be an invaluable experience, just as long as you know what to expect and when to quit.
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