Why It’s Smart to Work at a No-shot Startup

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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What You Get For Nothing Is Priceless

John Williams writes that you shouldn’t let a little thing like money get in the way of launching your Startup:

From the initial budget to managing overhead, creating a business from slim funds is a hands-on sink-or-swim crash course in keeping a business afloat. When it’s your money, your whole livelihood is depending on every choice you make so choices are made carefully and thoughtfully. You’ll quickly dismiss fancy office space with high rent and fashionable interiors and think about working from home for the time being. You may even have to keep your day job to pay your bills at first. You’ll want to work hard because you won’t be able to pay anyone else to help you. You’ll want to start with an idea that costs more in sweat equity and time than expensive materials or manufacturing. You’ll want to bend over backwards to provide superior customer service because it costs you nothing and it just may separate you from your more established competitors.

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5 Reasons Angels Will Walk

Angel investor Ty Danco posts the five sure-fire things that will make him walk away from an investment:

4.You don’t follow through. This is another “tell”, as poker players say. This won’t be evident at a first meeting, but in the follow-up. Dharmesh and many other angels are correct in saying that diligence can be quick, given that startups will change directions. I too believe due diligence needn’t take more than a week or two, but I still think that in most cases there needs to be several interactions between entrepreneur and potential investors. Why? With the biggest risk for startups being execution risk, we need to assess whether you will do what you say you’ll do. If you call us when you say you will, if you follow-up on our questions quickly and efficiently, those are all positive indicators that you are accountable and will deliver on promises. There’s no shame in putting a reasonable but later date on some deliverable because you’re busy—I hope and want you to be busy, and maybe even you’ll earn bonus points if you turn something around earlier than promised.

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Why the Google Method is Wrong for Your Startup

Paul Hontz writes that the Google method of building a Startup is a recipe for disaster for most new ventures:

The “Google Method” breaks down into a simple equation:
Free + Lots of users + ads= The Google Method.

There is nothing inherently wrong with this formula, but it’s a terrible model to try and shoehorn onto a bootstrapped business. One of the worst things your startup can do (for its bottom line), is to try and emulate Google’s methodology for revenue. You might gain a lot of users, but monetizing them will be incredibly hard. You’re essentially cannibalizing your own business.

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The Five Must-Haves for Your Company’s About Page

Gregory Gomer

Gregory Gomer

Gregory Gomer from Streetwise Media writes that there is nothing more frustrating than a lack of useful information when visiting a new company’s About page.

I can’t tell you how many new companies I hear about and can’t find where they are located or how many people are on their team. The user experience for a journalist researching your company is very  important, as it could sway the tone of your piece and the amount of information included.

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Crafting a Disruptive Business Model

Matthew E. May writes about how to craft a disruptive business model:

The word “disruptive” is bandied about when referring to surprising new entrants into an industry, new players with new technology, and sudden competition coming from unlikely sources. But once you have the as-is Business Model Canvas completed, there are two things you can do to mitigate the element of surprise when it comes to your business model being disrupted, in addition to keeping a constant vigil on the external social, economic and market forces out of your control that can potentially disrupt your business.

Start-Up Entrepreneurs – Get Ready For An Emotional Ride!

We may tend to think of Startup Entreprenuers as icy-cold, lazer-focused characters like the Mark Zuckerberg depicted in The Social Network. The truth is that Startups can be an emotional ride, which blogger Karen Waksman writes about in a new post.

The truth is that Entrepreneurs are getting bombarded with big emotional decisions on a consistent basis. They have to determine how to spend their time, money and effort in an efficient and effective way in order to develop their businesses. Additionally, statistics show that on average it usually takes at least a year for a small business owner to actually generate a profit from their business. Talk about a pressure!!

I think Waksman is on to something here. When launching this new publication, I had to ask myself, “How do I prepare myself for a job where I’ll never be done?” Read the Full Story.

5 Tips from a Serial Entrepreneur

Serial entrepreneur Farid Naib has posted five lessons learned along the way:

All businesses face the same types of issues and problems. Every day, I ask myself the same questions: How do I adapt to a changing marketplace? How do I get my message out and reach potential customers? How do I turn first-time clients into happy, returning clients? Practical, firsthand experience from those who have already been through it is definitely the best kind. Use your network. Talk to people who have been doing it a long time and be willing to consider that you may be wrong.

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Hardest Lessons from Startup School

Paul GrahamPaul Graham from Y Combinator has posted lessons some of the Hardest Lessons from Startup School.

Improving constantly is an instance of a more general rule: make users happy. One thing all startups have in common is that they can’t force anyone to do anything. They can’t force anyone to use their software, and they can’t force anyone to do deals with them. A startup has to sing for its supper. That’s why the successful ones make great things. They have to, or die.

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The Jeff Bezos Regret Minimization Framework for Building Your Startup

Over at Forbes, Jeff Tyler writes that budding Entrepreneurs should consider what Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos calls the Regret Minimization Framework.

Bezos weighed the pros and cons over and over again. And finally, he came to a realization that made the decision to pursue his startup idea “incredibly easy.” He called it the regret minimization framework, in which he imagined himself as an 80-year-old man looking back at his life. Foremost, as an elderly man, he knew that his life’s regrets, more so than anything, would keep him tossing and turning late into the night. At the same time, he strongly believed that the 80-year-old Jeff Bezos would not regret having tried building a startup that had a chance to make real impact — even if it most likely ended in failure. What would deeply haunt him would be the regret of having watched the opportunity pass him by.

In what may be their best ad ever, Harley Davidson applied the Regret Minimization Framework in their marketing for great effect.

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