2009

Trending Sources

Is it Time for You to Earn or to Learn?

Both Sides of the Table

This is part of my Startup Advice series. I often have career discussions with entrepreneurs – both young and more mature – whether they should join company “X&# or not. I usually pull the old trick of answering a question with a question.

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Startup Software Development – Do Your Homework Before You Develop Anything

SoCal CTO

I just had an all-too common conversation with the founder of a startup who had spent more than a year working with a software development company who had produced a mess. The mess really comes from a developer who was willing to get started on a product that was not fully thought out. I always take a very different approach in early conversations.

Bank Robber or ATM Operator?

InfoChachkie

This is a reposting of a ‘classic’ popular post. A Fortune 500 CEO once told me that I was a Bank Robber. Initially, I was offended. However, once he explained what he meant, I was flattered. A Bank Robber is someone who craves the thrill of the chase. They love planning the heist and experiencing the adrenaline rush that goes along with taking down a bank. They relish the role of the underdog, with the odds are stacked against them.

ActionAllStars.com Signs Up 100K Users For Sports Site

socalTECH

Marina Del Rey-based Six Degree Games is off to a rapid start with its new Action AllStars virtual world, the firm tells socalTECH, with more than 100,000 registered user in the first two weeks of public availability. The site--which counts both the National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball Advanced Media as partners--offers an online site focused on interacting with friends, playing games, and chatting with other sports fans.

Got 2020 Clear Vision?

Daradiction

Folks over estimate what they can do in a year and under estimate what they can do in ten. No doubt you’d agree how quickly this past decade has flown by. My one regret is that I wasn’t nearly as intentional about the effects I wanted to create. I didn’t find my North Star (community empowerment) until quite recently.

Coach 15

More Trending

Just Another Day in the “Assroom”

Eric Greenspan

The "Assroom" at Dos Pueblos High. It’s been mellow since the 140conf LA meetup and the “high&# has worn off. I had a blast co-hosting that event with Jeff Pulver and it was a huge success thanks to Yahoo! great Yahoo blog post here).

Entrepreneurs Beware of Overlawyers

Ask the Angels

Every once in a while, I’m reminded just how harmful overlawyering can be. I just finished preparing an operating agreement for 3 partners in a new venture. They have a promising startup with a couple hundred thousand in seed capital, seeking to raise maybe a half million more to fund their initial operations.

IP 2

Technology Industry Awards Dinner - April 30

Technology Council

Join us at the 2009 TCOSC Technology Industry Awards dinner for the best companies, the brightest people, and the most fun! The Technology Industry Awards is celebrating its 15th year of recognizing individuals and companies that have made significant, superior contributions to Southern California’s technology industry. This event brings together top executives from all aspects of [.].

Most Startups Should be Deer Hunters

Both Sides of the Table

This post is part of my series “ Startup Lessons &#. Elephants, Deer and Rabbits – Some thoughts on start-up segmentation. Nearly all of the mistakes I made at my first company I fixed by the time of my second company.

Startup Metrics

SoCal CTO

A post by Fred Wilson pointed me to Dave McClure's Startup Metrics presentation. This is a great presentation and one that I'm going to point out to startup / early stage company CEOs.

Pour And Stir I – In Pursuit Of The Ideal Business Model

InfoChachkie

Note: This is Part I in a three-part series on The Perfect Business Model. Click here for Part II , and Part III. Authentic, hand-crafted Persian rugs always include intentional imperfections. They are said to be, “Perfectly Imperfect, and Precisely Imprecise.” The same is true with many crafts and architecture created in Muslim cultures.

Interview with Sean McCleese, Student of Fortune

socalTECH

It's interesting to see how the Internet continues to create new marketplaces for what are otherwise inefficient businesses. An area we've been seeing a lot of companies attacking recently is tutoring and homework help. One of the firms looking to make its market in the area is Altadena-based Student of Fortune (www.studentoffortune.com). We talked with Sean McCleese, CEO and Founder of the firm, about what it offers, and how it's looking to stand out from the many other tutoring sites out there.

What Makes an Entrepreneur? Four Letters: JFDI

Both Sides of the Table

This is part of my Startup Advice series. I had a picture in the office of my first company with the logo above and the capital letters JFDI. (In

How to (re) Approach People (Advice on the Eve of LeWeb)

Both Sides of the Table

Business Etiquette Tips for dealing with VCs and Corporates at Conferences. This is part of my ongoing series with Startup Advice. With the LeWeb conference about to start in Paris I thought the timing of this post would be appropriate.

Save Your Spin for Someone Who Cares

Both Sides of the Table

Handling PR with VCs. This is part of my series on How to Raise VC but could equally be filed under Startup Advice more generally. I recently got a phone call from an entrepreneur whom I respect and who runs a company that I hope will do great things one day.

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Most Common Early Start-up Mistakes

Both Sides of the Table

This is part of my ongoing series “Start-up Lessons.&# If you want to subscribe to my RSS feed please click here or to get my blog by email click here. In the Beginning … This is a very important post to me because I find myself giving this advice all the time and if you don’t follow [.].

Just Another Day in the “Assroom”

Eric Greenspan

The "Assroom" at Dos Pueblos High. It’s been mellow since the 140conf LA meetup and the “high&# has worn off. I had a blast co-hosting that event with Jeff Pulver and it was a huge success thanks to Yahoo! great Yahoo blog post here).

False Negatives and the Anti-Portfolio

Ask the Angels

Seeing last week’s Venture Capital Dispatch in the online Wall Street Journal, When Venture Capitalists Let One Slip Away , reminded me of Jim Armstrong’s (Clearstone Venture Partners) comment last year about false negatives. “You can afford to have a false positive; you can afford to invest in things and fail, but because the big ones are so rare, you cannot afford a false negative. You cannot afford to be looking the wrong way.&#.

Southern California Tech Central

Technology Council

The Technology Council of Southern California and TechEmpower are happy to announce the launch of: Southern California Tech Central This is a community of people in Southern California who have come together to help find and organize the best content from blogs, news sources and other web sites all around technology in So Cal. The goal is [.].

Most Common Early Start-up Mistakes

Both Sides of the Table

This is part of my ongoing series “ Start-up Lessons. &# If you want to subscribe to my RSS feed please click here or to get my blog by email click here. In the Beginning … This is a very important post to me because I find myself giving this advice all the time and if you don’t follow the basic advice here you can cause yourself much heartache down the line – even if your company ultimately becomes über successful.

Networking Events in Los Angeles and Southern California

SoCal CTO

Great post by John Shiple. He talks about a bunch of the different networking events that occur in Los Angeles and other parts of Southern California. In his post, he mentions the following events / event organizers, and you should visit his post for a bit more on each of them.

Fast Follower III – First Mover Disadvantage

InfoChachkie

This is part III of a three part series. Click here for Part I and Part II. John Fitch was first. He spent the majority of his adult life fruitlessly attempting to capitalize on the novelty and uniqueness of his invention. Unable to raise funds from wealthy individuals, he solicited $300 from a hodgepodge of small businessmen, including tavern owners, grocers and physicians.

Friendgiftr Launches Facebook Gift Card App

socalTECH

Hollywood-based Friendgiftr , an angel funded startup developing Facebook applications, said today that it has launched a new Facebook application which allows users to send real gift cards to friends, family, and others. The startup said it is now offering over 120 U.S. merchants through its app, which allows users to send both physical and digital gift cards via the popular Facebook social networking site.

3 Sales Tips for Startups – Creating a Burning Platform

Both Sides of the Table

This is part of my ongoing series Startup Advice. Many entrepreneurs who start technology companies are product people, technologists or savvy business people who worked previously for a larger company. Most start-up entrepreneurs have little or no sales experience. I know I didn’t.

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How to Deal with Skeletons in your Closet

Both Sides of the Table

This is part of my series with Advice on Raising Venture Capital. I recently wrote a post on how to Deal with your Elephants in the Room during your VC meetings. Elephants being big issues that the VC will be thinking whether you bring it to his/her attention or not.

CTO 67

Don’t Roll out the Red Carpet on the Way out the Door

Both Sides of the Table

This is part of my Startup Advice series. Before I started my first company in 1999 I worked for Andersen Consulting (now Accenture).

CTO 66

Good Judgment Comes with Experience, But Experience Comes from Bad Judgment

Both Sides of the Table

This is part of my Startup Advice series of posts. I heard Bruce Dunlevie of Benchmark Capital say these words at a conference in London nearly 10 years ago. I jotted the words down (I normally pay little attention to anything said at conferences.

Once Upon a Time in Jorts

Eric Greenspan

Yesterday, Make It Work got together at our partner South Bay Mini’s offices to discuss our achievements, our challenges and our future…we called it “Launch to the Moon, 2010.&# There were 50+ Minis parked in a row , that was cool! It was an amazing day. The team was energized.

When is a Trade Sale a Strategic Exit?

Ask the Angels

Over the last few years I’ve written extensively on strategic exits and encouraged Angel investors to concentrate their investments where a strategic exit is highly likely. I have focused on strategic value investments as I have found convincing evidence to show that these have higher ROI, shorter investment periods and lower execution risks.

IP 2

WTF is Traction? A 6-Step Relationship Guide to VC

Both Sides of the Table

This is part of my ongoing series “Pitching a VC&# – the outline is here. You’ve pitched several angels and VC’s. Everybody seems to like you but nobody seems to be getting out their checkbooks. Most of them are telling you that they just need to see a bit of traction before they’d be prepared to [.].

Guide 58

WTF is Traction? A 6-Step Relationship Guide to VC

Both Sides of the Table

This is part of my ongoing series “Pitching a VC&# – the outline is here. You’ve pitched several angels and VC’s. Everybody seems to like you but nobody seems to be getting out their checkbooks. Most of them are telling you that they just need to see a bit of traction before they’d be prepared to invest. Your friends and advisers tell you that this means you need revenue because in this economy VC’s will only fund businesses with revenue.

Guide 58

Early Stage Marketing and Branding – Farida Fotouhi

SoCal CTO

I've known Farida for quite a while. Maybe ten years. She is a go to person for me when I have questions around technology or early stage marketing and branding.

Pour And Stir II – Managing Your Cost Per Customer

InfoChachkie

“I know half the money I spend on advertising is wasted, but I can never find out which half.” John Wanamaker. If Mr. Wanamaker had access to the Internet, his oft-repeated quote, would have never been uttered. In the “good old days”, pre- 1999, advertising dollars were largely gambled away.

Fisker Automotive Gets $528.7M Loan

socalTECH

Irvine-based Fisker Automotive , which is developing electric vehicles, is the recipient of a $528.7M loan from the federal government, according to the Energy Department.