Showing posts with label Startups. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Startups. Show all posts

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Zero to One

Last night Peter Thiel plugged his new book.

It looks amazing!

The lecture was great. TheHackerCIO found Thiel in person to be as stimulating as he is in the many videos available interviewing him, such as on TechCrunch.

I highly recommend getting this book, although I've only made it through the first two chapters.

I think this is the only time I've ever recommended a book without having completed reading it. It's worth reading just for the Preface and Chapter One!

Peter defines technology as "doing more with less." In the lecture he expanded on this, pointing out that we have a big problem with our government at present, because every year it spends more money and get's the same or worse results -- for instance in Education. Which means that government (as it stands at present) is doing less with more. And this was not the case back even in the 1960s. He pointed out in the lecture that we could attack a problem like landing on the Moon back then. We could even declare war on Cancer. Today, no one can or will declare war on Alzheimers. It wouldn't poll well, and couldn't happen. We're unwilling to take on big challenges.

Peter says that "humans are distinguished from other species by our ability to work miracles. We call these miracles *technology*."

Again, get the book. Get it quick. And I'll try to post a more complete review when I've read it fully.

In the meantime, I Remain,


Thursday, May 22, 2014

A Startup that Remains So is a Failure

VC funded Startups always kick out the Founders. It's regarded as a measure of success. And, frankly, sometimes they need to be kicked out. But, recently, TheHackerCIO found this presentation. It not only explains, reasonably,  *why* founders need to go. It explains, concisely and cogently, why Startups must not remain Startups. To remain a Startup, is to Fail.

It also focuses on the innovation occurring in the lean side of Startup financing. That is to say, in places like Y-Combinator, and other accelerators. A good part of that innovation is in the Entrepreneurial education provided. It points out that this is very different from traditional Business-school curricula. The author, Steve Blank, calls for the creation of Entrepreneurial Schools, or E-Schools, in contrast to Business Schools (or B-Schools). He also would like to see them connect with universities. 

I highly recommend Steve's presentation for anyone interested in Startups:

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Lucky Startups

Some startups are so lucky they immediately latch onto revenue. They never need to raise capital. I don't know why I can't be lucky enough to stumble upon one of these, but I have colleagues who have.  I know of two: one in NY, where my colleague works night and day to stabilize their technology needs. And another one here locally where I considered taking a perm position as CTO or VP of Development.

And another Stealth startup I know of, I believe, could attain this, if only they could get another 20-30K of Angel investment. They just need a little more code in place and they could start to get the revenue rolling in. They wouldn't be profitable immediately, but they would be well into revenue without serious investment capital.

The Stealth Startup, BTW, is a thing of the past. But I've blogged about that already.

I'm installing ruby in preparation for tonight's cucumber discussion at the GeekBookClub. Details will follow tomorrow.

I Remain,


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Stealth is a Thing of the Past

A friend expressed sorrow, the other day, that they had revealed their "idea" at a Hackathon. Now, it was in the public domain. Now the idea was available for anyone to steal.

This was the common, conventional Whiz-Dumb, back ten years ago.

But it's very wrong-headed. It's an outdated way of thinking.

Ideas are easy to generate. They're a dime a dozen. Some are good, some are bad, most are in-between. But none will generate a successful company without an enormous investment of sweat equity. And it's unlikely that anyone is going to invest that amount of work into something that they are not passionate about.

Now, in my experience, the people who pitch their ideas at Hackathons, or for that matter anywhere,  lack sufficient passionate commitment to their own ideas! How easily they give them up. I'm not talking about tweaking them. I'm not talking about pivoting into a slightly different market. I'm talking about completely abandoning one idea in favor of another. This may not, necessarily, be a bad thing, if the idea was not good enough. But it clearly shows that a single-minded commitment to make something, and make it work is a rare commodity! And if even the originator scarcely has it, how likely is it that someone else will steal it?

That's why "stealth"  is a thing of the past.

If you want your idea to succeed, you're going to have to get your idea out there in front of lots and lots of people. The more you hide it away, the less likely you are to engage others in your behalf to help further your idea. Especially in todays tight capital market, where most startups need to be "lean," you're going to need to count on the sweat-equity factor to protect your idea.

You're going to have to accept that others know about your idea, but that they are unlikely to invest their lives in stealing it away from you, because they have cool ideas of their own!

So, stick to your idea (assuming you believe it's good), and prove it out by getting it in front of as many people as you can. If you're lucky, you'll excite enough passion in a few that they will join you and together you can invest your life-blood in making your idea a reality!

I Remain,