30 November 2012

Dismantle the sales department and double sales

Video: Noetica - Telegraph: "Online business is actually driving greater numbers of customers to contact centres – and those centres are very often supported by Noetica’s software, the simplified IT processes that enable them to interact effectively with their customers. As the founder and CEO of Noetica, Danny Singer, tells the Telegraph Business Club, Noetica has seen its business double, based on its reputation as an industry specialist, but also – intriguingly – following a decision to dismantle its sales department and let the management and project delivery teams be the company’s ambassadors.
Company Name: Noetica
Location: London
Number of employees: 20
Turnover: £1.5m
Founded: 1997"

The key here is that management and "project delivery teams" understood their role as company "ambassadors" selling the company's products/services.

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26 November 2012

Stockholm startup ecosystem

Why Stockholm as a start-up center? Location, education, infrastructure, government support, and long, dark and cold winters!--

Why tiny Stockholm has the most stunning startup ecosystem since Tel Aviv: " . . . And yet, because of its size, relative affluence, and technological advancement, Sweden does make for a useful first market for homegrown Internet companies. A common expansion plan starts in Sweden, moves out to the rest of the Nordic countries, zips over to Germany, the UK, and the rest of Europe, and then, all going exceedingly well, winds up in the US. Stockholm enjoys numerous other advantages, including a widely developed broadband network pushed out by the government in the 1990s, giving most residents the sorts of download speeds that could only encourage rampant piracy, and hence the arrival of enterprises such as Kazaa and thePirate Bay. It’s not surprising that Spotify started in Sweden, where piracy was so rampant as to be utterly normalized. . . Those fast Internet connections, however, coupled with a government-instigated PC-lending program that put computers in the hands of even the lower classes from an early stage helped cultivate a high-tech, early-adopter society. Plus, Swedish winters are long, dark, and cold, which encourages people to stay inside and noodle away at creative endeavors, such as programming or gaming."

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Starting a Business--think internet first

The internet alone is a great business incubator:

Martha Lane Fox: ‘Steal from Google’ and put online first to build sustainable recovery - Telegraph: Speaking at the Telegraph’s Festival of Business in Manchester, Ms Lane Fox urged companies to “steal from Google”, with its web-first philosophy. “If you’re considering a new aspect of your business or changing an existing process, think internet first,” she said. “If you were starting your company now, you would put the internet first. That’s what will make businesses robust into the future.”. . . In her government role pushing for wider internet access in the UK, Ms Lane Fox said getting more people online would “unleash entrepreneurialism and increase skills.” “Anyone can start a business” because the barriers are lower when you start online, she said. “A kid can build an app in a bedroom and become a success.” Talking about setting up lastminute.com, Ms Lane Fox said that while she and her business partners got many things wrong, what they got right “was a relentless focus on the customer.” “Being online puts you in touch with your customer to quite an alarming degree,” she said. . . . "

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23 November 2012

Network Centric

You can learn a lot by reading the website info for angels, VC, and other investing firms--here's an example--

OATV: "Network-Centric
We’re interested in finding and funding the very best companies that originate in our network. That network centers around the relationships and events of O’Reilly Media. We have never funded a company more than one person removed from our network. We value the context and connectedness this network provides. We think it gives us an edge in both spotting investments and in being able to size up the people behind them quickly. So who is in that network? First and foremost, people with a direct connection to Tim O’Reilly, Mark Jacobsen, or Bryce Roberts. Also, O’Reilly editors, authors and Radar team members at O’Reilly Media. We also include Foo Camp attendees and individuals who’ve spoken at O’Reilly Conferences. If you can’t answer to the affirmative on any of the above, getting an introduction from someone who is otherwise connected to us is the best way to make it onto our collective radars."

22 November 2012

Startups learn lesson - ‘Dropbox effect’ is a myth

Startups learn a painful lesson: The ‘Dropbox effect’ is a myth | VentureBeat: "Do a search for “Dropbox problem” or “Dropbox effect” and you’ll find thousands of articles. I agree that Dropbox has inspired more enterprise founders to experiment with freemium models or to build intuitive products, but it is not proof that a consumer-focused company can simply change focus to the enterprise without having to reengineer its technology from the ground up. You can’t just ‘pivot’ to the enterprise. “Dropbox’s message is that business users want products that are simple and sexy,” said Ray Wang, the principal analyst and CEO of Constellation Research. That may be true, but according to Wang, to meet the needs of IT, you have to “do a lot more.” . . "

19 November 2012

What Startups Can Learn From Brands on Viddy

5 Things Startups Can Learn From Brands on Viddy: "Viddy, the social video-sharing platform known for its 15-second time cap, has a slogan on its website: Capture Life in the Moment. Countless brands are seizing this opportunity, capturing aspects of their day-to-day operations in order to drive engagement with fans and followers. Due to Viddy’s success (in May, Viddy completed a $30 million Series B funding round, valuing the company at more than $300 million) and the success in brands extending their social reach, the video platform may be a good addition to any startup’s media plan."

14 November 2012

Berlin startup scene gets nod from Google

startup news review:

Berlin startup scene gets nod from Google
''Google's investment in the startup scene here is a clear signal,'' said lawyer Andre Egger, who specializes in financing for technology and entertainment companies. Egger noted that the city, whose unofficial motto is ''poor, but sexy,'' gained a bad ...

And Now We're At The Point Where Startups Are Running Out Of Cash
Business Insider
Unable to convince investors to give them millions more, startup founders are being forced to throw in the towel. Some are softly landing at larger companies for an offer of employment and options but next to no cash; others are closing up shop completely.

Business Insider

Visa, startup iZettle settle mobile payments issue
IDG News Service - Mobile card payments startup iZettle has settled its payments dispute with Visa Europe and can now accept Visa payments in Norway, Finland and Denmark, the company announced on Tuesday. To accept Visa, iZettle had to add a new ...

Startup Riot breaks out in Portland
Bizjournals.com (blog)
Founded in Atlanta in 2008 by serial entrepreneur Sanjay Parekh, Startup Riot has since extended to Seattle in 2011 and now to Portland. The event brings early-stage businesses and investors together for a day of pitching, concept demonstrations and, ...

Stealth startup Quik.io hits the ground with iPad content streaming app
Stealth startup Quik.io hits the ground with iPad content streaming app. Summary: Astartup by three former Cisco veterans has been in stealth mode for over a year developing an iPad app that aims at making streaming content to an iPad a simple operation.


Startup Must-Reads — Tuesday, Nov.13
Wall Street Journal
Here's how the startup's founders chose who to go with. Entrepreneur.com. Payless raises: Money is everyone's first choice as a reward for a job well done, but for astartup looking to stretch its funds, it's not always easy to hand out raises that are ...

Wall Street Journal

Fitness startup Retrofit adds $8 million in funding
Chicago Tribune
Local fitness startup Retrofit has raised $8 million in a new funding round, bringing its total investment to $10.7 million. The company, which is based in Skokie but moving to Chicago early next year, crafts 12-month weight loss programs for customers ...

The 86-Year-Old Startup Guru
He can also tell you everything you need to know about hiring people, pitching big companies for sales, and creating a healthy culture at your startup. As it turns out, the things we value at contemporary tech startups—values that many of us assume ...

Startup CogniMem demos new road to computing
EE Times
SAN JOSE, Calif. -- CogniMem Technologies Inc. aims to demonstrate at Supercomputing 2012 the scalability of its non Von Neumann approach to computing based on pattern recognition. The startupwill demo a system using 40,000 of its silicon processing ...

Startup Weekend Boosts Profiles of New Entrepreneurs — and Host Cities
It's the final stage of a 54-hour competition to create a startup from scratch. Nearly 300 lanyard-clad entrepreneurs squeeze together on rows of plastic chairs to watch fellow hopefuls pitch their way to the top. Under the intense scrutiny of ...

Loyalty Rewards Startup LocalBonus Launches An iPhone App ...
By Ryan Lawler
The new LocalBonus app provides an easy sign-up process, allowing users to simply take a picture of their credit card to begin receiving rewards. The app also..

News app editor Lauren Rabaino brings a startup mentality to the ...
By David Holmes
Rabaino is no outsider to the startup mentality, having worked as a designer at two journalistic startups prior to joining the Seattle Times as homepage producer in June 2011. Even before taking up the mantle of news app editor, Rabaino ...

Winklevoss Twins Hukk $750000 at Online Shopping Startup Hukkster
By Josh Wolford
They put $1 miilion into a four-year old startup called SumZero that just happens to have been co-founded by Divya Narendra. Yes, that Divya Narendra that was a part of the now famous lawsuit against Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook.

Boulder travel journal startup Everlater acquired by MapQuest/AOL
By Andy Vuong
Boulder travel journal startup Everlater acquired by MapQuest/AOL : Insight on all things tech and telecom, with an emphasis on developments that matter most to Colorado and the West. Colorado.
TechKnow Bytes

Wireless monitoring startup EarlySense secures $15M ...
By Jonah Comstock
Wireless monitoring startup EarlySense secures $15M. By: Jonah Comstock | Nov 12, 2012. Tags: EarlySense | home health monitoring | Pitango Venture Capital | remote wireless monitoring | wireless remote patient monitoring |. EarlySense ...

Startup America's Veterans Working Group Launches to Capture ...
12, 2012– The Startup America Partnership today announced the formation of the Veterans Working Group, an initiative that highlights the best practices for ...

The $500 Startup | Tweaky
There are a lot of great startup ideas out there that can be validated using two things we know very well: WordPress and Tweaky.com. Tweaky itself got a lot of ...

13 November 2012

Gen Y entrepreneurs want Obama to focus on education and Internet freedom:

Gen Y entrepreneurs want Obama to focus on education and Internet freedom: "“I believe education will be one of the first mandates for Obama at the second term—education at all levels,” Jack Myers, author of Hooked Up: A New Generation’s Surprising Take on Sex, Politics, and Saving the World, told the Upstart Business Journal. “I think he will also address the debt that college students are facing and their inability to pay back that debt.”"

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12 November 2012

London Startup Weekend (video)

London Startup Weekend: day two as it happened All the action from day two of the Telegraph-hosted Startup Weekend as it happened.

London Startup Weekend: day two
But while some participants took the opportunity to get some rest at after the first day of the Telegraph-hosted Startup Weekend, the team working on a loyalty card app coded into the night. 13.01 The Mayor of London (also a Telegraph columnist), Boris ...

The Truest Startup Advice You'll Ever Read, From Founders Who Have Actually ...
Business Insider
"If you are thinking of starting a non-transactional consumer startup, be aware that you are entering what is perhaps the most competitive sector in tech in the last decade….ten million users is the new one million users." -- Chris Dixon, Partner of ...

Business Insider

What Square's rise means for the startup ecosystem
Square is different than any other startup that has come before it, and its growing influence and size will inevitably lead to a change in the way entrepreneurs run their companies and venture capitalists invest. There's no doubt that Square is on the ...

On the Job: You're never too old for a startup
On the Job: You're never too old for a startup. Anita Bruzzese, GannettShare. Comments. Even an old-hat idea like a barbershop can benefit from the fresh, fun input of an entrepreneur with experience. 111112onthejob-barbershop. Sometimes an old hand ...

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11 November 2012

What matters most to startups (video)

What matters most to startups (CNBC video) - the founders of warby parker say the things that matter most are immigration reform and health care costs . . .  first is that no matter what business you are in, you're in a talent war. every start-up in america is having trouble hiring software engineers, developers and encoders. we need more. there is a lot being educated in the u.s. but they are having trouble getting green cards and visas to stay in the country. we need reform to hire the people we need to grow the business. we are growing quickly but could be hiring more people if we have more engineers. the second thing is health care costs. for us over the last few years they have increased. we think they will start to stabilize. for us, you know, we are a little over a hundred people. generally we have a younger population. i think most other companies so our health care costs should be low. . .


The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Mediocre Entrepreneurs | TechCrunch: " . . . . persistence is not the self-help cliche “Keep going until you hit the finish line!”. The key slogan is, “Keep failing until you accidentally no longer fail.” That’s persistence." - James Altucher

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