30 October 2013

AngelList, Android of venture capital?

Why AngelList will become the Android of venture capital | VentureBeat: " . . . . AngelList is an open and free marketplace for startups and investors. Accredited investors and entrepreneurs can connect with each other without spending a dime. Yes, AngelList founders Naval Ravikant and Babak Nivi do some curation at this point, but my guess that it is only an interim solution until the platform reaches escape velocity. Long term, I can see AngelList becoming a vibrant and thriving community that is entirely democratic and promising entrepreneurs can easily connect with credible active investors, for free. If you are an investor just starting out, your time and energy are better spent on AngelList than building proprietary deal flow. . . ." (read more at link above)

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28 October 2013

Crowd Investing Sites, Shares in Startups

Increasingly, money is not the real problem -- it's the "strings" attached --

Crowd Investing Sites Start Offering Shares in Startups | MIT Technology Review: " . . . Under the new regulations, startups can advertise their shares anywhere—on billboards, on Facebook, via direct mail, e-mail lists, or via a dozen online crowd investing portals that have been set up to solicit and manage investments from the public at large. Griffel’s company appears on Wefunder.com. The site, which was founded last year but became fully operational today, allows anyone to navigate through pitches from two dozen companies developing everything from small farms in shipping containers to new ways to transmit money overseas. . . ." (read more at link above)

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25 October 2013

Startups, San Francisco, Y Combinator follows

Bees drawn to the nectar --

As More Startups Move To San Francisco, Y Combinator Opens A Satellite Office In The City | TechCrunch: "Y Combinator hasn’t always just been in Silicon Valley — it used to have classes in both Silicon Valley and Cambridge before founders Paul Graham and Jessica Livingston decided to stay on the West Coast year-round. But the new office, which opened its doors early last month, follows a larger trend of VC firms and investors looking beyond their stodgy Sand Hill Road digs to meet with and support a growing number of startups making San Francisco their home. . . ." (read more at link above)

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23 October 2013

VeriSign, Domain Names, Dot Coms

Forget the new gTLDs (and the coming morass of confusion, litigation, trademark issues, etc., incited by ICANN) -- "dot Com" is and will continue to be the "gold" of the domain business --

VeriSign 2nd-Quarter Profit Up 23% on Higher Revenue - WSJ.com: "VeriSign Inc.'s (VRSN) second-quarter profit jumped 23% as the Internet-domain-name company reported a double-digit increase in revenue and higher operating margins, lifting results above Wall Street's expectations. The company has posted double-digit revenue gains and higher income for nine consecutive quarters. VeriSign has spent the past few years shedding several Internet-related businesses, making it almost totally dependent on the mainstay Internet domain operation. VeriSign's domain-name business--which operates the registry for .com, .net and other domains--is based on a contract from the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, overseen by the U.S. Commerce Department. . . ."

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21 October 2013

Creative Class, Cities, Corporations follow trend

As Creative Class Flocks to Cities, Corporations Follow - The CIO Report - WSJ: ". . . “Big message from convo with @FredWilson last nite: Talent location drives business location & formation. Quality of Place is key factor,” Mr., Florida said in a tweet on Thursday morning. One factor in the rise of the inner city as tech hub, Mr. Wilson said, is that software engineers are closer in temperament to artists and musicians than they are to computer chip engineers. He recalled an early meeting with Etsy Inc. co-founder Robert Kalin, at the Brooklyn headquarters of the crafts and vintage goods marketplace.  Mr. Kalin had a guitar, and, to Mr. Wilson’s surprise, offered to play a song. “He said, ‘You know, I really am an artist. I grew up in this generation, and I make websites. If I had lived in the ‘60s, I would have been a folksinger, and if I had lived in the ‘20s, I would have been a painter,” Mr. Wilson recalled. . . ." (read more at link above)

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18 October 2013

Bezos, Brilliant, Demanding

Not surprising but great read --

Book Portrays Bezos as Brilliant, Demanding — Just as We Expect - Digits - WSJ: " . . . He had no background in control theory, no background in operating systems,” Jones says. “He only had minimum experience in the distribution centers and never spent weeks and months out on the line.” But Bezos laid out his argument on the whiteboard, and “every stinking thing he put down was correct and true,” Jones says. “It would be easier to stomach if we could prove he was wrong, but we couldn’t. That was a typical interaction with Jeff. He had this unbelievable ability to be incredibly intelligent about things he had nothing to do with, and he was totally ruthless about communicating it.”" (read more at link above)

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16 October 2013

Think System, Not Goals

Scott Adams: How to Be Successful - WSJ.com: " . . . . one should have a system instead of a goal. The system was to continually look for better options."Throughout my career I've had my antennae up, looking for examples of people who use systems as opposed to goals. In most cases, as far as I can tell, the people who use systems do better. The systems-driven people have found a way to look at the familiar in new and more useful ways. To put it bluntly, goals are for losers. . . ." (read more at link above)

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14 October 2013

Cuba, Entrepreneurs, Startups, Regulation

Are self-employed Cubans really budding entrepreneurs? - Cuba - MiamiHerald.com: " . . . . Despite the problems faced by Cuba’s new class of small entrepreneurs, Sanguinetty views self-employment as a positive in creating civil society. “In any society there are entrepreneurs. The point is that a business entrepreneur is an entrepreneur in general — including political activities. An entrepreneur is a very dynamic person, willing to take risks.’’"

6 Ways To Save U.S. Startups And Jobs From Death By Regulation - Forbes: "With such a dense tangle at multiple levels, eliminating even dozens of the worst regulations, while a positive step, would seem alone unlikely to reverse declining US entrepreneurship.  Rather, we need a sustained, bipartisan attack to elevate awareness, repeal or allow thousands of regulations to expire, and adopt new mindsets of extreme forbearance in enacting new regulations.  None of this will be easy."

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11 October 2013

Paul Graham, Building Companies, Startups

Paul Graham on Building Companies for Fast Growth | Inc.com: "There is a secular trend going on, in which launching a start-up is a more common thing to do. It used to be there were two things you could do after college: go to grad school or get a job. Soon, I think there will be three things: go to grad school, get a job, or start your own company. I suspect this will be one of these economic transformations on the scale of the industrial revolution."

Google Ventures tops the list of most active corporate VCs since 2012 — Tech News and Analysis" . . . As we’ve written before, Google Ventures aspires to be one of the top venture firms in Silicon Valley, rather than a classic corporate VC that’s just an offshoot of Google. Of course, it has Google’s financial backing — it just recently expanded its fund to $300 million annually, and it’s investing in about 80 companies a year, so its status as the most active firm makes a lot of sense. The firms that Google Ventures is most likely to co-invest with inculde Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, First Round Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, 500 Startups, and True Ventures, according to this report. That finding fits right in with the firm’s ambition to compete amongst the top in the Valley. . . ."

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09 October 2013

Making a Successful Entrepreneur (Video)

What Makes a Successful Entrepreneur?: Video - Bloomberg: "Managing Director for the Center of MIT Entrepreneurship Bill Aulet discusses the making of a successful entrepreneur with Emily Chang on Bloomberg Television's "Bloomberg West." (Source: Bloomberg)"

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07 October 2013

Ronald Coase, Wealth Creation, Transaction Costs, Voluntary Exchange Agreements

Ronald Coase Was The Greatest Of The Many Great University Of Chicago Economists - Forbes: "Coase saw the economy as an evolving, spontaneously ordered system characterized by entrepreneurial creative destruction, in which firms find their way by experimenting with new organizational forms—such as, for example, alternative creative financing options. Perhaps Coase’s greatest contribution was his understanding that wealth creation stemmed from the voluntary exchange agreements of two or more parties, but that such agreements were often blocked by transaction costs. The parties had to become aware of each other, incurring search costs. They had to gain each other’s trust, whether by reputation, earlier small experimental exchanges, third party guarantees, escrow accounts or other means. They had to find ways to assure the quality of the good or service." (read more at link above)

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04 October 2013

Jeremy Grantham, Startups, Venture Capital, Optimism

Our Chat With Jeremy Grantham - WSJ.com: " . . . America is a very, very optimistic-biased society . . . it's been very useful in enterprise, in venture capital...in start-ups. We have more failures here than probably every developed country added together, but in consequence, when the smoke clears, we tend to end up with the Amazons and the Googles. It's not an accident. We just throw more darts at the dartboard. The Germans are very conservative about throwing darts. We have an admirable risk-taking attitude, and we're very tolerant of failure. Q: We benefit from it? A: Absolutely, but the downside is you're willing to throw darts because you think you're going to win. American entrepreneurs all know they're going to win. Only 10 percent survive, but they all think they're going to win." (read more at link above)

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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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