Startup Funding Ressources Illustrated – Savings, Credit Cards, Banks and Venture

by andrej 24. August 2012 14:50

The Kauffmann Sketchbook has put together an illustrated video covering all major sources of funding for startups. It is nice to watch and even covers some interesting points:

Private Savings are the Biggest Funding Ressource – Before Venture and Banks

So where do entrepeneurs get money:

  1. private savings (50% of all startup dont need more)
  2. credit cards (yes, credit cards!)
  3. friends and family
  4. banks (love the quote: ”You can get all the funding you want as long as you dont need it.”)
  5. venture capital (less than 20% of the fastest growing companies in the US received venture capital funding”)

When do you need Money From Venture Capitalists?

Only take venture capital if you are in race/growth business, where you need large sums to scale and compete in the market. Otherwise, just stay in control of your business.

[via the 37signals blog]

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business | video | venture

This is Why YOU Start you Own Product: Clients from Hell

by andrej 15. August 2012 20:52

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client work | product development | video

Try and Predict the Future of Everything! Gamepocalypse is about to hit us

by andrej 10. July 2012 01:55

In a incredibly entertaining talk for the Long Now Foundation Jesse Schell explains, what his thoughts are on the future of the internet, and even more so our enterie culture.

We All Know Gamification – However Gamepocalypse Will Be our Reality

There will be game-like elements such as points and rewards in all our daily activities. From brushing your teeth to social interactions to watching TV…

And it might even turn out to make the human race better. See for yourself :)

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business | inspiration | talk

Inspiration on Passion, Starting a Business, Wannapreneur, Hiring People and Learning Software

by andrej 15. April 2012 17:28

Business of Software seems to be really great conference. I have not been there, however the videos of the talks that they post online are very inspiring and informative.

In this section they show 5 short 8-minute presentations on various topics all well suited for people in startups and entrepreneurs.

Justin Goeres: What’s your Tuva?

A talk about what your most important mission in life is. What drives you? Find it and do it!

Karl Treier: 20 Tips on Starting a Business

Some of the tipps:

  • what do you want to accomplish (aside from making money)?
  • charge real money
  • be ready to pivot

Patrick Foley (Microsoft): Confessions of a Wannapreneur

 

Talk about moving from employment to actually starting a business.

Corey Reid (Freshbooks) - Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid

Very informative talk with good example what you should look for when hiring people. Look for enthusiasm and problem-solving-abilities.

Tyler Rooney  (Amazon) - Things I Learned the Hard Way at Amazon.com

Great talk on the problems that a software developer faces day-to-day and how to solve them most productively.

I hope you enjoyed the videos. For more, visit the Business of Software blog: http://blog.businessofsoftware.org/

Learning from Typekit: Breaking down a Break Down

by andrej 13. February 2012 18:39

Jeff Veen, CEO and successful entrepeneur tells a story of how the team of web startup typekit managed to solve a crucial emergency with their application.

Typekit is a web application that delivers custom fonts to users and partners all over the web.

Lesson 1: Have a clear emergency response protocol

When everything falls apart a clear and structured baby-steps plan on how to get back to normal is crucial to keep everybody calm and productive. Focusing on single issues helps create an overall solution to the problem. Anybody should be able to follow this protocol.

Lesson 2: Be clear on what service you are actually providing

Jeff makes the point that before their almost break down he was not really aware that typekit was actually more than just one service – the one their customers see the most. There were apis and a whole delivery network in place. The latter was not in control of typekit and caused the problem.

Lesson 3: Grow a trusting and collaborative culture

Bad things are going to happen. Growing a culture in your team that enables you to solve these problems in short time is crucial to building a successful web startup.

Last Lesson: Start your meetings 5 minutes past the hour :)

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business | inspiration | strategy | talk | web application

Moving From Client Work to Product Development: Do it Sooner!

by andrej 11. December 2011 22:26

In the following video Jim Coudal of Coudal Partners, a design company based in Chicago talks about his experience of moving from a client focused business to a product developing business model.

Lesson 1: Treat Your own Products as Though it Were Client Work

Don’t treat your own products as step childs. Care about them. Put time and effort into them. Stick to deadlines and commitments as you would if they were commissioned by a client.

This will eventually help you move those products forward and ready to launch and earn money with them.

Lesson 2: Learning by Doing and Staying Flexible

What is it your company is currently doing? How can you use this knowledge/assets/technology to pivot to your own product?

Do this step by step and evaluate what you are learning along the way. Pivot as soon the market or technology or your team demands it.

Do not change your business model as a whole in one  step. Pretend to be taking on “new clients” (that are your own products) step by step and only keep them if they grow to be sustainable and valid businesses.

Lesson 3 and Most Importantly: Start Sooner

I highly recommend a product development business – even if you still have revenue that comes from clients. Because it makes you more independent of clients and their needs which often will not align with your ambitions, wishes and visions. And you always can switch back to serving clients in case your financial situation demands it.

This it what we at teamaton are currently doing. We are developing a generalized version of the platform software for camping.info which is called discoverize. Thus we will be able to host multiple platforms and lease them to partners in other industries (such as marinas or hotels). And we are also working on a simple and useful todo management tool for teams and individuals.

And Coudal’s advice is clear and simple: “I should have done it sooner. What are you afraid of? Get Busy!”

[via signal vs. noise]

The Knife Maker–Great Story of Starting Your Business

by andrej 11. November 2011 17:00

Joel Bukiewicz of Cut Brooklyn tells his story of starting his own business of making knifes. Well shot video from the series “Made By Hand”.

Stumbling into Your Passion – or Finding it

First interesting turn in the story is the way Joel moves away from considering himself a writer. Take a timeout and most and formost do stuff. Experiment. And eventually you are going to stumble or get pushed into something that really suits you, that you can and want and are passionate about.

Getting Real Feedback from Real People

One thing that reminded me a lot when I switched from studying to product design and eventually user experience design, is the fact that your work, your product is used by someone, helps them and if you did a good job is appreciated by them.

Same thing here: Making knifes for people to use them and thus give something to a community, become part of that community is always a very strong motivator and very likely to make you like your work.

Putting in the Hours, the Sweat, the Blood

Once you found a profession that suits you, that fulfills you, that makes you happy working in it, you still have to turn it into a business that allows you to keep doing it. And to start earning money from your passion means, you have to become very good at it. “So good they can’t ignore you” as Steve Martin says.

There is no shortcut, no easy way to become competent. As Joel puts it: “Buckets of sweat and blood and work to get there.

Focus on the Value of Your Work

Figure out what value you create and why your customers care about your product.

Stick to this value and work hard to maintain it. In our case at teamaton it is delivering a software product that helps our users to get something done and by doing so delivering a great and enjoyable user experience. In Joels case it is delivering quality by making everything by hand.

That is why I like these stories of how passionate and competent people got to do what they are doing. It is a great source of inspiration and shows me whether I am on the right track.

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business | strategy | inspiration

Facebook Investor on The Future of the Technology (google, cloud, html5, ui)

by andrej 1. November 2011 19:10

Roger McNamee is the Co-Founder of Elevation partners and has succefully invested in facebook.

In this talk he speaks about his perspective on future markets, possibilities and investment strategies.

Some of his points include:

  • google is loosing in the index search market: thanks to mobile, facebook, yelp
  • html5 makes real creativity on the web possible – engagement is possible on every site
  • get an ipad! it is the new ui
  • architectual shift: cloud plus screen
  • don’t invest in social – it is a feature

[via businessinsider.com]

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business | strategy | talk

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