Great content again in September that meets at the intersection of startups, technology, product and being a Startup CTO. This continues my series of posts:
- Top 40 Startup Posts for August 2010
- Top 30 Startup Posts for July 2010
- Top 30 Startup Posts in June 2010
- Top 29 Startup Posts May 2010
- Startup CTO Top 30 Posts for April
- 16 Great Startup Posts from March
Some great free resources listed this month that I thought were interesting.
- Why Every Entrepreneur Should Write and 9 Tips To Get Started- OnStartups, September 27, 2010
"The best part of blogging is the people you will meet"- Hugh MacLeod repeating wisdom from Loic Lemeur to me at the Big Pink at 2 am in South Beach after the Future of Web Apps 2008. If you asked me to tell you a list of three of the best decisions in my life, I can certainly tell you that regularly writing is one of them. Why You Should Write.
- 10 Tips for Adding Game Mechanics to a Non-Gaming Service- ReadWriteStart, September 21, 2010
Game mechanics have become a popular way of increasing user engagement and pushing user adoption, referral and retention, and many startups have sought ways to incorporate game mechanics into their sites. Your service: the game. Status / reputation. People want status. It's human nature," he writes. Gifting and reciprocation. Hybrid monetization.
- If you’re aren’t getting rejected on a daily basis, your goals aren’t ambitious enough.- Chris Dixon, September 12, 2010
My most useful career experience was about eight years ago when I was trying to break into the world of VC-backed startups. I applied to hundreds of jobs: low-level VC roles, startups jobs, even to big tech companies. I got rejected from every single one. Big companies rejected me outright or gave me a courtesy interview before rejecting me.
- Four Minutes In The Morning- Feld Thoughts, September 1, 2010
Amy and I created a tradition about a decade ago we call “four minutes in the morning.&# We try to – fully clothed – spend four minutes together every morning 100% focused on each other. Amy sleeps a little later (usually 6:30am). So – I often have around 90 minutes alone every morning, which I treasure.
- Job Titles That Can Sink Your Startup- Steve Blank, September 13, 2010
I had coffee with an ex student earlier in the week that reminded me yet again why startups burn through so many early VP’s. And And after 30 years of Venture investing we still have a hard time articulating why. Here’s one possible explanation – Job titles in a startup mean something different than titles in a large company.
- The Right Way to Lay People Off- Ben's Blog, September 21, 2010
“I’m tryin’ to right my wrongs, But it’s funny them same wrongs helped me write this song”. Kanye West. Shortly after we sold Opsware to Hewlett-Packard, I had a conversation with the legendary venture capitalist Doug Leone of Sequoia Capital. He wanted to hear the story of how we went from doomed in the eyes of the world to a $1.6B
- Coworking Spaces- A VC : Venture Capital and Technology, September 2, 2010
I've never been much of a fan of incubators. Some have made the model work. My favorite of the bunch is Betaworks , based here in NYC. Betaworks is more than an incubator, but they have shown that they can make the incubation model work with projects like bit.ly and chartbeat. The term for this kind of work setup is coworking.
- Getting Your Startup Website Ready, Pre-Launch- ReadWriteStart, September 11, 2010
Even if you're not quite ready to show the public your product, you can still create a good website and a solid online presence for your startup. want to sidestep the argument about whether or not it's good to be " stealth " or not, and work with the assumption that if you've purchased the domain name, you're going to put up some sort of website.
- How-to get that guy as your mentor- Gabriel Weinberg, September 20, 2010
Forming a couple of good mentor relationships can help bridge the gap between startup failure and success, especially for first-time entrepreneurs. But how do you actually get the right people to be your mentors? previously explained that it usually requires some equity, but here is some more step by step practical advice. Let's recap.
- 23 Tweetable Startup Insights From Seth Godin- OnStartups, September 1, 2010
Regular readers of this blog know that I’m a long-time admirer of Seth Godin. He’s one of those “big thinkers” that has the added talent of being able to articulate high-level concepts in an immensely approachable way. That’s a very rare, and dare are I say remarkable intersection of abilities. Enjoy. tweet]. tweet].
- You Negotiate Commodities, But You Seize Opportunities- Steve Blank, September 16, 2010
It took losing something important to understand the difference between a commodity and an opportunity. Along the way I also learned yet another way entrepreneurs see the world differently from their investors. Advisory Board. He was having too much fun at Sun and turned me down.). knew he would bring immense value to me and the company. Carpe Diem.
- What Does a CEO Do, Anyway?- OnlyOnce, September 6, 2010
What Does a CEO Do, Anyway? Fred has a great post up last week in his MBA Mondays series caled “ What a CEO Does. 8220; His three things (worth reading his whole post anyway) are set vision/strategy and communicate broadly, recruit/hire/retain top talent, and make sure there’s enough cash in the bank. It’s great advice.
- The Office Matters- A VC : Venture Capital and Technology, September 18, 2010
Eatsy at Etsy Originally uploaded by Etsy Labs. Our portflio company Etsy has a person who is focused on the office, company culture, and making the work space as comfortable as possible. They have a chef come in and cook a healthy lunch for everyone three times a week. They called that program Eatsy. took a photo and posted it to my tumblog.
- Never Mind the Valley: Here's Paris- ReadWriteStart, September 3, 2010
If you're capable of seeing past the old stones of Paris and the picturesque rural villages, you'll realize that France is every bit as technologically advanced as any other Western country - more so in some areas. Not only does the country have a higher percentage of homes with high-speed Internet than the U.S. Sponsor. Want to start up in France?
- Sean Murphy on the first dozen enterprise customers- Gabriel Weinberg, September 8, 2010
I recently did a Traction Book interview with Sean Murphy who runs a boutique cutomer development firm in Silicon Valley. We discussed (for ~1hr) how to approach getting the first set of enterprise customers. What follows is a slightly edited transcript of the full interview. yegg: Why don't you start by introducing yourself? My firm is SKMurphy.
- Lessons Learned From StartupBootcamp 2010- OnStartups, September 14, 2010
/*. This is the first article from Jason L. Baptiste , a new writer at OnStartups and local Boston entrepreneur. You should follow him on Twitter ( @jasonlbaptiste ) or say hi via email. Expect to hear a lot more from him in the future. He's awesome. The tagline for the event was actually "Starting a company is easier than you think." Listen.
- Why Product Managers Wear Sneakers- Steve Blank, September 2, 2010
I gave a talk last night to the Silicon Valley Product Management Association. It’s a San Francisco Bay Area forum for networking, jobs and education for over 500 Product Management professionals. The gist of the talk was to observe that: startups are not smaller versions of large companies. Except they won’t be called Product Managers.
- 5 great viral marketing campaigns (and what small businesses can learn from them!)- crowdSPRING Blog, September 13, 2010
At crowdSPRING we talk a great deal about how we can leverage our limited marketing resources to drive traffic and revenues and build strong community. Some of the traffic-tactics we use involve good old fashioned payola: paid search, banner ads, affiliate programs, etc. That crazy chicken. Burger King’s brave new world. Yes we can!
- Top free resources for startups- StartupCFO, September 28, 2010
It took me a while to warm up to it but I am loving Quora more and more. There is a wealth of information and connections on it. can’t believe how much time people devote to answering questions on it. How To Pick A Co-Founder , by Naval Ravikant (Venture Hacks). CompStudy 2008 Report on Equity and Cash Compensation at Technology Startups.
- Why Your Startup Should Be Involved in Open Source- ReadWriteStart, September 15, 2010
Oftentimes, when you hear the arguments for "Why open source?", they are aimed at convincing companies to use open source software. But the other piece of the argument is, of course, an argument for why your company should build open source - why it should develop its technology in a community-driven, open sourced way. Building a Better Product.
- Consumer RSS: 1999-2010- Venture Chronicles, September 11, 2010
paidContent made an interesting connection about Bloglines being shut down and the broader question of RSS in the age of Twitter. Today RSS is the enabling technology – the infrastructure, the delivery system. RSS is a means to an end, not a consumer experience in and of itself. The writing is on the wall.”. Simply put, there is no market for RSS.
- Why You’re Going to Hire the Wrong Designer- Tony Wright dot com, September 14, 2010
“We are not UI experts but do know when we see a good design.&#. saw this on a mailing list I occasionally read, in a post where a company was looking to hire their first design employee/contractor. The challenge, of course, partially lies in the definition of “good design&#. Good Design = Beautiful/Cool Design. It’s simple.
- Collusion- A VC : Venture Capital and Technology, September 22, 2010
Mike Arrington posted about a secret meeting of angels and super angels in San Francisco the other night. In the post he suggests that they are colluding to keep valuations down, terms intact, and traditional venture capital firms, such as ours, out of their deals. It's the kind of blog post that Mike has become famous for.
- The segmentation of the venture industry- Chris Dixon, September 26, 2010
Ford Motors dominated the auto market in the early 20th century with a single car model, the Model T. At the time, customers were seeking low-cost, functional cars, and were satisfied by an extremely standardized product (Ford famously quipped that “customers can choose it in any color, as long as it’s black&# ).
- Oh, Noes! Not Another Ex-Insiders Thoughts On Nokia! (Part I)- ArcticStartup, September 26, 2010
As you all know, it’s been an interesting few weeks at Nokia - a new CEO, top executives leaving, the company stock wallowing at absurdly low values. When Ville Vesterinen asked me what I thought of the changes and the cultural and organizational challenges Nokia has to deal with to move forward, I knew I had a lot to say. Google, and Facebook.
- Using a Virtual Personal Assistant for Your Startup- ReadWriteStart, September 5, 2010
ReadWriteWeb Co-Editor Marshall Kirkpatrick recently extolled the virtues of Amazon's Mechanical Turk for " rocking conference blogging." Sponsor. Lindsey Harper recently wrote about her experiences using Mechanical Turk to validate her startup idea. Her survey asked whether or not they'd use the service, example of how they might use it. How so?
- DuckDuckGo implements HTTPS Everywhere- Gabriel Weinberg, September 25, 2010
" HTTPS Everywhere is a Firefox extension produced as a collaboration between The Tor Project and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. It encrypts your communications with a number of major websites." DuckDuckGo is one of these websites. And now when you use the encrypted version , the same ruleset in HTTPS Everywhere is now applied to DDG links.
- Ten Components of Startup Valuation For Investors- Startup Professionals Musings, September 6, 2010
Once you have a potential investor excited about your team, your product, and your company, the investor will inevitably ask “What is your company’s valuation?” Many entrepreneurs stumble at this point, losing the deal or most of their ownership, by having no answer, playing coy, or quoting an exorbitant number. NewCo doesn’t have any of these yet.
- Where Good Ideas Come From- A VC : Venture Capital and Technology, September 21, 2010
I've been reading my friend Steven Johnson 's new book Where Good Ideas Come From. Steven gave me an advance copy of the book. It is available for pre-order at Amazon [ kindle here ] and it will be released on October 5th. hope Steven is not a stranger to any of you. He tells wonderful stories about science. Here it is.
- Web services should be both federated and extensible- Chris Dixon, September 4, 2010
One of the most important developments of the web 2.0 era is the proliferation of full featured, bidirectional APIs. APIs provide a way to “federate&# web services from a single website to a distributed network of 3rd party sites. Another important web 2.0 development is the proliferation of web Apps (e.g. Facebook Apps).