Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Top 57 Online Startups Meets Technology Meets Product Posts for November 2010

I continue to collect great content that is the intersection of startups, products, online and technology.  It turns out that I missed October but here are some previous posts in this series:

This month there are some amazing posts.

  1. How to Take Down Facebook -- Hint: It Ain't Twitter. (aka: An Open Letter to the Next Big Social Network)- 500 Hats, November 1, 2010

    I've held off writing this post for a long time, because I couldn't quite get my head around all the issues. It wouldn't be accurate to say there's something "wrong" with Facebook, and it's not like I don't spend a shitload of time ego-whoring around on Twitter too. but: Something is Still Missing.

  2. When It’s Darkest Men See the Stars- Steve Blank, November 24, 2010

    When It’s Darkest Men See the Stars. Ralph Waldo Emerson. This Thanksgiving it might seem that there’s a lot less to be thankful for. One out of ten of Americans are out of work. The United States is now a debtor nation to China and that the bill is about to come due. It may be that all the doomsayers are right. But I don’t think so. At once. 

  3. Equity-Only CTO and Equity-Only Developers- SoCal CTO, November 1, 2010

    I had a recent email dialog with the founder of a company looking for a CTO for their startup. We had several emails back and forth where he provided basic details on the concept. And I tried to evaluate the idea and figure out: What did the founder really need here? Was it a Startup Founder Developer Gap ? Was it a case of needing Homework?

  4. 20 Recommended Quora Threads for Startups- ReadWriteStart, November 1, 2010

    The Q&A site Quora has become an indispensable trove of knowledge and expertise when it comes to the tech industry. Ask a question and get an answer - that is, after all, what all Q&A sites offer. Want to know, for example, why Foursquare uses MongoDB to store check-in information? Who better to answer than the company's engineering lead. Sponsor.

  5. Five Reasons You Haven’t Launched- Software By Rob, November 10, 2010

    Photo by stevendepolo. This post is an accusation. call to arms. sharp stick that says “get off your ass and make something happen.&#. But I didn’t write it for you; I wrote it for myself. Every one of these reasons has haunted me at one time or another over the past 10 years. Give yourself a month. Keep the day job. Become a lifer.

  6. How To Land a Job at Google (or elsewhere)- FairSoftware's Blog, November 9, 2010

    It’s been 11 years now that the obvious hit me: the best way to land a job is to do the job , not talk about it. It’s 2010 and that idea has not graduated to mainstream yet. So let’s be very specific: let’s assume your dream job is product manager at Google, working on the Analytics product. By doing the job. Where is it?

  7. I'm Tired of Creating Your Content- Babbling VC, November 12, 2010

    Jeff  triggered  this post in regards to his Check-in Fatigue on Foursquare. Surprisingly, I was thinking the same thing today about user-generated content, which basically check-in's are too. myself am a bit tired of Qype  (German version of Yelp ) and Tripadvisor. These are probably the two sites where I've posted the most reviews.

  8. The Scene Will Kill You- Brad Hargreaves, November 7, 2010

    If you’ve taken a deep dive into tech startups, you know about the scene. The scene is the siren song of the innovation community. The scene will kill you. The scene is building sexy things that gain the approval of a certain (small) group of people. Sexy things get lauded, and celebrities coalesce out of the blogosphere’s protoplasm.

  9. Build your own Startup Death Clock- A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks, November 1, 2010

    A few months ago I created a fun device at WPEngine to focus everyone's attention the most important thing. If nothing changes, when will you run out of money? Sometimes fear is a good motivator. Clearly it'd be more accurate to say "sometime in Q1 2011.". But the goal here isn't accuracy, it's motivation and focus. Maybe you could get v1.0 Try it!

  10. Timing your startup- Chris Dixon, November 7, 2010

    I never had the opportunity to invest in YouTube but I have to admit that if I did I probably would have passed (which of course would have been a huge mistake). I’d been around the web long enough to remember the dozens of companies before YouTube that tried to create crowdsourced video sites and failed. This should not deter you.

  11. Storm Clouds- A VC : Venture Capital and Technology, November 12, 2010

    We have enjoyed an amazing run in the web startup and investing space over the past five or six years. In this sector of startupland, company creation is up, investment is up, there are plenty of success stories, and not all of them are based on quick flips and takeouts. However, there are a few storm coulds out there that we need to be watching.

  12. The 11 Harsh Realities Of Being An Entrepreneur- OnStartups, November 1, 2010

    There's always talk about the end game in the form of an acquisition, funding announcement, or eventual flame out. Hollywood has even made a movie about the founding of Facebook that glamorizes startup life instead of showing what it really is: a day in day out marathon of work with very little glamor. Your First Iteration of an Idea Will Be Wrong.

  13. Creating Startup Success – Customer Development + Business Model Design- Steve Blank, November 15, 2010

    In previous posts I’ve talked about what the combination of Business Model Design, Customer Development and Agile Methodologies mean to startups and intrapreneurs in large companies; it’s the beginning of entrepreneurship as a science with its own rules and methodologies. think his slides are great (and by far much easier on the eye then mine.).

  14. Internet Apps And Native Apps: Why Neither Is Going Away, But The Coming Years Will See A Tremendous Power Shift- ArcticStartup, November 29, 2010

    People love a good story, no matter what form of content it is they're consuming. No matter how enticing it may be to remove the complexity of the battle for consumer's hearts, minds and wallets in order to make the story easily digestible, reality is often quite different. Remember those buzz words? billion. How about them apples? That's it.

  15. It’s Easy to Be Great…It’s Hard to Be Consistent- Software By Rob, November 4, 2010

    No link from TechCrunch, write-up on Mashable, mention by Leo Laporte, or Tweet by Ashton Kucher is going to make your business.

  16. How to Enchant Your Customer- How to Change the World, November 23, 2010

    I love to do business with small businesses—in-store, online, for myself, for others, for pleasure, for work—it doesn’t matter to me. love to find great products and services made by entrepreneurs who are trying to change the world. Put likable, competent and passionate people on the front line. This doesn’t make sense.

  17. 10 Tips for Enterprise Software Startups- ReadWriteStart, November 16, 2010

    I started my career in enterprise software in the 1980s and after some years working in other areas (outsourcing and online media) I am back in the enterprise software game. This post is my reflection on what is different and what remains the same. have focused this as advice to entrepreneurs building enterprise software ventures today. Sponsor.

  18. Investor Pitches – Do’s and Don’ts- StartupCFO, November 19, 2010

    After many years of pitching, it’s been fun (and surprisingly normal) to be on the other side listening to pitches. Over the last few weeks, the Real Ventures team has met with easily 50 companies. took some notes on some great things to do in pitches and some things to avoid. Here they are: DO. What burning need did you see? Know your space.

  19. Anything is Possible (in a Startup)- This is going to be BIG., November 11, 2010

    I know you're out there. can feel you now—corporate recruiters at career fairs, sending offer letters to work at banks and consulting firms. know that you're afraid. Google is. You're afraid of startups. You're afraid of change. don't know the future. didn't come here to tell you how this is going to end. Career. What truth? There is, however, hope.

  20. The interoperability of social networks- Chris Dixon, November 10, 2010

    Google recently added a caustic warning message when users attempt to export their Google Contacts to Facebook: Hold on a second. Are you super sure you want to import your contact information for your friends into a service that won’t let you get it out? If network B has 20 users than it’s value is 400 (20*20).

  21. Competing To Win Deals- A VC : Venture Capital and Technology, November 7, 2010

    The venture capital business is highly competitive. There is more money out there chasing good deals than most people imagine. It is also true that there are good deals and good entrepreneurs that can't find anyone to invest in them. That is a failure of the system. But this post is not about that. Let them see the full picture early.

  22. 14 Reasons Why You Need To Start A Startup- OnStartups, November 15, 2010

    This post has been ruminating with me for a while. It's not a sudden "a-ha" moment that made it form, but a collective group of "a-has!" over the past few months. Consider this the uplifting post to counter last week's "The 11 Harsh Realities Of Entrepreneurship". Just because it's a harsh reality, doesn't mean you shouldn't be an entrepreneur.

  23. Code icebergs- Gabriel Weinberg, November 6, 2010

    A lot of good products have features that appear somewhat trivial to replicate, but in reality would be quite complex to do so. In my experience, the iceberg part of a code iceberg often involves handling of a lot edge cases. These edge cases are sometimes actually created by making the user interface simpler, e.g. less or free-form input fields.

  24. No Business Plan Survives First Contact With A Customer – The 5.2 billion dollar mistake.- Steve Blank, November 1, 2010

    At $5.2-billion Iridium was one of the largest, boldest and audacious startup bets ever made. Conceived in 1987 by Motorola and spun out in 1990 as a separate company, Iridium planned to build a mobile telephone system that would work anywhere on earth. And Iridium would do this without building a single cell tower. and China.  What went wrong?

  25. The Ultimate Combination of Startup Business Development Methods- ArcticStartup, November 16, 2010

    I've been a huge fan of Steven Blank's Customer Development methodology for a long time. I've also read his book The Four Steps to the Epiphany, where he outlines this in great detail. few years ago I also started following Alexander Osterwalder in his blog about his Business Model Generation -mantra. Some time ago I thought these guys should meet!

  26. Meet the New Enterprise Customer, He’s a Lot Like the Old Enterprise Customer- Ben's Blog, November 15, 2010

    Meet the new boss. same as the old boss. The Who, Won’t Get Fooled Again. Cause hustlers hit the block when police change shifts. New York, California different toilet, same s#@t. The Game, Let Us Live. So what gives? Are all these smart people out of their minds? Has nothing changed since the early days of IBM? Consumers. Finance, IT, Legal).

  27. Facts, Facts, Everywhere, But Truth is Scarce- Tim Berry's Blog - Planning Startups Stories, November 16, 2010

    Tweet I’ve got a new business idea for anyone who wants it: become a paid data liar, by offering to find facts to fit any point of view your clients want to put forth. Call it facts for hire. It would be a bit like the hired gun in the old west, but more suited for today’s times. For example, your client wants to say that eggs are unhealthy?

  28. Risk-takers and Strategists: Jeremiah Owyang on Long-Term Social Media Planning- ReadWriteStart, November 10, 2010

    Two years ago, 93% of Americans believed companies should have a social media presence. Today, brands are hiring social media specialists for customer support, crowdsourced product development, promotions and even leads generation. Sponsor. The Proof Is In The Revenue. Hiring The Right Candidate. The conversation shouldn't end after conversion.

  29. The 30 Steps to Mastery- Ben Casnocha: The Blog, November 29, 2010

    The commenter Onjibonrenat, on my post How to Draw an Owl , adds a few more steps to the process of achieving mastery: 1. Start 2. Keep going. You think you're starting to get the hang of it. You see someone else's work and feel undeniable misery. Keep going. Keep going. You feel like maybe, possibly, you kinda got it now. You don't. Keep going.

  30. Freemium 101: Customer Conversion- Venture Chronicles, November 18, 2010

    At Get Satisfaction we have had a freemium model from day 1, at then it was just free, no premium offerings existed so we’ve lived through a couple of key transition points and now are optimizing a model we know works. The latter part of the business is what I am responsible for. Our trial process is 15 days and that is not arbitrary.

  31. Pacing Yourself- A VC : Venture Capital and Technology, November 21, 2010

    I've been pretty clear as of late that I think the market for investing in web startups is getting overheated. When I talk to some people about this, they say "you should shut down and ride out the bubble on the beach." 34; To which I say "we don't think we can time markets." So I prefer to focus on pacing ourselves.

  32. 10 Ways To Deliver Awesome Schwag For Your Startup- OnStartups, November 24, 2010

    First off, Dharmesh and I would like to announce a contest for the official OnStartups T-Shirt. We're looking to choose a design put together by one of our readers as the official t-shirt for OnStartups. The design should be unique, include a slogan related to entrepreneurs, and something stylish. We don't want "Yet Another Startup Shirt". t-shirt.

  33. Are you in a startup career path or are you one and done?- Gabriel Weinberg, November 2, 2010

    Sometimes peoples' first startups are successful. More power to them. I've been pretty lucky, but not that lucky. had a bunch of startup failure before success. But that was OK because I was in a startup career path , which enabled me to think a bit more long-term. Repeat until success. And then repeat some more. I've made that mistake.

  34. Hubris Versus Humility: The $15 billion Difference- Steve Blank, November 8, 2010

    Describing your product as “new and “never been done before” instead of “we’re just like those others guys, but better” could cost your company billions.  RIM and TiVo are two examples of getting it right and wrong. Research in Motion (RIM). That year the two founders decided to get serious about being a company, and hired a CEO. You got it. Hubris.

  35. Venture Bonsai Takes Crowdfunding To A New Level- ArcticStartup, November 22, 2010

    Venture Bonsai is a new crowdfunding platform that is in private "invitation stage" as the co-founder of the company, Antti Hannula, states. Venture Bonsai enters the increasingly active market of enabling new methods to fund startups. Naturally, a big part of the go-to-market includes partnering with other players in the market.

  36. The 10-Step Google Login from Hell- FairSoftware's Blog, November 15, 2010

    Last week, I wrote about how to land a job at Google , and it attracted 9,000 readers in one day! So let’s talk about something else Google could fix: logins. How many steps does it take to login to my YouTube account? Just watch and cry along with me… 1. Go To That should be an easy 1-click experience… 2. Try Again.

  37. How to Get Funding From Friends, Family, and Fools- Startup Professionals Musings, November 28, 2010

    Most entrepreneurs have learned that it’s almost always quicker and easier to get cash from someone you know, rather than angel investors or professional investors (VCs). In fact, most investors “require” that you already have some investment from friends and family before they will even step up to the plate. Be upbeat and respectful. Don’t be one.

  38. What Percentage of 2010 Seed Deals Won’t Raise The Next Round?- Feld Thoughts, November 16, 2010

    There have been a number of thoughtful "early warning sign" posts in the past few days including one from Fred Wilson ( Storm Clouds ), one from Mark Suster ( What Angel Investing & Florida Condos Have in Common ), and Roger Ehrenberg ( Investing in a frenzied market ). We'll do follow on investments in 10 of them. Who knows?

  39. Small Business Jobs Act Includes Short-Term Full Exclusion from Gross Income of Gain from QSBS- Recent Buzzes - VC Experts, Inc., November 23, 2010

    By Julia D. Corelli and Laura D. Warren of Pepper Hamilton LLP Introduction. On September 27, 2010, President Obama signed into law the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 (H.R. The 100 percent exclusion is an attempt to encourage investment in new ventures, small businesses, and specialized small business investment companies. 17, 2009 and before Jan.

  40. D&O insurance is a “cost of respect” for board members.- Berkonomics, November 8, 2010

    Whenever there are outside shareholders, and when there is a product in release, there is a chance, no matter how slight, of a lawsuit against members of the board as well as against the corporation itself.  In that regard, even the lowest amount of D&O insurance available, $1 million, provides for legal defense costs to be covered. 

  41. Build Your Own Silicon Valley? | Vivek Wadwha- Campus Entrepreneurship, November 19, 2010

    Vivek Wadhwa, a leading entrepreneurship researcher at Duke University, offers a piece explaining why so many well intentioned attempts to copy Silicon Valley fail. He focuses on connections between and among motivated people. In other words the culture and social institutions of the place.  It simply doesn’t work that way. Absolutely.

  42. Vision Synching in a Lean Startup- Startup Marketing Blog, November 12, 2010

    In the age of the lean startup , we often forget about the importance of vision.   A big audacious vision is critical for attracting venture capital and for getting the early team to “take the leap.”  It also stimulates the emotion/passion needed to fuel your team’s persistence to blast through inevitable hurdles. Vision Needs Traction.

  43. The end of the (startup) world as we know it- Market by Numbers, November 11, 2010

    If you follow high tech startups, it was virtually impossible to have missed all the discussions this summer regarding disruptions occurring in the startup environment, including the role of investors , the wisdom of “Lean startups, &# and bemoaning the fall of the “big win&# mentality. there is no going back. Third, startups are social.

  44. 6 Things You Need to Learn To Build Your Own Prototype- Vinicius Vacanti, November 1, 2010

    This is the fourth part of a series on becoming your own technical co-founder. In 2008, we couldn’t find a technical co-founder for  Yipit. m writing about how I became our technical co-founder. Hopefully, I’ll encourage other entrepreneurs with a dream but no technical co-founder options to take their destiny into their own hands. Learning Python.

  45. The truth about small fish- Start Up Blog, November 29, 2010

    When starting out or chasing new customers on an existing business it makes sense aim for smaller players first, to build confidence, and get a few small wins on the board… right? The problem with thinking like this is that it makes life harder and less profitable. The truth about small fish, is that they are harder to catch than big fish.

  46. Online Video on Lies About Business Planning- Up and Running, November 19, 2010

    Business plans are a waste of time? Don’t bother? Nobody’s going to read it anyhow? Do you think setting goals and steps to implement them are a waste of time? What about establishing how to measure progress and performance, setting it down, and then tracking it, so you can optimize your management? As if managing were a waste of time.

  47. Understanding How The Innovator’s Dilemma Affects You- Both Sides of the Table, November 4, 2010

    One of the most influential books of my career is The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clay Christensen. I cannot recommend it enough for people in the technology or media sectors. Professor Christensen uses real data from the disk drive industry to make his points. It is not a beach novel to be sure. I’ve characterized it in a chart below.

  48. Primal Instincts, How Body Language and Personality Dictate Success- Will Price, November 9, 2010

    Want to be successful, well-liked, effective? Want to make more money, receive the lion's share of promotions? Want to raise money? Well, according to Amy Cuddy of HBS , it is vital that you understand how our primal psyches process personality traits and non-verbal behavior. do you feel good or bad about this person." His findings? Now you know

  49. Engage with Customers to Shape Business Model- The Entrepreneurial Mind, November 22, 2010

    When launching a new business, relying too heavily on the details of your business plan can actually lead to failure. The research that goes into formulating the business plans that I typically see comes from sources such as industry reports, census data and other government-generated historical material, plus articles from business periodicals.

  50. Innovation in a Nutshell, aka “No BS” Innovation- Gregg Fraley, Author of Jack's Notebook, November 9, 2010

    Am off tonight to do a Pecha Kucha presentation at an event organized by Simon Strong of Human Zoo. It looks like a fascinating line-up of tasty Pecha’s. It’s good fun to create something as scaled down as 20 slides at 20 seconds each. It forces you to get to the essence of things.

  51. Why do we do this?- Startup Lessons Learned, November 25, 2010

    On April 1, 2008, I was as nervous as I have ever been in my life. It was just minutes before I was supposed to go on stage for the very first time and present The Lean Startup to a large audience, at a big conference. To that point, I’d been talking about Lean Startup concepts only on a seldom-read blog and with people in my immediate network.

  52. How I Build Mockups- Ash Maurya, November 15, 2010

    A basic Lean Startup technique is doing the smallest thing possible to learn from customers. Applied to the product, this often times translates to a visual mockup of some sort to stand in-place of the actual product. use mockups quite heavily both before and after launch but not all mockups are created equal. The mockup needs to look real. Model.

  53. How to Hold Kickass Virtual Meetings- The Product Guy, November 21, 2010

    Guest Post by Saeed Khan. One of the core activities for Product Management is to get out of the office and gain first hand understanding of needs of customers and partners, and other issues in the market There’s little that can substitute for good field research. Here’s how we did it. Holding the virtual meeting. Not a good sign.

  54. Positioning is Yours; Perception is Theirs- Life Beyond Code, November 12, 2010

    What triggered this was a simple question from a friend – “ How do I change how people perceive me? &#. You can’t control how people perceive you – but you can control how you position yourself. It’s a little bit convoluted if you think about it. How do you do that? Well for starters, you can LISTEN!!!! All the best.

  55. HR as a core competency- Seth Levine's VC Adventure, November 18, 2010

    In the world of start-ups, HR is at the bottom of the bottom of the heap of priorities most companies are working on. The vast majority of companies think about HR as a process and compliance function, outsource it to 3rd party providers (payroll, benefits, etc.) and doing their best to forget about it. failure.

  56. Attackers and Defenders- Seeing Both Sides, November 9, 2010

    I met with a senior executive at a top 5 bank last week and he said something that has stuck with me all week. When I asked him why he was interested in pursuing entrepreneurial activities after a nearly 20 year career at one firm, he replied, "I've decided the world is divided between attackers and defenders. I want to be an attacker again.".

  57. Do Investors Invest in Ideas, People or Markets?- Instigator Blog, November 10, 2010

    Investors often say that they invest in people first, then the market and lastly, the idea. I’d say that’s generally true, but it’s also very difficult not to triage and make judgment calls in reverse. Instead it’s always, “What’s your idea?”