Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Top 30 Startup Posts for July 2010

Some great content around the intersection of startups and being a Startup CTO in June this year.  This continues my series of posts:

The following are the top items based on social signals.

  1. 5 Lessons from 150 startup pitches- A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks, July 11, 2010

    I just reviewed several hundred startup pitches for Capital Factory. Most were on paper and video; 20 were invited to pitch in person. Interesting patterns emerged: Everyone makes the same classes of error. Those who avoided just one of those errors stood out in the crowd. You're probably making a lot of these errors too. Not that I blame you!

  2. Batch Processing Millions and Millions of Images- Code as Craft, July 9, 2010

    I joined Etsy back in February and knew immediately that there would be no shortage of technical challenges.  Many of our job postings for Engineering positions describe the company as a place “where the word ‘millions’ is used frequently and in many contexts&#.  I got a taste of that within my first weeks on the job. Ganglia.

  3. SaaS 101: 7 Simple Lessons From Inside HubSpot- OnStartups, July 19, 2010

    It’s been a little over 4 years since I officially launched my internet marketing software company , HubSpot. The “official” date is June 9 th , 2006 — for those that are curious about such things). So, I’ve had about 4 years on the “inside” of a fast-growing, venture-backed B2B SaaS startup. Not bad.

  4. Welcome to the Lost Decade (for Entrepreneurs, IPO’s and VC’s)- Steve Blank, July 15, 2010

    If you take funding from a venture capital firm or angel investor and want to build a large, enduring company (rather than sell it to the highest bidder), this isn’t the decade to do it. The collapse of the IPO market and dysfunctional math in the venture capital community has stacked the odds against you. Here’s why. Take a look at the chart below.

  5. 10 Blogging Tips. My 1,000th Post on This Blog- Tim Berry's Blog - Planning Startups Stories, July 21, 2010

    Last night I was halfway through a draft post patting myself on the back, illustrated with champagne glasses, when my youngest daughter, Megan, called from San Francisco, where she lives now. That’s @MeganBerry to you, blogger and social media expert, marketing manager of Klout.com. So I asked her this: “What do I do with my 1,000th post?”. Rarely.

  6. Wannabe entrepreneur symptoms and cures- Gabriel Weinberg, July 25, 2010

    I was once a wannabe entrepreneur. Fresh out of college and a summer internship at a VC firm, I thought I knew what I was doing. Though this was 2000 , and all startup & VC blogs we've grown to love didn't exist yet, I did have mentors available. should have leaned on them a lot more, but I didn't, or at least not in the right ways.

  7. Real Unfair Advantages- A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks, July 19, 2010

    This is Part 2 of the series: 5 lessons from 150 startup pitches.??? What if someone copies your awesome business idea? How can I answer this question? No, the question is: What are doing now knowing that a big company will copy your idea? The good news: There are good answers to these questions! The first step is admitting you have a problem.

  8. Graphs- Chris Dixon, July 22, 2010

    It has become customary to use “ graph &# to refer to the underlying data structures at social networks like Facebook. Computer scientists call the study of graphs “ network theory ,&# but on the web the word “network&# is used to refer to the websites themselves). graph consists of a set of nodes connected by edges.

  9. Startup Culture Lessons From Mad Men- OnStartups, July 26, 2010

    The following is a guest post by Brian Halligan who is my co-founder and CEO at HubSpot (which means he gets to do most of the really hard work). recently did a lecture at a Babson MBA summer class on Entrepreneurial Leadership. Believe it or not, this post-modern culture was inspired by the TV show Mad Men. Every Friday at 4pm ET, we film HubSpot.tv

  10. You Can’t Take It With You- Steve Blank, July 26, 2010

    If you’ve had a great career what happens to all your knowledge and experience when you retire? Great Suit. My wife and I had dinner last night with a friend of hers from high school. Tom, her husband whom I had never met before joined us as well. He was a trial litigator, one of the guys that slug it out in court in front of a judge and jury.

  11. How to raise money with no lead- Venture Hacks, July 31, 2010

    Paul Graham says “The future [of funding] is no fixed amount, no fixed closing date, and no lead.” In other words, the future of financing is continuous funding, not discrete. This post explains how to raise a single round with no lead, no fixed amount, and a fluid closing date. The process is called mass syndication, or a party round. Interview.

  12. Think Different: How To Make Your Tagline Stand Out From The Crowd- crowdSPRING Blog, July 2, 2010

    As I wrote last week in 10 Tips for Startups and Small Businesses on Naming Your Company , coming up with a great company name for your new small business or startup can be challenging and time consuming. Coming up with a memorable tagline can present an even greater challenge. California Milk Processor Board) – 1993. Make it unique.

  13. No, that IS NOT a competitive advantage- A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks, July 12, 2010

    This is part 1 of the series: 5 Lessons from 150 startup pitches. Listening to first-time entrepreneurs talk about their competitive advantages is as predictably invalid as the local weatherman's 10-day forecast. Between this blog and reviewing applications to Capital Factory I see hundreds of pitches a year. We have the most features. Silly, right?

  14. MongoDB at Etsy, Part 2- Code as Craft, July 3, 2010

    Dan and Wil posted a while ago about how we’re using MongoDB at Etsy. We’ve been using MongoDB as the backing store for Treasury , and over the course of two and a half months , we’ve had over 50,000 excellent Treasuries created by the Etsy community, all stored and served in MongoDB. Not so bad. Metrics availability. Performance.

  15. Angel vs VC?- A VC : Venture Capital and Technology, July 25, 2010

    AVC regular Charlie Crystle asked me this question yesterday in the comments : Fred, it might be helpful to some of your readers to explain when a startup should seek angel vs seed/early stage VC. 0160; If I need $250,000 to get to 100 customers, or $1 million to get to X, and I can raise both amounts from either Angels or VCs, where do we turn?

  16. It’s not that seed investors are smarter – it’s that entrepreneurs are- Chris Dixon, July 5, 2010

    Paul Kedrosky recently  speculated that there might be seed fund “crash&# looming. But then — Kim Kardashian is the only one who can make a living tweeting. At some point it will be quite obvious whether the super angels’ investments and strategy succeed or fail. Consider the case of the last company I co-founded, SiteAdvisor. at a $2.5M

  17. How to be a successful iPhone developer- 47 Hats, July 20, 2010

    I came across this YouTube video of Brian Greenstone from Pangea Software talking about how his company made $1.5 million on a two-week port of a Mac OS game over in the comments of my online friend Andy Brice’s blog. If not, don’t give up the day job just yet,&# Andy concludes. They ignore/disrespect the platform. What do you think?

  18. You Shouldn’t Have to Pay to Talk To Your Own Customers- Austin Startup, July 12, 2010

    Andy Meadows is the founder and CEO of Bearhug , an Austin-based customer engagement platform launching today. He is focused on delivering real business value by educating clients about the latest proven technologies, strategies that deliver improved profits and operational efficiencies, and using technology to improve life. Customer Care Today.

  19. Top linked domains from Facebook pages- Gabriel Weinberg, July 10, 2010

    I've been messing around with Facebook pages for an upcoming DuckDuckGo integration, and I came across some data that seemed interesting enough to share. These are the top linked domains from Facebook pages. Each of those domains would get one point in the aggregated list. If duckduckgo.com had appeared twice, it would still just get one point.

  20. Automating the Path to a Better User Experience- The Product Guy, July 5, 2010

    I started writing about Quick-UX in 2008. Since then, I have written many detailed articles exploring, evaluating, and identifying areas of improvement for real products — along the components that make up Quick-UX. About Quick-UX. Quick-UX evaluates the degree to which a product successfully addresses the following 3 questions: Can I use it?

  21. Eight Suggestions For Great Brainstorming/Ideation- Gregg Fraley, Author of Jack's Notebook, July 23, 2010

    Those of you who read this blog will know of the recent online debate I had with author Ashley Merryman. Essentially, I was not letting her get away with dismissing brainstorming. Ashley co-wrote a recent Newsweek article titled “Forget Brainstorming.&# While I liked the article generally, I hated the title, and disagree and dispute the [.].

  22. The Phantom Sales Forecast – Failing at Customer Validation- Steve Blank, July 22, 2010

    Startup CEO’s can’t delegate sales and expect it to happen. Customer Validation needs to have the CEO actively involved. Here’s an example in a direct sales channel. Customer Development Diagnostics over Lunch. VC asked me to have lunch with the CEO of  a startup building cloud-based enterprise software. Boy did I feel like Rip Van Winkle.) I asked.

  23. Dave McClure's Investment Thesis- A VC : Venture Capital and Technology, July 31, 2010

    I’ve been a fan of Dave McClure since I met him some time ago. He has strong opinions, he shares them liberally, spices them up with foul language, and finds himself involved with a lot of interesting entrepreneurs and companies. In a nutshell, he’s my kind of investor. Yesterday he outlined his investment thesis on his blog. Some VCs will adapt.

  24. Small Business Marketing: Web Design Best Practices and Tips- crowdSPRING Blog, July 27, 2010

    We’ve recently discussed several useful topics for small businesses and startups, including naming your company ,  how to make you taglines stand out from the crowd., and tips for buyers looking for logo design. Today, we’ll cover web design marketing best practices and tips for small business. Showscase your products and services.

  25. CEOs Should Tell It Like It Is- Ben's Blog, July 2, 2010

    Unemployment at a record high. People coming, people going, people born to die. Don’t ask me, because I don’t know why. But it’s like that, and that’s the way it is. Run DMC. My single biggest personal improvement as CEO occurred on the day when I stopped being too positive. was completely wrong. The Positivity Delusion.

  26. Let Interns Be Your Startup Competitive Edge- Startup Professionals Musings, July 19, 2010

    By Mark Babbitt We’re all familiar in some way with the concept of “interns” in business. Quite possibly your perception is the young adult working dutifully in the company mailroom. Or, perhaps the hectic “get me coffee” and “make me copies” chores associated with climbing the corporate ladder. That stereotype may be changing. Confidence vs.

  27. Traction trumps everything- Gabriel Weinberg, July 5, 2010

    If you ask an angel investor what they look for in a company, they'll usually rattle off a list of things that describe the ideal angel investment: huge market, great team, superior product, sustainable competitive advantage, etc. Trouble is, even if your startup has those things (and most don't), you still have to convince each investor.

  28. Presentation: How To Raise VC- Get Venture: Venture Made Transparent, July 21, 2010

    I had a fun day yesterday - I have grown to really enjoy public speaking. For those interested, the presentation that I delivered to the members of the VANJ is embedded below. special "thank you" to the leadership of the VANJ for having me. How To Raise Venture Capital View more presentations from Mark Davis.

  29. Some Thoughts On The Seed Fund Phenomenon- A VC : Venture Capital and Technology, July 13, 2010

    There have been quite a few posts written about this meme in the past few weeks.  0160; I think that Paul Kedrosky got the discussion started with this post. Chris Dixon wrote an interesting response. And yesterday John Boyd wrote a thoughtful post on the topic. John makes a point in his post that I want to second and add to. Absolutely.

  30. The Headline as Content- Venture Chronicles, July 11, 2010

    One of the challenges in deciphering online news is that a catchy headline is often peddled instead of the actual story, something fully on display today in a NYTimes article. As an exercise to demonstrate this, read the headline below and stop to consider your emotional and intellectual response: “Wall St. Okay this is good, right?