Coping with startup founder setback blues
“Like being punched in the face repeatedly” is how Y Combinator’s Paul Graham characterises the devastating setbacks that founders have to be able to cope with. Here’s how you cope
Musicians: video editing is now officially part of your skillbase
Just ‘gigging, recording and getting discovered by a record company’ is yesterday’s intro to a musical career. Nowadays, you need to be able to build your own online TV channel that does justice to your best songwriting and performances.
Startup founders: allergic to experiences they should learn to love?
Do startups fail as a result of the founder’s attitude towards doing things they don’t think they need to do?
Why not bake augmented reality into your hardware startup?
Start looking for ways to ‘transcend physical user experiences’ by liberating your device’s mobile app from the constraints of the real world
Lean Startup Methodology, Critical Design Theory: Separated at birth?
Lean startups use wild speculations about imaginary products to start conversations with customers aimed at eliciting real requirements. Critical Design aims to make things which provoke enlightening responses. Snap?
The post-screencast era
Screencast videos are almost all painfully harder to watch than they need to be: here’s our top 5 suggestions for making screencasts infinitely more watchable, mostly just by adding a little bit of post-production.
Turning churnalism back into journalism
Covering an innovation story? Re-hashing a press release may be better than nothing, but doing it whilst maintaining full disclosure and explicitly adding your own specialist perspective? Journalism!
Building systems that can solve tougher problems
To achieve this, a system (involving people and machines) should be constructed so that it can ultimately, in some relevant ways, become ‘smarter’ than any of its individual (human) participants
What makes people good at pivoting? 21 things which, if you can’t do them well, will probably keep your career in the world of innovative startups short and disappointing
Gamification isn’t enough: we’re missing something big here
Using the dynamics of games as a way of improving engagement in such things as work, marketing and education shows great promise, but something relevant that gamers do is being ignored
Is blaming PowerPoint really just “shooting the messenger”?
It turns out that claims of causing “Death by PowerPoint” may conceal a far more pernicious offense: our unpardonable ignorance of how human attention actually works
Love: the most important thing about startup founder matching
What will hold startup founders together through those ‘sense of impending doom’ moments? The fact that the business idea is great? Y Combinator’s Paul Graham thinks not: the relationship between founders has to be more important than the venture.
Did Eric Schmidt really invent The Pivot before Eric Ries?
Google’s Schmidt talked about ‘morphing’ a project, but watching this Marissa Mayer video today, as she describes her boss’s suggestion three years before Ries’s, although the idea and the approach are different, the outcomes feel uncannily similar
Award for the most confusing little word in the startup vocabulary: Vest
A serious attempt to clarify some of the things which make vest and vesting a bit mind-bending for startups
Four questions that determine whether an accelerator should accept you
Jessica Livingstone offers her own feelings about what Y Combinator wants and I try to read between the lines
iij top 20 upcoming innovation books for 2012
There’s a growing interest in introducing an entrepreneurial approach to innovation, whether its happening inside or outside the established organisation
Need to recover from ‘startup overreach’?
Ty Danco’s ludicrously improbable but riveting tale definitely belongs in the history books, alongside AirBnB’s legendary ‘survive by literally eating your own marketing material’ yarn
Has Scoble suddenly turned anti-Lean Startup?
He just said: ‘I hate the term “minimal viable product.” That’s like telling me “we’re shipping without any features because, well, our investors and advisors told us to ship and fix the product later.”
What do we really know about startup acceleration mentoring?
Investors treat ‘startup founders entrepreneurial inexperience’ as an occupational hazard. Accelerators ‘parachute-in’ entrepreneurial experience in the form of ‘startup acceleration mentors’. Isn’t it time to ask some big questions about this?
iij Post-conference report on PitchLive London 2011
Overall verdict: a bit of a ‘best kept secret’, offering more than enough insight into less-widely covered sectors of the startup investment scene to justify watching out for next year’s event
Lean Startup, but without Eric Ries?
“There are venture firms here in The Valley that won’t even fund a company unless they employ lean startup methodologies”
The new iij top 20 upcoming lean books
At least five of these forthcoming titles major on a healthcare or safety aspect, illustrating just how far this particular management approach has come from its original niche
Calacanis: I’ve never filed any patents
Jason ‘Mr. Startups’ Calacanis may not do patents, but he has just done an episode of his weekly TV show where he brought in a seasoned patent attorney and a prolific inventor to take us through the latest developments on the US patent scene
What’s it like when outside the box is inside the box?
Intrapreneurship is not for the fainthearted. Inside established organisations, officially-sanctioned bastions of executive dragon slaying can sometimes be found, filled with fearless risk-takers discretely licensed to systematically shred the company rulebook in their tireless search for innovation
Non-startups doomed by The Innovator’s Dilemma? This particular Moore’s Law says NO
What do you do when your own disruptive new ideas bump into The Innovator’s Dilemma in the large organisation that you work in? Geoffrey ‘Crossing The Chasm’ Moore thinks that this is not necessarily ‘game over’ after all
How to survive disruption by being your own worst enemy
Why not create an independent fund with a mission to found startups which are exclusively aimed at disrupting your core business?
Failure to prepare users: why is this still happening?
From the ‘this shouldn’t be innovation, but unfortunately…’ department. You need to be able to answer all of these questions. Don’t wait for the users to ask them
The iij top twenty upcoming biotech books
Biotechnology book publishing is soaring. It’s making the job of keeping track of ‘what are the most interesting titles coming out, and when?’ almost impossible. This is our first attempt
Large Hadron Collider on a chip
We’re going beyond innovation here. Instead of the latest technology, we’re getting a tantalising glimpse of things that don’t yet exist, but are making exciting progress in the lab and could ultimately represent enormous advances in almost every field of science and technology if they fulfil their promise
Myths and truths of customer loyalty in online communities
Free workforce? Marketing substitute? Unpaid website content generators? If you’re hoping for a way to ‘exploit the well-proven willingness of loyal customers to contribute tirelessly to your online promotion, generating enormous traffic and business, and asking for nothing in return’ you need help
Startup Accelerator Nation
Ten ideas for weaving the lean, low-investment, iterative, failure-tolerant, build-measure-learn attitude toward giving people constructive ways to spend their time into the fabric of every culture
Exit strategy more important for startups than a business plan?
For a first-time startup, when the real excitement of early innovation is happening, the daunting business of M&A is usually the last thing on anyone’s mind. But research is showing that the later it starts, the higher the risk
The iij Upcoming Top Ten Organisational Innovation Books
One theme that appears often in many of these volumes? Discovery processes. If the word ‘innovation’ appears anywhere in your job description, you already know that discovering new discovery processes is a double-edged sword
What’s different for VCs in the era of the lean startup?
New ‘iterative’ startup methodologies, such as Eric Ries’s Lean Startup and Steve Blank’s Customer Development, raise just as many important new questions about investors as they do about startups
Beyond the Business Model Canvas
The Business Model Canvas may be a great way to build a new business model, but it may also be the wrong tool for capturing a freshly conceived vision of a solution to a customer requirement
The iij top 10 upcoming customer service innovation books
Where is customer service innovation really happening right now? Is it mostly in sales, brands, marketing, call centers, e-commerce, retailing, CRM, products, social media, mobile, games, finance? These titles show that it’s taking place over the entire spectrum
From the ‘highly influential videos you’ve never seen’ department
Before the current mainstream recognition of ‘gamification as a business strategy’, these issues were rarely taken seriously by outsiders. Now that we’re all interested, these videos are an utter revelation, even to many insiders
Founderpreneurs and funderpreneurs
Fred Wilson (the VC world’s leading blogger) makes an insightful comparison between first time and serial entrepreneurs. I was thinking through the ‘who do you go to?’ question
How can we work like designers when we create business models?
Googlers get taught how to think more creatively about exploring business models. We mere mortals can sit and watch while guru Alex Osterwalder talks us through the ideas in his bestselling book
The iij Top 10 upcoming innovative investment books
This topic is probably the most demanding in the whole field of selecting innovation writing as far as trying to ensure that the subject is being handled in a genuinely insightful way, but I think we’ve found a good selection
The iij Top Twenty Upcoming Social Media Books
What is the range of subject matter in our ‘spring collection’ of (weighty and in some cases expensive) Social Media volumes? Integration, culture, storytelling, journalism, transmedia, immersion, law, enterprise, strategy, teaching, meaning, creativity, identity, invention and belonging
The iij Top 10 Upcoming Agile Books
These titles aren’t available yet, but you may need to move quickly once they are. Agile software development may be rapidly moving into the mainstream, but that doesn’t mean the innovation in that field is slowing down
Innovation videos: making sure they’re not ignored
Fail to do most of the things below, and you risk the likelihood that even an outstanding presentation will be consigned to oblivion. Most innovation videos uploaded to YouTube are let down by things that are easily prevented
Customers as community: dangerous yet necessary
Necessary because it’s something which will happen anyway: dangerous because some of your business instincts will get you into trouble, communities are not a safe place for the inexperienced to innovate