Raise slightly less than you need?
Raising less probably gives you a shorter runway. Shortened runways test determination and the innovator’s ability to pivot. Taking too long to see whether the team can withstand serious setbacks can cost more than a restart.
The other six: VR hardware projects funded on KickStarter
Apart from the Oculus Rift, there are currently six other Virtual Reality hardware projects that have been successfully funded through KickStarter
Sam Altman, tomorrow’s Mark Zuckerberg?
Over $5 billion jump in valuation in one month, even though none of their highest valued investments has yet had an exit? At this rate, Sam’s startup club may start putting Facebook to shame
“There was no national infrastructure for this, so I’ve funded it”
An Intensive Care Unit where it’s needed. In every home. Millions already connected. He cashed out two startups, spent some exit money (he’s still got $7 billion left). The Steve Jobs of healthcare?
MOOCs, cheap smartphones and dire poverty: about to flip the planet?
Moore’s Law is rapidly putting the entire third world online. This fact, combined with MOOCs, may just turn the rest of the world upside down
Mel Brooks Producers as a model for lean startups
Founders having an innovative idea, a fruitful search for a solution, generous early investors: what could possibly go wrong?
Instead of just scalable startups, a scalable startup ecosystem
‘Adopt lean startup methodologies’ is seen by many as the best advice to give startups, but how do we know if this advice is making a substantial positive contribution to the wider economy?
12 Robotics projects, all successfully funded using KickStarter
There are hundreds of other robot-themed projects on Kickstarter, I’ve just left out out the books or films about robots, as well as most art, education, hobby and toy projects
Startup mentoring: is there something missing?
The list of services that an officially accredited UK mentor is NOT allowed to provide just boggles the mind
Nine 3D printer startups have been funded on KickStarter
Hardware crowdfunding successes from under a thousand to well over half a million dollars
New Bond Thriller, With Social Impact
Don’t let the impenetrable jargon put you off. Social Impact Bonds, which bring “only paying for success” to public funding for privately-run social projects, are genuinely innovative. But will they make a real difference?
Fixing the ‘unsolved problem shortage’ that holds back potential startup founders
Shortages of easily-tackled unsolved problems are a first world problem: elsewhere, countless established ‘solutions’ are just unaffordable, each one a gift to any problem-seeking would-be entrepreneur
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.
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
Startup mentoring versus apprenticeship
The interaction between startups and startup mentors has a fundamental difference from ‘apprenticeship’, something which has major implications for the future of innovation
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
Dragging small traditional businesses into the startup innovation ecosystem
Small traditional businesses? They’re already ‘inside’ the startup world, aren’t they? No. They typically know nothing about such things as Lean Startup, Startup Weekend or Y Combinator, and even when they do, they think it has nothing to do with them. Are they right?
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
Are so-called ‘clone startups’ (those hoping to be acquired by the mothership after creating a successful, ‘local language lookalike’) too easily dismissed as ‘non-innovators’?
Startups: what happens when an economy completely collapses?
In places where prosperity has seemingly reigned forever, sometimes all the big employers and retailers can suddenly disappear: welcome to the startup-only economy. We probably need to start looking at places where this already exists
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
Can entrepreneurialism be automated?
If Artificial Intelligence is going to automate the world’s entire workforce, we’re all going to need to give up any hope of employment and become startup entrepreneurs and innovation investors instead. They couldn’t possibly automate those, could they?
Should the UK government convert student debt into startup equity?
If much higher-than-expected numbers of students join the ranks of the long-term unemployed, most student loans are going to remain unpaid indefinitely. Is the risk of student unemployment higher than the risk of failure for a startup accelerator-boosted founder?
Post-exit startups: the friendly ghost in the job-creation machine
A new report by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics is being mistakenly interpreted as showing that startups are creating fewer jobs. This view somehow manages to completely ignore those odd things investors call ‘exits’.
Accelerators vs. incubators: an alumni panel debate video
Startups from Y Combinator, TechStars, Dave McClure’s 500 Startups and Idealab tell us what life feels like, including being rejected by Y Combinator and successfully reapplying!
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?
Khan Academy 2.0?
After my initial TED-talk-inspired enthusiasm, I became seriously disheartened by the seemingly unanswerable criticisms of Khan Academy’s fairly unadventurous ‘talk and chalk’ style tutorial videos as not really representing a genuine step forward in education. But…
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
Innovation competitions: why we need more of them
We’d all be forgiven for imagining that TechCrunch Disrupt and the DEMO Conference were the only regularly held innovation competition events worth talking about, as far as the tech media were concerned. So imagine my surprise…
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”
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
Should government turn everything it doesn’t want to do into a startup?
Government is understandably fed up with being blamed by society when it doesn’t handle things perfectly, so it wants to be seen to be handing at least some of the responsibility for doing things back to society, but…
Can you get sustainable power stations for nothing?
Industrial energy waste turns out to be the most surprisingly overlooked opportunity to make outrageous returns on investment. Energy efficiency in industry is a shockingly untapped market. Modernisation at a single large industrial plant can free up an entire power station
The iij Top 20 upcoming startup books, fall 2011
The range of startup titles has expanded dramatically this year, and whatever economic surprises may be in store for us in 2012, this particular sector is looking unstoppable.
Are Silicon Valley VCs really in decline?
The move away from traditional VCs to Angels features strongly in talk about startup investment. So this seemingly contrary view from the very heart of Silicon Valley is intriguing
Steve Blank feels immigration can build Silicon Valleys everywhere
“What do you want to do here?” Get a job. “Sorry, but you’ll need to go straight back home right now, next please. So, what do you want to do here?” Start a business, employ people “Great! please sit over there with the others”
Student loans: why only for colleges and not for startup accelerators?
Startup mentoring is education. Why can’t existing government-backed student loan schemes be extended to include startup founders attending accredited startup accelerator programmes?
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?
What if startup ideas didn’t matter to investors?
Would you invest in founders pitching a project that you didn’t really believe in, for reasons you didn’t tell them about?
Exchanges for startups: no longer just pre-IPO, maybe ‘post IPO era’
The investors need to be wealthy ($1m+) and few (maximum 500) and the business too small to IPO. Facebook tore that last rule apart. What if the other rules are also eventually relaxed?
Haunted old hotels where guests pay to stay for microseconds
Today’s occupiers are in many ways no less ethereal that any lingering spirits which might still be roaming the lonely corridors and passing silently through walls