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…
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?
Is the right to found a startup a basic human right?
Is prohibiting this pursuit an infringement upon the freedom of the individual? Should we make this something that anyone should be able to do, wherever they are in the world?
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?
Startup acceleration: what on earth does that really mean?
Is it just about speeding up the rate at which startups emerge, or making them grow faster, or just unintentionally hurrying them on to an earlier demise?
Are ‘hopeless’ startups our best hope for sustainable jobs?
A startup only has to take one person out of unemployment to make a net contribution to job growth. Instead of ‘Jobseekers Allowance’ why not ‘Business Model Seekers Allowance’?
In at the birth of biotech investment
Biology has replaced chemistry as the primary science behind drug discovery: how did this transformation begin, who was involved, and how did it get funded?
Mortgage your house, then bootstrap from zero to $50m in 7 years
And all that was BEFORE she got into the VC business, and not just the old-style VC business: she does mentoring at TechStars, invested early in UStream, and is CEO of Get Satisfaction, a 50,000+ customer startup which uses social media to support customer relationships
Is the AirBnB situation a gift?
“Customer service here, we’ve decided to do whatever we can to put right this terrible thing that happened to you when you used AirBnB. For a start, can we have your bank details, so that we can immediately deposit a million dollars”
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
Nontrepreneurialism: you want to work, but neither as an employee, nor as your own boss
The Economist calls you a post-materialist: you don’t feel driven by materialist ambitions. You just need enough to maintain your existing lifestyle, rather than improve it. But what does ‘not being your own boss’ mean in this context?
Time for a twist in the ARM story?
Instead of fanning the flames at the bonfire parties regularly held all over Cambridge to celebrate the outstanding achievements of chip designer ARM holdings, perhaps it’s time to splash on just a little cold water
The antidote to socially-mediated dislocation: the infinite neighbourhood
Somehow, something as seemingly mundane as an ‘online errand service’ is helping us discover surprising new ways to support each other
Where does 3D entertainment end and the rest of 3D innovation begin?
How do you draw the line between entertainment and non-entertainment uses? Who drives the innovation? Does industry get its inspiration from cinema and gaming, or is the entertainment business merely exploiting the technological advances made by the manufacturing industry?
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
Put it all on Jack?
Twitter? Maybe he just got lucky. Square, the way to pay with your phone? Others may beat him to it. Square, the way to turn the rest of us into merchantpreneurs? Mr Dorsey may yet live to rule our world
Innovation, meet thy nemesis: healthcare services
Please, no more innovation! Just let us come to terms with the last lot of changes! We prefer standardisation to innovation! This is the sector where innovators are really gladiators
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
Startup mentoring as reality TV
What’s it like being interviewed by Paul Graham when you’re applying to Y Combinator? Watch this unmissable video of intense grilling and inspired brainstorming in front of a live audience
Venture Capital 2.0’s secret sauce
VCs are interested in finding large, untapped markets. They use startups to do the market research needed to find them
30,000 Clinical Pathology Labs For A Dollar
No British press coverage for a major innovation story: biotech legend Una Ryan secures funding from both the UK’s Department for International Development and the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation
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
Game-changing technology, no venture capital
Tractors, farm equipment, built at around one eighth the cost. Industrial equipment too. Superior design. Handmade quality. Problem? Investment. Solve it, and Jakubowski becomes a household word. That might just happen anyway.
iij Top Ten Startup Weekend Videos
I had to work my way through an enormous number of clips to put this together, but I still only scratched the surface. I had to do it now, because soon, there are going to be just too many to even attempt this with any sense of purpose.
Is the whole lean startup thing really nothing more than UX?
If you’re thinking: “Aha! at last, a lean startup skeptic! I always suspected all that MVP and pivot stuff was really just snake oil!” then this video is for you. But buckle up, you’re in for a bumpy user experience
Investment banking students morph into urban mushroom farming phenomenon
Even if you find the average recycling innovation story boringly predictable, this one, as it gathers momentum with one ludicrously lucky sustainability discovery after another, will have you cheering along with the audience
A whole new take on NSFW
No, it’s not Dave McClure’s customary firehose of expletives that make this video Not Safe For Work. It’s you. You’re Not Safe For Work in a startup, as far as he’s concerned
Extreme uncertainty over startups as a solution to everything
Startups attempt innovation under conditions of extreme uncertainty. Is it possible that we can find new ways to solve the world’s biggest problems using ‘extreme uncertainty’?
Are governments really listening to innovation investors?
The iij compares innovation-friendly policy suggestions offered prior to the UK budget with the measures that were actually announced by the chancellor
What did the budget do for UK innovation investors?
Of the incentives announced in the budget, perhaps the most important for innovation may be the increase in the rate of income tax relief. Share scheme specialist Russell Eisen compares the chancellor’s announcements with innovation champion Julie Meyer’s pre-budget suggestions
Maybe Scoble got it wrong and Convofy isn’t just the future of work
Robert’s insight into Adobe’s next OS was probably right, perhaps he just didn’t take it far enough
The angel scene: how much has changed since September?
You’ll probably scrutinise ‘angel disruptus maximus’ Naval Ravikant’s latest video much more thoroughly than I have, just to see how his predictions have changed since the last talk of his that we covered