6/25/13
Posted at 11:19h, 25 Jun 2013 by Bonnie Halper 1 Comments 135 Likes Share
Good morning, All, In our industry, pivoting is not only perceived as a positive: it’s often seen as a necessity, if the plan is to innovate and grow. Boxee started out as a software company and pivoted into a set-top box developer (Boxee Box) that would allow anyone to stream media from their television or computer, and which would play practically any format. It was non-techie friendly – very important : you could watch a friend’s ripped DVD’s via a USB drive, or watch the streaming services, like Netflix, Spotify, et al. Then they pivoted again into Boxee TV / Cloud DVR storage service, and basically followed in the footsteps of all of the major cable providers. In other words, they stopped innovating and started copying off their neighbor’s papers. Never a good idea: they lost a lot of their audience – and their mojo. Consequently, they couldn’t raise their next round, and since they had put themselves squarely into competition with a number of companies for whom they might h...
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6/18/13
Posted at 11:18h, 18 Jun 2013 by Bonnie Halper 1 Comments 135 Likes Share
Good morning, All, We’ve mentioned the importance of mentors before. FastCo just came out with an excellent piece on the subject. We recently attended an event where we were asked to critique a handful of startups that were pitching. They were early stage. Most had co-founders; a few did not, and there was a distinct difference between the two, so without further ado, our list of reasons why it’s important to have a co-founder: Having a sounding board – You don’t know everything, and not everything you think is right for the company/product, is. Good to have feedback and another opinion - from a partner. Employees are not the same. They’re getting their marching orders (and paycheck) from the top – you – so it’s just not the same as a bouncing ideas off from someone with as much skin in the game as you. You can’t do it all yo...
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6/11/13
Posted at 11:17h, 11 Jun 2013 by Bonnie Halper 1 Comments 135 Likes Share
Good morning, All, Last week, our friend Murat Aktihanaglu was watching television, trying to find news about the protests in his native Turkey. It was nowhere to be found on the major news outlets. He found it on a grassroots station. And on twitter. CNN Turkey was airing a documentary on penguins. Seriously? Unable to sit by passively and despite the fact that he’s anything but political, he was motivated to act because people were getting hurt: They were being gassed and hit by water cannons. He crowdsourced advice (via twitter and facebook) and within an hour of finding that grassroots station, he’d launched an IndieGoGo campaign to raise money to take out a full page ad in The New York Times. Donations started pouring in from at least 50 countries, across six continents at the rate of $2,561 an hour. It was one of the fastest-growing campaigns in the platform’s history. By 11 the next morning, enough money was raised to pay for th...
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6/4/13
Posted at 11:16h, 04 Jun 2013 by Bonnie Halper 1 Comments 135 Likes Share
Good morning, All, Since taking on the position as Editor in Chief at AlleyWatch, we’ve gotten any number of press releases in any given week. Same when we were in the music business. Press releases are fairly boilerplate. Which means that they becomes white noise. Which is why most press releases, especially from new/unknowns are routine and summarily ignored. How many versions of your deck/executive summary/talking points have you written? The point is to capture the attention of the investor, hopefully in the first sentence and essentially in the first slide or two. Essentially, for you, or you’ve pretty much lost them. Newsflash: the same holds true for your press release. Don’t tell us how excited you are to have INSERT NAME HERE on as WHO CARES? Tell me a story. In other words, pretty much write the press release as if you are writing the article itself. Not that reporters are lazy: just that if you tell a good story, and a compelling one, you are much more like to get ...
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