Good morning, All,
We always see lists of the steps to take to succeed in technology. What about the things and people to avoid, sometimes at all costs. Starting with advice from the piece that inspired today’s newsletter: Why I got Fired from Facebook (a $100 Million dollar lesson): http://bit.ly/RqDgp1 Worth a read, and one of my favorites, yea, even as a networker. And blogger: “The BEST way to get famous is make amazing stuff. That’s it. Not blogging, networking, etc.” Make sure to read the note from Zuck – and see if you can find Waldo. Networking is important – but not to the exclusion of all else, or to validate your overwhelming desire to procrastinate. New rule: Check to see who’s going, or who’s hosting. Give yourself an hour to go and meet the people on your list. Also make sure to meet at least one new person. Once you get the feeling that your work there is done, leave. And don’t look back. One more lap around, just to be sure, is permissible, but just one, unless it was really worthwhile. After all, networking is part of your jobs, too (and yes, the next SOS networking event is October 18th. RSVP now for the early bird rate: http://sosoctobermixer.eventbrite.com/
You’re not the star – your product is. What we mean by that, well, once again, there’s the lessons of Color (and just for the record, Elvis has left the room – Bye Bye, Bill: How Nguyen Doomed Color from the Start: http://bit.ly/P4tAC3). It was a startup without a product. Or a plan to capture users (yes, we know you need a product first, but when investors throw $41 million at you, guess you don’t sweat the details. Bill Nguyen: The Boy In The Bubble: http://bit.ly/UAkutF As the article says, Bill Nguyen launches startups with haste, never researches the competition, and makes the same mistakes “again and again.” So why do people keep giving him so much money? Hope the investors on the list are paying attention to this one and yes, there is such a thing as Silicon Snake Oil Syndrome, which is the concept that if you’ve hit it once, whether by pluck or luck, you’re destined to be a Successful Serial Entrepreneur, which might help to explain The Venture Capital Secret: 3 Out of 4 Start-Ups Fail: http://on.wsj.com/PDkx7z
Your Potential Investor: do your homework. Which is potentially, the other side of the Silicon Snake Oil Syndrome. See above on the number of investments that fail. The two are related. Investors with portfolio companies that aren’t doing well are looking for ways to help them (and their investments) to succeed and/or pivot, if necessary. Along comes you, with a product in their vertical that just might help another one of their investments. Investors don’t sign NDAs. Good to have, especially if you have the funds to defend it in court, if it comes to that. Not all investors are ethical (we hear you guys seated in the back of the room laughing), so do your due diligence and linkedin is always a good place to start. Oh, and make sure to vet your source as well, if you hadn’t done that already. Not a bad idea to have a casual meeting with your potential investor, too, before you get too far along. Make it social – lunch or drinks – and ask them about themselves, casually. People love to talk about themselves and your job is to find out exactly who they are, how they operate – and pay attention: the devil is always in the details. Don’t give away too much: the deal ain’t done till the money hits the bank. Another point to remember. and this pretty much refers to life in general: the answer is always money. Now, what’s the question? Onward and forward.
The list of Startup Weekend Upcoming Events
The Awesome Foundation wants to give you $1000 for your best idea – almost anywhere in the world. We give micro-grants each month to projects that are inspiring, delightful, and elegant: in a word, Awesome. To apply in NYC: http://bit.ly/NWueRO For more information and the complete list of chapters all over the world: http://www.awesomefoundation.org/
Vator is bringing its popular evening event and competition back to the Big Apple! Deadline to enter: October 2nd. What do the top 10 finalists win? The opportunity to give a three-minute presentation onstage to some of the top investors in the industry, here in NYC on December 5th.
For more information: http://bit.ly/OVVrPl To apply for the competition: http://vator.tv/registration
LeWeb’12 Paris, deadline October 21st. We are looking for the most exciting and innovative startups and of course if your company or your product is in the “Internet of Things” space (LeWeb12 theme) this will be even better (but not compulsory!). If that sounds like your startup, entry is free and to apply: http://bit.ly/SrYhl2
DreamIt Ventures inaugural Austin accelerator program, deadline October 26th. The details are here: http://bit.ly/OVWQ8y. Demo Day will take place during SXSW. To apply: http://dreamitventures.com/apply/apply-now/ .
AWS Global Startup Challenge, deadline November 9th. The Amazon Web Services (AWS) Global Start-Up Challenge is a way for promising start-ups to get noticed and compete for an opportunity to win some great rewards. This year’s challenge offers prizes such as $100K in combined cash and credits for multiple winners, VC introductions, PR support, and more. If your start-up is built using AWS, we want you to apply!
Meet Tier One Investors: Finalists will be flown to San Francisco where they will meet 1:1 with top VCs
More Winners, More Prizes: This year we will award winners in four categories, and award each of the four winners $50,000 in cash and $50,000 in AWS credits
Press and Attention for Your Start-Up: Past winners have been covered by top tech news outlets, and AWS offers other free promotion to top teams as part of the contest. For more information and to apply: http://bit.ly/OwE8ny
ER Accelerator Winter Session, deadline November 30th. ERA one of the top accelerators in the country, if not the world. Get $25k in funding; free office space in the heart of NYC; access to 200+ amazing mentors (http://eranyc.com/mentors/ and yes, Yours Truly happens to be one of them). For more information: http://eranyc.com/ To apply: http://eranyc.com/apply/
Take the HELM, deadline November 30th. The Take the HELM (Hire & Expand in Lower Manhattan) Competition will select up to 20 finalists that best meet the goals of the competition and seek to open an office in Lower Manhattan. Finalists will each receive a $10,000 cash grant, an opportunity to interview with the distinguished Take the HELM Selection Committee, and will participate in two days of exclusive business development programs in Lower Manhattan. Up to four Take the HELM winners will receive an additional $250,000. At least one $250,000 prize will be reserved for startup applicants. For more information and to apply: http://www.takethehelmnyc.com/
THE NEW ENGLAND VENTURE SUMMIT Call for Top Innovators, and it’s not too late to apply to present. http://bit.ly/OVZQBF. The New England Venture Summit provides an unparalleled opportunity for startups to meet, network and showcase their innovative investment opportunities to a leading group of investors. This exclusive venture summit will feature over 40 leading VCs on timely panel discussions; presentations by 50 cutting edge companies and high-level networking opportunities. It happens in Boston on December 5th. If you plan on attending, register now and save 50%: http://bit.ly/LjlttK
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For you edification this week:
Yes, Virginia, there are other revenue models. Imagine No Ads On Facebook. It’s Easy If You Try. In other words, they bought karma not too long ago, and have all of the statistics to become a truly useful gift recommendation engine. While taking a small piece of the transaction, and works for Amazon! http://tcrn.ch/QQrrG2
Microsoft’s cloud service SkyDrive is great, and no one has noticed. Ok, so we all know that we’re personally not enamored of Google docs, so why not? http://bit.ly/SWUeIA
Understand the Critical Difference Between Ideas and Opportunities. Ideas are a dime a dozen. Opportunities are much more important. An opportunity is an idea that’s passed the test of planning. It has potential. Now what? http://bit.ly/R6YJ45
In keeping with the theme: Why Too Many Startups (er) Suck. Advice from Steve Blank on how NOT to make your startup suck: http://bit.ly/SkhofN
Anti-Downloading Law Hits Japan, Up to 2 Years in Prison from Today. Japan introduced new anti-piracy legislation designed to clamp down on illegal file-sharing. The regime is one of the most draconian in the world. In most countries users are only targeted when they upload copyright-infringing material to other Internet users, but the new law’s wording means that simply downloading unauthorized material could result in a jail sentence. Scary but true: http://bit.ly/Vi1t2o
Special for SOS Members:
JOIN US FOR THE #1 BUSINESS TRADE SHOW on October 17th!
10,000 Business Owners • 40+ Seminars • 200 Exhibits • Unlimited Networking * 50+ Speakers
And BonnieFoods will be there, so stop by and try some!
Startuponestop.com is proud to partner with the LARGEST business expo and networking event in the Northeast. We invite you to pre-register for the 8th Annual New York Business Expo and Conference for FREE ADMISSION. This is a MUST-ATTEND if YOU want to network with peers, purchase discounted products & services, identify NEW B2B resources and attend cutting-edge seminars that deliver actionable strategies.
Date: October 17th 2012
Location: Javits Center Hall 1A – 655 West, 34th Street, New York, NY 10001
NY Expo offers over 40 business seminars designed to SHARPEN YOUR SKILLS in social media, sales, advertising, technology, accessing capital, healthcare, mobile, global trade and MORE! Attend one of our cutting-edge HANDS-ON WORKSHOPS and walk away with fresh techniques and indispensable takeaways. This is the MUST-ATTEND event for entrepreneurs, small business owners and executives who want to gain a competitive advantage, network with peers, purchase discounted products, engage with vendors and deepen their business education. This is the ONLY conference in New York where you can access a world of fresh ideas in one place – SAVING YOU TIME & MONEY! Register now: http://bit.ly/PQPDb Promo Code: EXPO15
Elevator Pitch/Member News
Hint, hint: Feel free to tell us what you’re working on, or if you’ve been featured in the press…Share, and we will, too!
Congrats to our friends at Parking Panda: Parking Panda App Finds and Guarantees Parking Spots: http://on.mash.to/SWGzB5 FYI, they were part of the second class of the ER Accelerator program, who are now accepting applications for the winter session. If it’s any help, the last class had a great startup called catercow.com, to facilitate finding a caterer.ParkingPanda…CaterCow…you see where we’re going with this. Apply here: http://eranyc.com/apply/
Congratulations also go to Aaron Price: the Hoboken-based NJ Tech Meetup, Mission50, and Stevens, Hoboken were all recognized as being part of the #1 unexpected startup hub city by Entrepreneur Magazine.
We will leave you with the chuckle of the week, from 2 Broke Girls: “Twitter is stupid and Instagram is Twitter for people who can’t read” That’s it from us and hope to see you at our SOS gathering October 18th: http://sosoctobermixer.eventbrite.com/ Until then, always, help is on the way…