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Month: June 2011

6/28/11

6/28/11

Good morning, All,

First thing’s first: We are planning a SOS barbeque for those of you who will be in town over the July 4th holiday weekend. Come join us for beer, burgers (yes, there will be tequila as well) a dip in the pool – and feel free to bring friends. RSVP: http://bit.ly/kIgxae

Before you take off for the long holiday weekend, remember: Entrepreneurs Roundtable36 is June 29th and you could win up to 50 roundtrip tickets on American Airlines for your company.  For more information and to RSVP: http://er36.eventbrite.com/ Read More...

6/21/11

6/21/11

Good morning, All,

We know the next few weeks will be hectic, what with July 4th weekend, Canada Day and summer vacations so heads up: We are planning a barbeque for those of you who will be in town over the July 4th holiday weekend. Come join us and feel free to bring friends. RSVP: http://bit.ly/kIgxae Our next Find A Cofounder is also coming up and we’re planning it for mid-July. Really, and we hope to get all of the details finalized by next week. And make sure you read ‘Upcoming Events’ this week: You could win up to 50 roundtrip tickets on American Airlines for your company at the next Entrepreneurs Roundtable. Details below.

Europe had its first ever Digital Agenda Assembly this past week (http://bit.ly/fDbhwl) in Brussels to help thrash out information and communication technologies’ role in Europe’s future. From all reports, there was a shortage of entrepreneurs present/invited (not surprising) but it was a start. Not that entrepreneurship was the main thrust of the Assembly, but rather, the importance of a neutral internet, among other topics. Still, it might have been helpful to get the perspective of people who actually work in the industry. Full story is here: http://tnw.co/lxrGHy. The Silicon Alley Talent Fair was also last week and there was an enormous turnout of both startups and people looking to work for startups. At the end of the day – literally -, Rachel Sterne, NYC’s Chief Digital Officer, announced that New York may well become the first city in the world with its own domain – .nyc – not just for the prestige but of course also for the revenues that it will generate for our fair town. All well and good, but heads up, NYC government: while we were happy to see that you supporting the job fair, how about supporting entrepreneurship in a truly meaningful way, and we don’t mean by announcing a new way to collect revenues from us via the TLD. How about tax breaks for entrepreneurs? Or – heaven forfend! – less regulation/lower barrier to entry? There’s a reason why incorporating in Delaware or Nevada as opposed to NY is a frequent discussion on many a NY tech-based listserv. New York does not make it easy, or affordable, to set up shop here and pretty much buries one in bureaucratic paperwork on a regular basis. Just thought we’d throw that out there as ideas to consider, presuming that the goal is to potentially create more jobs – and even more revenue – for the city. Yes, we know: you, too, would love to see the forest, too, but all those bloody trees are in the way. Onward and forward. Read More...

6/14/11

6/14/11

Good morning, All, and no, we’re not talking about silly walks but instead, domain name registration. Yes, the Name Game.

We went to the kickoff mixer for StartupWeekendNYC and it occurred to us: all of those people there to launch startups – how the hell do you name the damn thing? Takes some people more than 54 hours just to come up with a name for their new company – and the website, of course. So we sat there thinking about website names and their relevance to the site itself – and does it matter? Example: Google. Apple. Facebook. Myspace – ok, never mind that one, but we never said that a name is necessarily an indicator of the long-term success of a site. Zaarly came out of the last StartupWeekendLA and they’ve even raised a round of funding. The site helps you buy and sell with people around you. Don’t tell me that one of the zaarly team members didn’t show up to the LA StartupWeekend looking a bit, um, off, when another member of the team said, ‘go home, get some sleep and don’t forget to shower and shave before you come back here. You’re looking a bit zaarly.’ A name was born. As a former copywriter, moi could even venture a guess as to how the name Cialis came about. A few creatives sitting there, tasked with coming up with a name for the product, and they were coming up with bupkis. It was getting late; everyone wanted to call it a day, or a night, more likely, until one guy said, “Who would use this stuff? My grandfather. The guy has a girlfriend. And he’s in his 70s! See, this is the stuff my grandpa would take when he’s going to see Alice.” Done!

CNN reported nearly a year ago that we’re running out of IP addresses (http://bit.ly/jQDSnT). How long before we run out of decent dot com names, too? Creative spellings (kohorts) and -.ly have become very popular lately. Bit.ly. Comp.ly. There are a plethora of them and we’re surprised -.it hasn’t caught on. Why go for an adjective/adverb when you can go for a call to action? It’s a thought. Not that bit.it portends that anything good might come out of the site, but just an extension you might want to keep in mind, whilst attempting to come up with a name for your next venture. Gofor.it! Onward and forward. Read More...

6/7/11

6/7/11

Good morning, All,

Yes, we were having an Alice in Wonderland moment, and we’re not the only ones, it seems. IPO fever seems to be on again, and now all eyes are on Groupon, but a moment, please, and eyes on the bottom line: Groupon is no Linkedin – which happens to have a very profitable bottom line and has had for some time now. Groupon, on the other hand, is shelling out $1.43 cost-per-acquisition for every $1 it makes. Did we mention that it’s a 2-1/2 year old company with 7,000 employees? Yes, we do remember Web 1.0 and the New Economy. The math didn’t work then; doesn’t work now. Want a great read on the topic? Groupon IPO: Pass on this Deal: http://bit.ly/j1ONlH From the yipit blog Groupon S-1 Reveals Business Model Deteriorating in Oldest Markets: http://bit.ly/migJUl. And for those of us who remember way back to the end of 2010: Groupon Turns Down Google’s $6 Billion Offer: http://on.mash.to/f4iCQd. Hmmm. Someone will make money in the groupon IPO, no doubt, and between this and the MSFT purchase of Skype, well, it’s all just so much fodder for the doom-and-gloomers. But as witnessed in the articles above, not everyone’s jumping on the bandwagon, as happened back in the days of Web 1.0. Been there; done that – burned the tee shirt. We are admittedly a cockeyed optimist and see this as a blip, rather than a trend.  Eye on the prize: some of us are here to build an industry and won’t be led lemming-like over the precipice again. Hopefully, cooler heads rather than greed will prevail this time around and we’re not looking at another bubble but rather another proliferation of bubbleheads. As Vivek Wadhwa tweeted – “Problem: after Groupon crashes, it will wreck chances of more worthy companies going public. Wreck innovation system again like dot coms did.” Our sentiments exactly and let us not be led down the rabbit hole again. Onward and forward.

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