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Anyone Can Start a Company – Not Everyone Can Build a Business

Anyone Can Start a Company – Not Everyone Can Build a Business

 

It’s not easy building a business – and do notice that we say ‘building a business’, ’rather than ‘starting a company.’ Anyone can start a company. Not everyone can build a business. To help you to get to the latter, we thought we’d offer some handy do’s and don’ts. They’re obvious enough. One would hope, although we are admittedly the consummate optimist.

There are two popular misconceptions of which founders need to be disabused (ok, there are many, but we’ll break it down as we go): Read More...

Entrepreneurial Wisdom: Overnight Success Takes 10 Years

Entrepreneurial Wisdom: Overnight Success Takes 10 Years

We’re going to share a tale and some wisdom that angel investor and serial entrepreneur Stephen Messer shared with our attendees at one of our recent investor breakfasts:

“This is your community. It’s a lonely, lonely place, as you know. And everyone tells you how great it’s going. It’s not. When everyone says it’s so great – it’s going horribly. So I give you lots of kudos for making the effort – it’s not easy, but you’ll do great. It goes horribly, horribly, horribly for years, then it goes great. That’s sort of the thing about entrepreneurship, as you know. Read More...

Are we witnessing the waning days of Web 2.0?

Are we witnessing the waning days of Web 2.0?

Jeff Bezos lost as much as $14 billion in personal wealth during a brutal day for Amazon stock. Reported TheStreet.com, “The Nasdaq fell 4.1%, led in part by declines in the mega cap FAANG stocks. Facebook (FB) , Alphabet (GOOGL) , Netflix (NFLX)  and (AAPL) were down 4.13%, 5.06%, 8.38% and 4.63% respectively.

Amazon (AMZN) stock fell into correction territory, falling 6.15% on Wednesday and almost 14% since reaching a record high of $2,039.51 on September 4. Stocks are defined as being in correction territory if they decline between 10% and 20% from a bull market high. Read More...

What is a post scientific world? Only AI may know.

What is a post scientific world? Only AI may know.

Much has been written about AI, both utopian and dystopian. Elon Musk has launched a billion dollar crusade to stop the AI apocalypse. Bill Gates insisted that it was a threat, until he changed his mind. Mark Zuckerberg is a big supporter, insisting that “AI makes human life better.” Then again, he also told Congress that Facebook is not a publisher – until the issue came up in court: Is Facebook a publisher? In public it says no, but in court it says yes.

Remember when Facebook apologized after ‘the algorithm’ blocked the Declaration of Independence as ‘hate speech?’ And that was just an algorithm that was wrong or defective. Read More...

Simple is Elegant

Simple is Elegant

When Albert Einstein met Charlie Chaplin, Einstein said, “What I most admire about your art, is your universality. You don’t say a word, yet the world understands you!”

“It’s true,” Chaplin replied. “But your glory is even greater! The whole world admires you, even though they don’t understand a word of what you say.” Read More...

Control and Censorship: What Has Big Tech Become?

Control and Censorship: What Has Big Tech Become?

Is there really such a thing as too big to fail? Mark Zuckerberg’s Augustus Caesar syndrome aside, there was a time when the Roman Empire dominated the then civilized world.

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Google, the biggest of the big, did not feel the need to send anyone (Larry Page’s presence was requested) to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee – an empty seat was left for Page, complete with placard. Yet Google has no problem cooperating with the Chinese government (Google China Prototype Links Searches to Phone Numbers, making it easier for the Chinese government to monitor people’s queries. Ed: and note to Android owners: wonder where they are or have been beta testing). Read More...

Dumb Things Founders Do, Say or Believe

Dumb Things Founders Do, Say or Believe

Summer break is over. Time to get real again. Speaking of which, we’d like to offer a few observations which may help your pitch or strategy and which will hopefully help you move the needle just a bit. Or at least to get real. We do actively mentor at accelerators, and attend pitch events and demo days and host semi-monthly investor breakfasts for entrepreneurs. We don’t claim to have seen and heard it all, but there are a few things you might want to take note of – and a few claims and phrases we’d rather not hear again:

“We have 30+ years experience in ecommerce.” A team of maybe four young co-founders pitching, say, an ecommerce play and claiming to have 30+ years of experience between them. Note to self: most of your team looks as though they’re under 30. Ecommerce itself has only been around for some 20+ years, when most of your teams were still in diapers or hadn’t made his or her debut yet on the planet. Stop it. You’re not fooling anyone. Read More...

Is This the Social Media Tipping Point?

Is This the Social Media Tipping Point?

Mark Zuckerberg Quietly (Sold) His Facebook Stock back in March and as Recode reported in February, Mark Zuckerberg will likely sell billions of dollars of Facebook stock this year. He’s not alone. On Friday, Satya Nadella unload(ed) 30% of his Microsoft common stock in his biggest sale as CEO.

The Age of Social has reached a tipping point, and it’s taking all of tech with it.

Some can see the writing on the wall and are cutting their losses. Read More...

Post-Steve Jobs: Wash, Rinse, Repeat – Apple Hits $1T

Post-Steve Jobs: Wash, Rinse, Repeat – Apple Hits $1T

Here's to the crazy ones

“Don’t teach people how to fish, but teach them to build fishing schools.” Esther Dyson’s long term thinking on healthcare in a short attention span world.

“Don’t teach people how to fish, but teach them to build fishing schools.” Esther Dyson’s long term thinking on healthcare in a short attention span world.

Esther Dyson spoke at a CapGemini event recently. If the name is unfamiliar, her LinkedIn profile is a start, but it’s not the half of it. Dyson was an early tech guru, impresario of the highly influential PC Forum conference  and the Release 1.0 newsletter, and friendly with Steve Jobs, Bill Gates – and Yours Truly.

Esther is a long-term thinker in a short attention span world. Her current focus: Wellville, where she has gone into five communities to disrupt healthcare by stopping health problems before they become problems, through education. As she put it, not to teach people how to fish, but how to build fishing schools. Will her program, which she calls not a startup but rather, the beginnings of a restaurant chain, make a difference? Time will tell: she’s four years into a 10-year project. As for the difference between long and short term thinking: her team is educating people about healthy food and food preparation, rather than delivering meal kits or take-out with the results (potentially) being making a difference on long-term health, rather than achieving a quick billion-dollar valuation. And bringing down insurance payouts and by extension, health care costs. A potentially multi-billion dollar savings. Read More...

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