2017

What Happens When Startups Turn from Their Innovation Stage to Operational Excellence?

Both Sides of the Table

Nearly every successful tech startup I’ve observed over the past 20 years has gone through a similar growth pattern: Innovate, systematize then scale operations. An alternate outcome that I also unfortunately observe in some cases are companies who had extreme early success with an initial product adoption but failed in key areas that limited the growth and therefore the ultimate financial outcomes.

A Call to Brains: Can We Mobilize Education Like Manufacturing in WWII?

This is going to be BIG.

"In May 1940, Franklin D. Roosevelt called for the production of 185,000 aeroplanes, 120,000 tanks, 55,000 anti-aircraft guns and 18 million tons of merchant shipping in two years. Adolf Hitler was told by his advisors that this was American propaganda; in 1939, annual aircraft production for the US military was less than 3,000 planes.

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I hate MVPs. So do your customers. Make it SLC instead.

A Smart Bear

Product teams have been repeating the MVP (Minimum Viable Product) mantra for a decade now, without re-evaluating whether it’s the right way to maximize learning while pleasing the customer. Well, it’s not the best system. It’s selfish and it hurts customers. We don’t build MVPs at WP Engine. The motivation behind the MVP is still valid: Build something small, because small things are predictable and inexpensive to test.

What happens when you take 12 investors to Silicon Valley?

Startup Catalyst

In November 2017 we delivered our first Investor Mission, heading to San Francisco for an intensive week meeting with angels, VCs, corporate venture programs, accelerators, startups, pitch events, and dinners. The mission was led by Steve Baxter, an investor on Shark Tank and the current Queensland Chief Entrepreneur. Who we took. The mission participants were a mix of angel investors, VCs, and an accountant and lawyer (who manage investment deals) from Queensland and New South Wales.

The Best Sales Forecasting Models for Weathering Your Goals

Every sales forecasting model has a different strength and predictability method. It’s recommended to test out which one is best for your team. This way, you’ll be able to further enhance – and optimize – your newly-developed pipeline. Your future sales forecast? Sunny skies (and success) are just ahead!

Will tech kill your job?

Berkonomics

Close. Stop me if you’ve heard this story before. “My My job as a (newspaper publisher telephone installer, stockbroker, travel agent, retail store manager) is safe as this economy continues to grow.” Thought so. We are in a decade of creative destruction that will affect most everybody. And the prime motivators of this massive destruction are the same class of entrepreneurs and innovators that have done it before.

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Working From Home Can Be A Productive Perk, But It's Best Done With Some Rules

FundersClub

Most offices, whether at a big company or at a startup, allow employees to work at home from time to time. It's not exactly a perk, but it does allow people to better manage work and their lives, as neither of those things adhere to perfect forms of time or place. Some studies, including one carried out by Nicholas Bloom at Stanford, suggest that letting employees work from home is not only a sellable benefit when recruiting, but it also leads to higher productivity for most people.

Microcredentials for the effective VC or private equity investor

David Teten - VC

Historically VC has been an apprenticeship business. That said, I’ve identified quite a few microcredentials, conferences, and other learning opportunities which will help train you to be a better investor. If I’m missing any from the list below, please contact me. VC ASSOCIATIONS. Confluence.

Med Tech startup gel-e has developed revolutionary technology that can almost instantaneously stop…

propel(x)

Med Tech startup gel-e has developed revolutionary technology that can almost instantaneously stop bleeding, even for severe wounds Stephen Hawking had good reason to call gel-e “a top innovative product of this decade.” The Propel(x) alumnus company is poised to deploy a revolutionary technology to rapidly stop bleeding in diverse emergency, trauma, surgical and even everyday situations.

Labor Arbitrage Comes to Silicon Valley

Tomasz Tunguz

Last week, I wrote about the decline of investments in San Francisco startups. On Hacker News, this post engendered a lengthy conversation on the challenges facing founders and start-up employees in San Francisco. In short, the cost of living in San Francisco and the Bay Area has reached untenable and unacceptable heights for many. The average one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco costs $3500 per month. That is simply astronomical. It’s 30% more expensive than Manhattan.

B2B Pocket Playbook: End-to-End Guide to Sales Enablement

Sales enablement is the strategic process of providing sales teams with the content, guidance, and mentorship needed to engage targeted buyers. It’s all about equipping sales professionals with the tools they need to put their best-selling foot forward. And if sales teams want to continuously sell better -- and faster -- their sales enablement process must have a game-winning strategy. It's time for you to start selling smarter - and hitting your sales number - with the best B2B database in the market. Get started today.

Thinking of Home: Dickinson, Texas

abovethecrowd.com

For those of you who have moved away from the town where you grew up, the few times that you see your hometown in the national news creates an enormous sense of pride. Over the past few weeks, the town I grew up in, Dickinson, Texas, has been front and center in the national news, but for all the wrong reasons. Dickinson, a small town southeast of Houston on Galveston Bay, has been one of the hardest hit communities by Hurricane Harvey.

Understanding What’s Going on in #LATech

Both Sides of the Table

Upfront Ventures was created 20 years ago as one of the original VC funds in Los Angeles. Back then only 15% of our dollars were invested locally whereas today 50% of our dollars are invested in LA. 10 years ago we found ourselves trying to persuade LPs and VCs that it was worth spending more time getting to know the LA market and now the most common refrain that I hear from them is “there really is something going on in LA.” Don’t we know it. It’s not just Snapchat, although there’s that.

Some Rules for Fundraising

This is going to be BIG.

Fundraising sucks. No one likes it. Founders don't start companies so they can spend half their time asking people for money and VCs don't love the dance either. However, it's a necessary animal, so the least everyone can do is act professionally, and most of all value each other's time. That's what I'm most frustrated by--the lack of respect for other people's time.

You can have two Big Things, but not three

A Smart Bear

Forget work/life integration for a minute. How much time do you have, regardless of partitioning? From your 24-hour daily allotment, the 1950s-style break-down is 8 hours for work, 8 for home and commute, and 8 for sleep and ablutions. So, “work” and “home” are the two things in which you can spend 40+ hours per week. This is the amount of time it takes to tackle something huge. A career. A parent. A startup.

energy 201

Pressure Points: How to Ensure Your B2B Pipeline Passes Inspection

This eBook highlights best practices for developing a pipeline management process that helps sales leaders and their team C.L.O.S.E (you’ll see what we mean in this eBook) more revenue through data-driven prospecting, stage analysis, and subsequent sales enablement.

Israel Mission day 5 summary

Startup Catalyst

Does your business need money? Read this!

Berkonomics

The subject of raising money is critical to many businesses and a passing option to others, depending upon the capital efficiency of the enterprise. Some businesses require very little capital and the founder can self-finance the enterprise and retain 100% of its ownership and control from ignition through liquidity event (startup through sale). For you who fit that description, nice work.

Corporate Coworking: Drivers, Benefits & Challenges

Deskmag

The utilization of coworking spaces by corporate companies is on the rise. Factors feeding the trend include increased flexibility, lower costs, greater emphasis on employee values and the global drive towards innovation. However, corporates have their own strategic position when it comes to coworking. Why do they utilize such space and what are the advantages and disadvantages of doing so? And what benefits and challenges does this trend pose for the providers of coworking spaces

Keeping Engineers Engaged And Happy Is Critical - Here's How To Do It

FundersClub

Christopher Steiner is the founder of ZRankings , and Aisle50, YCS11, which was acquired by Groupon in 2015. In the history of the U.S. economy, particular classes of workers rarely have had a run so prodigious and extended as the current ride that engineers and developers find themselves on. The nature of capitalism means that lucrative job categories that experience shortages are typically fed with hordes of newly-trained workers who even out the imbalance.

Marketing-Led Post-COVID-19 Growth Strategies

Businesses are laying off workers, shutting their doors (some permanently), and struggling to react to the radical destruction that coronavirus (COVID-19) is doing to our society and communities. However, there’s no team better suited to lead that charge than the marketing department.

Diversity, why international startups love NY, and why NY VCs love international startups

David Teten - VC

?. New York is now the second-most-active tech ecosystem in the US on all key metrics, after the Bay Area. One of the drivers for that growth is that for European, Israeli, Latin American, and Eastern Canada-linked companies, the East Coast is much closer than California.

3 Reasons Top Startup Investors Want More IP in Their Portfolios

propel(x)

And why it is considered one of a startups most important assets. IP as one of a company’s most important assets. Everyone hears that IP is one of a company’s most important assets, and for many companies in today’s technological landscape, a crucial one. The World Intellectual Property Organization says that “complementary research-based market valuations of firms in Standard & Poor’s 500 Index indicate that intangible assets account for around 80 percent of the average firm’s value.

The Software Startup Sectors Raising the Most Capital in 2017

Tomasz Tunguz

Over the last seven years, software startup investing has changed quite a bit. In 2010, classic SaaS was booming, the benefits of a subscription model were finally becoming clear to the public markets and the mass-market. Since then, many other types of software businesses have been created in new categories like agriculture technology and robotics. Which of these markets are growing the fastest for investment dollars?

Benchmark’s New General Partner Sarah Tavel

abovethecrowd.com

The partners at Benchmark are excited to announce that Sarah Tavel has joined the firm as our newest General Partner. We define ourselves by a love for the craft of early stage investing, and Sarah’s career-long desire and commitment to be one of the world’s great venture capitalists make her an ideal addition to a Benchmark team. About a year ago, we asked our venture partner Scott Belsky who he thought had the greatest potential to become one of the best investors of the next decade.

How ZoomInfo Helps Overcome the Top Pain Points of Inside Sales

Recent digital transformation has shifted the B2B landscape by ushering in the era of buyer empowerment. With more access to user reviews, analyst opinion, and industry research, decision-makers are more informed than ever while navigating what is now known as the “buyer’s journey.”

The Case For & Against Cryptocurrencies (for those tired of all the noise)

Both Sides of the Table

In more than a decade of writing about the Internet and tech-enabled businesses I’ve learned that mobs don’t do nuance well. If you read the headlines or talk with zealous friends you may well think cryptocurrencies are either our savior from bureaucratic, ossified governments or are purely speculative Ponzi schemes. The reality is that cryptocurrencies can be both and can be liberating and corrupting at the same time.

Why You Shouldn't Put VCs on a Pedestal

This is going to be BIG.

Influencers. Kingmakers. Sharks. Power brokers. Visionaries. There are a lot of ways the startup world describes venture capitalists that portrays a certain power dynamic, real or perceived, that I believe is at the heart of so many of the industry's problems. The industry treats VCs as if they hold all the cards, and the worst behaviors of investors reflect that. Frankly, it makes me uncomfortable, because it's undeserved. Here's why. Who's really chasing who?

Brittleness comes from “One Thing”

A Smart Bear

We’re tired of hearing how small software companies usually fail. The data show that the two most common causes are: (1) Product isn’t useful to enough people, and (2) Problems with the team. But what about the companies that die even though they did sell some copies of software, and where the early team isn’t dysfunctional? I don’t have data for that cohort (tell me if you do!),

media 148

History of The MP3

Unvalidated Learnings

How An Algorithm Transformed The Music Industry And Created The Mobile & Social Web As the music industry recently announced its first annual revenue growth after 15 years of uninterrupted contraction, I thought it was a good time to share some of the things I learnt from reading Stephen Witt’s book How Music Got Free. It provides a fascinating account of how a relatively obscure scientific breakthrough?—?the

Marketing Ops: The New Revenue Hero

As data continues to play a starring role in today’s B2B organizations, both marketing and sales operations professionals are poised to solidify their place as critical revenue drivers. In particular, the evolution of the Marketing Operations (Ops) role has created a new standard in marketing and has become a vital component of an organization’s success.