Archive for April, 2012


Very true! Reblogging it because it captures the true essence.

Originally posted on don't follow the herd:

Why being broke is the best start-up strategy there is.

Sean Sherwood, Nickler

Startups are hard, but not because entrepreneurs don’t have an appetite for hard work.  Rather, it’s the constant rejection, the inability to convince people of your glorious vision, and the ever present threat of failure that make pushing forward seem like reckless insanity.  The secret to startup success is in embracing that insanity.

I look back to opening the first restaurant, at a time when I had no money, no network, a few close friends, and a cat named Monty, so named for his awkward resemblance to one Mr. Burns.  He wouldn’t win any beauty contests, but he had the kind of human personality to make you think twice about the possibility of reincarnation.  Opening day of the restaurant, after pulling a complete 30 hour work day to get it open, Monty got hit by a bus.

I got the…

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Encouraging to see Bangalore in Top 10 and quite appalled to find Mumbai at 20th. There seems to be a strong bias towards eCommerce, Social Media and marketplaces based products. All the developed Ecosystems seem to have outsourcing as a key for product development. So cost arbitrage does play a role. Not sure if this leads to less product ownership. Something that still makes Silicon Valley great at product innovations as they build their own products. Not surprisingly Silicon Valley leads in product heavy geeky teams and NYC leads in business heavy teams. Which goes to show why Silicon Valley also is the best in incubating ideas at seed stage. No wonder Instagram is a techie company with no revenue yet a $1B valuation. Typically a SV product! More capital available for incubation at SV. So the disruptive innovation still seems to be the core of SV. Are Indian Angels, VCs and entrepreneurs up for it? Or is it just about aping one of these top few areas? Surprisingly Sao Paolo is above Bangalore! goes to show how Brazil is quickly coming to the mainstream radar.

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Last year, we covered an ambitious collaborative R&D project called “Startup Genome,” created by three young entrepreneurs, Bjoern Herrmann, Max Marmer, and Ertan Dogrultan. The goal of the ongoing project was (and is) to take a comprehensive, data-driven dive into what makes tech startups successful — and not so successful.

Out of its research came, among other things, Startup Compass: A free benchmarking tool that leverages its data to allow entrepreneurs to evaluate their progress compared to other startups in their space. The product’s overarching goal is to allow founders to make more informed product and business decisions by “utilizing a data-driven feedback loop,” according to its mission statement.

While part of the team has since split off to focus on Blackbox, an educational program and startup accelerator, Herrmann and Marmer have continued toiling away at Startup Genome, collecting data from the some-16K startups that signed up for…

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Good Points! Well written article. I constantly write about creating an entrepreneurial eco-system in India. And having spoken to entrepreneurs, VCs, angels and CEOs of incubators in India, I realize that the problems lie in the attitude. Entrepreneurial mindset is great to have but difficult to pursue. Educational institutes and eco-socio-cultural background play a very important background. US has a distinct advantage over India. India historically being a weaker economy that has risen up the ranks from Feudalism, the entrepreneurial attitude has remained only in selected communities. With MNCs opening up offices in India, the universities now have curricula whose only aim is to guarantee jobs to students. So the mindset to sacrifice big pay check for few years and embark on a cash strapped venture is missing. Government needs to play a big role in fueling the passion. Incentives must be there for entrepreneurs and investors. Red tapes have to go away.
So my take is, attitude, education, socio-cultural background coupled with the eco-system of coopetition, VCs, angels, incubators, research labs, a progressive Government initiative etc. will trigger growth.

Originally posted on Startup Communities:

I’ve gotten many emails about how startup communities grow and develop completely separately from Silicon Valley. Following is an overview of what’s driving the Kansas City startup community right now, written by Herb Sih, the co-founder and managing partner of Think Big Partners.

The founders of Think Big Partners toured the startup scene in Silicon Valley before they launched their Midwest business incubator and startup accelerator.  And although the Think Big team uncovered helpful tips during a tour of the Valley (like the impact of coworking spaces, the need for local funders and the importance of a tech culture), they seemed to learn one lesson that was much more impactful after returning back to their home of Kansas City:  You don’t need to be like Silicon Valley in order to get Silicon Valley-esque results.

And that’s where Think Big Partners started.  They asked themselves, “How can we make…

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