How Startup Culture Is Killing Innovation | Wired Opinion | Wired.com.
Wired has a thought-proving article out which talks about prevailing startup culture and how many of the current touchstones of this culture actually get in the way of real R&D and innovation in the marketplace.
The article centers around a couple of key premises. First, that many businesses fail to engage in real “research”, and then proceeds to define the term. As used int he article, they are not talking about “hard science” research vs. other types of research. Rather, the article defines applied research as the systematic process of gathering information to achieve a particular goal, and along the way using that information to test fundamental assumptions (and either validate or disprove them).
The article goes on to discuss why organizations often shy away from such applied research. The most common reasons being fear: fear of waisting time, fear of being a “follower”, fear of losing control, and fear of having to share credit.
If you are an entrepreneur, this is well worth a read and little considered thought.
Mobile app startups are failing like it’s 1999 | @andrewchen.
Here is an interesting article from Andrew Chen’s blog in which he draws parallels between the current mobile app start-up boom (and bust) and the bursting of the tech bubble in 1999.
Chen doesn’t offer up any easy answers to companies seeking to avoid the boom-bust cycle, but he does make a good point: many companies are burning over 1/2 of the their available cash before even launching v1 of their product. This leaves companies with a VERY short runway to get their product off the ground.
As always, keeping burn-rates low and hoarding cash as much as possible are keys to maintaining enough longevity to give a product time to build market-share and, if necessary, to go back and tweak the product if v1 is not “all that”.
Finding a Knut: Kickstarter advice from an entrepreneur – Global Business Hub – Boston.com.
This article shares valuable insight from an entrepreneur of the challenges of funding a project through Kickstarter. It is by no means a comprehensive examination of the process, but it does share some important lessons regarding the process and what a company can learn from the process as it works its way towards its funding goal.
There are enormous opportunities for companies to leverage Kickstarter as seed funding source, but there are speed-bumps that are likely to come up along the way. Understanding where to look for these speed-bumps and being able to navigate them successfully is vital part of the Kickstarter process. Chad O’Conner’s article presents a great road-map to a few of these speed-bumps. If your company is thinking about using Kickstarter or is looking for funding thorough any outlet, this article is well worth the read. Knowledge is power.
LLC: Which Flavor Is Right for Your Company?.
This article from Mashable.com is a good overview of the choices and options facing start-ups in choosing what sort of business entity to form. This particular article focuses on the various flavors of Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) that exist in the U.S.
LLCs are often excellent entity choices for start-ups due to their flexibility, tax treatment, and ease of both set-up and administration. If you are thinking of starting a new business, this article is a good source of information on LLCs. It will arm you a good basis for discussion with your attorney (you do have a business attorney helping you, right?) about what choice of entity will make the most sense for the company you envision.
The Struggle | TechCrunch.
This is a good essay from Ben Horowitz, a celebrated tech start-up veteran and co-founder of Andreessen Horowitz, the tech VC juggernaut, on the the struggle faced by entrepreneurs as they give birth to their companies.
While essentially a variant on “That which does not kill you only makes you stronger!”, it is, if nothing else, refreshing to hear from a start-up rock star validation on how damn hard it is to grapple with myriad challenges that founding entrepreneurs must face.