How Startup Culture Is Killing Innovation | Wired Opinion | Wired.com

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.

Can a new crowdsourcing venture help in improve the state of the U.S. patent process?

This looks like an interesting addition to the patent review process. Ultimately, I am skeptical that it will make a significant impact on the process, bit it certainly cannot hurt and may even help!

Gigaom

A new partnership between the US government and a popular Q&A site may help rid the country of the low quality patents that have produced an endless series of lawsuits that threaten to stunt parts of the technology sector.

Starting today, the website Stack Exchange will run a channel devoted to patents on which the public can help scrutinize pending application. The move serves to crowdsource the arduous task of examining patents, permitting the general public to submit information that will help the patent office decide whether or not something is a new and useful invention.

It works like this. Once a patent examination is made public, anyone can submit it to Stack Exchange and launch a discussion. Others can then offer “prior art” that they believe is relevant to determining whether the patent should be granted. The collection of prior art is then sent on to an examiner at the…

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Mobile app startups are failing like it’s 1999 | @andrewchen

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”.

Chattanooga hosts GigaTank Demo Day

It will be interesting to see what percolates out of Chattanooga’s GigaBit Ethernet roll-out. If this accomplishes what I suspect it will (namely, creation of a new tech mini-hub in Chattanooga), then perhaps this is something that the GA 400 corridor should consider to differentiate itself from the Ga. Tech centered tech hub in Midtown Atlanta!

Gigaom

Over a dozen teams of entrepreneurs and students worked feverishly all summer in Chattanooga, Tenn.’s GigTank startup accelerator to develop gigabit apps that showcase the power and practical value of the country’s largest gigabit network. On Thursday, more than 500 techies, financiers and business mavens gathered to see the fruits of this year’s “summer camp for geeks.”

The premise was simple. Recruit nationally and internationally to select eight two-to-four-person teams of entrepreneurs and 11 students who formed their own teams. Offer $150,000 in cash prizes as the reward. Turn the teams loose in two- and three-month pressure cookers of accelerated application development.

In a process one participant described as a cross between Survivor and American Idol, we saw two primary outcomes. GigTank unleashed great creativity tempered by a real-world gigabit environment, and it’s helping people understand that apps don’t have to require a gig to benefit from a gig…

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Finding a Knut: Kickstarter advice from an entrepreneur – Global Business Hub – Boston.com

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?

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

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.