Most companies fail not because they don’t have what it takes to build a successful product or service. They fail because they build an unneeded or unwanted product or service. For many tech startups, this happens because they built too much, too early. They identify a problem in a particular market, and they try to obliterate that problem with possible solutions.
To avoid this, take notes from Eric Ries, the forefather of the The Lean Startup Movement. As a result of his work, we are seeing a radical shift in way startups are solving customer problems. Today, garage-office startups and Fortune 500 companies alike are approaching product development with a more “scientific” approach. The principles that anchor the Lean Startup help entrepreneurs avoid wasting time and resources on products or features that will have little positive impact on customers. Continue reading
When I launched my first travel blog back in 2004, I did so to the tune of precisely zero readers. After three months of blogging hard, I’d amassed an impressive number of around… 10 readers (and pretty much all of them were friends and family).
Nowadays, things are vastly improved — our most recent site launch attracted several hundred subscribers within the first week, and we no longer have an audience made up of just our loyal friends and family.
If you’ve built or are building a new website right now, you already know just how much blood, sweat and tears go into it. But this is just the beginning. Once the site is out there, the hard work reallybegins. There are a few things you can do before you launch your website — before you even start building it — that can help ensure a smooth and successful launch when it’s ready. Continue reading
In the 10 years I spent working in the television industry, no two days were the same. I’ve interviewed top CEOs and entrepreneurs as a correspondent of an NBC-produced business show, hosted shows for children’s network Nickelodeon, reported pop culture stories for E! News and covered commercial space exploration for PBS.
Yet consistent in all of my experiences was the demand to deliver a stellar product. Through it all, I was fortunate to receive some great advice that I carry with me every day:
1. Adopt a “make it happen” mentality. Launching a live daily television show is no small undertaking. But back in 2002, this challenge didn’t deter the lean staff of Nickelodeon’s U-Pick Live where I was a co-host and associate producer. Continue reading
It’s an easier time than ever to be a young, creative entrepreneur these days. Whether you’re running a successful T-shirt company or just getting started commercializing your family’s homemade soap recipe, there are new tools springing up online everyday to help you. These tools can save you time, help you be more effective, better spread your message and (most important) get you back to building beautiful products.
If you’re taking your business to the next level, about to hop into entrepreneurship full-time or just getting started, here are 15 incredible apps and websites that can save you a lot of headaches.
Tools for Trendspotting
– Pinterest: Easily one of the best places to collect inspiration and discover trends within home decor, fashion, photography and beyond. Pinterest is great for both finding and storing inspiration. Creative people can leverage these benefits to better inform their designs, new products, package design and even their marketing.
Question: HOW DO YOU REALLY UNWIND AFTER A BIG MILESTONE OR DEAL IS CLOSED?
1. PROPERLY, OF COURSE!
“Big milestones and deals deserve to be celebrated. A nice restaurant and wine usually do the trick.”
– Josh Weiss | Founder and President, Bluegala
2. WITH PAPER AND PEN
“When I reach a milestone I always record it in a journal of things I’m grateful for, then I celebrate the accomplishment. I think it’s important to be able to look back on all the little victories you’ve had along your journey, especially on the days when it feels tough being an entrepreneur.”
– Natalie MacNeil | Emmy Award Winning Producer & Entrepreneur,She Takes on the World
There seems to be a considerable amount of confusion about the differences between business accelerators and business incubators. Many people use the terms interchangeably, but there are a number of elements that distinguish one from the other. At the same time, there are indeed overlaps across incubator and accelerator services, which might explain much of the confusion. The aim of this article is to help clarify the difference between the two.
It is sometimes easier to grasp the differences between two adjacent paradigms by first knowing about the elements that they share. For example, both incubators and accelerators prepare companies for growth by providing guidance and mentorship, but in slightly different ways, and more importantly, at different stages in the business life cycle. Due to the staggering number and variety of accelerator and incubator services that exist, it is difficult to provide clear definitions — but here’s an analogy to help.
What Business Incubators Can Do for Startups
In order to get this straight, let’s draw an analogy and say that the life of a business is like the life of a human being. There are roughly three major stages of life:
Building a company is about “doing,” so if you need to partner with a technical co-founder or hire top engineering talent to do so, then start networking and building relationships within the technical community now to find the right candidates.
There is no magic formula for building a technical team as a first-time entrepreneur. However, I can offer advice based on my hard-won experience through meeting with over 60 developers, development shops and technical mentors. Below are a few things that I learned the hard way about finding a technical co-founder.
1. Don’t be the “idea guy” looking for a “coder.” Talented engineers can see “idea guys” from a mile away and will avoid them like the plague. No hacker wants to be the code monkey for your [insert hyperbolic superlative here] idea. The reality of the market is that there’s a great demand for developers, from growing startups to established companies like Google and Facebook. And the most talented are not merely one-dimensional tech geeks, but entrepreneurial-minded engineers who have ideas of their own. Get your perspective right from the start to attract top candidates.