The 3 Revolutions (Agile, Lean, Lean Startup) Here’s How Spotify Scales Up And Stays Agile: It Runs ‘Squads’ Like Lean Startups. What’s the secret to staying fresh, lean and mean when you’re a hot tech company on a fast growth trajectory?
A fascinating document brought to our attention today today by Andrew Mager, hacker advocate at Spotify, answers that question in some detail by telling us how the music streaming juggernaut does it: by dividing up its business into small clusters — which it calls ‘squads’ — and running each like a startup in its own right. We’ve embedded the document below. The information here is all the more relevant since this week we saw that Spotify is now finally making a move on to the web. When that is fully live, it could open Spotify up to another big growth boom from a whole new population of users beyond the 15 million early adopters (4 million of which pay) who currently use its mobile and desktop clients.
Lifehacker. Welcome To The Unicorn Club: Learning From Billion-Dollar Startups. Editor’s note: Aileen Lee is founder of Cowboy Ventures, a seed-stage fund that backs entrepreneurs reinventing work and personal life through software.
Previously, she joined Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers in 1999 and was also founding CEO of digital media company RMG Networks, backed by KPCB. Follow her on Twitter @aileenlee. Many entrepreneurs, and the venture investors who back them, seek to build billion-dollar companies. Why do investors seem to care about “billion dollar exits”? Historically, top venture funds have driven returns from their ownership in just a few companies in a given fund of many companies.
Want to Work for a Startup? Start Something First. So, you want to ditch the corporate life and go work for a startup.
Cool! But do you really understand what that would mean? How house parties helped us design Potluck Potluck’s feed was inspired by what it’s like to walk through a party, looking for conversations to hop into.
You’re looking for several things: a lively conversation with an interesting topic; and a group that has at least a few friends, but also a chance to meet new people. These became the pieces of information that we emphasized in the feed. Does Barcelona have what it takes to become a healthy startup community? The following is a guest post by Heather Russell, founder & CEO of Rinkya, a Tokyo-based eCommerce site founded in 2001 which ships Japanese products all over the world.
You can follow Heather on twitter at @heatherarussell On Thursday, July 11th, I was lucky to be a speaker at The Next Web and Barcelona IO’s sold out co-event at the Antiga Fabrica Estrella Damm brewery. I was one of over 20 speakers including some angels, investors, entrepreneurs and business gurus speaking about business and startups. As we listened to the speakers encourage the startup community and give budding entrepreneurs advice, it became evident that there was something special about Barcelona. Normally, I encounter this same situation all over the world, but the buzz in the room was one of excitement and wonder. La face cachée de la Silicon Valley. Son billet retour pour la France est programmé pour début août.
Entreprendre en France, Autopsie d’un échec. Tout a commencé il y a 7 ans, d’une humeur fort incompatible avec ma hiérarchie et d’un tempérament plutôt entrepreneur je décida un peu par force de me lancer dans l’aventure avec un ancien collègue de travail.
Pour resituer le contexte nous sommes en 2003, je bosse pour une boite spécialisée dans l’affiliation sur internet. Un patron débile parachuté dans notre service alors qu’il n’avait jamais touché une bille. Un collègue de bureau pour qui la prog n’avait pas de secret, le genre de killer avec qui on aime boire une binouse le midi en refaisant le monde de l’internet tant ses connaissances sont illimitées. Vie et mort d’une start-up : entretien avec Tristan Nicolas de Ben & Fakto. A horrifying accelerator story that you’ll need to read twice. Recently, I wrote a post called “Entrepreneurs Deserve Full Transparency” for my WSJ series.
Several entrepreneurs wrote me, but this story really stands out as a warning to do your diligence and demand full transparency. Not all accelerators are created equal. Education Week. Within education technology startup and investment circles, there's a lot of chatter about the "consumer-ization" of the market.
Basically, the end-users of ed tech—teachers—are becoming more proactive about choosing what they use in the classroom, and companies are developing and marketing products with those very end-users in mind. No longer are district-level procurement officers the primary gatekeepers for teaching tools and materials. This week, I wrote about the "consumer-ization" trend, the companies that are using that model, and how the dynamic within a school district changes when teachers are the primary drivers of what's used in the classroom. I focused on Schoology, a learning management system company that is gaining traction with this exact strategy, picking up 30,000 schools and $10 million in venture capital along the way. I also talked to teachers whose own technology use influenced their schools and districts. Five things I learned during TechStars.
The following is a guest post by Cyrille Vincey, co-founder of Qunb, a platform that helps anyone turn their data into visual stories.
You can follow him on Twitter at @cyrvin. The very day after qunb won LeWeb’12 Paris Startup Competition, I was pressing the team to figure out how to turn this award into a tangible asset, when I was interrupted by a phone call. “Hi, TechStars calling, we’ve had a look at your application, we should meet”. That was it, that was the tangible asset I was looking for. So we did everything we could to pass all the steps of the exhausting TechStars selection process, and February 25th we jumped into the most intense period of our lives, like attending a French prep school.
The program is now over, and it’s been redefining for qunb. A Brazilian startup's shutdown: Here are our actual data, financials and some tips so that your startup can benefit from what we learned. Berlin Startup Girl In Paris: Less Hype, More Wine. Berlin Startup Girl in Paris When I think of Paris, I think of making out with strangers, drinking wine from the bottle in the Place Des Vosges, and macaroons.
Startup ecosystem in the same sentence as Paris never crossed my mind. This changed last month, after I wrote about the Israeli startup scene with a link to the Startup Ecosystem Report. The comments I received were not about Israel, but Paris. People were outraged that Paris was ranked 11th while our beloved Berlin was in 15th place. After spending four days talking to French investors, entrepreneurs and accelerators, Paris began to feel like brash Berlin’s elegant older brother. I Don’t Want to Meet Your Company at Demo Day.
As a new seed fund you might imagine Homebrew hustles to incubator demo days, taking notes and then chasing down founders to make an in-person connection. Nope. If you see me at a demo day, it’s likely to show support for the incubator itself, not to discover the Next Big Thing. Why? Silicon Sentier's future: bigger space, bigger vision. An interview with Adrien Schmidt. Silicon Sentier, which in many ways was a key spark in the evolution of France’s tech ecosystem, is moving into a new, bold phase. With a huge new space to housing all its activities and Squid Solutions founder Adrien Schmidt at the helm as their new president, Silicon Sentier is looking to broaden its impact on France’s rapidly growing digital economy. Why Your Startup Can’t Find Developers ⚙ Co. In its first year of business, Hired organized thousands of developer interviews for companies trying to fill spots.
It quickly became clear why some companies couldn’t hire. "Ninety percent of companies are bad at hiring, but it's particularly bad among seed stage companies and first time founders," says founder Matt Mickiewicz. Here are the most common hiring mistakes made by employers on Hired: Hiring In Your Own Image Too many twentysomething founders look for employees just like themselves. Founders typically look for candidates who have a similar educational background to themselves and live within 25 miles of their office. Another typical form of hiring self-sabotage is to concentrate on candidates from well-known companies like Google, Facebook, or Apple. Why CTOs shouldn’t write code at work. Two Models of Success for European Startups. In the 18th century, the French philosophers invented l’esprit critique. Centuries later, it seems we French people value criticism over a lot of things – such as enthusiasm, for instance.
As a French entrepreneur living in San Francisco, I’m always sad and frustrated when I read posts like Kira Newman’s on why Facebook would have never started in Paris: not because of her (I’m not one to shoot the messenger), but because it’s filled with criticisms originating from my fellow Frenchmen. When I relocated to San Francisco, we happened to rent our Paris apartment to an American family and I remember perfectly what their little girl told me when I asked about her experience after a year in a French school.
She felt it was not so great because it was always about what was wrong, never about what was right. We have to stop criticizing and change our song to talk about perspectives, solutions, and encouraging stories. Lima’s $1.2M KickStarter joins the Top 10 most funded campaigns. What’s next? Yesterday evening at 7:00PM, French startup Forgetbox wrapped up their 60-day KickStarter campaign for their flagship product Lima, which was looking to crowdfund $69,000. They surpassed that goal – in fact, they did it in less than 24 hours. In the 59 days that followed, they managed to crowdfund an additional $1,160,074 from a total of 12,840 backers. As of today, Lima becomes the 6th most-funded technology project on KickStarter, behind well-known companies like the Oculus Rift & LIFX, and ahead of (that is, more total crowdfunding) SmartThings, a major player in the Internet of Things industry.
“Each one of our devices is good on their own, but nobody ever bothered to make them work together.” The product that they crowdfunded is innovating in the network attached storage(NAS) space; however, you won’t hear the team use this term once in their video. What happened from Day 2 to Day 60? Infographic: why everyone will become an entrepreneur. 57 startup lessons. I am a cofounder of RethinkDB — an open-source distributed database designed to help developers and operations teams work with unstructured data to build real-time applications. There are already very good lists of startup lessons written by really talented, experienced people (here and here). I’d like to add another one. I learned these lessons the hard way in the past four years. The Ups & Downs: How Startup Life is Like a Rollercoaster.
This guest post is written by Mark Fabian Henkel (@mrkhnkl) Co-founder and CEO of Paymill, a young startup that offers the fastest and easiest way to integrate credit and debit card payments in websites and mobile applications. La start-up ForgetBox récolte plus de 600 000$ sur Kickstarter. What Was The Most Valuable Experience You Gained From Y Combinator? Ten things about being a founder I wish I knew two years ago. Do Things that Don't Scale. July 2013 One of the most common types of advice we give at Y Combinator is to do things that don't scale. A lot of would-be founders believe that startups either take off or don't.
How the Productivity Myth is Killing Your Startup — about work. You have to admire the insipid, dogged and naive devotion people have to believing they are going to get this huge list of things done. Jonathan Benassaya :«Aux Etats-Unis, un bon patron est celui qui s’entoure de personnes meilleures que lui. Il est reconnu à la qualité des gens qui travaillent avec lui» Les faits - Jonathan Benassaya, 32 ans (qui signe sur Twitter @john_benassaya), diplômé des Arts et Métiers et de l'Essec, est co-fondateur de la plateforme de musique en ligne Deezer, qu'il a quittée il y a trois ans. Il vit aujourd'hui dans la région de San Francisco, pour son climat mais également pour l'état d'esprit, tourné vers la réussite, qui y règne.
Daniel Marhely. Rude VC: The misplaced pride of no marketing. Vimeo Founder Says Never Sell Your Company. Really? “An acquisition is the end of a dream.” The quote above is the title of Inc writer Issie Lapowsky’s interview with Jake Lodwick, co-founder of video sharing site Vimeo. STARTUP BEGINS - On a été pitché par Elaia Partners ! (open office)
The strange story of etherpad. Leaving my startup to join Dropbox by Pranav's blog. Inside Pocket: how a startup beat its rivals to build the 'DVR for everything' The Danger of Pitching VCs Too Early. The Danger of Pitching VCs Too Early. Founder Showcase - Phil Libin Keynote. An App Store Experiment. Dans la tête d’un entrepreneur: quand génie rime avec hypomanie. Joe Gebbia of Airbnb (YC W09) interviewed at LeWeb London 2013: "From nothing, you can start something" How to Succeed in Education Technology. .@twadhwa: Approach Life Like an Entrepreneur - The Accelerators. Why VCs and Foreign Founders Want the ‘Entrepreneur Visa’ - Venture Capital Dispatch. Strikingly, BuildZoom and Bitnami Lead Hottest Y Combinator Winter 2013 Startups.
2X Entrepreneur Turned Venture Capitalist. Considering Convertible Debt? Don’t Sell Yourself Short. Coming to America: the 5 Best Visa Options for Startup Entrepreneurs. JDN : Web & Tech, Media, Management, Business, Patrimoine, Vidéos, Premium et Emploi. Chris Zacharias. Startup Metrics for Pirates. Silicon Valley 2.0: Lots of Little Bets. Moved Temporarily. [Blogger Bus Tour] Les incubateurs de la Silicon Valley, entre coaching, mécénat et big business.
5 minutes inside #5: Leeaarn. Technique - J'ai participé au hackathon "MakeSense" (2/2)
UniShared. Portraits de technomades : Tommy, entre Asie, Amsterdam et Paris. Le nouveau Myspace arrive ! Gamification. Présentation - J'ai participé au hackathon "MakeSense" (1/2) EmoSon - agence spécialisée en identité sonore. Comment savoir si un développeur est bon quand on y connait rien ? BM. French Revolutionary - Forbes.com.