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Billion-Dollar Start-Ups Face Problems With Valuation and Acquisitions. Zef Nikolla/FacebookFor start-up companies, going public isn’t very appealing considering what happened with Facebook’s lackluster initial public offering.

Billion-Dollar Start-Ups Face Problems With Valuation and Acquisitions

Congratulations! Your start-up is now valued at over $1 billion! This might seem exciting, as though you’ve won a lottery. But in reality, when you recheck your lottery ticket, you might find you were off by a single number. You see, being in the Billion-Dollar Start-Up Club limits how, and if, a company can get out of the Billion-Dollar Start-Up Club — at least safely. The Club is growing quickly. Dozens more companies are within arms’ reach, including Foursquare, WordPress, GitHub, Quora and Fab.

They have a lot to worry about. Given that Apple rarely makes acquisitions, that leaves Google, Microsoft and possibly Facebook. And speaking of Facebook: after its lackluster initial public offering, when its stock dropped by half, going public isn’t very appealing. Some of these companies’ valuations might be justified by revenue and growth. Rethinking Mobile First. I wrote the Mobile First Web Second blog post a few years ago.

Rethinking Mobile First

In that post, I talked about apps that were designed to be used on mobile primarily with the web as a companion. There have been a number of startups that have taken that approach and done well with it. Most notably Instagram, and also our portfolio company Foursquare. It has become a bit of a orthodoxy among the consumer social startup crowd to do mobile first and web second. But is it the right thing to do? Dear awesome startups, don’t join an accelerator, unless… By Erin Griffith On February 16, 2013 I’ve noticed a common refrain with investors at accelerator demo days.

Dear awesome startups, don’t join an accelerator, unless…

“What did you think of the companies?” I ask. “Eh,” they say with a shrug. Over the last month I’ve asked around 15 of them the same question, it became difficult to find a VC who’d argue, in general, IN favor of the industry. For VC’s, these programs act as a filtering or vetting system for early stage companies. Instagram's Mike Krieger Shares How To Do Better Product Design. App and mobile design has come a long way in the past few years, with many popular services shifting their focus more towards to improving the way their apps look.

Instagram's Mike Krieger Shares How To Do Better Product Design

At 500 Startups’ Warm Gun conference, an event focused on design problems in the tech industry, the theme that design and user experience are being treated as “second class citizens” in the community — if you’re not focusing on usability and response time, then “you suck”. “Do it for the puppies” Those words came from 500 Startups co-founder Dave McClure. In his opening remarks, he stated that most app designs suck — take a look at the most popular ones out there, like Twitter and Facebook: their mobile experience “sucks” and McClure questioned why that is.

Josh Brewer, Principal Designer at Twitter, agreed on the spot and said that Twitter was “working on it”. Refreshing the design process It appears that the design process isn’t something that has been fully realized by most organizations, according to Krieger. Why First Round Capital funded a lawsuit. You can imagine the scene in the board room.

Why First Round Capital funded a lawsuit

The CEO of our portfolio company, Techforward, is discussing a “make the company opportunity" -- Best Buy wants us to to power their nation-wide buyback program. And Best Buy is talking about launching it with a Super Bowl commercial! We had just finished a pilot test in several Best Buy stores and the results were very strong – and now, before we moved forward with the national rollout, Best Buy was asking us to provide them with access to our proprietary analytical model. This model was our crown jewels -- we had invested years and millions of dollars building it. Managing Startups: Best Posts of 2011. Marc Andreessen in conversation with Eric Ries - Lean Startup Conference 2012 HD. Startup technology demystified. By Danny Boice On December 18, 2012 When it comes to technology, it can be confusing out there for the business-minded (read: non-technical) co-founder.

Startup technology demystified

Do those snowboard-loving, flip-flop wearing, EDM-listening, tattoo-having jackanapes-for-developers ridicule you with their fancy words and assault you with offensive acronyms? Do you think that JSON was that guy with the hockey mask and chainsaw in “Friday the 13th”? Startup Attention and PR 101 by Ben Parr. ANNOUNCEMENT: 50% of the revenue from this course will be donated to THRIVE-GULU, a not-for-profit building rehabilitation and community centers across Africa.

Startup Attention and PR 101 by Ben Parr

Startup Attention & PR 101" is a deeper look at how to better work with the press. This is not a course about traditional PR. Instead, this is a deeper dive into what makes a journalist tick, how you can get attention with these public relations skills and take advantage of that for your company or cause. Are You An Alcoholic Yet? Or, The Great Startup Rollercoaster. This post has appeared as a guest blog on FounderDating, which brings together entrepreneurs with different skill sets to start innovative new companies.

Are You An Alcoholic Yet? Or, The Great Startup Rollercoaster

Startups are by their nature extremely stressful. At a large company, the company itself has momentum. With a few exceptions, if one person (or team of people) were to suddenly disappear, the company will continue to coast for (potentially) multiple years before the effects may become evident. Why Startup Founders are Always Unhappy — jessblog. Startups are incredibly stressful.

Why Startup Founders are Always Unhappy — jessblog

I know many founders whose companies are doing great, but they are still stressed and unhappy. Polyvore is doing great (growing fast and cash-flow positive!) , but I still have my moments of extreme unhappiness. Frighteningly Ambitious Startup Ideas. March 2012 One of the more surprising things I've noticed while working on Y Combinator is how frightening the most ambitious startup ideas are.

Frighteningly Ambitious Startup Ideas

In this essay I'm going to demonstrate this phenomenon by describing some. Four African Girls Created Urine-Powered Generator. 7 November '12, 04:58pm Follow What have you built lately? 14-year-olds Duro-Aina Adebola, Akindele Abiola, Faleke Oluwatoyin, and 15-year-old Bello Eniola have created a urine powered generator. All over Africa, young men and women have missioned across the country and arrived in Lagos, Nigeria. All they want to do is show off what they have made. These four girls may not end up doing that either, but their efforts definitely stand more of a chance than yet another hyper local social cloud app. For A Stranger In Silicon Valley, Success Isn’t Only About Who You Know. Editor’s note: Cherian Thomas is founder and CEO of Cucumbertown, a recipe-publishing platform.

Follow him on his blog and Twitter. For entrepreneurs, it is now both easier and harder to raise capital: easier because of powerful platforms like AngelList; harder if you’re not part of an accelerator or don’t have a strong network. Silicon Valley has more startups than ever before. My startup, Cucumbertown, raised its first round a month ago, and during the course of this journey, I realized that, as a first-time entrepreneur without any solid Valley footing, my run toward raising funds as a non-American co-founder was somewhat unique. Valley funding used to be an impenetrable fortress that opened up only by way of introductions. Instagram Co-Founder Mike Krieger’s 8 Principles For Building Products People Want. Mike Krieger, Instagram’s founder, thinks you can build apps that fit in the real world by watching what people want, not guessing.

He presented his eight core product design insights today at 500 Startups’ Warm Gun conference. Here’s the cheat sheet to his talk. 7 tactics lean startups need to build great products. If you’re running a lean startup, “launch and learn” is undoubtedly a familiar mantra. But launching a new feature can take weeks or even months, and for a scrappy startup that’s a potentially make-or-break issue. Our design studio works with dozens of startups each year to help teams define their products and features.

Through the process of doing this over and over again, we’ve collected a time-tested toolkit of methods for learning that are cheap, fast, and perfect for startups to find those crucial mistakes earlier and then adapt their plans more nimbly. The result is almost always that they ship better products and do so even faster. Warby Parker: We are a lifestyle brand.

Killing Your Startup on a Thursday Night. Editor’s Note: Lucas Rayala was the cofounder of Altsie. This is what you do when you close down your startup: you call Rackspace and cancel the Windows SQL server plan. You email SendGrid and give them notice on your Silver SMTP Service Package. You close down your Wells Fargo Business Checking account and your Paypal Merchant account.

Watch List

Ready-to-quit.png (300×575) Black Swan Farming. September 2012 I've done several types of work over the years but I don't know another as counterintuitive as startup investing. The two most important things to understand about startup investing, as a business, are (1) that effectively all the returns are concentrated in a few big winners, and (2) that the best ideas look initially like bad ideas. The first rule I knew intellectually, but didn't really grasp till it happened to us. The total value of the companies we've funded is around 10 billion, give or take a few. But just two companies, Dropbox and Airbnb, account for about three quarters of it. In startups, the big winners are big to a degree that violates our expectations about variation. That yields all sorts of strange consequences. Screw the Black Swans: Ichiro is our role model, not Barry Bonds. There are probably better things for me to do today, however i feel compelled to respond to the Black Swan Farming post by Paul Graham, founding partner of Y Combinator.

Maybe you can call this post “Grooming for Ugly Ducklings”. How Airbnb Evolved To Focus On Social Rather Than Searches. It’s good to be Joe Gebbia these days: A mere five years ago, his friend from RISD, Brian Chesky, arrived on his doorstep to rent a room in his loft. That same weekend, a flood of fellow designers were rushing to find hotels for an upcoming design conference. Disruptions: Let Silicon Valley Eat ... Ramen Noodles? Why I Never Started My Own Company. My Dad started his own company. He is a first generation American, PhD in engineering and invented the first fully automated fortune cookie machine.

He is an inventor. Other than watching sports (the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree), he enjoys nothing more than building stuff. He wanted to build things for other people. - Startups - Chris Sacca of Lowercase Capital - TWiST #291. Simon Cowell and Will.i.am join forces to find new Bill Gates. Leanstartup: #leanstartup requires opinions... Startup is the New Hipster. I went to a conference in June, actually, correction, I spoke at a conference in June (baller!) , and watched a presentation given in prezi. It was awesome. Sacca: Don't think about how to explain... All Revenue is Not Created Equal: The Keys to the 10X Revenue Club. May 24, 2011: Sites Like Groupon and Facebook Disappoint Investors.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Mediocre Entrepreneurs. [Editor’s note: James Altucher is an investor, programmer, author, and entrepreneur. He is Managing Director of Formula Capital and has written ten books. His latest books are I Was Blind But Now I See and 40 Alternatives to College. How To Thrive In The Free-Product Economy. Building technology has never been cheaper than it is today. Or faster. North of Where We Are Today: Live Nation Labs in San Francisco - Live Nation Labs. By Eric Garland [Update: Rexly duderino Joel Resnicow has written a better and more informative announcement.

The Two Types of Companies in Silicon Valley. Ideas are just a multiplier of execution. Blake MastersSearch results for: cs183. Nurturing a Baby and a Start-Up Business. The 7 deadly sins of software development. 9 Deadliest Start-up Sins. 'The Golden Age of Silicon Valley Is Over, and We're Dancing on its Grave' - Derek Thompson - Business. The Cliff. Steve Blank on small startups, big execution, and Steve Jobs. Was Zynga’s Deal To Buy OMGPOP That Disastrous? Here’s Some Perspective. A new field guide for entrepreneurs of all stripes. Google and Facebook Grow Comfortable and Complacent. Behind the Scenes at 9 Hot Tech Startups [PICS] MEGA Startup Weekend 2012 Highlights – Day 1. How I Got Ripped At 500 Startups. Why I think ad's are no one-for-all revenue solution. MassChallenge Wants to Ignite a Startup Renaissance. Class 2 Notes Essay. How to Make It as a First-Time Entrepreneur. Stanford 2012 Lean LaunchPad Presentations – part 2 of 2. The myth of the overnight success.

Crowdfunding Law Will Turn the Start-Up World Upside Down - Tim Rowe - Voices. Small Demons Deck. DressRush Pitch Deck. Frighteningly Ambitious Startup Ideas. How To Increase Your Productivity 500% Altucher Confidential. Why Some Startups Succeed And Others Fail: 10 Fascinating Harvard Findings. 20 best startups of 2011. Minneapolis a tech center? Start-ups say yes. Startup News for Entrepreneurs. After Four Years as ReadWriteWeb’s Lead Writer, Here’s My Next Adventure.

Mobile Apps

Reid Hoffman of LinkedIn Has Become the Go-To Guy of Tech. Inventions. 500 Startups Peels Back The Curtain On Its Third And Largest Batch Yet. Brave New Thermostat: How the iPod’s Creator Is Making Home Heating Sexy. The legal checklist every startup should reference. The legal checklist every startup should reference. Do Not, Under Any Circumstances, Start A Startup: Or, What I Learned At Startup School 2011. Grow Detroit. The ultimate startup lesson: knowing what matters — Cleantech News and Analysis. Funding. Interview #1: Hiten Shah, co-founder of CrazyEgg and KISSmetrics. (Founder Stories) Eric Ries: How Lean Was The Google+ Launch?

YC

10 Essential PR Tips for Startups.