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Your Product Needs to be 10x Better than the Competition to Win. Here’s Why:

Your Product Needs to be 10x Better than the Competition to Win. Here’s Why:
Last night I had the great privilege to interview Bill Gross, one of the Internet’s true pioneers. To say he has had an impact on the web would be an understatement. His impact has even helped a small country gain admission to the United Nations. All of that are in this week’s episode of This Week in VC. Summary notes, as always, provide below. It was a pleasure to write them myself. Overture ( He invented the category of sponsored search. He created (later renamed Overture) out of a frustration with search. The idea actually came to him from the Yellow Pages business. He was skeptical of spending the money but astounded at what a transformational impact it had on his business. Bill’s rationale was the more serious your business was, the more you could afford to pay for placement and therefore the more likely it was for consumers. So he launched a company with exclusively paid search. Heresy. Google was clear that they WOULD NOT go into this business. IdeaLab

Getting Your Startup Website Ready, Pre-Launch Even if you're not quite ready to show the public your product, you can still create a good website and a solid online presence for your startup. I want to sidestep the argument about whether or not it's good to be "stealth" or not, and work with the assumption that if you've purchased the domain name, you're going to put up some sort of website. So here are a few of the things you should consider when building your startup's site: 1. Plug & Play Expands Its Overseas Reach The Plug and Play Tech Center is expanding its overseas reach. Next up: building stronger ties with some of America’s top universities. Saeed Amidi, chief executive of the Silicon Valley incubator, said that last year, 60 companies from Europe, Asia and other parts of the world spent three months at Plug and Play’s facilities, as did 15 from Canada. This year the number should grow to 120.

Are You Building The Right Product? Editor’s note: Guest contributor Eric Ries is a consultant and the author of The Lean Startup, which he will be launching at Disrupt SF on Tuesday. Follow him @ericries. I was recently asked to spend some time with an early stage startup that has a revolutionary new product. I asked them if they thought they were making their product better. As with every other startup I’ve asked, they said yes. Then I asked them, “How do you know?”

The Best Entrepreneurs Know How To Fail Fast Last night at the TechStars Boulder Mentor dinner I got into a conversation about what makes a better CEO of a new startup – an experienced entrepreneur who’s last company was a failure or a big company executive with a stellar pedigree who has never worked in a startup. Give me the experienced entrepreneur whose last company was a failure 100% of the time. The cliche “you learn more from failure than success holds true”, but more importantly the dude that just came off a failure and is ready to go again is super-extraordinary-amazingly hungry for a success. It doesn’t matter how much money he’s made in his past companies – once he decides to go for it again he’s going to be ready to crush it.

The seven tricks everyone can learn from game designers Gamification, the practice of adding game-like mechanics to non-game applications to improve engagement, is going through a hype cycle. And one of its leading experts, Amy Jo Kim, added to the push by outlining seven core gamification tricks today at the Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco. Kim, a veteran game designer and founder of the game studio Shufflebrain, said she wasn’t a fan of the word “gamification.” She prefers the word “game thinking” and believes that games are going to be everywhere, noting that game designer Will Wright refers to this time as a Gambrian Explosion, much like the Cambrian Explosion that gave birth to so many new life forms 500 million years ago.

SM Pioneers: Tom Foremski, Silicon Valley Watcher Last year, Tom pioneered a new path again–not by making a new career change, but by sharing a profound observation–that social media now requires every company to become a media company. Nothing changes everything, but that thought, it seems to me will change a great deal. Tom was born in Salzburg, Austria the son of Polish parents.

The Freedom of Fast Iterations: How Netflix Designs a Winning Web Site By Joshua Porter Originally published: Nov 14, 2006 "We make a lot of this stuff up as we go along," the lead designer said. Everyone in the group laughed until he continued, "I'm serious. We don't assume anything works and we don't like to make predictions without real-world tests. Predictions color our thinking. Beautiful live chat software pricing for sales and support In-browser Chat Our in-browser Olark chat makes connecting with your customer as easy as launching a browser! You can also connect using your favorite IM client. Microsoft Considered Server Farms In Iceland Posted by Tom Foremski - March 14, 2011 I've been intrigued by Iceland and its large reserves of geothermal energy, which is essentially zero-carbon power; and by its location: mid-Atlantic between North AMerica and Europe. You'd think this would make it a great location for large server farms, especially since it now has high speed trans-Atlantic data links. I went to an interesting media dinner last week with Microsoft scientists (full report coming) working on data center issues. They said that Microsoft did consider building a data center in Iceland but rejected it.

Fall in love with the problem, not the product Over the past week, I've met some teams at various pitch and networking events where my first reaction was, "Whoa, back the truck up... Why are you doing that in the first place? Why that problem? Isn't that too small/saturated/done already/a total death march/etc.?" It's as if I told you that, because of RA Dickey, I've decided to quit my job as a VC and that I'm just going to practice throwing a knuckleball everyday for the next year in an effort to make the major leagues.