background preloader

The Problem With Silicon Valley Is Itself - TNW Entrepreneur

The Problem With Silicon Valley Is Itself - TNW Entrepreneur
As a Brit who gave up cheerleading the European tech scene to make the pilgrimage to Silicon Valley to live, eat and breath the world’s leading hub for technology startup innovation, I’ve been largely unimpressed and disappointed by the quality of startups here. Living in San Francisco since January, I’ve interviewed around two hundred startups and there’s only two, out of two hundred, I think are game changers. Now, don’t get me wrong, Silicon Valley is an incredibly inspiring place to be. Groupon clone after Groupon clone, yawn… yet another social media dashboard, a cloud-based enterprise solution or, worse still, another photo sharing app; I’ve heard pitch after pitch of the same technology and keep wondering why all these highly intelligent, well educated youngsters, many of whom have been educated in the best universities in the world (Stanford, Yale and Harvard) are not putting their brains to good use by solving real-world problems. Not enough real-world problems Related:  Startups

What is The Best Thing About Being An Entrepreneur? Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness…the moment one definitely commits oneself, the providence moves too. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance, which no man [or woman] could have dreamt would have come his [or her] way. -W. H. Murray in The Scottish Himalaya Expedition, 1951 I grew up in a military family and my parents aspired for me to become a postal clerk because, “you can’t get fired.” My first entrepreneurial endeavor was to start a bookkeeping business while I was an undergrad UCLA. When I graduated college, I wanted to be a writer. I returned to Texas and tried waitressing, which didn’t give me enough time to think and made my back hurt. Why not? In the meantime, I wrote a novel called TOM’S WIFE and began to market it to agents and editors. I turned to another project – a movie about Albert Einstein.

Don’t Cede Control: Why You Need to Cut out Middle Men in Negotiations Middle Men. Middle People? They exist in all forms of work and life. Lawyers. We need them all. Let me start with an example. “That’s nuts!” “Because he told me that he wants the move in date to be X.” I said, “If I start with your position I have nowhere to go but down. She way annoyed. If you’ve never read Freakonomics you need to. I think for most of us this is intuitive. I started with a personal example because I’d like you to have that mindset as we discuss the business people in your lives. On the property in question, I had to wait an extra 4 weeks where I might have lost the place. 1. Executive recruiters are great at sourcing candidates. They’re also good at screening candidates. So you finally get down to your short list of final 2 candidates. First, I want to be the person looking my final candidate in the eyes and telling them what the offer is. You can’t outsource this to a recruiter. I’m also reluctant to hand over reference calling. 2. Their lawyers blame yours. 3. 4.

The Most Important Question Peter Thiel Asks Any Startup Looking For Money From lean startups to open innovation success Serial entrepreneur and Harvard Business School Entrepreneur-in-Residence Eric Ries delivered an insightful and entertaining talk on his Lean Startup methodology at the PARC Forum invited expert speaker series last week. (This is part of the Entrepreneurial Spirit series; you can see the other speakers and videos here.) Don’t let the word “startup” fool you – according to Eric’s definition, a startup is any organization of any size dedicated to creating something new under conditions of uncertainty. I’m not going to restate all of his points in this post. Instead, I want to share how we’ve been practicing similar concepts at PARC, and compare and contrast some specific Lean Startup methods with PARC’s practices in Open Innovation. The science behind the art: what both entrepreneurs and inventors have in common Both of these maxims represent statements that are easier said than done. For example, PARC uses several techniques to create conditions that stimulate discovery.

So you want to do a startup, eh? Are Women Bad for Start-ups? You've Got To Be Kidding... Posted by Tom Foremski - August 7, 2011 By Vanessa Camones, PR veteran and founder of theMIX agency. Women have made astounding advances in the workforce in the past fifty years. Even in the tech sector, traditionally an enclave of geeky guys, women have progressed from support roles to becoming respected builders, leaders and innovators. We're still a minority, but no longer an anomaly. So it bothers me, and a lot of my female colleagues, to see another woman argue that we still don't belong. Startups, she reasons, are a special kind of business that can't afford the "diversity" of having a woman on the team. She links to a previous column in which she claims women undermine startups because they want to have kids, and their male partners can't be trusted to stay at home and raise them. Trunk's claim that women don't belong at startups is conspicuously free of real-world examples other than her own. Clara Shih, the CEO of Hearsay Social, just closed an $18 million B round of funding.

The Dirty Little Secret Of Silicon Valley's Startup Boom... Posted by Tom Foremski - February 3, 2012 In San Francisco cafes and bars, even on the street, I overhear people talking about their startup ideas, business plans, and goals. And there are tons of incubators, Angels, wannabe Angels, VC firms, making investments in startups. And there's lots of money being made, especially among the Super Angels, the incubators such as Y Combinator, the micro-VCs, and people such as Jeff Clavier, Dave McClure, who have made fortunes selling startups to larger companies. Sometimes startup teams can go from seed to exit in under a year. For the investors, making dozens of $10K to $25K seed investments, can be tremendously lucrative. Just one $25 million payday from the sale of a startup will more than cover an Angel investor's loss from a hundred dud $25K investments - which is a loss of just $2.5 million. And there's no shortage of startups looking for seed investments. We are repeatedly told that these, and many other factors, are important to investors.

NASDAQ plans to unify private shares markets for startups NASDAQ plans to unify US private shares markets and introduce set periodic trading periods in a bid to reduce volatility and improve liquidity in shares of startups. NASDAQ has plans to unify US private shares markets and introduce set periodic trading periods in a bid to reduce volatility and improve liquidity in shares of startups. The NASDAQ plans would help startup founders, investors, and employees, cash out some of their shares without the need for an IPO. The money could be used to fund additional startups. Secondary share markets are somewhat controversial because they are lightly regulated and potentially vulnerable to price manipulation because of low trading volumes. However, they are restricted to wealthy accredited individuals, hedge funds, and institutions, so-called "smart money." Mr McCooey was speaking in Dublin where he was attending the F.ounders Conference and scouting for new IPOs. This would improve liquidity and reduce volatility of share prices. Please see:

Tech M&A and IPOs - CB Insights This in-depth report analyzes the worldwide exit activity within private technology companies including overall activity, vc participation in exits, which countries saw the most exits, and more. Below is a high-level summary of some of the report’s highlights. For all of the findings, download the entire report. Tech exit activity up 58% vs. 2013 2014 saw 2886 tech exits (2807 M&A and 79 IPOs). Almost 2x as many unicorn exits in 2014 vs. 2013 After just 17 private tech companies exited for a $1B+ valuation in 2013, that number nearly doubled to 32 in 2014. US dominates exit activity followed by UK. Three European countries were in the top 10 based on tech exit activity in 2014. A list of the top 15 countries by exit activity is below. United StatesUnited KingdomCanadaGermanyIndiaChinaAustraliaFranceIsraelSwedenNetherlandsSpainSingaporeRussiaDenmark 2014: 589 venture-backed tech companies acquired & 51 tech IPOs Accel Partners leads investors with the most tech exits in 2014

Related: