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Managing Startups: Best Posts of 2011

Free Market-Research Tools -- A Sampler Small businesses can tap a variety of free resources for insights about customers, competitors and trends. Before Darlene Tenes, founder of CasaQ in San Jose, Calif., sinks a lot of money into new designs for Christmas ornaments, she sends sketches to retail and wholesale clients. They report back through questionnaires she creates on the online research service SurveyMonkey, and their reactions influence which designs become decorations. "If you have four choices and there's a strong reaction [like] 'I love it. SurveyMonkey is only one of a wealth of free tools and resources that can help you gather valuable market-research information. Survey Monkey Basic Survey Monkey Portland, Ore.www.surveymonkey.comCost: Free. BizStats Brandow Co. Related: Five Affordable Consumer Research Tools Moody's Analytics West Chester, Free. Related: A New Way to Crowdsource Customer Feedback U.S. Related: Hacking the U.S.

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. 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”? Thought Ruby was a reference to Grandma’s dear friend at the nursing home? Take heart, my friend, there is still hope. 1. What is it? Node.js is a platform built on Chrome’s JavaScript runtime designed to easily build fast, scalable network applications. Translation: Node.js makes it much easier, faster and efficient for your development team to do cool shit in your app in real-time that will melt your users’ faces. Why should you care? Node.js allows developers to do things in real-time more easily, in way that scales pretty damn well. What’s it good for? Who’s using it? 2. 3.

ADTECH Announces Global Launch of Expanded Video Solution VAST Compliant Ad Serving Platform Easily Adapts to New Market Developments New York, NY – September 8, 2010 – ADTECH, AOL Advertising's global ad serving platform, announced today the launch of an expanded online video advertising solution. With research showing that U.S. Internet users viewed more than 30 billion videos online this past April alone*, ADTECH's online video product has been enhanced to meet the growing customer demand to manage, traffic and report on online video advertising campaigns . "Our expanded video solution is a powerful tool for marketers. Freytag adds, "Video has become a mass market, which needs professional ad serving solutions such as our ADTECH Video technology. A granular reporting view makes it easier to identify the right combination of campaign placement for video and display, and measure each component to see what's really driving results. About AOL AOL Inc.

Fontys ILS Top, 01: Farmville’s Sheep Invasion | Science of the Time What it is:Farmville is the most succesful -free- game on Facebook, that in a very short time became very popular among young people. It has over 35 million players that daily spend an average of twenty minutes on Farmville. In Farmville everyone owns a farm on what works needs to be done. For the virtual harvest tools and plants can be bought with real money. Why it is cool: During the minor Trendwatching Dwayne Croes showed us that Farmville has become a phenomenom. Where Farmville is one of the first mainstream commercial applications for the development that is called ‘gamification’ adding competition and tokens using different blends of on and offline definitely has a future. Related Book: Joe Pine – Infinite Possibility (buy on Amazon)

VC Rudina Seseri makes partner at Fairhaven Capital Courtesy photo. Rudina Seseri has been promoted from principal to partner at Fairhaven Capital in Cambridge. Cambridge’s Fairhaven Capital has promoted principal Rudina Seseri to partner at the firm, she confirmed Thursday. The promotion is effective Jan. 1, and Seseri will be one of the few women to have reached a senior investment position at a Boston venture capital firm. In a brief phone interview, Seseri said she was “happy and humbled” by the promotion. Seseri’s board seats include FashionPlaytes of Beverly and CrowdTwist of New York, and she also co-chairs the New England Venture Association. “Considering my partners’ achievements, I have big shoes to fill,” Seseri said. Other women holding senior investment positions at Boston VC firms include .406 Ventures managing director Maria Cirino, Longworth partner Nilanjana Bhowmik, Advanced Technology Ventures partner Jean George and Longwood Founders Fund partner Michelle Dipp. Technology

Some more thoughts on innovation in eCommerce I had the chance to speak on a panel about Online Shopping at a NextNY event this week. And after a great discussion, I started talking with some folks about my last blog post (which commented on how little has changed in online shopping since I founded back in 1999 -- especially given the vast amount of change that has occurred on the web outside of shopping). And I wanted to put a little more specifics/numbers to my thinking. So I did a little digging on Alexa today -- and found some data that appears to confirm my perspective: More than half of today's top 15 most trafficked websites today did not exist back in 1999. That is not a surprise, as Facebook, Youtube, Wikipedia, Myspace, Blogger, and Twitter are all new -- and are representative of the massive amount of innovation and disruption that has occurred in the last decade.Yet, of the top 15 most trafficked eCommerce websites today, just one of them did not exist back in 1999 (NewEgg - which launched in 2001).

Rethinking Mobile First I wrote the Mobile First Web Second blog post a few years ago. 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. But is it the right thing to do? Vibhu makes some excellent points: All in all, mobile service apps turn out to be a horrible place to close viral loops and win at the retention game. and You have an entirely different onboarding story on the web. I use my phone more than anything else. Vibhu also takes a stance against the ad-supported, privacy challenged, free consumer app world. But I don't want to focus on business model in this post. What I want to focus on is the paradox that mobile is where the growth is right now and that mobile is very very hard to build a large user base on. But just because something is hard doesn't mean you shouldn't try to do it.

Goodsie : Goodsie Home | Boston's OpenView Venture Partners raises $99M for 3rd VC fund OpenView Venture Partners has raised $99 million toward its third venture capital fund, the firm reported Thursday, and managing director Scott Maxwell said the firm plans to raise additional funding for it. Boston-based OpenView focuses on backing revenue-producing tech firms that need money for expansion — and often re-locates the companies to the Hub after making the investment. OpenView originated as the Boston office of New York’s Insight Venture Partners. Insight’s Boston team, led by Maxwell, broke off to found OpenView as an independent firm in 2006. The firm has previously raised two funds — $108.7 million in 2006 and $131.7 million in 2008, Maxwell said. Massachusetts-based companies in the OpenView portfolio include Zmags (e-commerce software), Open-e (enterprise data storage) and Intronis (cloud backup and recovery). All three were founded outside Massachusetts and moved here after taking funding from OpenView. OpenView doesn't do any seed investing, Maxwell said. Technology

The Power of News and Recommendation : Cnn veut plus de pub sur son site #Pownar CNN a décidé, mondialement, d’avoir plus de publicité sur ses sites. Et souhaite le faire savoir. Mais les annonceurs connaissent-ils sur le bout des doigts les méandres de la pub online? Investissent-ils assez? La pub est-elle assez chère? Les internautes d’hier copiaient-collaient des url dans des emails, postaient des messages dans des forums de news. Invité par Eric Mettout à venir écouter Lila King, « producer », manager de la communauté de [wikipop]iReport[/wikipop] (le site participatif de CNN) au CFJ l’autre jour, j’y croise la Directrice Marketing et Communication de CNN International, qui m’invite à venir à la présentation de l’étude Pownar : « L’information partagée a plus de valeur … » : CNN dévoile aujourd’hui les résultats de POWNAR, sa première étude du phénomène de la recommandation dans les médias sociaux Je remercie CNNFrancePR qui m’a permis de publier – en exclusivité – quelques slides de la présentation. Social media is the new inbox Poursuivons. Sans blague :-)

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. “What did you think of the companies?” “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. The problem is that now there are just too many programs to get excited about. Some investors take the argument a step further, saying the jury is out on the whole premise: VCs that say the elite Y Combinator is the only program that matters, but in the next breath complain that it is an “over-fished pond,” with too much investor interest driving up valuations. That said, it would be lazy to issue a sweeping dismissal of accelerators. A familiar chorus was that accelerators don’t help most companies. The worst accelerators do guarantee success.

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