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The 18 Mistakes That Kill Startups

The 18 Mistakes That Kill Startups
October 2006 In the Q & A period after a recent talk, someone asked what made startups fail. After standing there gaping for a few seconds I realized this was kind of a trick question. It's equivalent to asking how to make a startup succeed—if you avoid every cause of failure, you succeed—and that's too big a question to answer on the fly. Afterwards I realized it could be helpful to look at the problem from this direction. If you have a list of all the things you shouldn't do, you can turn that into a recipe for succeeding just by negating. In a sense there's just one mistake that kills startups: not making something users want. 1. Have you ever noticed how few successful startups were founded by just one person? What's wrong with having one founder? But even if the founder's friends were all wrong and the company is a good bet, he's still at a disadvantage. The last one might be the most important. 2. Startups prosper in some places and not others. Why is the falloff so sharp? 3. 4.

How to Make Wealth May 2004 (This essay was originally published in Hackers & Painters.) If you wanted to get rich, how would you do it? I think your best bet would be to start or join a startup. That's been a reliable way to get rich for hundreds of years. The word "startup" dates from the 1960s, but what happens in one is very similar to the venture-backed trading voyages of the Middle Ages.

Why 2013 Is the Year of Responsive Web Design You may have noticed that Mashable got a new look recently. The design seems wider than usual, and when you shrink your browser, the content resizes to fit. The aim here isn't merely prettiness or technical trickery, however: Media companies like ours are seeing a major shift in the consumption habits of their audiences. Those organizations that don't act may find themselves behind the curve. BOOM Goes The Dynamite! 500 Startups Explodes With 2 New Periodic Elements, 12 Sensational Startups, and 1 Awesome Accelerator Program 500 Startups announces today they have discovered the newest periodic elements – Upandtotherightium (Ur) and Viralium (Vi). In addition to this amazing new discovery which is awaiting official recognition by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry, they are also proud to announce they are in the early stages of developing 12 remarkable new startups in their just-launched 500 Startups Accelerator program at their headquarters in Mountain View. The buzz among the science community is the 500 Startups Accelerator will soon eclipse the CERN Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, Switzerland, which has long held the title of the world’s largest and highest-energy particle accelerator.

Loyal Customers vs. Groupon Customers A loyal customer is the best customer a business can hope for. The more loyal customers your business has, the more likely it is to succeed. To build customer loyalty takes skill, time and patience. Many books have been written about customer loyalty and ways to build it, so I will not talk about that (see reference to two excellent books below). Instead, I will describe the worst customer for a business. What If Your Smartphone Could Read Your Mind? Kimera Is Working On It Today's smartphones are pretty darned smart. Yet we are only scratching the surface of what these devices might do. What if our smartphones were actually intelligent? Able to perceive our actions and intentions and act upon them on our behalf? That's the goal of a startup called Kimera.

Designing for the Non-Designer – Part I The Basics This post is for those who get thrown into graphic design without any formal knowledge of what makes a good design, or, what causes unforgettable disasters. Once able to recognize the basics of designing principles you will be more in control of your work and marketing materials. This can range from printed articles to website design. This three-part series will help you understand basic design principles, tips and tricks, typography, and how each can help you. An Entrepreneur's Guide to Relationship Management: Who To Keep in Touch With, and How Often Editor’s Note: This blog post has been excerpted from an article that was originally published by Zvi Band on the Contactually blog. When running my previous company, staying in touch was crucial to my business. We were one of dozens, maybe hundreds, of web development firms in the DC region, but we kept really busy (sometimes overwhelmingly so) thanks to a continual flow of referrals from past clients and our network. Come to think of it, I never accepted a client that came via anonymous websites (read: my own website). So relationship management was a core aspect of my role as founder. I’ve now transitioned to co-founder and CEO of Contactually, an early-stage, venture-backed startup.

Programs vs. markup The words "program" and "programming" are often used confusingly. This document tries to characterize what computer programs and programming languages are and how they differ from markup, both presentational and logical markup. This hopefully helps in understanding, for example, the different roles of HTML and programming languages like JavaScript and Perl in HTML authoring. The difference has some legal impact, too. The future is now: 10 startups leading the way in ‘big data’ How can big data and smart analytics tools ignite growth for your company? Find out at DataBeat, May 19-20 in San Francisco, from top data scientists, analysts, investors, and entrepreneurs. Register now and save $200! “Big data” isn’t just an enterprise trend. It’s a technological innovation that is already making a difference in your life. Police are mixing crime data and sociological information to anticipate incidences of crime.

The Absolute Minimum Every Software Developer Absolutely, Positively Must Know About Unicode and Character Sets (No Excuses!) by Joel Spolsky Wednesday, October 08, 2003 Ever wonder about that mysterious Content-Type tag?