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Must-read for founders: A VC explains how to build a killer value proposition. Instagram’s billion dollar idea wasn’t photos after all. I wasn’t alone in almost spilling my coffee mid-drink when I discovered Facebook purchased Instagram for $1 billion.

Instagram’s billion dollar idea wasn’t photos after all

A billion? As a startup CEO, it’s sometimes hard to grasp how these types of platforms, which openly opine they are not concerned with making money can end up in such a successful outcome. [So to all the investors out there, I guess we shouldn't be focused on business models and making money, should we? [Excerpt] Fundraising: From $1,000 To $1,000,000. Editor’s Note: The following is an excerpt from Onswipe CEO Jason L.

[Excerpt] Fundraising: From $1,000 To $1,000,000

Baptiste’s new book The Ultralight Startup: Launching a Business Without Clout or Capital. To coincide with giving the chapter away, Jason will be choosing one entrepreneur from the TechCrunch audience to meet four of the best venture capitalists today to pitch their idea, which include Andy Weissman, Partner at Union Square Ventures, Alex Finkelstein, Partner at Spark Capital, Brad Feld, Parter at Foundry Group, and David Tisch, Managing Director of TechStars NYC and angel investor. Fall In Love With Your Business, Not Your Business Plan. 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

Angel investor Bill Bryant: Here’s what I look for in startup entrepreneurs. Seattle angel investor Bill Bryant Seattle angel investor and venture capitalist Bill Bryant has been around the block a few times in the tech industry, estimating that he’s met some 5,000 entrepreneurs in the past 25 years.

Angel investor Bill Bryant: Here’s what I look for in startup entrepreneurs

So what does Bryant — an investor in companies such as Isilon Systems, Swype and Z2Live and an early employee at startup companies such as Visio, Qpass and Netbot — look for in the entrepreneurs he backs? That was one of the topics Bryant addressed Monday night at a Seattle angel investor and entrepreneurial meetup in Seattle. As you might imagine, it is more art than science trying to pick the winners from the losers. 10 powerful branding insights that will keep your business moving forward. Flickr photo via Woodleywonderworks Just because you’ve built a successful company doesn’t mean you can relax.

10 powerful branding insights that will keep your business moving forward

Succeeding in this ever-changing business world demands that you constantly strive to get ahead…and stay ahead. Crowding out angels from startup financings? Photo via Bigstock As early as next week, we may know whether Congress will change US securities laws to permit startups to sell stock to the general public over the internet.

Crowding out angels from startup financings?

You know how, today, companies raise money on Kickstarter by offering products, t-shirts, and other bennies? Imagine those same companies selling stock to investors over a Kickstarter-like platform. If the law changes – and this is something that one chamber of Congress has already passed and that President Obama supports - entrepreneurs seeking capital will have one more alternative to angel investors and venture capital firms. Angel groups in Seattle: How they’re doing, what they cost. Angel.

Angel groups in Seattle: How they’re doing, what they cost

Photo:Baldur McAqueen Over the past three days, GeekWire Chief Business Officer Rebecca Lovell and I both have moderated panels about the state of angel financing in Seattle. The discussions have been lively, and fun. [Previously: Angel mind meld: What early-stage investors really want] Madlibs for Pitching. David Feinleib: Why Startups Fail: And How Yours Can Succeed. Dave Feinleib As a co-founder of five startups and a Silicon Valley venture capitalist, David Feinleib has seen both sides of the startup world.

David Feinleib: Why Startups Fail: And How Yours Can Succeed

From 2009 to 2011, he was a general partner at Mohr Davidow Ventures, where he got his fair share of terrible pitches. He's also an entrepreneur. He's sold two startups, Consera (to HP) and onDevice (to Keynote Systems), and is still running three others he cofounded: Speechpad,, and Likewise. Despite his success as an entrepreneur, Feinleib felt like everyone was focusing on all their attention on the startups who made it big like Facebook. In 2008, he wrote a blog post, Why Startups Fail. The World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies 2012. For Some Internet Start-Ups, a Failure Is Just the Beginning. Inside the Recruiter's Head: What He's Really Asking You During the Interview.

Jayne Mattson is Senior Vice President at Keystone Associates, a leading career management and transition services consulting firm in Boston, Massachusetts.

Inside the Recruiter's Head: What He's Really Asking You During the Interview

Mattson specializes in helping mid-to-senior level individuals in new career exploration, networking strategies and career decisions based on corporate culture fit. You applied for a new job, and you've been called in for an interview. During the interview process, there are three main questions that need to be answered to help the HR person determine if you're the right fit for the job: Can this person do the job?

Will he do the job? By asking what I call “the question behind the question,” hiring managers have a better chance to making the right hiring decision. Mark Cuban on Why You Should Never Listen to Your Customers. Image credit: ABC/Craig Sjodin.

Mark Cuban on Why You Should Never Listen to Your Customers

A great quote from technology luminary Alan Kay that every entrepreneur needs to remember: "The best way to predict the future is to invent it. " I'm working with a company that at one point had a product that was not only best in its class, but also technically far ahead of its competition. It created a better way of offering its service, and customers loved it and paid for it. Then it made a fatal mistake. It asked its customers what features they wanted to see in the product, and they delivered on those features. Everything I need to know about startups, I learned from a crime boss.

The door opened and into the room walked the most dangerous person I’ve ever met. He reached towards his belt and slowly pulled out his .45 caliber handgun, raised it and paused to evaluate my expression. Mark Cuban's 12 Rules for Startups. The truths of entrepreneurship. Pinocchio. Wikipedia image Ashkan Karbasfrooshan, founder and CEO of WatchMojo, recently wrote a guest post on TechCrunch about the Lies Entrepreneurs Tell. How to Write Taglines That Double Sales. Two Customer Types. Fifty gems for entrepreneurs thinking about making the leap. Fifty tips for entrepreneurs.

Happy New Year! Here Are Some Great One-Sentence Startup Pitches. Startups in 13 Sentences. February 2009. A new approach to minimum viable product. Startup buds! 17 things I wish I’d known when starting my first business. (Flickr photo via JMRosenfeld) Looking To Hire Top Talent For Your Startup? Here Are Five Things You Should Know. Seven critical factors to great business branding: A guide for startups. Branding irons (Wikipedia photo)

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