Jun 07

Really awesome story had to repost. Smile Single customer interaction can change your company…

Several years ago, a single problem customer changed the fate of my company. Here’s the story.

In business, we’re often all about the numbers–occasionally to a fault. I’m not saying statistics and metrics aren’t useful tools. Sometimes, however, the success or failure of an enterprise comes down to individual interaction–say, a handshake or a phone call.

Let me give you a good example.

In 1995, I bootstrapped a tech company, Broadcast Software. We created digital audio and automation software for broadcast radio stations. After four years, we had 16 employees and customers in 40 countries.

But we were at a transition point. If companies need to grow or die, we were in need of a transfusion. We had grown beyond my ability to fund future growth out of my back pocket, and it was time to get outside capital. It also turned out to be time for the tech bubble to burst. Our potential funding sources instantly disappeared.

I was a hands-on CEO. I had written the original code and knew many of our customers personally. I had told my employees that the buck stopped with me, that I’d be willing to speak with any customer they couldn’t help or satisfy. If need be, they should even give out my personal number.

The $4 Million Complaint Call | Inc.com

Dec 06

Awesome articles on what should startups invest and not invest in. Smile  HumbledMBA has really great blog…

Timesink

Stuff we startups do that doesn’t delight users:

Office space
Launch parties
Health insurance plans
Salary negotiations
Founder equity splits
Series F stock
Office Food
Team-building activities
CRM systems
Bookkeeping
Head count
Working in SOMA
Convertible debt caps
Valuations
TechCrunch
Karma scores
ISOs
Powerpoint
Business Cards
Banks
Lawyers
Desks
1099s
Bug Trackers
Agile Processes
Advisory Boards
Hiring
Cap Tables
Payroll
Meetups
Meetings

Of course, much of this stuff still needs to get done.  At some point.  And some of it really is important to the process that eventually creates delight for users.  But none of it directly delights users.  They’re all inputs.  None of it is product.  When you build a great product, one that delights users and achieves product-market fit, you’ll have lots of time to work on all these things and optimize them to your heart’s content.  When your product is not even built yet, none of this stuff matters.  But your startup, in the pre-product phase, is basically a ticking time bomb.  The only thing that can prevent it from exploding is user delight.  User delight attracts funding, enhances morale, builds determination, earns revenue…Until you get to user delight, you’re always at risk of running out of money or, much more likely, losing a key engineer to something more interesting.  Time is your most precious resource.

Don’t. Waste. Time.

Don’t. Waste. Time. – humbledMBA

Jun 23

Aug 16

Good Article…

A Threat to Startups

Updated August 10, 2010, 12:08 PM

Brad Burnham is a partner at Union Square Ventures, an early stage venture capital fund located in New York City. This was written with Fred Wilson, also a partner at the firm.

We believe that Google and Verizon’s proposed policy principles to preserve an open Internet came out of a good faith effort to bring some clarity to the market for Internet applications and access. But we fear that this agreement is a compromise that does not serve the next great startup enterprise well.

A Threat to Startups – Room for Debate – NYTimes.com

Aug 16

Net neutrality has been topic of discussion especially since news about Google and Verizon deal came out. More info here. I personally think Net neutrality is super important especially for startups. Our economy runs on startup and small businesses and letting Google and Verizon decide whose data is more important on web is just wrong. It means in future Google can pay to push its content for example YouTube and no one else will be able to compete. Will try to consolidate other good articles on the topic on the blog. 

Network neutrality (also net neutrality, Internet neutrality) is a principle proposed for user access networks participating in the Internet that advocates no restrictions by Internet Service Providers and governments on content, sites, platforms, on the kinds of equipment that may be attached, and no restrictions on the modes of communication allowed.[1][2][3]

The principle states that if a given user pays for a certain level of Internet access, and another user pays for the same level of access, then the two users should be able to connect to each other at the subscribed level of access.

Though the term did not enter popular use until several years later, since the early 2000s advocates of net neutrality and associated rules have raised concerns about the ability of broadband providers to use their last mile infrastructure to block Internet applications and content (e.g., websites, services, protocols), particularly those of competitors. In the US particularly, but elsewhere as well, the possibility of regulations designed to mandate the neutrality of the Internet has been subject to fierce debate.

Neutrality proponents claim that telecom companies seek to impose a tiered service model in order to control the pipeline and thereby remove competition, create artificial scarcity, and oblige subscribers to buy their otherwise uncompetitive services. Many believe net neutrality to be primarily important as a preservation of current freedoms.[4] Vinton Cerf, considered a "father of the Internet" and co-inventor of the Internet Protocol, Tim Berners-Lee, creator of the Web, and many others have spoken out in favor of network neutrality.

Network neutrality – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Aug 05

Clouds, big data, and smart assets: Ten tech-enabled business trends to watch

Advancing technologies and their swift adoption are upending traditional business models. Senior executives need to think strategically about how to prepare their organizations for the challenging new environment.

AUGUST 2010 • Jacques Bughin, Michael Chui, and James Manyika

Source: McKinsey Global Institute

Ten tech-enabled business trends to watch article, business trends information technology, High Tech

In This Article
  • Trend 1: Distributed cocreation moves into the mainstream
    • Trend 2: Making the network the organization
      • Trend 3: Collaboration at scale
        • Trend 4: The growing ‘Internet of Things’
          • Trend 5: Experimentation and big data
            • Trend 6: Wiring for a sustainable world
              • Trend 7: Imagining anything as a service
                • Trend 8: The age of the multisided business model
                  • Trend 9: Innovating from the bottom of the pyramid
                    • Trend 10: Producing public good on the grid

                    Two-and-a-half years ago, we described eight technology-enabled business trends that were profoundly reshaping strategy across a wide swath of industries.1 We showed how the combined effects of emerging Internet technologies, increased computing power, and fast, pervasive digital communications were spawning new ways to manage talent and assets as well as new thinking about organizational structures.

                    Since then, the technology landscape has continued to evolve rapidly. Facebook, in just over two short years, has quintupled in size to a network that touches more than 500 million users. More than 4 billion people around the world now use cell phones, and for 450 million of those people the Web is a fully mobile experience. The ways information technologies are deployed are changing too, as new developments such as virtualization and cloud computing reallocate technology costs and usage patterns while creating new ways for individuals to consume goods and services and for entrepreneurs and enterprises to dream up viable business models. The dizzying pace of change has affected our original eight trends, which have continued to spread (though often at a more rapid pace than we anticipated), morph in unexpected ways, and grow in number to an even ten.2

                    Ten tech-enabled business trends to watch – McKinsey Quarterly – High Tech – Strategy & Analysis

                    May 25

                    Another amazing video. :) This one is on Elevator Pitch. :) 

                    May 25

                    I was looking for something completely different and found this. It is awesome. :)

                    Jul 03

                    Great article to read around Cloud computing. I believe Cloud computing will be huge for next few years. Every application will start moving towards cloud. It has already taken of with offering from Google and Amazon. It just makes sense to let big companies take care of all the infrastructure.

                    But there are challenges too and the article by Stacey Higginbotham just highlights these challenges. The 10 reason provided in article that will hold cloud computing back for enterprise customers are.

                    1. It’s not secure.
                    2. It can’t be logged
                    3. It’s not platform agnostic
                    4. Reliability is still an issue.
                    5. Portability isn’t seamless
                    6. It’s not environmentally sustainable.
                    7. Cloud computing still has to exist on physical servers.
                    8. The need for speed still reigns at some firms.
                    9. Large companies already have an internal cloud
                    10. Bureaucracy will cause the transition to take longer than building replacement housing in New Orleans.

                    I may not agree with all of the above but there is merit to challenging the cloud. :)

                    Read More at: 10 Reasons Enterprises Aren’t Ready to Trust the Cloud – GigaOM

                    Mar 23

                    Great stuff… So you ready to write some new Apps for iPhone??? 

                    iFund™

                    KPCB’s iFund™ is a $100M investment initiative that will fund market-changing ideas and products that extend the revolutionary new iPhone and iPod touch platform. The iFund™ is agnostic to size and stage of investment and will invest in companies building applications, services and components. Focus areas include location based services, social networking, mCommerce (including advertising and payments), communication, and entertainment.

                    KPCB – iFund™ Initiative