Category : Startups

Book Review: Zero to One

There is a whole genre of books that have emerged out of the recent infatuation with tech startups; from biographies of Zuckerberg to about a billion cookbooks for success.  I picked this one up because I think Thiel is an interesting guy, a bit Jobs-like in his belief that the…

How Slow Can You Go?

Just how bad is immigration policy in the United States?  There is a plot being hatched to park a ship in international waters and allow skilled, foreign-born workers the opportunity to work for US companies (including startups) from there.  H1-B visas are capped at 85,000 and were exhausted in 10 weeks this…

Enterprise Software Startups Make a Comeback

“Venture capitalists placed $2 billion with IT startups in the first quarter of this year, according to a survey by Dow Jones VentureSource, a 14% increase from the first quarter of 2011. Meanwhile, investors put 76% less investment in consumer internet companies. Software companies attracted the most funding, $1.3 billion,…

The Facebook IPO’s Effect on Software Startups

Two of the heavyweights in the startup world have now weighed in on the Facebook IPO and how it impacts the early stage software world, so I figured it’s time I did to.  Paul Graham has warned the companies in Y-Combinator about the dangers of needing money at a time…

The Way I See the “Talent War” in Pittsburgh

There have been a number of interesting articles in the past few weeks about the “talent war” that tech companies in Pittsburgh are fighting.  There was one (actually from last year, but I recently saw a link to it) about Pikimal addressing a shortage of developers by finding strong candidates…

Vivisimo Shows You Don’t Have to Sell Fast

Thanks to the Instagram sale there’s another frenzy of articles and people who want to talk about how VC/Seed funded startups “work”.  They want to tell you that startups come up with a good idea, prototype, get funded, create massive growth, and then sell… just like that.  This worked for…

2 Ways to Spend 1 Billion Dollars

$2 Billion changed hands yesterday in the form of the two biggest news items of the day: Facebook spent $1 Billion on Instagram.  They acquired an innovative, competitive (if tangentially) product to make their company better. Microsoft spent $1 Billion buying patents from AOL.  The rumor is that they may have…

Learning From Others: Shazam

Lesson: Sometimes you pivot to follow the money. AKA:  Sometimes the coolest thing you can do isn’t what you should be doing. Shazam was enormously popular as an app for recognizing music.  I still remember when they were brand new, you’d be in a bar and when that new song…

The JOBS Act’s Most Important Provision

The Jumpstart our Business Startups (JOBS) act has been getting a lot of press for allowing “crowd funding.”  For the most part, when you think “crowd” you think of something like the company Kickstarter that I talked about last week, and it is… sort of.  Kickstarter may be the closest thing…

Turing Thoughts and Another Reason to Love Startups

I was listening to a pod cast on my way to work this morning that was about Alan Turing.  Turing wasn’t the inventor of the computer, but one could pretty he easily argue he was the conceptualizer (I don’t care what WordPress’ judgmental little red line says, I’m using it).  He sat…