Here’s another guest post from Jesse Dyer on location in Atlanta. It’s an interesting slant on a topic of much recent discussion, with some unvarnished comments. Read on…
One of Ben Franklin’s famous sayings is that “the bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.” This relates to one of the most common fallacies I see in the many business plans that come to my attention each week. There’s often an assumption that a dominant industry player can be disrupted merely by undercutting the prices charged by that player. Yet competing and disrupting is much more a function of an overall “systemic” experience than just one data point.
This week’s Open Angel Network featured a panel on the topic of board service in startup and early stage companies. There was a good discussion about time commitments, potential liabilities, and particularly about how board members often get called to active duty when a company gets in the ditch. I’ve had that experience, and several others in the room had the same.
Today I’m borrowing a term from Bob Metcalfe that was quoted in the Statesman Sunday in an article about the expansion of incubator and accelerator programs to boost both entrepreneurs and the Austin economy. The local granddaddy program Austin Technology Incubator remains strong and is now joined by Capital Factory, Dreamit, and TechRanch, along with several UT programs at graduate and undergraduate levels, and many other resources.
Editor’s Note: Today’s post is another in an informative series from our friends at TriNet. I hear lots of discussion in the startup scene about technical issues, finance, marketing, and other matters, but very little about charting out a course that involves scaling with actual employees. A startup can only get so far with contractors, interns, and students. For one thing, there are limits on how you can utilize contractors before having to classify them as employees and deal with payroll taxes, work rules and benefits. More important, if you are succe
Editor’s Note: Here’s an Atlanta dispatch from Jesse Dyer about last week’s Demo Day for Flashpoint at Georgia Tech. Fourteen companies in this the second “cohort” presented; and David Cummings posted a good summary of each. Coincidentally, I was in a meeting Friday at Austin’s Capital Factory talking about its upcoming Demo Day in October and about the general direction of programming from its swank new location atop the Omni. These two accelerators
The launch of the college football season reminds us anew of plenty of truths that apply to entrepreneurial businesses. As mentioned in an earlier post this week, there’s much more to the startup than just the opening play when enthusiasm is high and hope springs eternal. There’s a lot of work in the trenches before the conclusion of the game and the posting of the final score.
Here’s my list for your consideration:
The following post is provided by our friends at TriNet. Our tech communities are very good at encouraging, lauding, mentoring, and accelerating startups. We tend to talk more about the issues that apply at the earliest stages, because that’s where the excitement is. But, when any one of these startups breaks out of the pack and begins to scale in terms of head count, the “long march” is just beginning. I’m not referring here to the military retreat by the Red Army that brought Mao Zedong to prominence (photo above from Wikipedia Commons), but to
I have written many times in the past about the notion that “we are what we can finance.” Whatever idea is your passion often has to be tempered by the availability of capital to pursue that idea. Generally the angel and venture money in any given city has a particular focus and likes to stay in its comfort zone. If that’s not where you want to bet your career, you’ll either have to try to import some capital or move to a city where your aspirations are a better match.
Doing any kind of startup puts you in the pressure cooker. As mentioned in my most recent post, you at the very least have your irreplaceable time at risk, and you are always staring at deadlines – securing needed funding, finishing development, closing a sale, adding a key person to your team, delivering to live customers, and more. As I write this on Labor Day with 65 days to the Presidential Election, I’m contemplating how great is the pressure on the candidates and their respective teams and what lessons we can draw from that.