Skip to main content

Tagging entrepreneurs at StartupSchool

Tagging entrepreneurs at Startup School

Startup School this weekend was by far the best entrepreneur event this year. By amount of energy floating around and amount of applause from the audience it may well surpass rock concerts in New York.

Interestingly enough it was not as much about mechanics of razing startup money or even building a viable business, but rather about common sense and a choice that entrepreneurs need to make. The choice is between going to venture capital firms in hope of building next great Googles and Facebooks with very little odds and building successful money-making companies with much bigger odds. People interested in later should checkout great speech by David Heinemeier [] (creator of the Ruby on Rails framework), others may continue to read my boring notes.

Suggestions for startups to raise money

What to do:

Talk only to “good” investors

Tell existing story

Do deals in parallel

Thech founders are the key in SV

Create San Hill Buzz

Do not be distracted by fundraising process (no more than ½ person assigned to the process)

What all investors look for:

Market (big & growing fast). Startup cannot create markets. Customers with “hair on fire”. Unfair advantage.

Great Team

Great Product

Story that all investors want to hear:

Exploding market.

Best solution.

Best team.

Suggestions and observations

Get twice $$ what you think is needed

Avoid “super pro rata” in terms – makes hard to get second round

Deal making is about alternatives – more the better

Talk to CEOs of potential investors

Evl0-ery company has a rocky beginning

37 Signals

Tagging developers from Fortune 500 to fortune 5M. Different rules in that world – NO VC. No sales cycles – just solving one problem may be at little better than someone else


-“listen to your users”

Amazon, Cloud computing

· AWS bandwidth passed Amazon retail bandwidth worldwide

· S3

· EC2

· SimpleDB

· SimpleQuue

· Flexible payment service

· Mechanical Turk

BlueOrigin [] (Vertical takeoff and landing vehicle company funded by Jeff Bezos) as user for EC2 for computation

Google app engine. Will it be real competitor to EC2? Time will show.

“Customer focus is more important than competitive focus” – thank you, Jeff Bezos for setting right priorities for Amazon


Popular posts from this blog

Posting to FaceBook feed using Graph API

Graph API was announced at F8 with a promise to dramatically simplify the FB API. I checked the read access over the new interface during the presentations and to my big surprise it worked flawlessly and from the first time. When I tried, JSON-formatted info about the FaceBook page was returned (as expected).
Then I tried OAuth 2.0 way of accessing the API to post a message to the feed. And to my even bigger surprise it worked too!
Here is what you need to do to access Graph API over OAuth: 1. Create a FB app, store app properties to a file:
$appkey='7925873fbfb5347e571744515a9d2804'; $appsecret='THE SECRET'; $canvas=''; 2. Create a page that will prompt user the access permission (I am prompting for the publish_stream and offline_access permissions at the same time)
// require'settings.php';
$url=""; $url.=…

Respect Coin

Respect I think it's time to talk about currency. Let's create a Respect Coin.
Step 1. Install OpenZeppelin library npm install zeppelin-solidity
When it comes to coins, I like to use some functions that smart people already implemented and other smart people verified. I think that Zeppelin is a nice collection of Solidity contracts that can be trusted. Let's use the StandardToken contract and use it as a parent class for our own RespectCoin contract.
Step 2. Create RespectCoin contract and store it in "contracts/RespectCoin.sol" file pragma solidity ^0.4.4; import "../node_modules/zeppelin-solidity/contracts/token/StandardToken.sol"; /** * @title RespectCoin * @dev ERC20 Token example, where all tokens are pre-assigned to th e creator. * Note they can later distribute these tokens as they wish using `transfer` and other * `StandardToken` functions. */ contract RespectCoin is StandardToken { string public constant name = "RespectCoin&quo…

"Hello World" from Solidity

How to say "Hello World" in the era of blockchain? Reflections Once upon a time, I worked in CTO role of a great startup, and in order to find talented code developers, we ran a competition for the most creative "Hello World" application. It was a lot of fun! I was not able to participate in the competition back then, but here is my delayed entry.

Step 1. Environment Configuration# Installing Truffle framework ( $ sudo npm install -g truffle# Creating project $ mkdir solidity-experiments $ cd solidity-experiments/ $ truffle init# Installing and starting Etherium local test network $ sudo npm install -g ethereumjs-testrpc $ testrpc &
Step 2. Point truffle framework to the test network Update truffle.js file created by the init to point to your test network. File content should look like this:
module.exports = { networks: { development: { host: "localhost", port: 8545, network_id: "*" // Match any netwo…