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Posts Tagged ‘venture’

The Essential Startup Reader

Posted by vishalsinghal on March 31, 2010

The Essential Startup Reader: 10 Lessons in Entrepreneurship

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How to Accelerate your venture

Posted by vishalsinghal on April 24, 2009

1) Go out of discussions and planning:Some people says that plans are inispensable but I also feel that planning if prolonged can eat up all of ur time. I believe in executing as and when ideas come and the person leartns with experience which can then be put in writing on the plan. Some ventures never come to exist as their planning nvever comes to an end.

2) Set dead lines else u will never be able to Start and finish: as I said in above point, start now or at nest set a dead line to finish the task at hand and then move on to next task.

3) Cost mgmt – dedicate a person to finances: All ventures require. That atleast one person of the team should be made accountable for the finances of the company else budgets will be finished in no time with lot of problems in accounting all the time.

4) Communicate – Communicate and communicate – document everything:communicate more often with ur team. Document everything so that it can be referred to again later for effective smooth discussions and good conslusions.

5) Set tasks list: Accomplish and move on. But, don’t make too big a list which is unachievable on a daily basis.

6) Get first 100 customers fast as they will be the ones telling u how, what and when to do for making ur services and offerings super effective.

7) Monetise fast or else u will b left out in no time.

8) Quality should be maintained and increased always. Even when dream comes true, maintain quality else u will go down fast.

9) Biggest mitakes:
A) After project features hv been finalised, sign off and accept no more for that project.

10) Groom ppl who are scalable and who are good at doing certain tasks.

11) Hire the best ppl who gel with the team. Law of crappy people: at some point of time, the best guy will become as good as the worst guy. Hire and fire the right people at the right time else if a guy is not doing the right work, u will do a favor by firing him as he may be able to do good at some other place.

12) Be optimistic, learn and move on, just don’t cling to urpast mistakes or misfortunes and keep grudging on ur mistakes.

13) Build ur own team as if u outsource u loose time (good outsourcing company is hard to find) and thus money both.

14) Take care of your employees, give them the best to work as leaders are servants as more people u Sat, Apr 18, 2009, more of them u r serving so trayte ur ppl best.

15) Give opportunity to people to try working with u, if he fits u and u fit his mind, it will work.

16) Entrepreneurs are Opportunity Hounds and with never say die attitude. They are always on the look-out for new opportunities.

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Startup-tip on on building Board of Directors

Posted by vishalsinghal on March 21, 2009

Today, I read an article on this topic and thought I should definitely share this with my blog readers.

This article talks about what goes into building a team of board of directors and what should be the right mix. You can read it here.

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Guy Kawasaki’s — Powerpoint Best Practices for Startups…

Posted by vishalsinghal on August 21, 2008

Guy Kawasaki has authoured a book “Art of The Start.”  In addition to being a good author/blogger, Guy was one of the very early Apple employees and more recently has been a venture/angel investor type where he has listened to countless Powerpoint presentations.  Presumably because he is tired of seeing poor Powerpoint presentations, he spends many pages in his book talking about Powerpoint best practices.  There were a few nuggets of Powerpoint wisdom among a lot of content about it that stuck with me a few days after finishing the book.

His mantra is that Powerpoint should follow a 10/20/30 Rule.  There should be no more than 10 slides in the presentation — very few people take away much more than one concept from a presentation, so all that other stuff is extra.  The slide presentation should be designed to last 20 minutes, leaving room for ample questions/discussion between slides or after the presentation.  Guy points out that the point of the presentation is typically to initiate a discussion.  He says the font should be size should be no smaller than 30 (Arial font).  Guy says that audiences read faster than you can talk, so that while you are up there talking, they are trying to read your slides and not listening to what you are saying.

He says that there are something like 60 animation features within Powerpoint and he recommends the less use of it the better.  His advice is to use your voice/body to emphasize when a point is important, not some fancy Powerpoint trick.  The only place he recommends using any of this is in going through bullet points on a slide, presumably to avoid having people read ahead.  Speaking of bullets, Guy suggests that bulleted slides should have one point with bullets and only one layer of bullets (lest you violate the 30 part of 10/20/30).

If you have some great Powerpoint tips, please do share them with us…

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YouTube co-founder looks for his next success…

Posted by vishalsinghal on August 17, 2008

An Ar

ticle from StarTribune

St. Paul Central grad Jawed Karim talks about launching start-ups, being an entrepreneur and Silicon Valley.

Many university students spend summer break painting houses, backpacking through Europe or spending some quality time with Madden 08. Jawed Karim is scouring the Twin Cities for the next YouTube.

The St. Paul Central High School graduate and a co-founder of the popular YouTube video sharing website recently launched Youniversity Ventures, a firm that provides venture financing to Internet software start-ups by college students and first-time entrepreneurs.

Karim, a 29-year-old Ph.D. student at Stanford University, is believed to be worth tens of millions of dollars or more. He is a founder of online payment processor PayPal, which eBay acquired in 2002 for $1.5 billion. Four years later, Karim received $65 million in Google stock when the Internet giant bought YouTube for $1.65 billion.

He started Youniversity last year with Kevin Hartz and Keith Rabois, two Stanford grads and partners at Sequoia Capital, the high-powered Silicon Valley venture firm that invested in Google, Apple, Oracle and Yahoo. The three men will invest $50,000 to $300,000 of their own money per company. To contact Karim, e-mail him at jawed@youniversityventures.com.

Karim chatted with the Star Tribune about first-time entrepreneurs, taking risks and why people in Minnesota need to get out of the convention center and into the coffee shop.

Q Who is Youniversity Ventures targeting?

A We feel that the [college student] segment is underaddressed. There is not a lot of attention given there, even though there is a lot of innovation coming out of that space. People may be working on something that is very useful but they may not know how to take and translate that into an actual business. There are [venture capitalists] but they serve a segment that is a little bit higher up. If you go to a VC, you are expected to have a fully polished business plan.

We want to be involved in a much earlier stage. We act as almost co-founder for the first six months. We just enable the team to get off the ground. … We work on a very informal basis. We will coach people along if it falls into our area of interest [Internet software], even though we don’t make an investment. We are working with a lot of companies right now, even the ones we are not investing in.

Q How did you become an entrepreneur?

A It’s very difficult to get started. The best advice I can give is to learn by example. I was surrounded by other successful entrepreneurs. And I did a lot of reading.

Pick a company that you admire and find out everything about it: who’s behind it, how they got started. For me, the companies were FedEx, Best Buy, Oracle, Microsoft, Yahoo, Google. I just knew everything about how they got started. I was just trying to emulate the companies I was interested in.

Q What’s the difference between being an entrepreneur in Silicon Valley and in Minnesota?

A Silicon Valley has a lot of noise, a lot of hype. People are very excited about all of the Facebook stuff, Facebook applications. It’s just been a huge hype over the last year when actually … there isn’t really that much value. It’s just a bubble. It’s almost a distraction.

Whereas here, there is certainly less activity. But at the same time, you don’t have these bubbles of nonsense out here. Things here seem a little too formal. I think that it’s inhibiting productivity.

People in Silicon Valley will just get together and shoot around some ideas or program something together. Here, we have to go to a specific conference to meet people.

Q It seems that people in Minnesota are much more risk-averse than in California. Why?

A It’s a cultural issue. In California, you see everyone taking lots of risk. So comparatively to them you are not taking that much risk by doing a start-up because everyone is doing it. Whereas here, when you do a start-up it’s like: “Oh, my God! Like, I’m doing a start-up. No one else I know is doing a start-up, so I am taking a lot of risk,” when actually you are not but it’s compared to everyone else. The local culture might discourage risk.

Q What will it take to spark innovation in Minnesota?

A In Silicon Valley, what really helps is that people are always working together. You see people hanging out all of the time. Even people from competing companies are talking about stuff. It’s that interaction that creates the motivation to do something. Here people are more separate. They don’t interact as much.

What it’ll take is much closer collaboration in a much-less-formal environment. But in Silicon Valley, people network all of the time — on the street, coffee shops, dorm rooms, garages.

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