The Unexotic Underclass:

If you’re an entre­pre­neur look­ing for ideas, con­sider look­ing beyond the city-centric, navel-gazing, youth-obsessed main­stream. That doesn’t mean you need to fly to the end of the world. Chances are there are more peo­ple address­ing the Big Problems of slum dwellers in Calcutta, Kibera or Rio, than are tack­ling the big prob­lems of hard­pressed folks in say, West Virginia, Mississippi or Louisiana.

Play by your own rules:

Listen to your users more than the press. Don’t get sucked into the grav­ity hole between you and your com­pe­ti­tion. Ruthlessly run your own path, not some­one else’s.

Interesting lessons from the co-founder of Gowalla.

Tiny Startup Camp

One of the great things about liv­ing in Portland is our grow­ing startup cul­ture. Since last October I’ve been work­ing out of PIE and have had the chance to see some of that hap­pen­ing first hand.

Tiny Startup Camp takes a unique approach to cre­at­ing local star­tups. Jason’s goal is to help 100 peo­ple start new, self-sustaining, busi­nesses. No spend­ing thou­sands of dol­lars on devel­op­ment. No play­ing the billion-dollar VC lot­tery ticket game. Just small, sus­tain­able busi­nesses that help peo­ple do what they love.

It’s a 2-day event: Saturday will be great con­fer­ence and Sunday is a full-day work­shop. The goal is to get every­one up and run­ning with a WordPress-powered site for their busi­ness, a way for peo­ple to sign up, and some tar­geted ads bought to test their new idea. Pretty cool.

I’m really excited that Jason’s putting this on. If you’re in town and have been want­ing to start your own busi­ness, you should go reg­is­ter!

Ilya Lichtenstein on the Fear of Money:

Their fear is jus­ti­fied, because the sec­ond you start charg­ing for a prod­uct, all of the bub­bly bull­shit falls away. The mar­ket is cold, ratio­nal, and effec­tive. It doesn’t care about your lean startup meth­ods, your rock­star team, or your fawn­ing tech press. All of your assump­tions, vision, busi­ness plans and pitches are irrelevant.

You’ve either built some­thing worth pay­ing money for, or you haven’t.

For us, the key to stay­ing sane at a startup is hang­ing out with a dif­fer­ent social cir­cle often; ones out­side of the tech/startup world. We work with startup folks dur­ing the week and it’s refresh­ing to get out­side of that world to reset.

Paul Stamatiou — On Keeping Busy and Staying Sane.