It’s true that if your business is taking off you’re going to get lots of investor interest and lots of press opportunities. But lots of investor interest and press does not create a successful business.
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.
Letter To A Young Programmer Considering A Startup. A wonderful post from Alex Payne about startup jobs. The bit about startup culture being the new corporate culture was particularly interesting.
Turning Down TechCrunch and Journalism in a Collaborative Society are two great posts from Chad Whitacre. He founded Gittip and has been asking anyone he talks with to be okay with open calls. That means livestreaming the call and posting the audio on YouTube. Turns out that bothers some journalists. Mathew Ingram and Brian Jackson took the offer, though. I’d love to see more experiments like this.
Peter Thiel’s CS183: Startup — Class 9 Notes Essay. A fantastic set of notes from Peter Thiel’s CS:183 class on startups. This session was specifically about distribution and Blake has 18 more class sessions worth of notes.
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.
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.
What we should have said to PG. Refreshingly honest post about pitching your startup and telling a story.
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.