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Raising Angel Money vs. Venture Capital - David Cummings

  • VCs will require a larger target ownership percentage (e.g. 20-33%) of the company whereas angels are often fine with 1-5% (having a large number of angels could result in the same ownership percentage as a VC)
  • VCs will require a board seat (most often) and get heavily involved in the company whereas angels are often more hands-off and passive
  • VCs will care more about the company and fight harder to see it succeed (assuming they do their job)
  • VCs will work towards and require an exit, often within 5-7 years, whereas angels will expect a return, but are usually more flexible on timing and style (e.g. dividends, exit, etc.)
  • Raising VC money makes it more likely that tech banks will provide a large line of credit whereas raising from angels often won’t help with a bank line (bank lines are still available once the startup has a few million in annual recurring revenue)
  • Raising VC money is significantly more difficult than raising angel money


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The Only 10 Slides You Need in a Pitch [Infographic] - Profs

The Only 10 Slides You Need in a Pitch [Infographic] - Profs | The MarTech Digest | Scoop.it

This scoop comes to you compliments of ineomarketing.com.                                           

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Does Entrepreneurship Have an Expiration Date? [Infographic] - HubSpot

Does Entrepreneurship Have an Expiration Date? [Infographic] - HubSpot | The MarTech Digest | Scoop.it
Learn why it's never too late to start your own company.


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Assembling a Minimum Viable Product for Market Validation - David Cummings | #TheMarketingTechAlert

Assembling a Minimum Viable Product for Market Validation - David Cummings | #TheMarketingTechAlert | The MarTech Digest | Scoop.it

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Here are a few ideas on assembling a minimum viable product for market validation:

-- >  Build a seemingly-functional mobile app using Fluid UI and then let potential customers click around on the app

-- >  Create web app wireframes and map out the most salient pieces for a software engineer (wireframes are one of my favorite ways to map software ideas before a product is built)

-- >  Recruit a developer to moonlight and build a prototype after hours (most developers have side projects) and be ready to pay $50 – $100/hr

-- >  Explore freelancers and outsourcing firms on Elance, paying special attention to references that you can contact and verify quality

-- >  Incorporate tools for rapid prototyping and deployment like Ruby on Rails, Bootstrap, and Heroku


Cost wise, expect to pay between $5,000 and $20,000 to get something built and published.

 

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CYDigital/marteq.io's insight:

FYI, especially for skunk works projects.


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Avoid the Top Four Fatal Startup Mistakes of 2013 - Re/code | #TheMarketingTechAlert

Avoid the Top Four Fatal Startup Mistakes of 2013 - Re/code | #TheMarketingTechAlert | The MarTech Digest | Scoop.it

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Here are some of the pitfalls to avoid:

  -- >  Focus on managed growth over a hiring frenzy: Always manage growth over aggressive hiring.

  -- >  Innovate or die: Take calculated risks as you adapt and innovate.

  -- >  Shout it from the rooftops: If you’re open to being open, you may well find that customer feedback prevents you from making mistakes, or gives you ideas for features you had not considered. Once you’re visible, you may well hear about potential competitors you never knew existed. You also need to know that being first to market isn’t what it’s all cracked up to be, as your competitors will learn from your pioneering screw-ups.

  -- >  Communicate with your customers: You might not yet have millions of customers to handle, but you should act and respond like you’re a big company. Hopefully, you don’t have too many employees, you believe in openness and frequent communication and, in particular, you can adapt as needed.

 

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CYDigital/marteq.io's insight:

For the innovators and entrepreneurs, as well as those in start-up mode be it a new company or a new division.

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A VC’s 10 startup secrets he wishes he had known as an entrepreneur - PandoDaily | #TheMarketingTechAlert

A VC’s 10 startup secrets he wishes he had known as an entrepreneur - PandoDaily | #TheMarketingTechAlert | The MarTech Digest | Scoop.it

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Much of what I’ve learned during this multi-decade-long adventure I’m sharing openly as some simple “Startup Secrets” and Case Examples to frame discussion with the goal of helping entrepreneurs to avoid common pitfalls. Here are ten to get you going.

 

Startup Secret #1: Don’t be afraid to say “no” more than “yes.”

As a startup, you will be defined as much (or more) by what you say “No” to as what you say “Yes” to. Perhaps the single most important Startup Secret is to find your focal point.

 

Startup Secret #2: Recognize what is right “4U”

As you work to position your startup and develop your Value Proposition, focus on addressing what I like to call the 4Us:

-- >  Is the problem Unworkable? Does your solution fix a broken business process where there are real, measureable consequences to inaction? Will someone get fired if the issue is not addressed?  

-- >  Is fixing the problem Unavoidable? For example, is it driven by a mandate with implications associated with governance or regulatory control?

-- >  Is the problem Urgent? Is it one of the top three priorities for spend? 

-- >  Is the problem Underserved? Is there a conspicuous absence of valid solutions to the problem you’re looking to solve?

 

Startup Secret #3: Think in 3D

Once you have determined the problem your venture is solving, define your solution. The most immediate question to ask is: What is your compelling breakthrough? A useful approach is to think of 3Ds: What unique combination of Discontinuous innovation, Defensible technology and Disruptive business model are you bringing to bear, and what makes it truly compelling?

-- >  Discontinuous innovations offer transformative benefits over the status quo by looking at a problem differently.

-- >  Defensible technology offers intellectual property, for example, that can be protected to create a barrier to entry and an unfair competitive advantage.

-- >  Disruptive business models cause an “innovators’ dilemma” and/or yield value and cost rewards that help catalyze the growth of a business.

 

Startup Secret #4: Look for non-disruptive disruptions

Evaluate the potential for success using the Gain/Pain ratio, which involves measuring the gain you deliver a customer versus the pain and cost for a customer to adopt. As an investor, I look for non-disruptive disruptions: technologies that offer game-changing benefits without requiring major modifications to existing processes or environments.  Simply put: disruptive innovation should not be disruptive to adopt.

 

Startup Secret #5: Focus on a blatant, critical need. Ask: “Is it BLAC and White?”

Ideally, you want to be in the position of addressing problems that are blatant and critical (especially for B2B), as those problems are far more acute than ones that are latent and aspirational. Blatant and critical problems stand in the way of business. They put careers and reputations at risk. Latent problems are unacknowledged, which means they often require costly missionary selling. Aspirational problems are optional, which is often the hardest place for a startup to sell.

 

Startup Secret #6: If you are going to pick a fight, pick a BIG fight

Big problems can lead to big opportunities. It often requires just as much work to go after a small market. Significantly painful problems are the source of great opportunity for entrepreneurs and have the potential to turn into really valuable solutions. They may not be easy to solve but often lead to true innovation.

 

 Startup Secret #7: Focus on your Minimum Viable Segment (MVS)

I find too many entrepreneurs who follow the lean methodology stuck in a product spin and become consumed with their Minimum Viable Product. While I often hear about the importance of product/market fit, I don’t believe enough consideration is given to the market side of this equation.  While the MVP is critical, it’s missing its dance partner, what I call the Minimum Viable Segment (MVS). MVS is about focusing on a market segment of potential customers that have the same needs into which you can repeatedly sell. Defining and focusing on your MVS is vital because without it, potential users who have divergent needs will quickly pull your MVP in many different directions.

 

Startup Secret #8: Hire for CQ (Cultural Quality)… do QC (Quality Control) 

Ideas are worth very little without people to execute them, a culture to guide the selection of talent and a big, bold vision to attract and unify the team. Human capital is what separates good companies from great ones – which is why establishing a strong culture to attract and retain the right people, while unifying them behind an inspiring vision, is essential to any significant venture.

 

Startup Secret #9: Hire 3 As (attitude, aptitude, and ability) and 3+s (+aware, +authentic, +athlete)

We all want to hire ‘A’ players – and this can be accomplished by looking at three important ‘A’s:

  -- >  Ability – Does the person have the right balance of IQ and Experience, Knowledge and Skills (EKS) required for the job?

  -- >  Aptitude – Being able to rapidly adapt and learn new skills and knowledge.

  -- >  Attitude – Pursuing breakout opportunities requires the right attitude toward things like problem solving, persistence, and participation in a team.

  -- >  Athletes often triumph over experience and possess the agility to adopt to change.

  -- >  Self-Aware people are easy to work with, are open about their self-professed strengths and weaknesses, work well with others and are amenable to mentoring and coaching.

  -- >  Authentic people are genuine in all they do and demonstrate a sincere passion for their roles.

 

Startup Secret #10: Incomplete stand outs are better than complete stand ups!

Many entrepreneurs think they need to have all answers, when, in fact, they don’t – especially when they seek funding. The nature of venture capital is high-risk. Part of that risk is not knowing the answers before you start. As VCs, we’re fine with the unknown, as long as people have the self-awareness and conviction to work through challenges as they arise. Overall, it’s easy to start a company, but hard to start a business. From capital constraints to sales challenges, one needs to be able to accept that not having all of the pieces at the onset is okay, and these elements can be built out as you grow, as long as you have a clear roadmap and unifying culture.

 

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CYDigital/marteq.io's insight:

Too soon to crown a piece of writing "article of the year?"


It's applicable to any entity looking to launch a product. Absolutely brilliant!!!

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Cinda Cupido PhD's curator insight, July 8, 2014 6:35 AM

Great article. Much food for thought for entrepreneurs starting out or starting over! 

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The Ultimate Cheat Sheet For Selling Anything | TechCrunch | #TheMarketingAutomationAlert

The Ultimate Cheat Sheet For Selling Anything | TechCrunch | #TheMarketingAutomationAlert | The MarTech Digest | Scoop.it

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Adults sell for today. Professionals sell for life.

 

So here are the rules of this cheat sheet: None of this comes from a book. All of this is from my own experience. Which means it might not work for you. Which means it might go counter to the basic rules of salesmanship. I have no idea.

 

-- >  Friendship

Nobody is going to buy from someone they hate. The buyer has to like you and want to be your friend. People pay for friendship.

 

-- >  Over-Deliver

If someone pays $100 and you give them just $100 in value then you just failed. F.A.I.L.E.D.

You’ll never sell to that person again. That’s fine in some situations, but in most situations it’s no good. If someone pays $100, you need to give them $110 worth of value.

 

-- >  Never Take “No” For An Answer

This statement, which everyone knows, is usually applied incorrectly. Remember point A. Be a friend. However flimsy that connection of friendship is. Follow on Twitter, follow on Facebook. Say nice things about the person to other people. Never gossip.

Do the art of the “check in.”

 

-- >  Under-price (when it’s your passion so it’s easier to over-deliver)

 

-- >  Be The Source

Often the best way to make friends and customers for life is to direct them to a better service or product than yours.

Be the source of valuable information rather than the source of your “product-of-the-day.” Then they will know forever that you are a trusted source.

 

-- >  Sell Everything

Your offering is not your product. Your offering is product, services, your employees, your experiences, your ideas, your other customers, and even (as mentioned above) your competitors. Sell them all.

 

-- >  Sell The Dream

People can see what your product is right now. What they want to know is…the future. Will your product make them more money? Will it get them a promotion? Maybe even: will YOU hire them if they buy your product.

 

-- >  Fire Customers

This is similar to point B with the one difference that you have already made a sale.

If it’s not going well or if it’s leaving a bad taste somewhere inside of you, or if they have gone from friend to enemy for whatever reason and it seems like there is no repair, then fire your customer. The sooner the better.

 

-- >  Welcome To The Pleasure Dome

Your best new customers are your old customers. If you need to make more money or build new business then go to your customers (who are now your friends) and ask them, “I need advice. What other service can I provide you or anyone you know.” It might be something totally unrelated to your business. No problem. Do it. It might be your customer is looking for a new job. That’s great. Make it your business to find him a new job. Now you have a new customer.

 

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CYDigital/marteq.io's insight:

What a great article, and so damn true. I like to think of this approach as humanistic: qualitative, not quantitative.

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Tony "The Tiger" Spina's curator insight, December 23, 2013 8:55 AM

These tips are great for sales people and for everyone's personal life too.

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Zero to Product/Market Fit (Presentation) - @andrewchen | #TheMarketingAutomationAlert

 

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CYDigital/marteq.io's insight:

Andrew Chen offers slide notes as a part of the post to support a few of the slide visuals.

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15 Tools That the Most Successful Entrepreneurs Use [Infographic] | Profs | #TheMarketingAutomationAlert

15 Tools That the Most Successful Entrepreneurs Use [Infographic] | Profs | #TheMarketingAutomationAlert | The MarTech Digest | Scoop.it
General Management - A marketer may feel overwhelmed by the huge selection of business tools. Fortunately, the following infographic highlight experts' favorites, so marketers can whittle down their options and choose.
CYDigital/marteq.io's insight:

Why would you need MailChimp if you have HubSpot?


  • See the article at From www.marketingprofs.com
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Jack Smith's curator insight, August 29, 2013 11:22 AM

To the point...GOOD

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It's Startup Time in America [Infographic]

It's Startup Time in America [Infographic] | The MarTech Digest | Scoop.it
You might not believe it, but now is the best time to start a business. There is less competition because people are focused on surviving, not thriving.
CYDigital/marteq.io's insight:

See the infographic at infographicjournal.com.


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