Monday, May 23, 2011

This Week’s Events (May 23rd, 2011)

Here are some promising events going on this week:

  • Tuesday, 05/24/2011: Hackerati, The Evolution of Apps . More info here.
  • Tuesday, 05/24/2011: 10 Things Not To Do In Your Social Sharing Dialogs. More info here.
  • Wednesday, 05/25/2011: Alchemist Series Panel on Founding Teams. More info here.
  • Thursday, 05/26/2011: Startup Grind Hosts Naval Ravikant. More info here.
  • Friday, 05/27/2011: One Meetup - Hangover 2. More info here.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

What makes web apps successful?

For all web entrepreneurs our there: Fred Wilson, partner at both Flatiron and Union Square, has shared the top 10 principles for successful web apps. Considering that he has been evaluating web companies for about 15 years now, should be interesting to hear his advice. You can see the full presentation below, but in a nutshell, here is his advice:

  1. Speed is not only a feature -- it’s a requirement.
  2. The application has to be useful instantaneously. Even if you are building a service which requires days of use before getting to the heart of its features, give the user something right away.
  3. The service must have a personality, with a unique style.
  4. Do one little thing very well. Less is more, specially at the beginning.
  5. The service should have APIs so that others can add more value to your service.
  6. Make your application personal -- allow users to personalize the service to themselves.
  7. Make the URLs self explanatory so that they can be more easily discoverable.
  8. Similarly to 7, make your service as discoverable as possible, both for SEO and social media.
  9. Your application should be clean, and get users started fast.
  10. Being playful is extremely important. If possible, make your application a game.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Airbnb: initial funding, email exchanges between investors, and more

Fred Wilson, VC at Union Square Ventures, and Paul Graham, co-founder of Y Combinator decided to synchronize their blog posts this week. They both wrote about Airbnb.

On Fred’s side: someone asked him to talk about an opportunity he found very interesting but nonetheless did not invest in. In his blog post, he does not only go over the reason why they did not invest in Airbnb, but also shows a great story around how Airbnb raised their initial $25,000.

On Paul’s side, he decided to actually show email exchanges between himself, Fred and Airbnb founder. It's just so amazing to see how far a great team can go, and how passionate and personal Graham can get despite working with so many teams.
Also, the post adds even more insight around the fact that recommendations are very important in the VC-world.

Needless to say, very relevant reading for any entrepreneur-minded person!

GreenGoose: Play Real Life

This past week’s SVNewTech Meetup had very interesting demos. One that particularly caught my attention was GreenGoose.

Imagine that life was a game, and every time you drank water, brushed your teeth or rode your bike, for example, you could get points. GreenGoose mission is exactly that: to transform everyday things into a fun game.

They have these adorable, puffy stickers which contain a wireless sensor that measures how you’re interacting with everyday objects. At this point, they are still focusing in a few dozen objects, as each sensor looks for different specific movements.

So, how does it work? Let’s say you glue a sticker on a bottle of water. That sticker looks for interactions with that bottle (for example, you turn the bottle towards you to get a sip) and sends that information to a base station. The reach of the sensor is very similar to the range of your car key, so not bad at all. Once the base station has shared the info over the net, you can see your profile of lifestyle points achieved:

The site is still in beta, and ordering stickers is coming up soon. I’m looking forward to seeing how their offering evolves.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

This Week’s Events (May 9th, 2011)

There are so much great stuff going on this week, you will have to pick between great options on Monday and Thursday!

  • Monday,  05/09/2011: SFMusicTech Summit. Brings together developers, entrepreunerus, musicians and investors interested in music and tech. More info here.
  • Monday,  05/09/2011: Pre-Google I/O Mini Gadget Hack. More info here.
  • Thursday, 05/12/2011: BizTech [Mobile]. All about mobile apps. Angry Birds founder Peter Vesterbacka is one of the speakers. More info here.
  • Thursday, 05/12/2011: VigLink’s “One email and a series B later” party. More info here.
  • Saturday, 05/14/2011: Hack4Good. A Social Hackathon at Hacker Dojo. More info here.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Founder’s Workbench

Godwin Procter, LLP is a prominent law firm with about 850 employees in 10 offices around US, China and UK. One of their focuses is on startup legal issues, and to help entrepreneurs they have launched The Founder’s Workbench.

The site has information on several topics, including how to organize a start-up, how to protect intellectual property, how to put together a team and how to split equity among team members. Founder’s Workbench also has a blog, Founder’s Toolbox, which talks about upcoming events and stories around entrepreneurship. Every week, they post a Founder’s Flash, containing weekly advice for startups. Here is the Founder’s Flash for this week.

Definitely worth checking it out if you are starting a company.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

This Week's Events (May 2nd, 2011)

There are several meetups for entrepreneur-minded people going on this week. Here is a select list of what I plan on attending:
  • Tuesday, 05/03/2011: Silicon Valley New Tech Meetup in Palo Alto. More info here.
  • Wednesday, 05/04/2011: 106 Miles Meetup. More info here.
  • Thursday, 05/05/2011: Hackers and Founders - Cinco de Mayo. More info here.
  • Saturday-Sunday, 05/07/2011: SuperHappyDevHouse Hackathon at Hacker Dojo. More info here.