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Posts Tagged ‘founders’

The Death of Ecommerce Startups?

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

Imagine having to collect and remit sales tax to hundreds of taxing authorities. For etailers, that nightmare may soon be a reality.

I’m working on several startups concurrently. One which will hard launch later this year is in the epublishing space. The second one is in the biotech space. This startup is in its nascent stages as my partner and I are still building out the founding team and working on the business model. The third, and newest concept, is an ecommerce startup in the health and fitness space.

The last mentioned opportunity is actually not a startup yet as I am in the information-gathering stage. Whether I decide to promote it to a viable startup depends on the results of what I call my startup due diligence process.

Red Flags A Waving

As I’m going about the process of due diligence with this concept — determining whether or not this opportunity makes business sense — a big potential red flag has become apparent. This year or next, there might very well be a massive headache with respect to collecting online sales tax from out-of-state customers. Read more »

Coders Of The Future Will Not Be Engineers

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

When most people who read my blog see the word engineer they immediately think of those who write code for a living. In other words, computer programmers who may or may not have actual degrees in computer engineering. This is the definition of engineer that you should be thinking of in the title to this post.

Two-years ago this Saturday, Peter Thiel made a still-controversial announcement that kids are better off dropping out of college — or not going in the first place — and instead starting a company. To help motivate his quarry, and entice (grab) young talent twenty-years old and younger, Thiel offers a two-year mentorship and $100k. However, the thumbing of a college education may be a short-lived trend. Why? Because the next version of hacker will not be the computer whiz kid who is touted as the up and coming coding guru.* The next celebrated hackers will not be able to safely learn how to cut complex code in their bedroom. Read more »

Do You Live to Work, Or Work to Live?

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

At my previous company, my partners and I agreed on many issues. We also disagreed on a number of issues. But perhaps the biggest area of disagreement between myself and my partners was work style.

As a consulting company, we tracked each hour of each employee’s day. We knew what they did and for how long they did it. We could calculate an employee’s total number of hours worked per year, average hours worked per day/week/month, what activities they spent most of their time focused doing, and therefore, each employee’s chargeability. That is consulting slang for how much profit we could squeeze out of each lemon employee. Read more »

Making the Stream More Intelligent

Saturday, December 17th, 2011

We’ve all heard the term CMS — Content Management System. These systems broadly fall into the blog platform category although they can often be more than simple blogging engines. WordPress and Drupal are the two most famous open-source CMSs.

The current Web has moved past the point where personal blogging is a big focus into the realm of real-time (RT) social interaction. Most content is now generated and shared via RT social networks than on CMS-based systems. However, unlike a CMS’s focus on content, the RT social networks’ focus is on users and their Streams. Read more »

Putting the Tech Back into Social Web

Saturday, September 17th, 2011

This article was originally part of the fifth installment to my smartup series. As I believe the message best fits in its own article bucket, I’ve placed it here instead.

I want to address an odd trend–although it’s not yet clear if this actually is a trend. Over the past several months, I’ve heard similar statements from several unrelated Internet startups—the notion that they are not tech startups.

Instead of thinking of themselves as tech startups, they believe they have a higher-calling, claiming to be some flavor of socially-focused company. This may be the result of more and more non-tech-oriented business people forming Internet-based startups, but whatever the cause, in my opinion, it must be nipped in the bud. Read more »

How to Get Me Involved in Your Smartup

Monday, August 15th, 2011

I receive six to eight requests for help from startups each year—from angel investing, to advising, to consulting, to joining as a founder. To date, I’ve never accepted a single offer. Recently, however, I was very intrigued by one startup’s vision, so much so that I spent a significant amount of time exploring that opportunity. In the end, it did not work out. A few of the reasons why this opportunity did not pan out will be encapsulated in my below set of guidelines.

Below you will find what I call my 7-by-7 rules. Whereas this is my current set of criteria, I believe this list is useable by anyone seeking to attract talent or looking to start a smartup. Please feel free to adopt, modifying, or expand upon this list and use it as you see fit. Read more »

Rash Decisions Are Not Good Decisions

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

I recently posted an article entitled, Looking for Two Startup Partners 35-plus years Old.

It is interesting how some people quickly jumped to conclusions and made sweeping assumptions based on a single blog article, or worse yet, blog title. Although the majority of people who have taken the time to comment or tweet about this post have been positive about my efforts, a small minority (across the age spectrum), have been negative, even seemingly offended. Read more »

Looking for Two Startup Partners 35-plus years Old

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

At first, that might seem like an odd announcement. But when Dave Winer made a recent post about ageism, I decided that I would try a little reverse ageism in finding startup partners.

Since I am not hiring employees, I am not breaking anti-discrimination laws. I am not making job offers. I am searching for business partners with whom to start a business. Read more »

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