The Most Read Articles on VentureFizz this Year - You Might Be Surprised...

Friday Dec 20, 2013 by Dennis Keohane - Senior Writer, VentureFizz

After a few sessions on the old Google Analytics machine, we have put together the list of what have been the top articles we've published this year.

We were surprised by some of the results. Most notably, some recently published pieces and slideshows have done very well in a short period of time (especially the list of "Who's Next" Influential Women in Boston). Things are definitely trending up over here at VentureFizz.

The piece that overwhelmingly drew in the most eyeballs this year was the article by Dave Power on Tesla's "S Curve".

The big surprise was that the next most read article was my piece on a little art app called Mischief. The response to that piece was really awesome as tons of folks reached out to us to find out more about Sarah Frisken and her cool (and under-the-radar) drawing/design project. I think more than anything that the video was the main draw. (It should also serve as a how-to on creating a launch/pitch video.)



And, slideshows! Huge attention getters. We have a ton of interesting slideshows and office tours in the works for 2014, so stand by. By far, the most popular slideshow we did was the "25 Influential Women in Tech/Innovation in Boston" list. It was so impactful, that we got everyone on the list together to celebrate their unbelievable achievements this year over at Fairhaven Capital last week.

Without further ado, here are the top sixteen most read articles we published this year:

1. Tesla Motors : Preparing for the Next S Curve - by Dave Power - "To me, the most interesting part of Tesla’s strategy is the way it is planning ahead for changes in its business model, or S Curves (as I written about before.). Tesla decided on a high-end sports car for its first S Curve.  This allows its engineers time to perfect the design while also giving the company the profits it needs to invest in the next S Curve: an ‘affordable’ electric car.   In fact, Elon Musk hopes to build an even lower cost family sedan a year or two after that as his third S Curve.  Says Musk,  “With the Model S, you have a compelling car that’s too expensive for most people…what the world really needs is a great, affordable electric car.”...more

2. Making Mischief - The Magical App Unlike Anything You've Seen Before - "Quietly sitting outside of a coffee shop in Cambridge, former Tufts' professor Sarah Frisken isn't who you'd expect to be the innovator behind one of the best drawing/design apps that's possibly ever been created. Frisken is one of the most unassuming founders I've ever met. And yet, this week she is sitting down with Pixar, talking about Mischief, a drawing app that has to be seen to be believed. (It's by far one of the coolest products I've seen.)"...more

3. The Future of Internet & Cars - by Lee Hower - "I’ve been doing some thinking about the future of cars and the impact of the internet.  A large part of this is just some idle thoughts, a small part is driven by my love of cars, and a small part is thinking about what potential opportunities for innovation & investment might stem from this.  I started jotting this down about a month ago but Google’s acquisition of Waze was a good prompt to finish off this post."....more

4. 25 Influential Women in the Boston Tech/Innovation Community - "Sheryl Sandberg's recent book,Lean In, has garnered a ton of attention (rightly so) for gender balance on business leadership teams. In Boston, we have several influential female founders, investors, and innovators leading some of the fastest growing and most successful companies in the area. Let's take a look at twenty-five of them."...more

5. Minimize the Use of CxO Titles at Early Stage Companies - by Jay Batson - "I'm about 10 months into helping a bunch of startups through organizations like TechStars,MassChallenge, and others.  And I've seen an emerging trend among startups that I want to discourage: The over - and inappropriate - use of "Chief (fill-in-the-blank)" titles. "What's the problem," you ask?  "Why not give people CxO roles?" There are a bunch of reasons:...more

6. What You Need To Know About Unpaid Internships - Michael Gaiss - "The topic of unpaid internships comes up frequently in conversations that I have with companies looking to bring on young talent. It is an area where many people do not have a full grasp of the rules and regulations that exist (which can vary by state)."...more

7. The 10 'Who's Next' Influential Women in Boston Tech/Innovation - "Recently we published our list of "25 Influential Women" in Boston.  It was not easy to select twenty-five women as we had far more nominees than those that made it on the list and had to make some tough decisions in the end. While compiling the "25 Influential" list, we came across some young entrepreneurs, innovators, and thought leaders who may be under-the-radar now, but won't be for much longer.
Here is our list of "Who's Next": the up-and-coming women in tech, marketing, leadership, and ideas, who are going to be leading the next wave of innovation in Boston."...more

8. A Seed VC's Decision Tree - by Rob Go - "I continue to be on a kick towards better and more systematic decision-making. One exercise I’ve tried is to codify my mental decision-tree for early stage investing.  Essentially, it is the internal dialog I tend to have with myself when evaluating companies.  But by charting it out, it helped me to be more explicit about what attributes I’m looking for, and how my opinion about different attributes feeds into an ultimate decision."...more

9. Wayfair - Is One of the Quietest Companies in Boston Also Its Biggest? - "Wayfair, the online furniture retailer, is a company built much more similar to Zulilly than Twitter or Facebook: a bit under-the-radar, not generating much buzz with local and national media outlets, and lacking a huge volume of "users" to make the company a nationally recognizable brand. There is a slight difference between  Zulilly/Twitter and Wayfair, however. Revenue. Zulilly and Twitter have pretty similar numbers, hovering in close to $350 million in revenue. By contrast, Wayfair.com is going to surpass $900M in revenue this year and come in close to $1 billion.
"Wait a second!" you might say. "You have this company in Boston that has close to a billion dollars in revenue and no one has ever heard of them?" ...more

10. Living the 'Hai Life' - Evertrue's First H1B Visa - by Brent Grinna - "We recently received approval for our first H-1B visa. It was a complex process that is challenging for any company, but particularly burdensome for resource constrained early-stage startups like ours. A quick Quora search shows many questions about the process, including “Can a startup realistically sponsor an H-1B or is that just for the big companies”?
I thought I’d share how the process went for us, from meeting our candidate through receiving approval last week." ...more

11. Drizly's Secret Weapon That Makes Alcohol Delivery a Reality - "Drizly, a local alcohol delivery app, looks to make the process of beer, wine, and liquor delivery as simple as ordering a takeout pizza. With an approach that resembles Domino’s Pizza more than a catering service, the company has been delivering booze to Boston and some surrounding areas through its mobile app for a few months now." ...more

12. Five Important Reasons to Develop a Unique Brand Presence - by Kristin Dziadul - "Your developers and designers have finally come up to the surface for a breath of air and are eagerly announcing to you that the product is ready for customers. Ideas of email campaigns, paid social ads, blog post announcements and media outreach begin flying through your mind. Stop right there. No really, stop." ...more

13. Why Marathon Runners Make Good Entrepreneurs - by Natalie Nathanson - "I do some of my best thinking while running, so while training for a half marathon earlier this Spring, a thought popped into my mind: are there skills I’ve acquired over years of training for races that I’ve also translated into ‘running’ a business? (Pun intended, of course…)  
After a bit of amusing introspection, I decided that yes—many of the elements I find important in training for a race are also critical to me as an entrepreneur." ..more

14. Coachup Unveils New Logo, Major Rebranding - "Local private coaching company CoachUp has seen a lot of growth in its first year of existence. Started just last May, the company’s website now has over 7000 coaches available to connect with young athletes seeking private lessons or coaching. In addition to the huge number of coach/athlete connections happening on its site, CoachUp opened a new office in the Innovation District in May and introduced a scholarship program for student athletes last week. On Friday, as a further sign of its ascendency as a major force in the Boston innovation/startup community, CoachUp announced a major rebranding effort led by Boston’s Breakaway Innovation Group. Breakaway, which is also an investor in CoachUp, spearheaded the redesign project that includes a complete overhaul of CoachUp’s logo and website."...more

15. David Blundin's Cogo Labs' Formula for Startup Success - "Accelerators and incubators such as MassChallenge and TechStars garner loads of attention (deservedly so) by creating environments where small startups can blossom with the help of business resources, mentor networks, and the advice of experienced entrepreneurs. The model, in which companies apply, pitch, get accepted, borrow space, etc., is not the only method for helping startups move from an idea to a revenue-generating business. Cogo Labs, the Cambridge-based ‘incubator’, uses a replicable business model to build successful companies that can either be spun off as independent entities or acquired by other businesses like CourseAdvisor and Autotegrity."...more

16. Dyn - Is Boston's Pillar Company Actually in New Hampshire? - "Dyn (pronounced "Dine" not "Din") was described last week by This Week in Startups host and AngelList Syndicate guru, Jason Calacanis, as the "Google of the Area," meaning, in his eyes, they are the biggest company in New England. Calacanis, who sits on the company's board of directors, is somewhat biased. However, he is an influential figure in the national technology scene who decided that a little company in New Hampshire was worth getting involved with, and his comparison may not be that far off...The question is, how is Dyn the Google of the North?" ...more

Dennis Keohane is the Senior Writer for VentureFizz. You can follow Dennis on Twitter (@DBKeohane) by clicking here.

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