Stories

By: Ariel Diaz | September 21, 2010
I wrote previously about the four phases of the Internet, and how we're approaching the Mobile (+ Location) Internet. As a follow up to that post, I wanted to explore some specific areas and opportunities with this new paradigm. Solving "Local" Many companies have tried to solve local, applying technological...
By: Ariel Diaz | September 21, 2010
I wrote previously about the four phases of the Internet, and how we're approaching the Mobile (+ Location) Internet. As a follow up to that post, I wanted to explore some specific areas and opportunities with this new paradigm. Solving "Local" Many companies have tried to solve local, applying technological...
By: Dave Broadwin | September 20, 2010
After Q1, I was wondering if the venture economy was back or if folks just thought so. At the end of Q1 things seemed to be on a steady upward trend; now they seem to be sputtering. Well, the Q2 results have now been reported on by many sources, including the three law firms that publish data, Foley Hoag...
By: Todd Garland | September 19, 2010
When I received an email from WebInno organizer David Beisel asking if I would like to be on a panel featuring local “Self-Funded Success Stories” for WebInno 27 I was immediately psyched. Last summer, BuySellAds.com was a main dish presenter at WebInno; winning the audience choice award that night...
By: Keith Cline | September 19, 2010
Last Thursday, Scott Kirsner had an interesting post on his Innovation Economy blog where he talked about some of the perceptions shared by Governor Deval Patrick during a meeting with local venture capitalists. Check out the post by clicking here. Scott provided a number of examples...
By: Jason Baptiste | September 16, 2010
On Saturday, MIT hosted Startup Bootcamp to provide a diverse group of lessons to hopeful founders and those teetering on the edge of jumping into a startup. The tagline for the event was actually "Starting a company is easier than you think." The videos will be online soon as well if you want...
By: Alex Taussig | September 15, 2010
Every first-time entrepreneur eventually must convince a complete stranger to hand over his or her hard-earned cash. It’s difficult to do because, by definition, a first-time entrepreneur has no track record. And, to quote serial entrepreneur David Cancel, “no one cares how smart you are except your mom...
By: Jeff Bussgang | September 14, 2010
(Warning: the following blog post will seem parochial for all readers outside of the Boston area. Sorry about that. The message applies to every aspiring innovation hub.) Dear Boston-area student, Welcome (back) to the Top City of the Global Innovation Economy! It’s sure been quiet
By: Rob Go | September 9, 2010
I was having coffee a few weeks back with a friend who is at a large, very successful VC. We were chatting about one of the senior partners at his firm, one that I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know (but not as well as I would like). I’ve never really been able to articulate why I’ve enjoyed...
By: Chip Hazard | September 8, 2010
There has been a lot of debate lately in the investor community about VCs vs SuperAngels and the best approach to financing early stage companies. If you are an entrepreneur, you could spend all day catching up on the blog/twitter traffic, which of course makes it hard to focus on actually...
By: David Beisel | September 7, 2010
Most VCs drink beer, but how much do they realize that their industry is increasingly resembling that of the beer industry? Forgive me if I start a bit theoretical. The famed business strategist Michael Porter described a set of successful general strategies which firms employ to...
By: Antonio Rodriguez | September 6, 2010
Here is an end-of-the-summer thought for all of my friends in social media: We've all gotten so busy screaming into miasma of Twitter, Facebook, Buzz, etc. that we've forgotten the real magic of the net. As my buddy Doc said a decade ago: it's about conversations. Before there was social media...
By: Keith Cline | September 6, 2010
Welcome to the... "summer is over" ...edition of our weekly email. And, what a great summer it was... some time off, amazing weather, and... several acquisitions. Well, I hope everyone's batteries have been recharged because the next few months are going to be very, very busy. Need proof? Just check out...
By: Coach Wei | September 2, 2010
The US economy and domestic job creation have been in deep shit lately and neither seem to be improving anytime soon. Intel co-founder Andy Grove recently wrote a profound article on BusinessWeek “How America Can Create Jobs” that I personally thoroughly enjoyed and spoke to the current market...
By: Victoria Song | September 1, 2010
With the entrance of Facebook Places last week, it is now clear that the core “check-in” feature in all the recent geo-location services has become commoditized. The check-in services that will manage to stay afloat in this tough competition are those which can differentiate....
By: Keith Cline | August 31, 2010
Startup Bootcamp is a one day, free event at MIT where entrepreneurs and venture capitalists give talks on how to start a company. This year's event is being held on Saturday, Sept, 11th. Click here for the additional details. Speakers (so far) for this year's event include...
By: Eric Paley | August 30, 2010
I’ve been thinking lately about how founders should decide when it is time to sell their startups and how to put aside the different incentives that often drive these decisions. Large VC funds have a strong appetite to fund entrepreneurs that want to swing for the fences. This was evident...
By: Keith Cline | August 29, 2010
CardStar is a Boston based company that is building a consumer-focused platform connecting loyalty cards, merchants and coupons via mobile devices. Their loyalty rewards app has been downloaded over 1.4 million times and is available on all of the major app stores. Danny Espinoza (CTO & Co-Founder) was...
By: Keith Cline | August 29, 2010
THE QUEST for Innovation is back!!! What is THE QUEST for Innovation??? It is a mobile scavenger hunt (using SCVNGR's mobile gaming platform) which brings together entrepreneurs and innovators to collaborate, compete, and celebrate the region's long legacy as a hub of global innovation. This event...
By: Ralph Folz | August 26, 2010
1. Define & Live by Core Values. Authenticity, Transparency, Embracing Change, Customer Intimacy. These are a sampling of the core values that have formed in companies I have been involved with. When core values are defined, and more importantly, enacted, they provide a powerful...
By: Micah Rosenbloom | August 26, 2010
This post was conceived and co-written by Ed Tekeian (former VP Engineering at Brontes), a brilliant engineering leader, great all-around guy, and one of the key reasons our product saw the light of day. (also the only year-round surfer in New England I know) Looking back, one of the things...
By: Diane Hessan | August 25, 2010
1. Hire Passionate People. It is really difficult to teach people to have your values: to have high standards, to be collaborative or willing to take risks or be obsessive about customers, or the like. We hire people who we have passion for what we do, and who can model our values. We can always teach...
By: Michelle Hipwood | August 25, 2010
This is a puzzling dilemma for many entrepreneurs looking to finance their start-up in today’s economic environment. TCN recently hosted an expert lunch with sponsor Silicon Valley Bank around this topic, covering the basics of venture debt financing. Brad Holt, a Relationship Manager at SVB, was the...
By: Niraj Shah | August 24, 2010
1. Focus on customers. a. Always keep the lens on customers – what they want, what can be improved, what makes their experience with your company satisfying, rewarding and something they intend to repeat, etc. It is really easy to get distracted and focus on your competitors, on your...
By: Andy Payne | August 24, 2010
Two years ago, Daniel Cozza and I spent a lot of time looking at location-based apps. We brainstormed tons of ideas and prototyped one. But we ultimately decided not to pursue it; the space (and the iPhone app space, generally), was starting to feel really crowded. Later, it also became clear...
By: Gail Goodman | August 23, 2010
1. Make sure everyone in the company knows your customers’ needs and challenges. Everyone. To make the customer the center of your business universe, you need to bring them into sharp focus for everyone in the organization. Identify personas. Tell stories. Send around case studies. Host an open house...
By: Nathan Burke | August 22, 2010
Sometimes it is difficult to change your own prejudices. The moment I heard about Marginize, an app that lets anyone comment on any web page, my knee-jerk reaction was “Really? Another one of those?” In the past few years, dozens of apps have attempted to get people to comment on the “margins” of pages...
By: David Cancel | August 22, 2010
How do you know if your startup is solving a critical problem? You can survey your users, conduct user interviews, and run a/b testing experiments to try to get your answer. No matter what method you use, parsing out reality is really hard, especially for entrepreneurs (see Reality Distortion Field...
By: Keith Cline | August 22, 2010
Rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat...once again it was another ultra active week in terms of deals... a total of eleven! The big news was Zynga's acquisition of Conduit Labs in Cambridge. Nabeel Hyatt, Conduit's Founder, will become head of Zynga Boston. More and more acquisition hungry...
By: Furqan Nazeeri | August 19, 2010
They teach everything else. Why, in business alone, you can get a masters or PhD in marketing (sales' evil cousin), finance, human resources and entrepreneurship (which isn't even a business function, but rather a business practice). In fact, for every head of a business function in a company (VP of whatever), there is...

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