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Didn’t Get Into TechStars? Don’t Sweat It

July 22, 2011 3 minutes

If you didn't get into TechStars, don't be discouraged. Get a job at a tech giant like Google, work hard during the day, and use the income to fund your startup nights and weekends until you can secure seed funding to pursue it full-time.

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7 Ways to Raise Money Without Giving Up Equity

May 08, 2011 5 minutes

Startup Chile provides funding, mentorship, and workspace for international startups without equity, while Kickstarter, IndieGoGo, and Profounder offer crowdfunding options. DIV and SBIR provide government grants, and RevenueLoan offers revenue-based financing for established startups.

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Looking for techie to fix serious bug!

April 13, 2011 1 minute

I've been nominated for "Best Startup Technologist" in the Seattle 2.0 Awards for 3 years, proving a serious bug in the nomination software. Seeking a techie to fix this bug ASAP. It's an honor to be on the ballot with admired peers.

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How to recruit top engineers to your startup

January 20, 2011 4 minutes

Recruit top engineers by hosting dev events, networking over coffee, focusing on college recruiting, and converting contractors. Build relationships with passive candidates, not just posting job ads. Devs, not HR, should lead the recruiting efforts for best results.

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Favorite tools for late night startup hackers

January 16, 2011 3 minutes 10 photos

Favorite collaboration tools for late night startup hackers include oLark for real-time customer feedback, Join.me for hassle-free screencasts, Propane for Campfire group chat, FaceTime for face-to-face discussions, ScreenFlow for creating screencasts, Thinkfuse for status reporting, CloudApp for sharing screenshots, and GitHub for code collaboration and feedback.

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A Simple New Year’s Resolution: Wake Up!

December 31, 2010 4 minutes

A simple New Year's resolution to wake up by 7 AM or sunrise, whichever is earlier, offers numerous benefits: improved productivity, health, and work-life balance. This single, elegant goal aligns with the habits of successful historical figures and can lead to a more fulfilling and purposeful year.

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Add logs, pour fuel (VC money), light match (beta release day)

July 07, 2010 3 minutes

The best startups focus on the core business, not just overcoming financial constraints. Prepare the "fire pit" with prototypes and early sales, then add fuel (investment) to fuel growth, rather than just lighting a match and hoping for a spectacular but short-lived blaze.

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LeadsCon: a crash course in “show me the money!!”

June 23, 2010 2 minutes

LeadsCon in New York City on July 26-27, 2010 is a crash course for entrepreneurs on extracting money from online, featuring discussions on making loads of cash, lean startup techniques, and insights from successful companies like QuinStreet and LendingTree. Discounts are available, with the biggest expiring on June 25th.

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New York Times 50 Most Challenging Words (defined and used)

June 15, 2010 7 minutes 2 photos

The New York Times published a list of 50 challenging words that frequently stump their readers. This article defines and uses each of these "fancy words" in context, including terms like "inchoate," "profligacy," "sui generis," "austerity," and "baldenfreude." The goal is to help readers avoid seeming "jejune" or "laconic" by mastering these sophisticated vocabulary words.

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Unexpected Startup Lesson #3: Why You Can’t Read a VC

June 10, 2010 3 minutes

The author learned that VCs are largely unreadable during the fundraising process, providing one-way dialogues with minimal direct feedback, body language, or challenging questions, as they aim to preserve option value and avoid offending entrepreneurs. This made it difficult to gauge their true interest or concerns about the opportunity.

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Unexpected Startup Lesson #2: Channel your Inner VC to Understand Startup Valuations

May 27, 2010 4 minutes

Valuation is not the primary focus for VCs; they care more about future value and ownership. Rather than fixating on a target valuation, it's better to think of valuation as an output - raise the desired amount and let the valuation follow. Other terms like liquidation preferences also matter more than the initial valuation.

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Unexpected Startup Lesson #1: Quitting the day job

May 09, 2010 3 minutes

Quitting a stable job to start a company is a risky but worthwhile move. The unexpected benefits, such as valuable networking, learning, and satisfaction, can outweigh the financial risks and position you better for the future, even if the startup ultimately fails.

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If you want to ship, cut, cut, cut!

April 17, 2010 2 minutes

Get better updates and access to the work item list to track progress. Clear the air, be reasonable, and eliminate non-critical features and bugs to get the project back on track. Cut, cut, cut - you can fix it later.

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3 Things I’ve Learned To Recruit Great Hackers

April 09, 2010 1 minute

Recruit great hackers by trying contractors before hiring full-time, networking extensively to generate excitement, and deeply engaging with one target school through presentations, events, and personal connections rather than spreading efforts across multiple schools.

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How much traffic do you get from being on the front page of Hacker News?

March 20, 2010 2 minutes

A blog post that reached the front page of Hacker News received 2,530 visits over 3 days, a 30x increase over normal traffic. The majority of the traffic came from Hacker News (1,542 visits), with additional traffic from direct sources (574), Twitter (50), Craigslist (49), and a news aggregator called JimmyR.com (32).

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Sell Ice Cream, Not Cream and Ice

March 12, 2010 2 minutes

Successful startups focus on business models, not just technology or products. Lead generation businesses that acquire traffic, filter leads, and sell to customers can generate millions, even without advanced tech or polished products. The key is understanding customer needs and providing a convenient solution.

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Avoid This Startup Mistake: Losing Customer Focus

February 20, 2010 2 minutes

Print out user photos and post them on the walls to make your entire team more customer-focused. This simple technique helped Snapvine's engineers become intensely curious about their users and push for more user-centric product development, even during periods of rapid growth and technical challenges.

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Crucial first hire: the "do-it-all office admin"

December 16, 2009 4 minutes

Hire a "Do-It-All Office Admin" as one of your first employees to handle distractions and free up the team to focus on core business goals. Look for self-driven, eager, smart, and trustworthy individuals with some professional experience, problem-solving skills, and a scrappy, can-do attitude.

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The positive follow-up to complaints, failures and ideas.

November 09, 2009 1 minute

Complaints, failures, and ideas are valuable when paired with solutions, honest learning, and follow-through, respectively. Seek the positive follow-up to transform these into opportunities for innovation and success.

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FiReGlobal West Notes

October 20, 2009 3 minutes

The internet is disrupting traditional education, with teachers becoming learning coaches rather than lecturers. Serious Materials is innovating energy-efficient building materials, while InTouch Health's remote-controlled hospital robots impress. Oceans face threats like warming and pollution, requiring leadership and market-based solutions. Dell foresees mobile-oriented workforces and simplified IT architectures.

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