Archive for December, 2007

WSJ Article: VC’s New Math: Does Less = More?

Posted in articles, buzzpal philosophy, buzzpal updates on December 29, 2007 by chrisco

I post this Wall Street Journal article because a lot of people ask why we’re not seeking VC investors yet. In a nutshell, seeking institutional capital before team and alpha is old school. We’re new school. We’re agile and iterative.

We follow what some people like to call the Google/Yahoo Model, which is basically:

  1. the user is in charge
  2. the world is your R&D lab
  3. failures are good, good failures are better.

See here for an old, but still good “Google” article on that. And see here for a recent blurb and links about Yahoo’s Brickhouse.

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Good Article From ReadWriteWeb.com

Posted in buzzpal philosophy, other people's blogs, recruiting on December 27, 2007 by chrisco

Some great startup ideas and reminders here. Click here to read the article on readwriteweb.com.

Below are a few selected “tips” to help you understand BuzzPal’s philosophy and where we are in the startup lifecycle. Hint: We just settled a trademark dispute and are now recruiting technical cofounder(s).

Tip 0: You must have code: Working code proves that a system is possible, and it also proves that the team can build the system. Having working code is a launchpad for your business. In the old days, tech companies were funded based on an idea written on a piece of paper. Today, a startup needs to have not only working code, but an assembled system and active users in order to land venture capital money.

Tip 1: You must have a technical co-founder.

Tip 2: Hire A+ engineers who love coding.

Tip 3: Keep the engineering team small and do not outsource: A team of 2-3 rockstar engineers can build pretty much any system because they are good at what they do, love building software, focus on the goal, and don’t get in each other’s way. A team of 20 so-so engineers will not get very far. The truth is that most successful software today is built by just a handful of good engineers. Less is more applies equally to code and to the number of people working on it.

Tip 4: Ask tough questions during the interview.

Tip 5: Avoid hiring non-technical managers.

Tip 6: Cultivate an agile culture.

Tip 7: Do not re-invent the wheel: Whether you are using JavaScript or PHP or .NET or Python or Ruby, there are likely already libraries out there that can help you. Re-writing existing libraries is a waste of your time and you are not likely to do it better.

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Startup Math

Posted in buzzpal philosophy, other people's blogs on December 26, 2007 by chrisco

1 + 1 = 1/2

From FoundRead.com’s recent post about entrepreneur Chris Lyman:

I do funding a bit different than other entrepreneurs. I launch the company myself. I form (some of) the team. We build the product. We get to revenues… and we even go profitable. In short: we get our ship lean, mean, and pumping efficacy from every valve. Then we go get VC funding [if necessary].

I couldn’t have said it better myself. My background includes venture debt & equity investing, from the go-go late 1990s through the breathtaking cyclical peak, to the post-9/11 trough, and back up through the recovery (which is now well past its peak). It’s been a tremendous experience. Timing is everything, as they say. Actually Marc Andreessen says the only thing that matters is the market.

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It’s time…

Posted in buzzpal updates, contests & promotions, recruiting on December 23, 2007 by chrisco

Time for what?

Time to start the BuzzPal Blog.

Why?

Because of some exciting developments we’ll tell you more about soon.

In the meantime, here are a few hints:

1) For much of 2007, we’ve been negotiating with a large, fast-growing and venture-funded startup about our trademark application for BuzzPal. The short version of the story is that they opposed us, spent months trying to impose limitations on us, but wound up having us also impose limitations on them. Understandably, they decided that was a bad idea and proposed dropping our respective limitations and withdrawing their opposition. We agreed. The deal was signed the Friday before Christmas.

2) We camped out overnight and snagged tickets to the hottest concert of 2008 here in Sweden and we’ll soon launch a special promotion, the winner of which gets a free pair of tickets* plus some special goodies. So, who is this mystery artist? Where exactly is the concert? You’ll have to signup at BuzzPal.com to find out! Hint: The concert date is July 4th and you could say that the artist was born in America.

3) Now that the trademark cloud has lifted, we’re restarting our recruiting efforts. So if you’re young, talented and driven, then check us out and check us out now, before your window of opportunity closes. See http://www.buzzpal.com/jobs.html. All the info you need is right there. This is your chance. Will you take it?

*Contest rules, conditions and limitations will apply, of course.

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