Archive for the buzzpal philosophy Category

BuzzPal and BuzzPal Blog Update

Posted in buzzpal philosophy, domain names, other people's blogs, startups, venture capital with tags , , , , , on February 6, 2010 by chrisco

Things might be quiet around here for a little while, as we’re pretty busy with BuzzPal and other projects, plus doing some consulting for select pre-funded, seed/angel-funded, and VC-funded founders and web startups. What kinds of consulting and advising? Everything that you see listed in the “Specialties” section of my LinkedIn profile.

If you’re raising outside investment (angel or VC) and you’re thinking of contacting me, it might be good to do it before the cows leave the barn (i.e., before you get too far down the road, and certainly before you negotiate or sign any investment-related documents). Why? See the “Bootstrap or Die” case study for one example.

My background, in a nutshell:

  • Debt and equity venture finance, from the late ’90s Internet bubble, through its crash, restructurings, and recovery.
  • Specialist in subscription-based business models (often with advertising and ancillary product/service components).
  • Been through an IPO and sold stock for a decent profit.
  • Been invited to participate in, and cover, various startup and Web 2.0 events around Europe.
  • Founder and seed investor in two seed-stage projects.
  • Assembled an international distributed team of professionals.
  • Growing that team: Currently looking for an expert web app interface designer and front-end developer for layout, typography, color, HTML, CSS, Javascript, internationalization, speed/performance best practices, working with A/B testing, multivariate testing, and more. Ideally 1-2 people covering that and working with us, our prototypes, and developers to create great user experiences and value.
  • Started a new blog — Bootstrappy.com — in February 2010. It’s first post made CenterNetworks’ “Weekend Entrepreneurial Reading” list and got over 2000 views in its first week.
  • See my LinkedIn profile and personal blog, pics, and personal Twitter account for more. See here for the TMI version.
  • Get in touch here.
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37 Signals’ Lessons for Startups

Posted in buzzpal philosophy, other people's blogs, startups with tags , , , , , , , , on October 30, 2009 by chrisco

Some good points in here:

Startup School 2009:
37 Signals has some lessons for European startups

By Ciara Byrne
2009-10-29
TechCrunch (comments thread there)

Y combinator’s annual startup school event was held in Berkeley last Saturday… and Jason Fried of 37signals gave one of the talks which seemed most relevant to European startups. His business partner is actually from Copenhagen and they worked together for two years before meeting in person. Here’s a summary of his presentation and a chat I had with him afterwards.

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Yokum Taku’s Take On Vesting

Posted in articles, buzzpal philosophy, buzzpal updates, other people's blogs, startups, venture capital with tags , , , on August 30, 2009 by chrisco

If you are (or are interested in becoming) a startup founder, early team member or investor, check out Yokum's blog.

A lot’s been going on over at BuzzPal these past couple of months. Besides design and development work, we’re growing the team, forming a new company, negotiating terms, drafting documents, and generally working through all the administrative stuff you gotta do to get a clean start.

One of the questions everybody goes through at this point is: “Who should get how much equity and under what terms and conditions and vesting”? Yokum’s article (below) is about that “vesting” part (other parts to be discussed some below).

Yokum suggests standard 4-year vesting with a 1-year cliff, then equal monthly vesting. It’s hard to argue with that.  Indeed, it’s what I got at MCG (I got options that where converted to restricted stock before our IPO in 2001) and it’s most people get if and when they get equity.

That said, Basil Peters, whose blog, angelblog.net, should also be on your list, makes a strong case that, for founders and co-founders at least:

“[T]he most fair and equitable structure, and the one that maximizes the alignment between the founders and the investors, is to vest like this:

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Reboot 11 Pics, Videos, and Links

Posted in buzzpal philosophy, events, ideas (often wacky ones), pics, videos on June 30, 2009 by chrisco

(click to watch the video)

Just time for a quick post to mark the end of another great Reboot. This year’s theme was Action (last year was Free).

Below are some links (and pics). Check back over time, as new and updated content will be posted. Update: http://video.reboot.dk is live.

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13 Tips for Creating a Successful New Online Product

Posted in buzzpal philosophy, other people's blogs, recruiting, startups on January 12, 2009 by chrisco

Overall a great list of reminders Daniel Tenner’s blog, Inter-Sections.net blog.

13 Tips for Creating a Successful New Online Product
By Daniel Tenner
2008-5-7
inter-sections.net

There is much talk these days about building a product for a niche and making a lifestyle business out of it. Much of the online literature about starting up is focused on how to create some fantastic product which will gather millions of visitors and make you a billionaire, and the “new wave”, so to speak, proposes that rather than taking a 1 in 10’000 bet that you can make billions, it is better to take a 1 in 10 bet that you can make millions.

Since I have started two such businesses already, here are thirteen tips from my own experience:

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The 120% Solution

Posted in buzzpal philosophy, other people's blogs, startups, venture capital on December 14, 2008 by chrisco

An excerpt from Jason Calacanis’ excellent email list (subscribe):

The 120% Solution
By Jason Calcanis
2008-12-4
tinyurl.com/jasonslist

If we’re going to have any chance of bringing America back to greatness, we’re all going to have to work 20% more than we have been.

I’m suggesting that, until America takes care of its debt, untangles the housing mess and gets unemployment under control, we all commit to working six days a week. Yep, move the standard 35-40 hour work week right up to 48 hours.

For me and my team, this is a non-issue, since we only hire folks who are looking to absolutely kill it, love what they do and don’t consider it a job.

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The ABC’s of Conducting a Technical Interview

Posted in buzzpal philosophy, other people's blogs, recruiting, startups on December 2, 2008 by chrisco

A great reminder for us here at BuzzPal
(and for anyone looking to join us!):

The ABCDEF’s of Conducting a Technical Interview
By Eric Ries
Lessons Learned

I am incredibly proud of the people I have hired over the course of my career. Finding great engineers is hard; figuring out who’s good is even harder. The most important step in evaluating a candidate is conducting a good technical interview. If done right, a programming interview serves two purposes simultaneously. On the one hand, it gives you insight into what kind of employee the candidate might be. But it also is your first exercise in impressing them with the values your company holds. This second objective plays no small part in allowing you to hire the best.

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