How to Not Waste Your Life: Startup Lessons Learned Conference

Nathan Furr from Forbes writes that one recurring theme from the Startup Lessons Learned Conference was to avoid all this waste. At the conference, Eric Rues called the “Lean Startup.”

The Lean Startup focuses on how to manage entrepreneurial problems–any problem with unknown–whether in a small business or a large business. Contrary to what it may sound like, Lean Startups are not about doing things cheaply but instead focus on quickly discovering where you are right and where you are wrong so that you have more time to pivot to a solution that works. All ventures have limited resources and so how to efficiently use these resources to discover what to build before you run out of time and money is the key challenge.

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Why Letting Go is Essential for the CEO

Jason Baptist at the OnStartups blog writes that the most underrated quality of a CEO is the ability to let go.

As a growing company, there is absolutely zero chance that you can do it all yourself. Even if you had 24 hours in a day, there’s no way to do it all. Eventually deals will start to take time, hiring will take numerous interviews, product will be in different divisions, and more. You need to realize this and find someone who can start taking over the burdens. As entrepreneurial CEOs, it’s in our DNA to feel like we can do everything. The great CEOs realize they actually can’t do everything all by themselves.

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10 Ways for Entrepreneurs to Build a Brand Online

Benjamin Lang has written a nice post with 10 Ways to Build Your Brand Online.

Everybody needs to get their name out there on the social web. For entrepreneurs, however, it’s an even more critical aspect of the job. A social presence gives you the credibility to attract clients, partners and investors by making yourself available and demonstrating your personality and experience. Building your online brand in a meaningful way is no easy task, and there are many tools available to get you on the right path. Below, we’ve picked 10 tested methods and highlighted some of the best web tools to help your brand gain momentum in a crowded online marketplace.

REad the Full Story.

Contest Seeks 50 Most-Promising Startups

Looking for some recognition for your Startup? Colleen Taylor writes that the Kauffman Foundation is looking for the 50 most promising startups from around the world in its second annual “Startup Open” competition.

The Startup Open is a part of the Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW), a Kauffman Foundation initiative aimed at fostering new business innovation through events in more than 100 countries. Applicants have from now until Sept. 15, 2011 to submit their startups for consideration for this year’s GEW, which will kick off on Nov. 15, 2011. Any entrepreneur worldwide who has had a “startup moment”– defined by the Kauffman Foundation as any action related to launching a new business — since the last GEW on Nov. 22, 2010 is eligible to apply for Startup Open 2011. The top 50 startups will be chosen based on their concept, growth projections, and demonstrated industry knowledge.

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Why Startups Should Hire and Fire Fast

Mark Suster over at TechCrunch writes that the conventional wisdom is wrong when it comes to Startups needing to be slow to hire. In fact, he contends that hiring decisions need to happen at the same rapid pace that drives the business day to day.

There’s a certain cadence that you can feel when you spend time hanging any well-run startup company. The management team has to have a bias toward making decisions. They know that a 70% accurate decision made quickly and based on sound principles is better than a 90% decision made after careful consideration. The startup entrepreneur knows that they’re going to be wrong often. They’re flexible and willing to admit when they’re wrong. They don’t create a culture of punishment for mistakes. They live be the credo that if you’re never making mistakes you’re not trying hard enough. In my mind the sign of a great entrepreneur is the one that spots the 30% scenario quickly and adjusts but doesn’t get gun shy about rapid decision-making in the future.

Read the Full Story. Mark has also written related features including: Attitude over Aptitude, Only Hire A+ People, and Hiring at a Startup.


Top Five Trends in Venture Capital

Thomas Thurston writes that VC exit markets are coming back to life in this posting on the Top Five Trends in Venture Capital today.

VC Exits: The total number of VC-backed exits soared upward in 2010 with 72 IPOs and 427 M&A transactions.  The average VC-backed M&A transaction in 2010 was $150 million (according to the National Venture Capital Association Yearbook 2011).

Read the Full Story at Growth Science International.

Announcing Our New Job Board – Free Listings for Portland Startups

In partnership with SimplyHired, inside-Startups is very pleased to announce our new Job Board.

Simply Hired is a vertical search engine company based in Silicon Valley, and we’re building the largest online database of jobs on the planet. Our goal is to make finding your next job a simple yet effective, enjoyable journey. We can’t always promise you’ll discover your dream job, but we’ll give you the best chance possible to get a bigger paycheck, a more considerate boss, or a shorter commute.

At inside-Startups, we want to help foster the Startup community in our home town of Portland, Oregon. In this spirit, we are offering free job postings for Portland-based companies.

To get your discount code, email info @, and we’ll send you a special discount code.

For everyone else, we’ve priced job postings at just $50 dollars for a 60-days posting. inside-Startups readers are one smart bunch, and we hope that you’ll take advantage of this opportunity to attract the best and the brightest talent out there.

Why Startups Need a COO

Firas Raouf writes that while most Startups are founded by inexperienced CEOs, success can often depend on brining in a Chief Operations Officer to keep the money machine in motion:

But once the company passes the startup phase where the product, customer and distribution model have been identified, operational expertise starts to become more critical – and a functionally experienced senior management team becomes valuable. Hiring, motivating, challenging and retaining such managers all require significant operational experience. This is where the founding CEO often begins to falter, but it’s when a COO role makes the most sense.

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Age and Ideas – Should it Matter?

Thomas Thurston writes about society’s unfortunate tendency to judge people and their ideas based on the their age.

The sweet spot, it seems (in my completely unsupported, spur of the moment analysis) is between 36 years old and 49. These are the “right answer” years. The golden time for careers. You’re old enough to have unimpeachable seasoning, but not so old that you’re easily dismissed as a dinosaur. During these 14 or so magical years you have natural antibodies against all the snotty, lazy, condescending or otherwise ill disposed people who want to pooh pooh you and your ideas for no substantive reason whatsoever. This period is only around 16% of your life so be sure not to squander it. Make these years count.

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