Archives for April 2012

Scratchpaper Recommended Links [Ed. 0006 / Mixed]

Latest selection of the best stuff I’ve seen lately across some of the ScratchPaper focus areas. This time we have items in Angel Investing, Apple, Business, Communication, Crowd Sourcing, CyberSecurity, Entrepreneurship, Google, Green, Internet, Internet of Things, Literary Humor & Miscellaneous, Media/Publishing, Mobile, Photography, and Social Networking, including items on why its time to get past Facebook and invent a new future, why Android is suddenly in a lot of trouble, how startups are walking the line between inventive and creepy, whether the internet is making people lonely, 6 secrets to building a great team, and 5 communication literacies you must posses.  Enjoy. [Read more…]

Crowdfunding: You Cannot Make This Stuff Up!

Follow-up on my Crowdfunding post. For a great truth-is-better-than-fiction story on the dark and crazy side of crowdfunding, check out the Bloomberg article “Crowdfunding and the Greatest Investment Opportunity EVER!!!”  In a deliciously ironic twist, a Florida entrepreneur (or a cynic with a great sense of humor) posted a solicitation for an “atomic water engine” investment opportunity. Where did they post it?  On the SEC website in the section reserved for comments on the new crowdfunding rules. Few choice snippets from Rocketjet’s hilarious pitch: [Read more…]

VC Investing: Are the Lines Starting to Converge?

Michael Greeley of Flybridge just wrote an interesting post in PEHub about the new VC industry data released by NVCA, Thompson Reuters & PriceWaterhouseCoopers.  Well worth a read.  Gist of his post is that the VC industry is continuing to consolidate and he thinks we are seeing several things as a result: a focus on near term liquidity (chasing late stage deals), a flight from highly regulated and long time frame industries, and most interesting to me, a claimed end of what he calls the “Great Seed Experiment” – a theme he has noted for some time: “the VC industry is at risk of having created too many “me too” companies, and with less capital to invest across the board, many seed entrepreneurs will be deeply saddened when they come back to market for their Early round…”  Few key excerpts from his post are below; original worth a read. [Read more…]

It’s Official: Murdoch has Ruined the Wall Street Journal

I am appalled at how far the WSJ has sunk in recent years. The editorial and opinion section have always struck me as ludicrous, but that is just a matter of personal ideology, and it has always been this way, so it shouldn’t count for the purposes of this rant. But their transparent link-baiting does count, as does their total lack of journalistic integrity. [Read more…]

Kick-Starting the Make Economy

Adrian Gonzalez, a third party logistics (3PL) expert and friend of ScratchPaper, has written an excellent follow-up piece to my post Why Angels Chase Electrons. In the piece (Entrepreneurs, 3PLs, and Angel Investors: Kick-starting the Make Economy), Adrian points out that, while it is true that manufactured products still involve more capital than software products, the gap is narrowing every day. Because of the increasing ease of working with contract manufacturers, logistics service providers and out-sourcing all sorts of non-core activities, manufacturing-oriented companies are more capital efficient than ever these days. He makes some excellent points. The days of every company needing to be good at everything are over. Are you doing enough to leverage best-of-breed contract partners for the non-core aspects of your business?

Comments, questions or reactions to this post? Leave a note below and I will respond to your questions.

If you enjoyed this post, you might enjoy: What I Look For In An EntrepreneurAre Entrepreneurs Wild Risk-Takers?,  Top 20 Dos & Don’ts with Angel Groups & Early Stage FinancingDelusional EconomicsThe OvertureThat Vision ThingThe Power of An Advisory BoardLoch Ness, Unicorns & The First-Mover AdvantageShould I Wait For A Technical Co-Founder.

Subscribe – To get an automatic feed of all future posts subscribe to the RSS feed here, or to receive them via email enter your address in the box in the upper right or go here and enter your email address in the box in the upper right. You can also follow me on Twitter @cmirabile and on Google+.

The Frank Peters Show

It was payback time recently for me; Frank Peters wanted his chance to turn the tables and interview me on his show. Since he had been good enough to do a video interview with me a while back (here), and because he is a great guy, I said sure, why not. We had a great chat about the angel and early stage ecosystem, crowd-funding and what the future may hold.  Tip of the hat to Frank for the excellent library of work he has built up on the show over the years. It’s Show #372; listen to it via Streamflash player or iTunes

Comments, questions or reactions to this post? Leave a note below and I will respond to your questions.
If you enjoyed this post, you might enjoy: Thoughts on CrowdfundingPattern Matching Can Cause BlindspotsGetting Off The Ground; Early Formation EconomicsWhy Angels Chase ElectronsDelusional EconomicsThat Vision Thing,  Loch Ness, Unicorns & The First-Mover AdvantageAre Entrepreneurs Wild Risk-Takers?Top 20 Dos & Don’ts with Angel Groups & Early Stage FinancingWhat I Look For In An EntrepreneurThe OverturePick Your Founder/Co-Investors Carefully & Reflections on the Nature of EntrepreneursShould I Wait For A Technical Co-Founder?When Do You Need My Slide Deck?,  and 20 Bootstrapping Ideas.
Subscribe – To get an automatic feed of all future posts subscribe to the RSS feed here, or to receive them via email enter your address in the box in the upper right or go here and enter your email address in the box in the upper right. You can also follow me on Twitter @cmirabile and on Google+.

Scratchpaper Recommended Links [Ed. 0005 / Mixed]

Latest selection of the best stuff I’ve seen lately across some of the ScratchPaper focus areas. This time we have items in Angel Investing, Apple, Business, Communication, Crowd Sourcing, CyberSecurity, Entrepreneurship, Google, Green, Internet, Internet of Things, Literary Humor & Miscellaneous, Media/Publishing, Mobile, and Social Networking, including items on Tackling Poverty with CrowdsourcingIs Social Media Too Feminine, and Great Lessons from A Startup that Exploded on the Launching pad.  Enjoy. [Read more…]

Launchpad Venture Group Update

Busy month for Launchpad Venture Group, of which Ham Lord and I are the Managing Directors.  Two quick updates: First, it was just announced in the most recent HALO Report that Boston’s own Launchpad Venture Group was one of the top five largest angel groups in the US by deal volume in 2011 (the HALO Report is a joint effort of Silicon Valley Bank, the Angel Resource Institute and CB Insights on angel deal activity). Second, while in Austin Texas at the Angel Capital Association Annual Summit in March, it was announced that I had been elected to the Board of Directors of the Angel Capital Association, which bills itself as the premier international association for Angel Groups and private investors.  It is a great organization which does an immeasurable amount to develop the angel investing profession and to help secure funding for entrepreneurs all over the world.  Launchpad is proud to be a partner.

Comments, questions or reactions to this post? Leave a note below and I will respond to your questions.
If you enjoyed this post, you might enjoy: Launchpad’s Investment Criteria, Launchpad’s Preferred Stages, Launchpad’s Funding ProcessTop 20 Dos & Don’ts with Angel Groups & Early Stage Financing, and When Do You Need My Slide Deck?
Subscribe – To get an automatic feed of all future posts subscribe to the RSS feed here, or to receive them via email enter your address in the box in the upper right or go here and enter your email address in the box in the upper right. You can also follow me on Twitter @cmirabile and on Google+.

Basil Peters – Angel Video Interview Series

[This post is part of an on-going series of video interviews with members of the start-up community – see a list of links to the full series here.]

With the possible exception of Eric Ries (The Lean Start-Up), no one has had a greater impact on angel investors’ current thinking than Basil Peters, who has been preaching the gospel of “early exits” tirelessly for the last several years. (It’s obvious I am a disciple in some situations when you read a post of mine like Why Angels Chase Electrons). Basil quite literally wrote the book on this topic (it’s called Early Exits) and he is a frequent, and excellent, speaker and advisor on the subject. He is also a terrifically nice guy and a true gentleman (or maybe it is just that he is Canadian), so it was an absolute pleasure to interview him for my video interview series.  [Read more…]

Lessons From the Start-Up Genome Project

Stanford & Berkeley entrepreneurship professor Steve Blank did an excellent write-up about the new report published by Startup Genome Project (report here; free registration required). I want to call attention to Steve’s write-up because it is fun reading in terms of the crazy origins of the project. And the report itself is a must-read for every entrepreneur and early-stage investor out there, but as a teaser,
here are fourteen of the key conclusions reached by phase one of the study in looking at 650 very early stage web companies: [Read more…]