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Showing posts from July, 2007

Entrepreneur Committee - Advisory Board of SVASE

For whatever it is worth, I would like to announce to my millions of would-be readers that I have been invited to join the Entrepreneur Committee on the Board of Advisors to the Silicon Valley Association of Startup Entrepreneurs.

And I have accepted.

If you're a hi-tech entrepreneur, I would love to hear your suggestions on what I can do in my "official" capacity to make SVASE a better organization for startups.

TheFunded.com - Report Card for VCs

Most of you probably know about this site already, but I just learned about it and I had to share it with you!

Report Card for VCs

The Funded

Quoting from the Red Herring story:
Report Card for VCs

TheFunded.com turns tables, letting startups rate funders.
April 29, 2007

By Ken Schachter

Venture capitalists, long accustomed to taking the role of Simon of "American Idol" in judging startups, are seeing the tables turned.

That's because TheFunded.com recently launched, inviting entrepreneurs to post to its web site ratings of venture capital firms. On Thursday, after collecting more than 500 reviews, TheFunded.com released a list of the top five venture firms worldwide.

Venture capitalists said it was inevitable that VCs became subject to the same scrutiny as college professor (RateMyProfessors.com), doctors (RateMDs.com) and contractors (AngiesList.com).

"It was only a matter of time before this came up," said Sarah Tavel, an analyst at Larchmont, New York-based Bessemer V…

Pay by productivity

I have often said that people should be selected and rewarded based on productivity, not mere experience.  In fact, this belief forms the basis of the 'pay by productivity' contract system we use in the services division of Crystal Ball.

But today I'm not going to talk about how we do things at Crystal Ball. Instead, let me just point you to this very cool article on incentivizing, measuring and rewarding productivity.

Quoting:
Software defect measurements are frequently attributed to individual developers, but the development environment often conspires against individual developers and makes it impossible to write defect-free code. Instead of charting errors by developer, a systematic effort to provide developers with immediate testing feedback, along with a root cause analysis of remaining defects, is much more effective at reducing the overall software defect rate.By aggregating defect counts into an informational measurement, and hiding individua…

Bootstrapping in India

I'm posting my response to a question asked on LinkedIn Answers by Sramana Mitra: "Bootstrapping a Product Company from India?"

Here's what I had to say:

One aspect of bootstrapping is money. The other is people- good people.We're solving both problems with our strategy of treating our offshore team in India as a services company that specializes in high-quality, low-cost product development for early-stage startups in the Silicon Valley.But we are really a web-based product startup based in the Silicon Valley with our offshore team based at Hyderabad, India, since June 2005. When I came back from India in September 2005 after putting it all together, I had a team that boasted a University gold-medalist who turned down an offer from Google and deferred PhD at MIT to join us, a national programming competition winner, and a seasoned manager from Wipro. Then one fine day, in March 2006, my whole team just disappeared, and I only had 85 pages of use-cases left to sh…

Finding a co-founder for a "mature" early-stage startup

Often, you hear about how two or three or four friends/colleagues got together and launched a hi-tech startup ... and lived happily ever after.

You might also have heard about how VCs "help" a single founder put together the right team- sometimes without the need for the quotes around "help".

I have come across several founders of hi-tech startups lately. Maybe it's because they're all bootstrapping, and maybe it's because the cost of doing a software startup has gone down so dramatically. But the fact is that more and more startups are being launched and bootstrapped all the way to Angel/VC funding, until they become cash flow positive or until they die.

Many of these solo-founders don't want to go it alone. But once you're bootstrapping, you are on a roll, and it's not easy to find someone at a later stage who comes along, say a year later, and shares your passion and vision.

On the flip-side, I see wanna-be co-founders on the sidelines mu…