The Innovation Matrix | via timkastelle.org


One of the exciting trends in innovation right now is the lean startup idea.  The basic premise is that when ventures are starting out, building a scalable business model needs to be a top priority.  People like Steve BlankEric ReisAsh Maurya and Alex Osterwalder are all doing great work in this area.

I’m all for lean startups, and if you’re building a new venture, this is an essential approach.  However, the area that I keep focusing on is this: how can we make established firms more innovative?  One of the reasons that I love the lean startup movement is this: it embeds the innovation DNA into the venture from the word go.

I’ll use The Innovation Matrix to illustrate:

As I’ve said before, most startups begin as accidental innovators.  They have to successfully execute an innovation, or they won’t survive, but they don’t have any kind of innovation infrastructure in place.  The problem is that if they don’t think about how to embed innovation, then even if they are successful, they are likely to become less innovative over time. Leer más “The Innovation Matrix | via timkastelle.org”

La clase sobre cómo iniciar una empresa: “Lean Launchpad” ahora online


 

“Lean Launchpad” es un clase sobre lean startupque Steve Blank, da en universidades norteamericanas como Stanford, Berkeley, Columbia, Caltech y la National Science Foundation. Y el 14 de septiembre comenzará a darse de forma online, gratis, en Udacity. Una plataforma de aprendizaje online.

El curso incluye videos, concursos, conferencias y tareas. Múltiples módulos de video de corta duración representan cada clase de 20-30 minutos. Cada módulo es de aproximadamente tres minutos o menos, lo que te da la oportunidad de aprender pieza por pieza y volver a mirar porciones breves de las lecciones con facilidad. Los cuestionarios están incrustados en las conferencias y están ahí para permitirte comprobar qué tan correctamente estrás digiriendo la información del curso. Una vez que tomas un cuestionario, los que pueden ser una prueba de elección múltiple o rellenar los espacios en blanco, recibirás una respuesta inmediata.

¿Por qué tomar esta clase? Leer más “La clase sobre cómo iniciar una empresa: “Lean Launchpad” ahora online”

Business Plans Are Dead, Long Live Business Plans

Let’s face it – the traditional business plan as we know it (or as we knew it) is slowly slowly going away. Or is it? Startups and small businesses move at such lightning pace these days that a static document quickly becomes outdated, but the principals and lessons involved with its creation could be valuable in a new form. Many young entrepreneurs still think a business plan is a must-have cornerstone of their business, but as many venture capitalists have said recently, the traditional business plan is not the end-all be-all for startup success.
“Most angels and VCs I know don’t look at them. Go build a product that you want to see in the world. That’s my suggestion.”
– Bijan Sabet, Spark Capital

Don Rainey, general partner at Grotech Ventures and author of the blog VC in DC, suggests startups and VCs move away from promoting narrative business plans. Plans should instead be fluid, open to change, “inter-relational and organic,” he says.

“The next generation business plan should look more like a GANTT chart or database application than a Word doc or an Excel spreadsheet, and it should be a collaborative, living document,” writes Rainey. “In fact, as a venture capitalist, I ask start ups to give me a project/task oriented view of the first 100 days after funding. This view is better than the prepared business plan for my purposes and infinitely more useful for the entrepreneurs as well.”
Business Plans Are Dead…(Ups..!)


By Chris Cameron <!– –>

Let’s face it – the traditional business plan as we know it (or as we knew it) is slowly slowly going away. Or is it? Startups and small businesses move at such lightning pace these days that a static document quickly becomes outdated, but the principals and lessons involved with its creation could be valuable in a new form. Many young entrepreneurs still think a business plan is a must-have cornerstone of their business, but as many venture capitalists have said recently, the traditional business plan is not the end-all be-all for startup success.

“Most angels and VCs I know don’t look at them. Go build a product that you want to see in the world. That’s my suggestion.”
– Bijan Sabet, Spark Capital

Don Rainey, general partner at Grotech Ventures and author of the blog VC in DC, suggests startups and VCs move away from promoting narrative business plans. Plans should instead be fluid, open to change, “inter-relational and organic,” he says.

“The next generation business plan should look more like a GANTT chart or database application than a Word doc or an Excel spreadsheet, and it should be a collaborative, living document,” writes Rainey. “In fact, as a venture capitalist, I ask start ups to give me a project/task oriented view of the first 100 days after funding. This view is better than the prepared business plan for my purposes and infinitely more useful for the entrepreneurs as well.”

Business Plans Are Dead…(Ups..!) Leer más “Business Plans Are Dead, Long Live Business Plans”

How Do You Define “Startup”?

Written by Audrey Watters

dictionary_july10.jpgWhat constitutes a “startup”? Is it the age of a company? Its size? Its funding? Its profitability? Its position in the industry?

Steve Jobs often speaks of Apple’s “startup” culture. Last week, an article in the New York Times referred to the seven-year-old airline Virgin America as a startup.

And last month, Louis Gray posted a list on his blog of the “50 Top Startups Worth Watching.” In devising the list, he described some of the parameters he used in selecting the companies: “With the understanding that being a private company does not always mean you are a startup, I looked below the uber-players such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Groupon, Craigslist, Tesla.”

Gray makes a distinction between between “uber-player” and “startup” for the purposes of his list, and I do wonder, following their recent round of funding if Foursquare still constitutes a “top startup” or if they’ve moved into the “uber” category?

Questioning the definition of “startup” was the topic of a recent post on YouTern’s blog. For YouTern, the definition is important as the company helps match college interns with startups. And as it receives inquiries from prospective businesses who may or may not be startups, a good working definition of “startup” is crucial in order to decide who would fit its program.


Written by Audrey Watters

dictionary_july10.jpgWhat constitutes a “startup”? Is it the age of a company? Its size? Its funding? Its profitability? Its position in the industry?

Steve Jobs often speaks of Apple‘s “startup” culture. Last week, an article in the New York Times referred to the seven-year-old airline Virgin America as a startup.

And last month, Louis Gray posted a list on his blog of the “50 Top Startups Worth Watching.” In devising the list, he described some of the parameters he used in selecting the companies: “With the understanding that being a private company does not always mean you are a startup, I looked below the uber-players such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Groupon, Craigslist, Tesla.”

Gray makes a distinction between between “uber-player” and “startup” for the purposes of his list, and I do wonder, following their recent round of funding if Foursquare still constitutes a “top startup” or if they’ve moved into the “uber” category?

Questioning the definition of “startup” was the topic of a recent post on YouTern‘s blog. For YouTern, the definition is important as the company helps match college interns with startups. And as it receives inquiries from prospective businesses who may or may not be startups, a good working definition of “startup” is crucial in order to decide who would fit its program. Leer más “How Do You Define “Startup”?”

Sell me quick with your value. Wait, what’s value?


Maybe you don’t think you make a sales pitch. But if you are a blogger, your post’s title is a sales pitch. If you tweet, your Twitter page is a sales pitch to follow you. Your Facebook or LinkedIn page sells to your friends and followers. If you merely work for a business and mention their name, you are a part of an image that you become a part of when the customer is ready to buy.
Can you sum up what you do in a few words?  Do you know what you offer that is of value to your customers/readers? Do you know what your value is and how your customer/reader sees it? Do you understand what kind of sales pitch you are making to your customer/reader? Leer más “Sell me quick with your value. Wait, what’s value?”