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Entries in start-ups (13)

Tuesday
Jun032014

Planned prosperity Vs lucky breaks

Googling Good Fortune.

In 1999, Sergey Brin and Larry Page took their fledgling product to George Bell, CEO of established search engine, Excite. Wishing to realize the value of their startup, they offered him Google for US$1m. Bell was unexcited, even when they dropped the price to US$750,000.

Both sides made bad decisions: the young entrepreneurs wanted to sell too much too soon; the potential buyer didn’t see the potential. For Brin and Page, it was one of their luckiest setbacks. For Excite, it was a missed opportunity. But that’s only with hindsight. Neither could have forecast the future.

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Tuesday
Jun252013

Startups and the Art of Surfing

The right wave helps

Startups remind me of surfing. That was my preferred activity after getting my first board on my fourteenth birthday. It was a great individual sport. There were no coaches or surfing schools. You just paddled out and started working on it.

I had reasonable balance but soon learned that wasn’t all it took. When you watch a pro surfer make it look easy, it’s not just their athletic skill that’s on show. What happens before you even get on a wave matters a lot. 

Four things can make a big difference

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Tuesday
Apr242012

Instagram: The Entrepreneur's Dream

Alan Hargreaves - Instagram

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A Kodak moment for mobile apps.

It’s a story for these times. Young geek collaborates with Silicon Valley network to build simple but popular product. Engages customers with social media to get rapid market traction. Risk-taking venture capitalists provide cash while user base grows to 30 million customers. Within two years, with a total staff of 13 and zero revenues, the business is sold to Facebook for a billion dollars.

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Tuesday
Apr262011

Recycle the cycle

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More work for your think tank 

The Great Recession was a great reminder on one great fact: the business cycle is not dead. There have been about ten recessions in my lifetime – one about every five to six years. Get used to them. If you are 35 now, expect another half a dozen before you retire.

There are a few other cycles we should also be aware of. There’s the life cycle of your products. They don’t remain fashionable forever. There’s also the life cycle of your business. It might begin as an exciting start-up. If it doesn’t crash and burn, there is a good chance it will evolve into a mature entity. But if it is like most companies, eventually it will go into decline.

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Friday
Mar042011

Buying a franchise? Ask the real questions

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The real questions revolve around one issue: how much money can you make?

Yes, it is nice to be your own boss; and yes, it is good to work with an established brand; and yes, there are a bunch of other things that are good about franchising.

What is not good about franchises is when they don’t make any money. Or not enough.

So, when you’ve made the decision that you really want to do this, start drilling down on the serious matter of generating profits.

Creating value is a simple function of profit margin X volume. Look at each individually.

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