Are You Ready to Deal with VCs?

If you are an entrepreneur and want to understand how smart VCs are in terms of financial wheeling and dealing, read this summary of the Intermix Media deal by VC Bill Birnhaum. Like many entrepreneurs, you're probably either great at technology or marketing, but you leave the finance stuff to others. This can be a costly mistake. Invest a lot of time talking to investors and entrepreneurs to get an idea for what kind of deals and terms are out

Design Your Own Personal Keyword Alert System

I have almost 250 Google Alerts now on topics, people, and companies, so I receive emails on my blackberry every time news occurs about any of these. This is like having a personalized, real-time Burrelle's clipping service that is delivered to my PDA. It is invaluable. New terms I added today: fairtunes, giftwiki, bango, mobeon Before I spend time personally one-on-one with entrepreneurs who want (free) advice, I ask them to do several things, including set up Google Alerts.

Most TV Ads Include URL

A reader sent me this link, which really surprised me. I guess I haven't seen TV commercials for a long time since I use a PVR and skip all commercials all the time. So it shocked me to learn than 51% of all TV ads include a URL, up from 18% in 1998.

Things I Love

I love blogging. Last month 23,000 unique visitors came to my web site, mostly to read my blog. Two weeks ago I blogged about how only 4 students had signed up for the Internet Marketing course at BYU that I'm scheduled to teach this fall. Now there are 32 enrolled. I love Wikis. Our team launched a Wiki last week for entrepreneurs. We have 8 volunteer editors so far who are going to help us recruit contributors and build a Wiki that contains thousands of quotes and "success tactics" from the most successful entrepreneurs of all time. Our hope is that entrepreneurs will use this Wiki to find new ideas by discovering what

VC Firms Increase Funding for Early Stage Startups

A report shows that early stage funding is increasing. $1.3 billion in venture capital flowed into early stage companies in the second quarter up from $830 million in the first quarter. I keep hearing that VCs are doing more early stage deals, but this is the first report I have seen that bears this out. Still, the 750 companies funded by VCs are a tiny number compared to probably 10-15,000 that are funded each quarter by angel investors (including friends and family, doctors and dentists and first-time and serial angels). That is why there is such a need for to match local entrepreneurs with local angels. According to Angel Investing (p. 146), a book published in 2000 by two Harvard Business School professors, "In the United States, angels invest in

Strategy Tree

I need help from some entrepreneurs and business school professors or students.

I am looking for ten people who will volunteer to be an editor on a new Wiki for entrepreneurs, one that will identify the best entrepreneurs of all time and the decisions that they made that led to their success.

We'll organize quotes from the entrepreneurs and extracts from biographies and business histories into a taxonomy or decision tree. So any entrepreneur who wants to know how to bootstrap, how to recruit advisory board members, how to get their first sale, how to find a strategic partner, or how to find an angel investor, will be able to visit the Wiki, click on one or two links, and then read hopefully dozens of actual quotes from actual entrepreneurs telling their story -- how they did it.

Our goal is to spark the imagination of entrepreneurs by making it easy for them to read how others succeeded each step of the way.

An Experiment in Open Source Business Ownership

I don't have time to blog today...I'm preparing to fly out for the AlwaysOn Network event at Stanford...but I got this email about a very cool "wisdom of the crowds" concept where a group of 2,500 or so individuals will build and manage a new business by voting on the plan, who to hire, products to create, how to market them, etc. It's really a wild notion. I hope some journalist will pick up on this, interview the creator, watch the creation of this business over time, and write some interesting story about it.