VC proposition: What entrepreneurs want

Next to the reputation of a Venture Capital (VC) firm’s principals, CEOs top evaluation criteria when choosing a VC is the ability to add value to the portfolio company beyond funding. No surprise. However, looking at the prioritization of qualities of a VC, there is a disconnect between the VCs and the customers. According to DeSantis Breindel CEOs tend to …

Make your innovation a hedging process

They are the largest, probably the among the best in class at what they do. They are highly branded and recognized for what they have achieved. They have more resources than most other players to play with. The smartest people. The most money. They desperately want to stay on top. And yet, they fail. How can Nokia go from one …

Bad ideas that became irresistible

Who is in search of a copycat? Anyone? Well, Michael Wolfe illustrated to all of us that although engineering and product are still key to the very best companies there is so much more to a sound business model. All it takes to understand this point is to look at great inventions that failed – or to look at the following great …

Great power shifts to watch

Here are 10 trends to watch that will have a major impact going forward according to Thomas W. Malnight and Tracey S. Keys of IMD: 1. Social everything: New generations and their digital world stepping forward Social technologies are now a central part of everyday life and work. The social generations are reshaping companies from the inside, helping them to …

Making sense of Minimum Viable Products

Minimum viable products are all the rage. The idea is to test the waters and make some sense out of the market before heavily investing in product development. That’s definitely oversimplified, but what I’m going to explore in this post is the “sense making” aspect of MVPs.   Minimum Viable Products–what does this mean? If you read any article or …

New venture: Go or go for no

It is messy in the middle. Exactly at the point when you have invested all your time, money, or reputation and yet lack progress, cash flow, etc. That’s when the pain of failure becomes ubiquitous. Fatigue sets in. Team members, investors, your family members or other stakeholders show impatience, or uncertainty. The challenges become confusing. What do you do? You know challenges almost …

Next ‘big thing’: A product of time and hunger

Entrepreneurs, investors, advisors … We are all in the search of the next big thing – trends, ideas, companies, investments. I admit I can relate to this, but we are much better of slightly changing the focus and spending the energy on searching for those who are hungry for success – be it partners, entrepreneurs, ecosystems… We like to work …

Public investment funds: The triumph of technocracy over democracy

Legacy institutions are broken. Frustration has grown around the inability of governmental bodies to manage investments. Concerns over the lacking performance amongst government-sponsored incubators and related organizations remain and stands in contrast to the high political priority to entrepreneurial activity (see here). Consequently, commercial organizations owned or controlled wholly or partly by the government (the ‘parastatals’) are spreading faster than …

Angel investments: How not to fail

War stories. People love recounting the one time they caught a big fish, not the many futile hours they spent waiting for a bite. Investors love to recap the successful exchange traded investments they did, and tend to forget the unsuccessful ones. Angel investing is no different. Looking at the venture capital industry as a whole, we know for a …

5 marketing tools Apple exploits to build the hype

The iPhone backorders, tweet cascades, and exploding stock prices aren’t unrelated–Apple is doing something right (besides making products people worship). Once you’ve got the goods, here’s how to take a page from its marketing playbook. Whether it’s launching its latest iPhone or iPad, Apple sure knows how to create buzz with consumers and the media (recent maps debacle aside). While …