Most startup entrepreneurs unnecessarily spend half their time and give up half their equity in search of funding from angel investors and venture capitalists. Tens of millions of dollars are available to them for free from partners who not only don’t want their equity, they don’t even want to be paid back. I’ve raised as much as $60 million for an unlaunched startup. What’s the...
Silicon Valley’s long-running track record of creating globally disruptive startups is the envy of the world. Having spent over 25 years working with dozens of startups from idea to IPO, I travel the world speaking at international startup hubs that seek to emulate California’s amazing success story. In the past year, I have circled the globe visiting incubators and accelerators from Moscow to Mumbai, Berlin to Beijing, advising governments on how innovation and entrepreneurship can jump start their GDP. In my experience it takes the combination of three factors to be successful: education, risk capital and culture.
The recent talk of Airbnb’s incredible $10 billion valuation, even in the face of theNew York attorney general’s inquiries into its legality, brings front and center the inherent conflicts between the speed at which technology advances and the glacial progress of our legal system. With more than a half a million rental listings, Airbnb’s model of connecting people with those willing to share their accommodations for a price has spread across the globe. Meanwhile, state attorney generals, local governments and tax authorities are looking into whether or not homeowners and apartment renters are violating local ordinances and paying their required lodging taxes. Ride-sharing services Lyft and Uber are also running into the same legal chasm as old statues are re-read and re-interpreted to decide who is an employee, independent contractor or member of a community-based organization.
Too many entrepreneurs view their competition with a Coke versus Pepsi mindset. Competition is rarely as simple as slightly differentiated products. Beating the other guy isn’t what makes a great company or what makes it profitable. Instagram, Swiffer and Nest had to compete with consumer habits and perceptions. Breakout products face competition from the formidable inertia powering the status quo. Success therefore comes from taking on the three real competitors every innovator must beat: the way it was done, the way it should be done, and the best way to get it done.
Time is your most precious resource and I want to thank you for spending some of it here. Co-workers, clients, and students have asked me for years to share the knowledge I have gathered from disrupting industries and public institutions. This site is designed to help to empower others to change themselves, their industry, and the world. By sharing my interviews, speeches, videos and photos,...
Here is a recent appearance on Bloomberg TV discussing the mistakes large print media companies have been making for over a century. They look at an industry and decide not to move forward so they can make the last dollar in a market they currently own instead of invest the first dollar in the market that is coming.
Here is a Bloomberg Television spot where I discuss how retailers can leverage technology and improve the customer experience. When used properly, big data helps to simplify a customers life by profiling shopping habits. Websites are getting very good at expecting your needs and getting the right products to you.