Alan Dabbiere wrote a most excellent article on the WSJ blog The Accelerators. A lot of folks (David Cummings and Stephen Fleming to name two) have been writing about why Atlanta is a great place to build and scale a startup recently but Alan really hits the nail on the head. This is from a guy that started and built two billion dollar market capitalization companies in the ATL. The money quote:
"Here you can start and build a great business, meet your first customer, access to a deep bench of talented individuals and the innovation produced by our great universities. At its core, Atlanta is also a great place to live."
Atlanta has the ingredients to start companies. Being a great place to live is just the cherry on the cake. That's why I'm still here.
I don't know who said it but it's true. It's a sports reference. Speed is really quickness. You can't teach someone to run a 4.4 forty. They just can.
It also applies to startups. I was giving a presentation at Shotput Ventures recently and a word popped into my head that I had not used in a long long time. Veloctile (və-ˈlä-sə-ˈtī(-ə)l). It's a word I made up. I made it up to describe a core characteristic that a person needed to possess in order to succeed in a high growth startup. A person is veloctile if they have the ability to act quickly with little information in a rapidly changing environment. They just can. They do, and they do the right thing. And if they don't have it you can't teach it.
The Liquidity Event Proceeds Calculator, developed as a joint project between the Atlanta Technology Development Center and Siavage Law Group, is a nice tool to figure out the affect a funding round might have on your particular situation.
"'Social networks' may be a popular buzzword these days, but the
whole concept of the internet was based on social networking from the
start -- going all the way back to bulletin boards, email, and forums
right up to today's blogs, social networking sites, and, yes, Twitter.
As far back as 1978, bulletin board systems were essentially doing the
same thing that modern networks are doing. The big difference now is
that the usability and usefulness of the newer networks are infinitely
I made my way to Jason's article via an eMarketer piece called "Time to Write Twitter's Tombstone?" I don't think that's the case. I do think that social networks are fashion. They come and they go. Jason believes that Google Wave will make Twitter obsolete. Perhaps. I like the concept of Wave a lot. Keith McGreggor and I came up with a concept very much like Wave. We called it The Greatest App Never Built. Here's the pitch:
The Greatest App Never Built will solve the information overload problem of all your
Internet communications. It will take your email accounts, RSS feeds,
social networking communications into a simple interface and then
sematically sort them not based on date or read/unread status but by
how much attention they deserve based on your past behavior.
Still a good idea.
But back to my point. Social networks are fashion. People tire of them. They are too hard to manage. All the marketers come in. They get spammy. It is easier to move on to the next thing instead of scrubbing all the stuff within a particular network. And just leave it there. An artifact of a bygone era. Social networks have no staying power.
There is something else that is going on as well. Something that Jason confused a bit. Below is Jason's history of social networking graph.
There is a difference between the
application layer of the Internet protocol suite and an Internet
application. Usenet (NNTP), Email (POP3, SMTP & IMAP), and Internet relay chat (IRC) are part of the core Internet application protocol suite. Therefore they have tremendous staying power. All of the social networks that have emerged since 2000 are not part of the core Internet application protocol suite. All these social networks applications are built within the HTTP Internet protocol. The social network applications are not as fundamental as the earlier Internet protocol suite applications. Take another look at the chart.
Internet protocol suite applications are like underwear. Have not changed much since the 1980s. Social networks are like fashion. They change every few years.
One of the mainstay features on FoG over the past two years has been the "quote of the week". It is a post that appears every Friday at noon (I tried 3:14 for a period, but noon works better). It started as a throwaway, something to get a quick and easy article up at the end of the week. Quotes are easy to find if you are looking for them.
It has evolved into a pretty popular series. One of the quote of the week posts generated more comments than any other article in the history of FoG. Heck I even used the quotes to create a presentation called "Startups in 12 Quotes" that generated over 2,700 views, 18 favs, and 9 embeds on slideshare.
But with the break from FoG I have also been thinking if I wanted to continue with the quote of the week feature. But instead of deciding by myself in some misguided self-absorbed vacuum, I thought I would ask the audience via a poll.
Please take a moment to take the poll. And comments beyond the poll are of course welcome.
I just stumbled upon the Startup Marketing Blog this week. It so loaded with excellent content that it immediately made its way to my blog roll sidebar. Sean coined a term that captures something that I have always believed and practiced, "metrics driven customer development." Marketing is much more about math and metrics than creativity. I am a big believer in metrics driven marketing. Basically applying measurement to every facet of marketing in the same way you would sales or operations.
But more to the point of the quote, I can not tell you how many times I have asked an entrepreneur what a customer or potential customer thinks about their product offering only to receive back a blank stare.
Launch something, get somebody to use it, and engage them to improve until you have something that a lot of people want.
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The opinions expressed here are mine and mine alone (with the exception of comments by others of course). They do not represent the opinion or position of any other person or entity. All postings adhere to my personal values.