How To Make It as a
First-Time Entrepreneur

How to Make it as a First-Time Entrepreneur

Archive for the ‘ humor ’ Category

Vinicius Vacanti is co-founder and CEO of Yipit. Next posts on how to acquire users for free and how to raise a Series A. Don’t miss them by subscribing via email or via twitter.

Things first-time founders regret saying:

  • “Don’t tell anyone we’re working on a picture sharing startup. We don’t want anyone to steal our idea.” (If your idea is any good, there are plenty of people working on it. You’re going to win because you out execute them.)
  • “Stop the launch! The forgot password recovery email has a typo!” (Stop worrying about the little things and get the product out there. Small flaws like this will have zero impact on your initial success).
  • “Our killer feature is that we’ve built every feature you can think of.” (Startups don’t take off because they have tons of features. They take off because they do one thing really well and then expand from there.)
  • “Our passwords don’t need to be super secure. But, they should require at least two grammatical symbols.” (You shouldn’t do anything to get in the way of your users signing-up and, unless you’re collecting credit cards or super private information, don’t worry about super secure passwords).
  • “We need to launch on mobile web, iphone, ipad, android, windows phone and SMS. But, lets hold off on Blackberry. I want to confirm people like our app first.” (You should just launch on one and iterate till it works before spending a ton of time porting it to different platforms.)
  • “We should probably use one of those captchas on the sign-up page. Google uses them.” (Don’t compare yourself to Google, they have very different circumstances than you. You don’t have a spam problem. Don’t get in the way of your users signing-up)
  • “We don’t need to talk to users. If Steve Jobs had, they would have asked for a mobile phone with a great web browser.” (You’re not Steve Jobs. Go talk to your users and try to understand their underlying problems.)
  • “OMG. I finally came up with our domain name for our picture sharing startup. It’s awesome. It’s… wait for it… Hope it’s not taken!” (Almost all good domains are taken. Don’t kill yourself on this. You can always change your domain later.)
  • “We’re just like Pinterest but we make the pictures bigger.” (If you’re trying to compete against a heavyweight, the new product has to be 10x better or take a completely different approach.)
  • “I would only maybe consider selling our company to Facebook. Maybe.” (Stop worrying about who you’re going to sell your company to and build a great product.)
  • “We should never email our users. It’s annoying when sites email me.” (Email is one of the best forms of retention and it’s used by almost everyone because it works.)
  • “We will never have advertising on our site.” (Unless you come up with a better business model, you will have advertising on your site but you’ll need a ton of users before it becomes meaningful.)
  • “We have to stop using Gmail, Google Docs and Google Analytics. When Google tries to buy us, I don’t want them to see our data.” (The chances this happens are so, *so* remote. These tools are great. Use them.)

Vinicius Vacanti is co-founder and CEO of Yipit. Next posts on how to acquire users for free and how to raise a Series A. Don’t miss them by subscribing via email or via twitter.

Breadlines Forming in Manhattan

October 15, 2008 | Comments Off on Breadlines Forming in Manhattan | humor

Overheard in NYC

Foreigner (walking by):  “Wow, I didn’t realize how bad the American economy was…”

Photo by Flickr's gsanjose

Photo of Magnolia Bakery line by gsanjose

Twitter’s War of the Worlds

September 29, 2008 | Comments Off on Twitter’s War of the Worlds | humor

H.G. Welles’ War of the Worlds was broadcast over radio in 1938.  Disguised as a regular broadcast, it caused a panic amongst its listeners who thought the events were real.

I’m pretty sure if it had been broadcast through Twitter, it would have gone something like this (read from the bottom up):

Kevin Rose Picks His 104 Twitter Friends Very Carefully

September 24, 2008 | Comments Off on Kevin Rose Picks His 104 Twitter Friends Very Carefully | humor

Digg’s Kevin Rose, Twitter’s second most popular user with 64,572 followers, follows only 104 Twitter accounts.  It made me wonder:  who’s influencing one of Twitter’s most influential users?

While looking through his list, I noted forward-thinking technologists, in-the-know tech journalists and the Cobra Commander (awesome).  But, I also picked up on another pattern:

Top Row:  vikkichowney, adholden, Poshy, iphonegirl
Middle Row:  MelKirk, kevinrose, Aubs
Bottom Row:  leahculver, ericased, arielwaldman, AllieOops

Well-played, sir.

Hurricane Tracking FAIL

September 4, 2008 | Comments Off on Hurricane Tracking FAIL | data analysis, humor

XTRP is one of the models used for Hurricane tracking.  While I agree projecting a hurricane’s future path is complicated, it seems like XTRP has thrown in the towel and just started drawing a line up and to the left.  (XTRP is the model with the black triangles and dotted lines).

Most recent models for Hannah:

Hannah Models

Most recent models for Ike:

Ike Models

Doing some further research it appears that XTRP is just the Hurricane’s most recent movements projected forward. In other words, a very simple model that takes no future variables into account.