The Top Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make

Posted on January 9, 2008
Filed Under BS-Free Advice | 6 Comments

There are always “rules” and “tips” for entrepreneurial success, but I’ve seen far less discussion on the mistakes entrepreneurs typically make that can often be easily avoided. Since mistakes can make or break businesses, I’m a mistake-oriented person. At best, I try to avoid them altogether and at worst, I try to never make the same mistake twice.

So without further ado, here are the top mistakes I believe entrepreneurs make. I’ve personally made all of them with the exception of being too eager to raise outside funding.

Mistake: Being Unrealistic

Online Advertising: A Middle Ground is Needed

Posted on January 8, 2008
Filed Under Marketing 2.0 | 3 Comments

Online advertising is a hot topic. The market has experienced rapid growth over the past several years as advertisers embraced the relatively young online medium as a way to reach consumers. New behemoths, like Google, have been created in the process and the promise of social networks and online video as new marketing platforms has created a flood of money into the consumer Internet space.

Despite all of the discussion and debate, however, I rarely see anyone take a step back to take a look at the big picture. What has the real impact of online advertising been for advertisers? Where is online advertising headed? So I figured that I’d have to start doing it on occasion.

“Ning” Always Sounded Dirty

Posted on January 6, 2008
Filed Under Web 2.0 Kool Aid | Leave a Comment

And according to a group called “CPM Advisors,” it is. Apparently, quite a few of the most trafficked Ning social networks are porn-related. Allen Stern at Center Networks has asked “Is Ning a Porn Facilitator?” and Valleywag has “Is Marc Andreessen running a porn ring?”

In the past, I’ve said that Ning is little more than Yahoo Groups 2.0 and I find it interesting that, in his response, Marc Andreessen mentions Yahoo Groups:

Yahoo has always had an enormous amount of adult activity and material — some estimates are that as much as half of Yahoo Groups’ activity is adult in nature, for example.

Data Portability is Not a Right

Posted on January 4, 2008
Filed Under Web 2.0 Kool Aid | 7 Comments

The tech blogosphere frequently likes to get its panties in a knot over nothing. And so it was that advertising expert and tech blogger extraordinaire Robert Scoble sparked a fury when . It turns out that he was violating Facebook’s terms of service by testing a Plaxo application designed to export data from Facebook into Plaxo. Facebook reinstated Scoble’s account after he promised to be a good boy, but the incident has caused a debate over data portability in Web 2.0. Unsurprisingly, the same people that are telling us content wants to be free (i.e. it’s okay to steal music and movies) are telling us that data wants to be free. According to these purists, companies like Facebook should allow users to take their data and do with it whatever they want.

Mark Cuban: The Best Equity is Sweat Equity

Posted on January 4, 2008
Filed Under Web 2.0 Kool Aid | 1 Comment

Billionaire Mark Cuban is one of my favorite bloggers. I don’t always agree with him, but I like his style and you can’t help but admire how he built up, sold it to Yahoo! for $5.7 billion in stock and then made some smart financial moves that protected his wealth when the market crashed.

In light of the erudite advice given by Mahalo CEO Jason Calacanis and venture capitalist Fred Wilson , I thought it would be worthwhile to share Mark Cuban’s January 2 post, “The Best Equity is Sweat Equity,” so that readers can compare the wisdom offered by Calacanis and Wilson to the wisdom offered by Cuban.

Citizen Journalism Supposedly Works - So What?

Posted on January 4, 2008
Filed Under OMG! Old Media is Dying! | 1 Comment

I enjoy reading posts by Mark ‘Rizzn’ Hopkins over at Mashable even if I don’t often agree with his arguments. I much prefer using Duncan Riley’s posts as inspiration for scathing responses, but tonight I had to address Mark’s “Huckabama Wins, a Few Observations” post. In it, he declares:

Friends, bloggers, countrymen - lend me your ears. Citizen journalism is here and it works. The MSM [mainstream media] is officially on notice.

Politics 2.0 is Politics as Usual

Posted on January 4, 2008
Filed Under Web 2.0 Kool Aid | 9 Comments

I’ve never really discussed Web 2.0 and politics before despite the fact that Web 2.0 has been trying to play a visible role in the political process in the run up to the 2008 elections. Quite frankly, I’m apolitical and my definition of efficient government is government where suitcases full of money are an acceptable form of payment to government officials.

Drama’s Roundup - January 3, 2008

Posted on January 3, 2008
Filed Under Drama's Roundup | Leave a Comment

Social Net Site Is Said to Be for Sale
Why It’s Interesting: As I noted in , Plaxo, a Silicon Valley darling that hasn’t figured out a way to turn a profit since its launch in 2002, has retained an investment bank to find a buyer. Yes, it appears that an increasing number of startups are being sold, not acquired. I’d personally bid $10 but I prefer companies that can figure out how to turn a profit after 5 years and an 8-figure amount of investment.

Posted on January 3, 2008
Filed Under Web 2.0 Kool Aid |

Allen Stern at CenterNetworks lit the tech blogosphere ablaze today with a post about . My favorite “community” CEO Jason Calacanis, leader of one of the Dumbest Startups of 2007, Mahalo, with an absolutely brilliant explanation of why Twitter will be a billion-dollar company in 12-24 months. Among his pearls of wisdom:

Allen wrote a blog post today about Twitter focusing on a business model. Allen, my friend, you’re thinking small. Get out of Brooklyn and spend more time in the Valley. Business models!?!?! The business model comes AFTER you get to scale.

Reflecting on Recession

Posted on January 2, 2008
Filed Under Dramanomics | 5 Comments

I’m starting off the new year with a new feature: Dramanomics. Economics is one of my favorite subjects and this year I plan to look more at economic issues. In many cases, I’ll try to relate them to the world of technology startups, as I’m doing with this post.

The possibility of a recession in the United States in 2008 is certainly going to be one of the most prominent headlines in the first part of this new year. Articles about the faltering US economy have been included in recent Drama’s Roundup posts and for good reason: even if the downturn is less dramatic than a recession, as the Economist pointed out in a fantastic article, it’s likely that most Americans are going to feel like they’re in a recession:

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