March 16, 2007

Breaking news: Congrats to Five GOED Finalists!

Big shout out to the five finalists who will be presenting at the Utah Economic Summit for a shot at a $100,000 investment:
An ultra-big big shout out to all of the semi-finalists who all easily could have made the finals:
If I'm an angel in Utah, I'm licking my chops right now. All of these companies are fundable, in my humble opinion -- yet not the kind of humble opinion that should be construed as a recommendation. :)

Disclosure: Brock and I are very small share holders in Rahster/OnCampusSports, one of the finalist companies. We went out of our way to offer no opinion or vote regarding OCS's selection into the finals or semi-finals. In the interest of avoiding a conflict of interest, neither of us voted for OCS in any round of the selection process.

March 13, 2007

Paid v. Free v. Freemium and Company-wide Multi-tasking

A couple of blog posts that made me say "hmmmmm" last week:

Blog Post #1

Josh Kopleman of First Round Capital started a great conversation last week with this post. Here's the meat:
The truth is, scaling from $5 to $50 million is not the toughest part of a new venture - it's getting your users to pay you anything at all. The biggest gap in any venture is that between a service that is free and one that costs a penny. I can't think of a single premium service that has achieved truly viral distribution. Can you?
Since then, Anne from GigaOm, Jeremy, David, and others ave chimed in with their take on the matter. I've blogged too much about free v. paid v. freemium lately, so I'll just let you check out their stuff. I'd love to hear your thoughts on the matter.

Blog Post #2

Hummer Winblad's Will Price wrote a great piece on the tendency of entrepreneurs to make their companies "multi-task".

Many of the entrepreneurs that we work with struggle with this issue, and I'd be lying if I said that FundingUniverse hasn't fought the tenancy to become all things to all people. Sometimes it's tough to focus when you're out to change the world, but it's imperative to do so when manpower, capital and time are scarce. Find the business model that provides the shortest distance between launch and cash flow, and stick with it.

March 10, 2007

” Oh yeah, I know him. I know him well.”

You've seen the "man law" commercials on T.V. where a group of ultra manly men declare the laws of manhood over bottles of brew. Well, I'd like to propose two "business laws":

1) Unless a person remembers your face, your name and your company, you are banned from using the phrase "I know him/her." in reference to said person.

2) Unless you regularly exchange email, have lunch regularly with or know the person on some sort of personal level, you are banned from saying that you know said person "very well".

I don't know how many times I hear people throw around the above phrases when the reality is the person they "know" is someone they shook hands with in a crowded room months ago.

All in favor ...