Interesting times in the Valley! The needle has moved quite a bit since my last post, which is partly the reason why It’s been so long. Nonetheless I decided it was time to share a bit of knowledge I’ve learned over the past few weeks. Hopefully this will help ANY start-up founder trying to raise money. There are 3 things, let’s call them dials that you want to turn up to 10. If you’re going to seek investment at some point please consider them while turning your idea into a business.
#TurnUp: 3 Dials Entrepreneurs Want to Turn to 10
- TEAM: To get to a 10 you need a rock star team that has:
- previous startup or entrepreneurial success
- founding team members with solid success working for another VC/Angel funded startup
- an exceptional education background from a prestigious institution.
- IDEA: To turn this dial up to 10 you need to be entering a market that’s massive or is a game changer. Think cure for cancer, the airplane, world hunger you know REALLY big ideas. Don’t worry very few people make it to a 10 in this category and even then someone won’t understand it and say no.
- Evidence: Now play close attention to this dial. This is the dial where the playing field can level out. Men lie, women lie numbers don’t (though they can be distorted). If the previous 2 dials are lacking a bit this is where you can make it up. If you have growing sales, usage or other growing metric that makes sense then welcome to “Deal or No Deal.” The great thing about this dial is that if your metric is revenue you can control more of what happens at the dealer table.
Now here’s the thing to consider you don’t have to be a 10 in any of these categories to receive investment but you need to be really really close. I like the third bullet because at the end of the day I want to build something I can be proud of and let’s not forget that every time you take investment you’re giving away a portion of your business. Make sure it’s worth it!
Thoughts? What did I miss?
Today we had a really great conversation with one of the mentors of the NewMe Accelerator program and in the middle of our conversation we started talking about the impact mobile will have on big data projects and businesses. I didn’t really draw any substantial conclusions but I had some thoughts and questions so I decided to share and see what you think.
- Is mobile data too intimate for big data? First let me be clear. I realize that big data is about aggregation but we have to remember that consumers don’t care about “aggregating your information anonymously.” The truth is a consumer’s mobile device is very telling about who they are, what they’re doing and where they’re doing it and that’s all that matters to them. I’m not 100% sure if users won’t become more guarded as mobile devices hold more intimate data. Think about how protective consumers may become as the device becomes a more intimate object in their lives. Mobile devices can facilitate romance, friendships, a holder of their money and much more. Will they share that or abandon their device to something “safer?”
- If users continue to give their most intimate pieces of information away (knowingly or unknowingly), what’s going to be their win in the equation. Developers will have to build much more value into their apps to warrant their level of intimacy they require.
- What will mobile data say about different cultural and socioeconomic groups of the mobile consumer? Individuals from different background use their devices in different ways. I wonder how that will impact and translate in big data.
What did I miss? Chime in and let’s continue the conversation.
I’m going cut right to the chase here. Though the NewME Spring cycle is only 2 weeks old I’m quickly beginning to realize that start-up/founder/entrepreneur density is critical to the success of new business creators. I actually wish we were closer to the epicenter but I’m thankful nonetheless. Now back to what I was saying. For me, I first realized just how important density is/was when I started to get to know the 5 other founders in the house. In some cases their co-founders stayed creating a very rich and diverse knowledge and skill base. Having individuals in similar phases of their product/business development proves to be incredibly valuable. Here’s why:
- You receive great feedback on what you’re building and fellow founders can be extremely resourceful
- Accountability. As a solo founder I currently don’t have someone to keep me focused and help me stay out of my own way. This is incredibly important.
- Depending on what you’re building they can be great first customers, though you have to be careful not to let the growing friendship and knowledge about your product skew or cloud your judgement. It’s important to maintain your focus on building the right business
- The energy is irreplaceable. For Atlanta this is best experienced co-working spaces like Strongbox West or Hypepotamus in San Francisco it’s in almost every neighborhood. Can’t beat it.
That’s all for now, I just thought I’d share that thought. What you do you think? What did I miss?
I’m very pleased to announce that I’m headed to San Francisco as part of the NewME Accelerator’s 2013 Spring Cycle! I’ll have more updates to come but in the mean time, feel free to follow my progress here as well as on AngelList.
Stay tuned and thanks!
First I want to say congratulations to the NFL, the city of New Orleans, the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers for such a great Superbowl experience! Secondly I want to thank Baltimore for beating the 49ers as they knocked out the home team (Falcons) and congratulate them for winning Superbowl 47!
Along with the Ravens here are my top 10 Winners from Sunday’s experience:
- Beyonce and the NFL: The NFL brought Beyonce back to the half-time show and not only did she put on a great show, she also helped the NFL continue transform America’s most popular sport into a true entertainment event for all. Shout to Kelly Rowland!
- Movies – Various: Iron Man 3, Oz, Star Trek 2, World War Z, Fast & Furious 6 and others primed us for a spring and summer filled with theatrical hits!
- Social Media: Once again social media played a huge part in the overall experience, moving us to act and pass the time when the lights went out.
- Tide – Miracle Stain: GREAT idea and execution. Hands down one of the best creative pieces of the night! I still can’t believe she washed it.
- Kia Sorento – Various Great stories told in about 60 seconds! Period. Space Babies is my favorite.
- Hyundai Santa Fe – Epic Playdate: Great creative with a touch of epic, making for memorable content.
- Mercedes Benz – Soul: How do you reposition a premium brand to touch a more cost conscious market? Show them the car, show them the perks of owning the car, show them it’s worth making a deal with the devil, and then tell them it’s on 30K. Brilliant.
- Taco Bell – Viva Young: Great idea reminding us that age is a state of mind.
- Bud Light – Various: My favorite is Lucky Chair… still trying to figure out who’s luckier the chair or us getting to watch the beautiful Zoe Saldana sitting in it!?! Hmmmm
- Jeep -”Whole Again”: Jeep did a decent job saying what we’ve all been thinking. Execution wasn’t spectacular but the message pushed it into the top 10 for me.
- Blackberry: After dropping the RIM name, Blackberry aimed to make a statement that the new OS is here to disrupt… and that it’s easier to tell us what it doesn’t do.
- PSY – Wonderful Pistachios: Way to ride the Gangman style wave and make us all get up and dance.
- Doritos: Though the Crash the Superbowl Ads won’t win any awards (in my opinion) they continued to show us just how good crowd-sourced content can be!
- Budweiser (Classic): Though the Budweiser Black Crown commercials didn’t fair well, many were pleased to see the clydesdales return in an emotional, and compelling way.
- eTrade: Consistently making us laugh with the talking baby that doesn’t seem to age physically but continuously grows in investing experience.
- Oreo – Whisper Fight: Funny idea bucking the status quo with a social media twist
What do you think? Who were your Superbowl winners?
No resolutions for me, but I do plan to write more! Particularly my thoughts on the Atlanta start-up scene, some personal updates, marketing technology and more! Please stay tuned and remain patient as I get back into the swing of this! I look forward to sharing 2013 with you!
Cheers and Blessings,
Hard work pays off! Check out the first trailer from Film Majors first TV series PLAY
PLAY Official Trailer #1 from Film Majors on Vimeo.
I’ve read a few articles floating around the Internet about how Apple will be OK without NFC in the iPhone 5. Well to be honest, as a marketer and developer, that sucks. Apple had the opportunity to enable marketers and developers to create some really great experiences with NFC and instead we have to wait because they want to control mobile payments.
What we know about the maturity of most technologies is that it’s got to be native and it has to have backing from those that control the industry. Unfortunately, Apple has decided to stifle adoption and growth of NFC by not giving it to its users. Now users, who aren’t familiar with NFC, can’t learn to use it and determine a preference, that REALLY sucks! What Apple is doing is a combination of feature shelving and misdirection. They tell us the feature is about 1 thing (mobile payments) so we forget it can be used for other things. They’ve done it before. They left NFC out so that they could control the mobile wallet experience and its cash flow. They essentially want us to forget that NFC has tons of untapped potential outside of payments.
With an NFC enabled iPhone we’d see much more integration and innovation from app maker because the iPhone audience would have access to the technology. Proximity development would jump tremendously, think: personal preferences integration, portable and accessible health records, faster data exchange and much more. Apple is simply trying to control one use case so they don’t have to work as hard to sell their software.
As a marketer I’m even more frustrated because as a strategist I’d love to integrate NFC tagging into some concepts for our clients. For example, we have retail clients that could use NFC for much more than payments and create a rich and interactive experience for their customers. We can still do it but for now it’d be limited to NFC enabled devices. Right now NFC enabled devices reside primarily in the Android ecosystem, and that truth is frustrating and sad.
Apple, here’s my plea. if your software and tech are as innovative and useful as you say they are, prove it. Don’t slow the potential of entire technology because you’re afraid it will cannibalize your software. Come on Apple, you can do better.
So it’s been awhile and I decided not to promise myself a certain amount of post in a certain amount of time. Instead I plan to work hard and when I’m compelled to write I will. The other difference is I won’t draft ANY messages. I’ll write till I’m done and then publish. With that said expect some imperfections in my writing and expect more scattered thoughts.
With that said let’s get right into it. Here’s what I’m working on and my one word sentiment!
- Wrapping up the next iteration of DIGITALGUESTLIST (launch in January) – Stoked!
- Producing A new web series… with a twist. Essentially I’m just cutting checks! LOL!! – Innovative
- Writing and producing a short film called “Roaming” – Overdue
- Continue to expand the jdawkinsatl Brand – Justified
You may have noticed that the list consists mostly of film/TV production. Well the truth is I’ve always loved film but because my passion is centered more around marketing them than making them, I rarely have time to actually create. Well that’s about to change. I have a great team on my side and we’ve decided to create a production company to produce an innovative web series as well as a short film I’ve been working on for awhile now.
That’s it’ for now. I’m tired and I still have a few things to knock out before hitting the bed (Written @ 11:45pm).
Good night and God Bless!