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Showing posts from April, 2005

What motivates Indian entrepreneurs

Business Standard has an interesting article on the above topic based on a survey conducted by Subodh Bhat and Richard McCline of San Francisco State University:The respondent entrepreneurs were motivated primarily by the desire to create something new, the desire for autonomy, wealth and financial independence, the achievement of personal objectives and the propensity for action ('doing').

The excitement of entrepreneurship was another major motivator -- this was nicely captured by one comment: "We are not sure what's coming down the curve but it is a thrill." Importantly, most entrepreneurs stressed that the objective was never money for its own sake.

They wanted to leave a legacy in the form of a profitable long-lasting business.
Arun Natarajan is the Editor of TSJ Media, which tracks venture capital activity in India and Indian-founded companies worldwide. View sample issues of TSJ Media's Venture Intelligence India newsletters and reports.

Model investment documents

Paul Allen points to a great resource page on the US NVCA's (National Venture Capital Association) web site hosting a set of public domain model legal documents including a model Term Sheet, Stock Purchase Agreement, Certificate of Incorporation, Investor Rights Agreement, Voting Agreement, Right of First Refusal and Co-Sale Agreement, Management Rights Letter, Model Opinion Letter, and Model Indemnification Agreement.

Arun Natarajan is the Editor of TSJ Media, which tracks venture capital activity in India and Indian-founded companies worldwide. View sample issues of TSJ Media's Venture Intelligence India newsletters and reports.

Start-up business plans are useless: Mike Moritz

According to BusinessWeek's Deal Flow blog, Michael Moritz, a general partner at VC firm Sequoia Capital and an early investor in Google, Yahoo! and Cisco, while speaking at the VentureOne conference in San Francisco told a story about Google that demonstrated why VCs always say they invest in entrepreneurs or ideas--and not business plans.As you might know, Google started out thinking it would sell its technology to corporations for internal use. After a year or two, that plan clearly wasn’t working. So the entrepreneurs started casting around for another strategy. "There is nothing like a declining cash balance to focus the mind," Mortiz quipped. Google's founders noticed the success of GoTo (later renamed Overture and bought by Yahoo) and set out to improve on its paid-search model. The rest is history--and so is Google's original business plan, which, to the founders' credit, they never formalized.

When evaluating a nascent startup, Moritz doesn't look…

Hustle, Passion, Resiliency

Jason Calacanis has a great post on the three things that entrepreneurs need to succeed:
The older I get the more I realize that business is about three very basic things:

1. Hustle
2. Passion
3. Resiliency

You have those things it really doesn’t matter what the idea is… you can change your ideas all day long, in fact evolving is what you’re supposed to do in business. However, you can’t substitute hustle, passion, or resiliency.
Aside: I absolutely agree on Passion and Resiliency. But, I didn't fully understand what Jason meant by "Hustle" and hence bunged it into to get the following results:
1. To jostle and push.
2. To work or move energetically and rapidly: We hustled to get dinner ready on time.
3. To act aggressively, especially in business dealings.
4. Slang.
1. To obtain something by deceitful or illicit means; practice theft or swindling.
2. To solicit customers. Used of a pimp or prostitute.
3. To misrepresent one's ability …

Hey, wanna go public?

I got the following unsolicited email today:

I hope this finds you well, as you may already know, we specialize in assisting companies in Going Public. We also assist with Private Placement preparation. The President of our company is a very experienced securities and corporate law attorney.

Many people are not aware that any company can go public. Please go to see our site to receive our Advantages of Going Public Report and our Go Public Report.

We would like to propose a joint venture with you. If you or an associate of yours is interested in taking a company public, please let us know. We are happy for you to be very generously compensated for any referrals.

I wish I could convey, all the many benefits of going public in a letter. I'm not sure if you can imagine how valuable and powerful a public company can be in achieving your goals and objectives.

We look forward to developing a long term business relationship.


Shaun Anthony

We also have a …

VCs respond to Paul Graham's "VCs Suck" post

Quite a few VC bloggers have responded to Paul Graham's essay on "The Unified Theory of VC Suckage".

"I do not aspire to defend VC's. Like everything else, there are good people and bad people, good Germans and bad Germans, and good VC's and bad VC's," says Globespan Capital's Venky Ganesan

"I won’t even try to defend my VC brethern since Paul’s theory is sound in many ways. He admits that he’s met a few VC’s that he likes, so there must be something messed up in the universe somewhere," offers Mobius VC's Brad Feld.

Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures refers to Feld's days as an entrepreneur, when his mantra was that all companies sucked in servicing their customers at some level and the goal for his company was to suck less. Entrepreneurs are always going to think that VCs suck at some level. But clearly some VCs suck more than others. If you must fund your company with VC money, it pays to do your homework and find the ones…

Your craft alone isn't enough to start-up

Karen E. Klein, a BusinessWeek columist offers sound advice to a question from a wannabe entrepreneur who wants to start a 3-D animation and visual-effects company:Most would-be entrepreneurs..,are experts in their craft and have good educational backgrounds, but they know little or nothing about accounting, pricing, making cost-projections, marketing, strategic planning, or employee management -- all crucial to business success.
The article points to the US government's Small Business Administration Web site which includes a survey that will help size an individual's suitability to entrepreneurship, a guide to writing a business plan, and tips about financing.

Arun Natarajan is the Editor of TSJ Media, which tracks venture capital activity in India and Indian-founded companies worldwide. View sample issues of TSJ Media's Venture Intelligence India newsletters and reports.

Managing Programming for CEOs

Tom Evslin has a great 4-part series under the above title.

An Extract from Part 3, "Managing product development projects":Everyone knows about the “killer features” which propel software products or websites to stardom. Much more common are the unneeded features which destroy schedules and kill development projects. Evslin’s Law #1 is that the time required to complete software is proportional to the square of the number of features. Law #2 is that schedule predictability decreases in proportion to the square of the length of the project. Quite literally, a project with too many features will never be completed.

To get software projects done with a modicum of predictability, make three lists:

* Priority One are those features without which the product couldn’t possibly ship – printing for a word processor is a good example.

* Priority Two are highly desirable features.

* Priority Three are nice-to-haves...

If you are managing version 1.0 of something, it is partic…