Tag Archives: startup

Jack Dorsey Interview

Intressting Jack Dorsey Interview.

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  • 89
    The question of how Uber would spend its billion-dollar investment was never really much of a riddle. More rides in more places has always been the plan. But with its ten-figure cushion, the San Francisco-based ride-hailing startup can be more cunning about how it tries to get huge. Uber wants to grow…
    Tags: success, startup
  • 88
    Often, the only way to get ahead is to have a great plan. Which is exactly what makes the companies below so special. It's not just that they're making the big bucks (and they are doing that). This small group of companies from the Inc. 5000 class of 2014 are notable for their…
    Tags: success, startup
  • 86
    WhatsApp CEO and founder Jan Koum tweeted that the popular messaging app user-base has now been increased to 600 million. Earlier in April, it was announced that WhatsApp had 500 million active users. Surprisingly, the instant messaging space has been growing by leaps and bounds. It is worth noting that WhatsApp…
    Tags: success, startup
  • 85
    No one ever said being an entrepreneur would be easy. A million obstacles seem to stand in the way each and every day. The naysayers and budget woes can be enough for the average person to start waving the white flag. But you are not an average person: You’re an entrepreneur.…
    Tags: success, startup
  • 85
      Spotify integrated with Facebook, Uber works closely with local partners, Moz built a massive community, Dollar Shave Club launched a viral video. The history of growth marketing is riddled with brilliant growth hacks. Yet so many of these growth hacks have a short shelf life. Facebook has changed it’s…
    Tags: success, startup

Lessons Every Startup Can Learn from Uber’s Growth

Uber was founded just six years ago, but it’s already one of the fastest growing companies in the world. As an illustration of just how massive the company’s growth has been, Uber has reportedlycreated over 160,000 jobs in the United States alone and plans to create over a million more in the next five years. In 2014, it raised over 60% of all funding going to on-demand startups.

But while Uber is often held up as a remarkable case study on the potential of growth hacking, the company has also faced some serious challenges stemming from the short cuts it’s taken. As a result, there are a number of different lessons for entrepreneurs to take from Uber’s growth–both successes and mistakes.

Uber 101

eric1

Image by JD Lasica

Uber is a ride sharing company that was founded in 2009 by Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp, a successful technology entrepreneur that had previously launched Stumbleupon. After selling his first startup to eBay, Camp decided to create a new startup to address San Francisco’s serious taxi problem.

Together, the pair developed the Uber app to help connect riders and local drivers. The service was initially launched in San Francisco and eventually expanded to New York in 2010, proving to be highly convenient great alternative to taxis and poorly-funded public transportation systems. Over time, Uber has since expanded into smaller communities and become popular throughout the world.

There are a number of factors driving Uber’s growing popularity:

  • The service is more convenient than traditional cab companies.
  • It offers an alternative for consumers who have become disenfranchised with traditional corporate service models offered by other transportation companies.
  • Uber offers a higher level of customer service than traditional cab companies by employing drivers with pleasant personalities.
  • The service allows customers to rate their drivers, which makes it easier for the company to hold drivers accountable and improve quality control.
  • Uber customers can monitor their driver on a screen to estimate when they’ll arrive – a far preferable alternative to waiting an indeterminate amount of time for a no-show taxi.

As a result, Uber has been able to rapidly expand into new markets around the world. The company is expected to generate an astonishing $10 billion in revenue a year, despite growing competition from alternative ride sharing companies such as Lyft. Given current trends, it’s expected that the company will continue growing over the next few years.

However, Uber also faces some challenges that it will need to overcome to meet its lofty growth goals:

Read more here : http://indianbizparty.com/learning/lessons-every-startup-can-learn-from-ubers-growth/

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  • 76
    Like the fictional animal, unicorn companies are supposed to be rare and magical. Last month, the Wall Street Journal compiled its own "Billion-dollar club" - a listof 78 venture-backed private companies with valuations of $1 billion or more. When a company hits a billion dollar valuation, most people assume the company is…
    Tags: companies, company, startup
  • 75
    First, let’s figure out why we are talking about funding as something you need to do. This is not a given. The opposite of funding is “bootstrapping,” the process of funding a startup through your own savings. There are a few companies that bootstrapped for a while until taking investment,…
    Tags: company, startup, companies
  • 74
    In 2009 Twitter was a 50-person company punching way above its weight in cultural impact, its micro-blogging platform blasting its way into the public imagination. But its ambitions were even higher. According to leaked internal documents, the company had privately set goals over the next few years of a billion…
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WhatsApp Only Needs 50 Engineers for Its 900M Users

 

Earlier this month, in a post to his Facebook page, WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum announced that his company’s instant messaging service is now used by more than 900 million people. And then Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg promptly responded with two posts of his own. One said “congrats,” and the other included a cheeky photo Zuckerberg had taken of Koum as the WhatsApp CEO keyed his 900-million-user post into a smartphone. “Here’s an action shot of you writing this update,” Zuckerberg wrote.

WhatsApp is owned by Facebook, after Zuckerberg and company paid $19 billion for the startup a little more than a year ago. That means Facebook now runs three of the most popular apps on the internet. Its primary social networking service is used by more than 1.5 billion people worldwide, and Facebook Messenger, an instant messaging service spun off from Facebook proper, spans 700 million. But the 900 million-user milestone announced by Koun is very much a WhatsApp achievement, not a product of the formidable Facebook machine.

One of the (many) intriguing parts of the WhatsApp story is that it has achieved such enormous scale with such a tiny team. When the company was acquired by Facebook, it had 35 engineers and reached more than 450 million users. Today, it employs only about 50 engineers, though the number of WhatsApp users has doubled, and this tiny engineering staff continues to run things almost entirely on its own. In a world where so many internet services are rapidly expanding to millions upon millions of users, WhatsApp shows the way forward—at least in part.

WhatsApp doesn’t talk much about its engineering work—or any other part of its operation, for that matter—but yesterday, at an event in San Jose, California, WhatsApp software engineer Jamshid Mahdavi took the stage to briefly discuss the company’s rather unusual methods. Part of the trick is that the company builds its service using a programming language called Erlang. Though not all that popular across the wider coding community, Erlang is particularly well suited to juggling communications from a huge number of users, and it lets engineers deploy new code on the fly. But Mahdavi says that the trick is as much about attitude as technology.

Mahdavi joined WhatsApp about two years ago, after the startup was up and running, and its approach to engineering was unlike any he had seen—in part because it used Erlang and a computer operating system called FreeBSD, but also because it strove to keep its operation so simple. “It was a completely different way of building a high-scale infrastructure,” he said on Monday. “It was an eye-opener to see the minimalistic approach to solving … just the problems that needed to be solved.”

Code in Parallel

In using Erlang, WhatsApp is part of a larger push towards programming languages that are designed for concurrency, where many processes run at the same time. As internet services reach more people—and juggle more tasks from all those people—such languages become more attractive. Naturally.

With its new anti-spam system—a system for identifying malicious and otherwise unwanted messages on its social network—Facebook uses a language called Haskell. Haskell began as a kind of academic experiment in the late ’80s, and it’s still not used all that often. But it’s ideal for Facebook’s spam fighting because it’s so good at juggling parallel tasks—and because it lets coders tackle urgent tasks so quickly. Meanwhile, Google and Mozilla, maker of the Firefox browser, are striving for a similar sweet spot with new languages called Go and Rust.

Like Haskell, Erlang is a product of the ’80s. Engineers at Ericsson, the Swedish multinational that builds hardware and software for telecom companies, developed the language for use with high-speed phone networks. “Instead of inventing a language and then figuring out what to do with it, they set out to invent a language which solved a very specific problem,” says Francesco Cesarini, an Erlang guru based in the UK. “The problem was that of massive scalability and reliability. Phone networks were the only systems at the time who had to display those properties.”

Erlang remains on the fringes of the modern coding world, but at WhatsApp and other internet companies, including WeChat and Whisper, it has found a home with new applications that operate not unlike a massive phone network. In essence, WhatsApp is a replacement for cellphone texting services. It too requires that “scalability and reliability.”

What’s more, Erlang lets coders work at high speed—another essential part of modern software development. It offers a way of deploying new code to an application even as the application continues to run. In an age of constant change, this is more useful than ever.

Keep It Simple, Smarty

The language does have its drawbacks. Relatively few coders know Erlang, and it doesn’t necessarily dovetail with a lot of the code already built by today’s internet companies. Facebook built its original Facebook Chat app in Erlang but eventually rebuilt so that it would better fit with the rest of its infrastructure. “You had this little island that was Erlang, and it was hard to build enough boats back to the island to make everything hook in,” says Facebook vice president of engineering Jay Parikh.

Of course, WhatsApp didn’t have to integrate with an existing infrastructure in this way. And Mahdavi believes the relative scarcity of Erlang coders isn’t a problem. “Our strategy around recruiting is to find the best and brightest engineers. We don’t bring them in specifically because the engineer knows Erlang,” Mahdavi said on Monday. “We expect the engineer to come in and spend their first week getting familiar with the language and learning to use the environment. If you hire smart people, they’ll be able to do that.”

The company has succeeded by hiring engineers who are adaptable—in more ways than one. Asked to explain the company’s secret, Mahdavi’s response seems far too simple. But that’s the point. “The number-one lesson is just be very focused on what you need to do,” he said. “Doing spend time getting distracted by other activities, other technologies, even things in the office, like meetings.”

At WhatsApp, employees almost never attend a meeting. Yes, there are only a few dozen of them. But that too is the point.

 

source : http://www.wired.com/2015/09/whatsapp-serves-900-million-users-50-engineers/

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    Uber was founded just six years ago, but it’s already one of the fastest growing companies in the world. As an illustration of just how massive the company’s growth has been, Uber has reportedlycreated over 160,000 jobs in the United States alone and plans to create over a million more…
    Tags: company, service, startup
  • 62
    In 2009 Twitter was a 50-person company punching way above its weight in cultural impact, its micro-blogging platform blasting its way into the public imagination. But its ambitions were even higher. According to leaked internal documents, the company had privately set goals over the next few years of a billion…
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  • 61
    First, let’s figure out why we are talking about funding as something you need to do. This is not a given. The opposite of funding is “bootstrapping,” the process of funding a startup through your own savings. There are a few companies that bootstrapped for a while until taking investment,…
    Tags: company, startup

A Fireside Chat with Bill Gurley of Benchmark: The Future of Ecommerce — September 15, 2015

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How AIRBNB or PINTEREST and other startup started

 

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    First, let’s figure out why we are talking about funding as something you need to do. This is not a given. The opposite of funding is “bootstrapping,” the process of funding a startup through your own savings. There are a few companies that bootstrapped for a while until taking investment,…
    Tags: airbnb, startup
  • 81
    (Source : http://outthinker.com/outthinkerblog/?p=250 ) Picture this scenario. A bomb has exploded. You’ve been working for the last two weeks in a remote part of Mongolia. Your boss promised this short-term assignment would prove your commitment and accelerate your career. But now, unsure of what happened or which coworkers were injured or…
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  • 81
    In 2009 Twitter was a 50-person company punching way above its weight in cultural impact, its micro-blogging platform blasting its way into the public imagination. But its ambitions were even higher. According to leaked internal documents, the company had privately set goals over the next few years of a billion…
    Tags: startup
  • 80
    Uber was founded just six years ago, but it’s already one of the fastest growing companies in the world. As an illustration of just how massive the company’s growth has been, Uber has reportedlycreated over 160,000 jobs in the United States alone and plans to create over a million more…
    Tags: startup

6 LESSONS FROM ELON MUSK THAT CHANGED MY LIFE [EXERCISES INCLUDED]

How does Elon Musk think?

That’s what I aimed to discover while researching the habits behind his unbelievable success. For those who aren’t aware, Elon Musk is arguably the most impressive living human being on earth. Here’s his track record: 

lessons_from_elon_musk_01.png

Oh yeah … and he’s one of only two people to found three billion dollar companies. Not bad.

The crazy part is he doesn’t care that he’s worth billions. In fact, he’s annoyed with journalists asking about him. He wants them to ask about the bigger, worldly problems he’s trying to solve. He’s not focused on his existence, he’s focused on the existence of humanity — sustainable energy, clean transportation, and interplanetary space travel. 

So yes, again, he’s one of the most impressive people on earth. And because of this, I wanted to get inside his brain.

How does he think? What are his mental frameworks? What makes him tick? I scoured through dozens of interviews to unravel his six most compelling lessons … and turned them into actionable exercises. 

As a result, I created “worksheets” that ask questions derived from following lessons from Elon Musk. And quite frankly, these lessons (and accompanying exercises) have changed my life.

Complete the following exercises, based off the psychology of Elon Musk, and they might change your life, too.

http://www.getsidekick.com/blog/lessons-from-elon-musk

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  • 78
    Intressting Jack Dorsey Interview.
    Tags: success, startup
  • 76
    The question of how Uber would spend its billion-dollar investment was never really much of a riddle. More rides in more places has always been the plan. But with its ten-figure cushion, the San Francisco-based ride-hailing startup can be more cunning about how it tries to get huge. Uber wants to grow…
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  • 75
    Often, the only way to get ahead is to have a great plan. Which is exactly what makes the companies below so special. It's not just that they're making the big bucks (and they are doing that). This small group of companies from the Inc. 5000 class of 2014 are notable for their…
    Tags: companies, success, startup
  • 74
    WhatsApp CEO and founder Jan Koum tweeted that the popular messaging app user-base has now been increased to 600 million. Earlier in April, it was announced that WhatsApp had 500 million active users. Surprisingly, the instant messaging space has been growing by leaps and bounds. It is worth noting that WhatsApp…
    Tags: worth, space, success, startup
  • 74
      Spotify integrated with Facebook, Uber works closely with local partners, Moz built a massive community, Dollar Shave Club launched a viral video. The history of growth marketing is riddled with brilliant growth hacks. Yet so many of these growth hacks have a short shelf life. Facebook has changed it’s…
    Tags: life, changed, dollar, success, startup

What are the top reasons why startups fail?

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  • 82
    First, let’s figure out why we are talking about funding as something you need to do. This is not a given. The opposite of funding is “bootstrapping,” the process of funding a startup through your own savings. There are a few companies that bootstrapped for a while until taking investment,…
    Tags: startup
  • 80
    In 2009 Twitter was a 50-person company punching way above its weight in cultural impact, its micro-blogging platform blasting its way into the public imagination. But its ambitions were even higher. According to leaked internal documents, the company had privately set goals over the next few years of a billion…
    Tags: startup
  • 80
    Uber was founded just six years ago, but it’s already one of the fastest growing companies in the world. As an illustration of just how massive the company’s growth has been, Uber has reportedlycreated over 160,000 jobs in the United States alone and plans to create over a million more…
    Tags: startup
  • 80
    (Source : http://outthinker.com/outthinkerblog/?p=250 ) Picture this scenario. A bomb has exploded. You’ve been working for the last two weeks in a remote part of Mongolia. Your boss promised this short-term assignment would prove your commitment and accelerate your career. But now, unsure of what happened or which coworkers were injured or…
    Tags: startup

Currently 108 unicorns worldwide and 13 FinTech Unicorns: The Industry Disrupters That Are Worth Billions

 

With currently 108 unicorns worldwide, the billion-dollar valuation club is nowhere near getting smaller.

According to venture capital tracker CB Insights, the number of new entrants in 2015 should double last year’s record, with the total this year to reach more than 76 new unicorns.

This upward trend can be explained by a combination of factors,including the continuously lower cost of launching a tech startup, quicker technology adoption, and the overall faster pace of disruption, Anand Sanwal, CEO and co-founder of CB Insights, said in a webinar put on by the company last week.

But for now, let’s focus on the startups that are attacking every product and service line typically offered by banks and financial institutions.

Fintech Unicorns

Based on a report from KPMG and CB Insights, CoinTelegraph has compiled a list of 13 FinTech startups that are valued over US$1 billion, or the so-called FinTech unicorns.

Overall, investors have mostly placed their bets on payments startups. However, other attractive markets include lending, insurance, remittance and personal finance management.

Among the venture capital investors that are putting big money on these market disrupters, several names are redundant: Khosla Ventures, Union Square Ventures, Accel Partners, Index Ventures, Sequoia Capital, Felicis Ventures, to name a few.

 

Company   Country   Industry Valuation (billion USD) Select Investors
Square Inc. US Mobile Payments 6 First Round Capital, Citi Ventures, GGV Capital
Stripe US Online Payments 3.5   Andreessen Horowitz, Khosla Ventures, Lowercase Capital, Redpoint Ventures, Union Square Ventures
Powa Technologies UK E-Commerce 2.7 Bright Station Ventures, Wellington Management
Prosper US P2P Lending 1.9   Benchmark, Accel Partners, DAG Ventures, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Sequoia Capital
Adyen NL Payments 1.5 Felicis Ventures, Index Ventures, Temasek Holdings
Oscar US Health Insurance 1.5 BoxGroup, Formation8, Khosla Ventures
Deem US E-Commerce 1.35 Empire Ventures, Foundational Capital, Oak Investment Partners
Social Finance US Student Loan Refinancing 1.3 Baseline Ventures, Doll Capital Management, Institutional Venture Partners, Third Point, Wellington Management
  TransferWise UK Remittance 1 Andreessen Horowitz, IA Ventures, Index Ventures, SV Angel
Shopify CA E-Commerce 1   FirstMark Capital, Felicis Ventures, Insight Venture Partners
Credit Karma US Financial Management Platform 1 Felicis Ventures, SV Angel, Founders Fund
Klarna SE Online Payments 1 Institutional Venture Partners, Sequoia Capital, General Atlantic
Funding Circle UK P2P Lending 1 Accel Partners, Index Ventures, Ribbit Capital, Union Square Ventures
Source: http://www.slideshare.net/kpmg/kpmg-cbinsightsunicornreport

 

The Booming FinTech Scene

With almost US$14 billion injected into the space in the past 12 months, investors are obviously taking an increasing interest in FinTechs.

In the webinar on May 19, Sanwal discussed these new trends and the emerging players that are challenging our traditional financial services.

“In 2010, there were 223 unique investors within the FinTech space, and these are VCs only, not the angels, accelerators, or other types of investors that we track. In 2015, […] there are now 894 active investors. Investors see opportunities, they see blood in the space; it’s a massive industry.”

While the overall industry is burgeoning, a few niche markets are particularly attracting “smart money” from top VC investors. These focus areas include payments, personal finance management, lending and Bitcoin, Sanwal pointed out, with notable investments into Coinbase, Stripe, Funding Circle, Zuora and Prosper.

Beyond VC firms, players from diverse industries and “unusual suspects” are making significant moves, as well. These nonfinancial services corporations that are betting on FinTechs include Google — which has invested in 37 FinTech deals in the last 5 years — Intel and Salesforce, as well as Japanese SoftBank, Chinese RenRen and Ping An Insurance, and South African Naspers.

 

 

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A journey from Idea to IPO.

First, let’s figure out why we are talking about funding as something you need to do. This is not a given. The opposite of funding is “bootstrapping,” the process of funding a startup through your own savings. There are a few companies that bootstrapped for a while until taking investment, like MailChimp and AirBnB.

If you know the basics of how funding works, skim to the end. In this article I am giving the easiest to understand explanation of the process. Let’s start with the basics.

Every time you get funding, you give up a piece of your company. The more funding you get, the more company you give up. That ‘piece of company’ is ‘equity.’ Everyone you give it to becomes a co-owner of your company.

https://wantrepreneurship.wordpress.com/2015/04/18/how-funding-in-startup-works-a-journey-from-idea-to-ipo/

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    Tags: idea, startup
  • 75
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  • 75
    Like the fictional animal, unicorn companies are supposed to be rare and magical. Last month, the Wall Street Journal compiled its own "Billion-dollar club" - a listof 78 venture-backed private companies with valuations of $1 billion or more. When a company hits a billion dollar valuation, most people assume the company is…
    Tags: companies, company, startup

Billion-dollar club in trouble ?

Like the fictional animal, unicorn companies are supposed to be rare and magical.

Last month, the Wall Street Journal compiled its ownBillion-dollar club a listof 78 venture-backed private companies with valuations of $1 billion or more.

When a company hits a billion dollar valuation, most people assume the company is stable and on a clear path to sustainable success.

The companies we pays the most attention to are consumer-facing, low-margin companies that need to get people online and using their services without spending too much on customer acquisition.

To identify companies that could be in trouble, we first looked at companies whose employee base has stopped growing or started shrinking.

So you look at some of these unicorn companies and you can see their employee count is kind of flat, or even maybe declining a lot or a little. And that’s a really bad sign because to IPO your company, you still have to begrowing pretty fast from a company perspective. Generally to grow revenue youhave to hire more people. It’s pretty uncommon to find some magical place where you can stop hiring people and your revenue still grows 100% year over year.”

The second major dead unicorn warning sign to look for: how are company’s social media mentions trending? If mentions increase and web traffic from social sites increase, then a company may be spending more on marketing.

Looking at the data, we also found patterns of companies that could be in trouble.

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  • 76
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    Tags: company, companies, startup
  • 75
    First, let’s figure out why we are talking about funding as something you need to do. This is not a given. The opposite of funding is “bootstrapping,” the process of funding a startup through your own savings. There are a few companies that bootstrapped for a while until taking investment,…
    Tags: company, startup, companies