Week three of the class and our teams in our Stanford Lean LaunchPad class were hard at work using Customer Development to get out of the classroom and test the first key hypotheses of their business model: The Value Proposition.
We're now in the second Internet bubble, and the rules for making money are different in a bubble than in normal times. What are they, how do they differ and what can a startup do to take advantage of them?
Selling a business can be a very difficult and emotional experience, particularly for first-time entrepreneurs. I thought it would be helpful to share three tips in connection with selling your business.
Being a startup investing in startups is no easy task. But we're trying to be thoughtful about it, try new things and iterate rapidly with the benefit of data. Sounds a lot like what we expect from the startups we invest in.
The most interesting part of the class would happen outside the classroom when the teams spent 50-80 hours testing their business model hypotheses by talking to customers and partners and (in the case of web-based businesses) building their product.
The apparent increase in entrepreneurial activity during the past three years was due almost entirely to businesses like Jeffrey's that aren't adding employment beyond the founder. The creation of employer firms, in fact, has been on the wane.
More capital targeted to high growth entrepreneurs with venture-fundable ideas, and administered through the professional investment community, is a good thing, and particularly so in our current environment (when venture capital funding has been less available than in the past).
Social entrepreneurship was not really open to prior generations, and allows the new generation to make a distinctive contribution to themselves, their family and the community, that can enhance both the sustainability of the family assets, and the sustainability of the world.
What's been occurring for the last 50 years within Silicon Valley's tight cluster of suburban towns is nothing short of an "entrepreneurial explosion" on par with classic Athens, renaissance Florence or 1920's Paris.
Think about it. Where did Google, eBay, and Facebook come from? They inched their way into public view before the first multi-million dollar funding rounds, and they have never had a big public launch.