Bernard lunn

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How First-Time Entrepreneurs Can Work with Investors

How First-Time Entrepreneurs Can Work with Investors

This is one post/chapter in a serialized book called Startup 101. For the introduction and table of contents, please click here.

Venture capitalists (VCs) have a very simple job. All they have to do is find an entrepreneur who has already created at least one hugely successful venture and then invest in his or her next venture. Only one problem…

VC Cash Is April Showers on Web Startup Flowers

VC Cash Is April Showers on Web Startup Flowers

Do you remember the headlines about VC investment “falling off cliff” after some data was reported by NVCA in early April? We took a contrarian view, saying the trend was down, but challenging the doom and gloom that was jumping from the headlines. This was based on our own online research and some anecdotal data from interviews. Fred Wilson at…

GSR Ventures: The China Internet Opportunity (RWS Interview)

GSR Ventures: The China Internet Opportunity (RWS Interview)

The Internet started in America, but the big growth in the coming years may come from Asia. We recently interviewed a VC in India. Clearly, it was time to get a perspective from China. So we spoke to Richard Lim, a Partner at GSR Ventures, a China-focused VC fund.

Here is why China is a fascinating opportunity for Web technology entrepreneurs: the…

Are You Really an Entrepreneur?

Are You Really an Entrepreneur?

This is one post/chapter in a serialized book called Startup 101. For the introduction and table of contents, please click here.

Google the phrase “Are you an entrepreneur?” and you’ll get a lot of help thinking through what should be the first question you ask before starting a new venture. Because entrepreneurs are a busy bunch, we’ve compiled a…

10 Things to Be Clear About Before You Start a Company

10 Things to Be Clear About Before You Start a Company

This is one post/chapter in a serialized book called Startup 101. For the introduction and table of contents, please click here.

1. Is this your first venture?
2. Are you really an entrepreneur?
3. Does your venture involve something you understand really well?
4. Can your mother understand the value proposition?
5. Can you see the right…

Startup 101: Introducing Our Serialized “How to Build a Startup” Book

Startup 101: Introducing Our Serialized “How to Build a Startup” Book

“Startup 101” is a serialized book about the thrills and spills of starting a Web technology venture. It will be a regular feature in our new channel ReadWriteStart, dedicated to profiling startups and entrepreneurs. Startup 101 is for first-time entrepreneurs who want to go through the whole startup life cycle – including raising money, building a…

Where Is My Dashboard Aggregator?

Where Is My Dashboard Aggregator?

In the old days, somebody running a business had a cadre of middle managers who aggregated data about the performance of different parts of the business. They would typically write monthly reports highlighting trends, issues, and exceptions. In a modern, web-enabled, web-centric business, this role is served by the online dashboards provided by…

Why Push Gmail for Blackberry Is a Big Deal

Why Push Gmail for Blackberry Is a Big Deal

We recently had the opportunity to test the Google Apps Connector for the BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) and then talk to Google to find out why this is significant and where it is heading. The basics: this enables “push Gmail,” so you can use Gmail directly on your BlackBerry. Report: it works as advertised. We dug a bit deeper to find out…

What Do VCs Say and Do in Early-Stage Today?

What Do VCs Say and Do in Early-Stage Today?

In the last two months, we have interviewed six VCs. In each case, we asked the same question:
“How is early-stage financing doing during this downturn compared to the last one in 2001/2002?”

In this post, we consolidate all the responses, to see if a consensus among VCs emerged. But we also dig a bit deeper. We have been tracking Series A…

Union Square Ventures: The Best of the Valley in New York (RWS Interview)

Union Square Ventures: The Best of the Valley in New York (RWS Interview)

Disclosure: I love Fred Wilson’s blog. Union Square Ventures (USV) has invested in some amazing ventures that were far from obvious (i.e. they took risks), and they have invested in my friend Alex Iskold’s venture. So, I am a fan. Hopefully, I was able to be a good journalist, restrain my enthusiasm, and ask Albert Wenger some good, probing…

Mapping the Current Web Transition

Mapping the Current Web Transition

A year ago, I wrote a magnum opus three-part post that attempted to chronicle some of the underlying changes happening in the economy and how this would impact web technology ventures. “Useful, but too long” was a recurring comment. So, here is a one-year update, much shorter. And hopefully a bit clearer, seeing as we are further into this…

Journalism 2.0: Don’t Throw Out the Baby

Journalism 2.0: Don’t Throw Out the Baby

When I was a kid, I wanted to be a journalist. My heroes were people like Woodward and Bernstein and the people reporting from war zones. The profession seemed to be both glamorous and worthwhile. Faced with a real decision as a young adult, I went into the IT industry. Then, later in my career, I started blogging, and then writing for…

The START Fund: Disrupting the Disrupters (RWS Interview)

The START Fund: Disrupting the Disrupters (RWS Interview)

For the fifth in our series of interviews with investors, we decided to do something different. Elliott Dahan, of the START Fund, cannot write you a check. At least not yet; he is working on that. But he is trying to do something much more ambitious, which is to create a totally new model for funding early- and seed-stage ventures. VCs love to fund…

ReadWriteStart Has Started!

ReadWriteStart Has Started!

Today we’re launching a new channel called ReadWriteStart, in which we’ll profile early stage startups and entrepreneurs. As well as startup profiles, we aim to help entrepreneurs in the critical early days of a start-up. We are a startup ourselves, building a business without external funding in a tough economy. So we know the spills as well as…

IT Consolidation Blues: CHOI Does Not Spell Choice

IT Consolidation Blues: CHOI Does Not Spell Choice

Oracle is buying Sun, and bankers are looking forward to the next wave of consolidation. To somebody who remembers the innovation and excitement of earlier enterprise hardware and software start-ups, this is a bit gloomy. CHOI (Cisco, HP, Oracle, IBM) does not spell “choice” for buyers, employees, or investors. Choose your behemoth. If…

This Messaging Fragmentation is Crazy

This Messaging Fragmentation is Crazy

Full Disclosure: this is an opinionated rant. Why do I have to go to LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter to send messages? Why do people insist on using these non-standard messaging systems? If people said, “Don’t call me on the telephone — I prefer the delephone,” you would think they were crazy. For a while, this was a minor inconvenience, but now…

True Ventures: The VC Startup

True Ventures: The VC Startup

This is the first in a weekly series of interviews with venture capitalists. We chose True Ventures to kick off the series because it closed a Series A deal for Syncplicity in the dark days of October 2008, earning it a spot on our A-Team. When it closed a second Series A with Loopfuse in February 2009, it joined a very small contingent of VCs that…

Skype May Be The Biggest Winner From The Web 2.0 Era

Skype May Be The Biggest Winner From The Web 2.0 Era

Skype does not get the respect it deserves, because eBay not only publicly admitted to overpaying for it but is making a mess of its core business. Another reason may be that Skype flies in the face of conventional Valley wisdom that says it has to be all about social media. Or maybe the fact that Skype came from Europe, and we all know that…