Archive

Posts Tagged ‘entrepreneur’

It’s All About Execution

November 11, 2008 3 comments

As I wrote previously in “Creating Ideas Into Business” I talked about how TOKiBiz helps entrepreneurs execute their idea into an online application. I receive a lot of idea development requests via this site. Most of them aren’t significantly unique but how the entrepreneur plans to execute the idea is where the creativity comes into play. It’s the combination of this unique perspective coupled with the entrepreneur’s experience that makes the idea a good one! Ideas create new ideas.

Everyone has ideas but how to create those ideas into an internet application is the difficult part. Creating that idea into a solid brand and profitable business is the very difficult part.  

I respect people’s desire to be very protective of their thoughts but the truth is no one can execute it like you can. They way someone else views your idea is totally different than how you see it – plus the idea alone is not new or very complicated. As I wrote in “The Value of a Business Idea“:

For most ideas the initial value doesn’t necessarily come from the idea itself but the team behind that idea.  Many of us have similar ideas but the real value comes in how that idea is executed.  The more experience the team has the more likely they’ll have a successful execution – even if the idea isn’t earth shattering.  For many ideas aren’t earth shattering, however the most successful ones provide a simple solution to a common problem.

As Techcrunch reported there is a “Fourth YouTuber” who is looking to sue the company for stealing his idea. The reasons are given in the article but none of them are all that unique or even ones that didn’t exist before YouTube went live. The idea of posting videos on the web wasn’t a new one when YouTube went live in 2005. Revver, Brightcove, iFilm and others were around before 2005 but YouTube clicked with the masses. This doesn’t however mean YouTube is monetizing better than other sites – especially Hulu who is eating their lunch.

The “Fourth YouTuber” claims that he came up with the ideas for “video uploading, video commenting, agnostic video format, layout of the main video screen, awards and top listings “most watched”, star ratings, viewers, DMCA automation, video and audio fingerprinting.” Maybe he did but none of these ideas (or features) are all that unique. It’s stuff that developers casually talk about every day – if developers weren’t able to create ideas that originated from conversations then nothing would be built. We build upon what we read and hear about – again it’s the way individuals execute these ideas that make them unique. Take a dozen internet startups in twelve different industries and it’s likely that half of them integrate similar “Web 2.0” features.

DJ Burdick, founder of One Season, says “business is 5% idea, 95% execution” in “Ideas are Cheap.” One excellent point that DJ makes is “a lot of entrepreneurs are afraid to share their ideas”: 

“We’re in stealth mode” you’ll hear people say. I think that this approach in general is more harmful than good. Let’s throw all morals out the window for a second and assume that people are bad and won’t have any aversion to stealing your idea. Talented and smart people have better things going on than waiting around to steal your idea. Untalented and unoriginal people who may try to steal your idea won’t be able to execute it.

The less experienced someone is at turning a concept into a business, the more they seem to feel like the idea is everything.

If you stay in “stealth mode” as an entrepreneur you’re really only hurting yourself.

NDAs are thrown around so often. It seems like every conversation is prefaced with a mutual NDA. VCs won’t sign them for good reason. And I think in general they are really pointless. Source:  Ideas are Cheap

We’re all influenced by the same technology, which in return stimulates ideas that are similar to others. Someone with a financial background is going to execute the idea differently than someone with a retail background. It’s the experience that one has within the industry that he/she is executing in that increases the likelihood of success for that idea. As I wrote in “Getting An Idea Off the Ground“: 

I use to think that at some point ideas would eventually run dry.  Now I know this is definitely not the case for there are millions of ways to make our lives better.  Ways that we never thought of before and ways that couldn’t exist without the idea launched previous to ours.  For ideas keep building on the ideas of those who came before us.

Advertisements

Goodbye Beta!

September 22, 2008 Leave a comment

 

Bizak is now officially out of beta!  

We completed the investor side, added the XML feed, tweaked the entrepreneur side and dropped the orange beta button!

Investors, Financing, Venture Capital & Funding Opportunities of Startups

September 16, 2008 Leave a comment

To register please visit: https://www.bizak.com/investors/register

This evening, actually 2am this morning, we at Bizak are starting to role out the investor side of our database. This means investors and corporations can finally view and compare startups within our database.  Different from the startup side, investors can actually see specific data, web analytics and financial data for all startups who elect to have their information published.  

Right now, as of 2am Tuesday morning, investors can subscribe to our XML feed and view and compare benchmarks to startups.  All of the investor applications will be completed by Wednesday afternoon.  The features that still need to be added are the profiles (contact information, bio, links, etc.) for startups and the ability to view and sort the top ten projects according to each sort.  A sort consists of Industry, Business Type and Revenue Source.  For example, you can view the top ten startups who are in the Internet industry, operate a business network and have a subscription model.  

As for the XML feeds this allows investors, venture capital firms and corporations to integrate our data into their platform for both internal use and database access for clients.  Examples of the data included in the XML schemas can be seen below.  Both of the XML files are being modified a bit more and contact phone and URL will be integrated into the startup schemas. Each subscriber has their own unique URL which returns data in XML format using the below schemas.

To register please visit: https://www.bizak.com/investors/register

For additional information about the investor side of Bizak please view the video below the XML data.

Startups & Projects

<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”UTF-8″?>
<projectlist>
<project>
<startup>Startup Company Name (text)</startup>
<startupcontact>Startup Contact Name (text)</startupcontact>
<projectname>Project Name (text)</projectname>
<industry>Industry (text)</industry>
<websitetype>Website (text)</websitetype>
<revenuesource>Revenue (text)</revenuesource>
<visitors>Visitors (number)</visitors>
<revenue>Revenue (number)</revenue>
<rpv>Revenue per Visitor (number)</rpv>
<costs>Costs (number)</costs>
<cpv>Costs per Visitor (number)</cpv>
<earnings>Earnings (number)</earnings>
<epv>Earnings per Visitor (number)</epv>
<estimate>Bizak Estimate (number)</estimate>
</project>
</projectlist>
Benchmarks
<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”UTF-8″?>
<benchmarks>
<benchmark>
<industry>Industry (text)</industry>
<websitetype>Website (text)</websitetype>
<revenuesource>Revenue (text)</revenuesource>
<visitors>Visitors (number)</visitors>
<revenue>Revenue (number)</revenue>
<rpv>Revenue per Visitor (number)</rpv>
<costs>Costs (number)</costs>
<cpv>Costs per Visitor (number)</cpv>
<earnings>Earnings (number)</earnings>
<epv>Earnings per Visitor (number)</epv>
<estimate>Bizak Estimate (number)</estimate>
</benchmark>
</benchmarks>

 

 

Getting An Idea Off the Ground

August 13, 2008 2 comments

I had two meetings yesterday both with two very interesting, intelligent and entrepreneurial guys.  The first meeting was with an individual who runs a search fund and is pursuing a leveraged buyout of an “offline” company with approximately $5 million in revenues.  Additionally he helps “brick and mortar” companies get off the ground.  Other than he works offline and I online we have very similar job functions in that we both nurture early stage startups.

The second meeting was with an individual who is a fountain of ideas for improving our web experiences as they relate to online content.  Even though both meetings were separate they actually could have fit together very nicely.  In the first meeting we discussed the need for a firm like TOKiBiz who can do a lot of the grunt work for venture capital and investment firms – that is weed through a lot of great local talent and ideas.  

To explain further, I meet with a steady flow of entrepreneurs who have energetic and creative ideas for making the web a better (and more profitable) place.  My role with these entrepreneurs is to help them get their idea off the ground and onto the web. Most of the work I do is before the seed financing stage of a business – that is we craft the business for them to present to investors.  

In some cases the amount of financing needed to launch an application is very low so we’re easily able to finance, develop and launch a successful application on our own. With others this is definitely not the case and sizable funding is needed to execute the idea – sizable for us.  This is unfortunate since many of these ideas are brilliant.  All of them are from individuals with considerable work experience but this is their first venture into entrepreneurship – which often means they lack the financial connections an established entrepreneur has.    

In the case of the second meeting yesterday the amount of funding needed is more than any of us can gather on our own.  This is unfortunate because his idea is exceptional and could change the way we monetize content, but there is a synapse between the idea and those who can finance that idea.  The gap occurs in not knowing which investor or corporation would jump on this idea once they discover its existence.  It’s this divide that TOKiBiz is looking to bridge by connecting the best ideas with the best resource to fund the application.  This pre-development stage is normally to early for VCs, angels don’t have the resources (time) to weed through the ideas, attend the meetings, develop the business model and brainstorm the possibilities, and corporations never thought to look at the problem from this perspective.  We do! 

What I do with TOKiBiz is meet with as many entrepreneurs as possible and help guide their idea into a business.  We have the technical and business contacts (and experience) to assist on this front but we desire the investment and/or corporate contact(s) for whom we can present the best of the best to.  For example, we have a retail application that most retailers would drool over if they only knew it existed.  With TOKiBiz they have the opportunity to get in at a fraction of the cost that they would incur if built on their own.   

Like a VC firm I weed through a lot of ideas and proposals that come to me – many don’t get past the email stage.  If the idea intrigues me enough then I’ll schedule a face to face meeting to learn more.  Generally these first meetings are meant to get a better understanding of what the entrepreneur is trying to create – most of it entails listening and asking questions.  From here I usually take the time to let the idea soak in to see if it sticks.  If yes then we generally meet again to brainstorm and start thinking about execution.  It is the process up to this stage where we at TOKiBiz can provide the most benefit to VCs, angels and corporations looking to capture the next great thinker, idea and application.  The beauty of this stage is the capital needed is less for a larger percentage of ownership.  In most cases we can build the application much more efficiently than a corporation would do if built internally.  Own a fraction of more for a fraction of the cost. 

I use to think that at some point ideas would eventually run dry.  Now I know this is definitely not the case for there are millions of ways to make our lives better.  Ways that we never thought of before and ways that couldn’t exist without the idea launched previous to ours.  For ideas keep building on the ideas of those who came before us.

Bizak Video Tutorials & Video Screenshots

August 4, 2008 Leave a comment

Below are a few video tutorials and video screenshots of Bizak and the Bizak benchmarks.  Click on the links below for the video demonstrations.

Types of Internet Startups & Websites

The current breakdown of the types of internet startups listed on Bizak.com.

Types of Internet Startups & Websites

brightkite

June 16, 2008 2 comments

Back in February I wrote about location based social networking and since then I’ve tested a number of them. For me brightkite is the exact application that I’ve been waiting for. Based in Denver, brightkite is a social network that revolves around your location. By “checking in” you can easily post comments and photos (online or mobile) about what you’re doing at a particular location. You can then view all the posts from a specific location and all those in your neighborhood.

Right now brightkite is in limited release but once the application is fully launched it will be a very useful tool for knowing what’s happening right now at your favorite store, bar, restaurant, coffee shop, etc.

If anyone is interested in using brightkite I have 4 invitations remaining. Just email me via Bizak and request a brightkite invitation.