Tagged: startup

Startup deadly sins

Roger Ehrenberg has a great post about failure and the seven deadly mistakes to avoid in a start-up:

  1. The lack of a single, "the buck stops here" leader until too late in the game
  2. No separation between the technology organization and the product organization
  3. Too much PR, too early
  4. Too much money
  5. Not close enough to the customer
  6. Slow to adapt to market reality
  7. Disagreement on strategy both within the Company and with the Board

The blog post in awesome read.

I had that idea years ago!


(Photo by Andrew)

That’s not just the heading of a 37 Signals blog post, that’s actually the subject line of many emails I receive in the Ideeplex. It makes me smile once in a while specially when it comes to TinEye! I mean sure we all have thought about going to the moon or building a great blogging tool or just a simple contact management system that even my mother could use. We all have ideas. Ideas are a dime a dozen. No really. I am not kidding. But what’s the difference between your idea (I know you have been thinking about it for years) and my idea? Execution. That’s the only tiny little difference.

When someone else is having success with an idea similar to yours, it’s
almost like you’re having that success, if only you would have pulled
the trigger on it. It inflates the sense that your brilliant idea
really was brilliant and that success was just a binary switch away

Yes… if only! As Jevon from StartupNorth says: Stop lying to yourself and get moving.

DemoCamp 18 in Toronto


Photo by Jennifer

It is time for another DemoCamp.
DemoCamp 18 will be held in July. We have all been extremely busy and
it has been a few months since our last DemoCamp (held in February!).
So put on your blue suede shoes and join us. Details below.

For those of you who are new to DemoCamp: DemoCamp is one of the must attend events (well besides Founders and Funders)
of the Toronto tech and startup community. Don’t be shy. If you need
introductions or need to figure out who does what, show up early and
introduce yourself to the DemoCamp stewards. We will be happy to
connect you with others with similar interests (we are all geeks! some
of us are even super geeks…).

DemoCamp is brought to you by (in alphabetical order by last name!): David Crow, Jay Goldman, Joey DeVilla, Jay Goldman, Greg Wilson and yours truly.

DemoCamp Details:

  • When: Tuesday, July 15th, 2008 from 17:30 to 21:00
  • Where: Supermarket, 268 Augusta Avenue, Toronto
  • Registration can be done here

When you register to attend DemoCamp, you will notice that there are 3 type of registration fees:
– A general ticker: these tickets are free. You will need to register as soon as possible as these sell out very very quickly
– Community supporter tickets: these tickets cost $5 and this fee goes
toward supporting DemoCamp and helps defray any costs associated with
holding DemoCamp
– Community all-star ticket: These tickets cost $10 and again help us
defray costs associated with holding DemoCamp. If you are an awesome
supporter you would buy one of these tickets!
– Sponsor tickets: These are limited to 5 sponsor and cost $200

For DemoCamp 18, we are looking for the best demos and ignite presentations ever…Apply to demo here.

The no Powerpoint (or Keynote) rules apply to DemoCamp, so bring
your application and leave the slides home. See you around folks.

StartupCamp Toronto


StartupCamp Toronto is happening next week and it is going to be awesome and I am not just saying that because I will be opening up the sessions with a kick ass presentation… I am saying that it is going to be awesome because so so much is happening in the Toronto startup scene right now. The scene is a far cry from what I saw just a couple of years ago and I am sure, totally sure that it has to do with the maturity of the tech community in Toronto. I am loving it!

I am looking forward to seeing everyone, fresh faces and the VCs who will venture out of their respective dens to grace us with their presence. All kidding aside: I am very happy to be participating at StartupCamp. I can guarantee you:

  • smart VCs: oh yeah, the smart ones will be there!
  • great entrepreneurs to talk to and learn from
  • great sharing of knowledge
  • great potential employees to hire (keep your eyes peeled for great talent!)
  • a fantastic opportunity to get to know your community and get involved and perhaps join a startup if you are not currently working at one (what are you waiting for?)
  • and most importantly a set of innovative companies who may be the talk of town in the months to come

I can’t help you with tickets as I think they are now sold out; but if you would have loved to participate, please ping Jevon MacDonald to make sure that he starts working on StartupCamp 3 for Toronto. The great folks at StartupNorth are doing a great job of keeping the spotlight on startups.

The format for the StartupCamp ievening next week is simple: 5 Startups will have 5 minutes each to pitch. The audience will then have 10 minutes to ask them a series of questions, typically "are you a pain killer or an a vitamin" type of questions, marketing plans, growth plans and so forth. The startups will be selected in advance and the list of presenting companies announced before the event. Watch StartupNorth for further details.

Founders and Funders

From David:

    “you only need two kinds of people to create a technology hub: rich people and nerds” – Paul Graham

David and Jevon are putting together a Founders and Funders evening on January 21, 2008. The inaugural Founders and Funders Dinner in Toronto will take place at Monsoon on Monday January 21. David provides full details here. I am looking forward to attending and meeting founders from other Toronto startups as well as our funding community. This is exactly what I would prescribe for the Toronto start up and funding communities. An event where we could both learn about each other and meet interesting people no matter the funding stage. The first Founders and Funders dinner in Canada was held in Montreal last November, I hope to see more F&F events in 2008 across Canada.

Date: Jan 21, 2008
Time: 5:30pm – 9:30pm
What: Founders & Funders Dinner
Location: Monsoon Restaurant, 100 Simcoe St, Toronto

Ping me if you are attending.

Hit it hard baby!

Stop finessing the details and hit it hard.
Your start up will thank you later. I attended one of the first STIRR get together in silicon valley a while back. I was impressed and stayed in touch with some of the people I met at STIRR. I try to make it when I can, silicon valley visits permitting that is! I am sorry I missed James Currier’s presentation last week. It was a great one. For those of you who are unfamiliar with STIRR – STIRR is a network. Its goal is to catalyze entrepreneurial activity in the SF Bay area and beyond. The events are typically invite only, but they are designed by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs.

The videos of the 3 founders presenting that evening can be viewed on the STIRR blog.