Calling all tech company bootstrappers

An absolutely Uber round of funding

When should you give up?

That’s a trick question

2nd Year anniversary – Hawaii Student Entrepreneurs – YouTube

Proud and honored to be a part of this!

2nd Year anniversary – Hawaii Student Entrepreneurs – YouTube.

Startup and Entreprenuerial Advice

I had the pleasure of appearing on the Andy Bumatai show and we mostly talked about startups, entreprenuering, and the school of hard knocks. I suggest you take a look at it. I think you’ll like it.

Two things to think about, (1) Is what we actually talked about and (2) is that Andy has what I think is an interesting model of taking shows online. I think he’s got something here.

Inside the mind of investors and angels

I’m a big fan of Paul Graham and had the pleasure to meet him personally when I spoke @ MIT about one of my inventions (PDF).

If you’re pondering starting up a tech company and are looking for money, I suggest you read his essay, “The Hacker’s Guide to Investors“.

In classic Graham style, he’s talking to you, the geek. Good stuff. Read it.

Paul covers these points:

1. The investors are what make a startup hub.
2. Angel investors are the most critical.
3. Angels don’t like publicity.
4. Most investors, especially VCs, are not like founders.
5. Most investors are momentum investors.
6. Most investors are looking for big hits.
7. VCs want to invest large amounts.
8. Valuations are fiction.
9. Investors look for founders like the current stars.
10. The contribution of investors tends to be underestimated.
11. VCs are afraid of looking bad.
12. Being turned down by investors doesn’t mean much.
13. Investors are emotional.
14. The negotiation never stops till the closing.
15. Investors like to co-invest.
16. Investors collude.
17. Large-scale investors care about their portfolio, not any individual company.
18. Investors have different risk profiles from founders.
19. Investors vary greatly.
20. Investors don’t realize how much it costs to raise money from them.
21. Investors don’t like to say no.
22. You need investors.
23. Investors like it when you don’t need them.

Marketing Tips

Guy Kawasaki’s blog excerpted a few points from ” Geek Marketing 101“, which I think offers from very straight and simple (i.e. elegant) marketing points and they are:

  1. Marketing is not a department.
  2. Marketing is a conversation, but most people don’t speak geek.
  3. Simplicity does not negate complexity.
  4. Think what, not how?
  5. Think will, not can.
  6. Only you RTFM.
  7. Technical Support is marketing.
  8. You’re not marketing to people who hate marketing.
  9. You’re not marketing to people who hate technology products.
  10. Marketing demystifies.

Got Startup? Don’t make these mistakes

I had the pleasure and honor of hanging w/ Paul Graham a few years ago and love what he writes. Here’s his “18 Mistakes That Kill Startups” :

  1. Single Founder
  2. Bad Location
  3. Marginal Niche
  4. Derivative Idea
  5. Obstinacy
  6. Hiring Bad Programmers
  7. Choosing the Wrong Platform
  8. Slowness in Launching
  9. Launching Too Early
  10. Having No Specific User in Mind
  11. Raising Too Little Money
  12. Spending Too Much
  13. Raising Too Much Money
  14. Poor Investor Management
  15. Sacrificing Users to (Supposed) Profit
  16. Not Wanting to Get Your Hands Dirty
  17. Fights Between Founders
  18. A Half-Hearted Effort

IP Licensing Conference in Hawaii

Interested in learning more about successful IP models?

Attend the 2nd Annual Hawaii Intellectual Property Licensing Conference

  • Co-sponsors: High Technology Development Corp., and Intellectual Property & Technology Section of HSBA
  • Date: Friday, October 20, 2006, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
  • Place: Ala Moana Hotel, Hibiscus Ballroom, 2nd Floor
  • Online registration at:
  • Contact: Patty Low, (808) 947-3101 or

This year’s IPL Conference, “Turning New Technologies & Creative Ideas Into Profits”, will focus on practical business models, marketing methods, and licensing resources to assist Hawaii entrepreneurs, business professionals, and investors with selling or licensing technology inventions and creative ideas successfully. Visiting guest speakers include Richard C. Levy, a marketing tour de force who has licensed some 125 inventions generating over a billion dollars in revenues, and Henk B. Rogers, President and CEO of Blue Planet Software, Inc., who has made a huge success with IP licensing in Hawaii.

Hat Tip to Leighton Chong for driving this conference. Yours truly will also be speaking there.

Setting up for a good acquisition

Preparing for a Successful M&A Exit

Google’s $1.6 billion acquisition of YouTube sprang to life during breakfast at Denny’s just a few short weeks ago – or so the story goes. For this and many other reasons, the YouTube deal is really the exception rather than the rule of M&A today.

There is an old saying: a product well bought is half sold. The most successful software acquisitions are those which are carefully crafted well in advance. Understanding today’s M&A landscape and the new standards involved will help emerging companies ensure a strong exit.

Key points are:

  • Start Early
  • Be Prepared
  • Say “No”
  • Be Patient
  • Know the Buyer Landscape
  • Value Realistically
  • Go Early
  • Look Big
  • Be Ready for Audits
  • Know Your Buyer
  • Meet Deep