Essays from Peter Thiel’s Stanford class on startups. In a nutshell, freely available material like this is why I am a college dropout. Every essay is worth reading — queue up your Pocket. I particularly appreciated this one on markets, competition, and monopolies. (via Spittle)
How I failed: Six lessons learned. Wonderful set of insights from Tim O’Reilly. Number four is a very hard problem to solve.
The Anti-Dropout. Two pieces: the technical problems of the next decade won’t be solved with knowledge that can be self-taught, and the next generation of innovation will come from large organizations where credentials matter.
Doubling SaaS Revenue By Changing The Pricing Model. “Most customers do not care about price… those that do are disproportionately terrible customers.”
One startup in this class at PIE is KS12. As a creative studio, they’re breaking the mold of what you typically might see at a tech incubator. Plus, they’re powered by WordPress. Pretty neat.
Here’s the problem: I, like many people I know, drive too many places all alone in my car. One person in a three ton metal vehicle that could easily transport five. To move all of that mass around, with such unused, waste internal space, is an inefficient use of energy.
Here’s one solution: ad-hoc transportation. Capitalizing on the triple convergence between location-aware devices (iPhone 2 on June 9th, anyone?), social networking (Facebook, Twitter, et al), and an absurd number of nearly empty cars on the road (suburban America), the goal should be to connect people with people who are pointed in the same destination.
I like to think of funded startups vs. bootstrapped web sites like the split between signed and unsigned bands.
Think about what a band has to do if they sign with a major label. They write music, perform/record it, and play it. Now think about people like Prince, Aimee Mann, etc. that do every single aspect of their music themselves. They have to create and record and distribute music, but also book tours and hotels and hire roadies and even oversee building websites. On the positive side, those going their own way talk about making more money from lower record sales than they did on a label, even though they do a significant amount of work.
So it’s a lot of work, but I would argue it’s totally appropriate for anything that isn’t a huge world-changing idea. And there are a lot of benefits that come from it.
When I look around the world, the businesses that dominate don’t seem to be the ones that formed around process as a rallying cry. Rather, they adapted processes to bolster world-changing, market-creating ideas. The world doesn’t need a lean startup, or a developed customer, or a REWORK’d business; it needs solutions to problems, magic where previously there was darkness. How that magic happens is interesting and maybe even useful as a basis for other people running businesses to compare to, but it’s not a recipe for success.
Alex Payne — On Business Madness
Tech Wizards of the Silicon Forest. Great profiles of what’s being worked on in Portland.