Archives For innovation

Fred Wilson, one of the world’s most prominent venture capitalists, shares the three big coming trends in tech. He has invested in the early stages of companies like Twitter, Tumblr, Foursquare, Zynga, Kickstarter and Bitcoin. His ideas about business trends are really interesting, both for investors and for startup entrepreneurs. Wilson talked at LeWeb conference in Paris (December, 10, 2013) and he used as an example for each megatrend, some startup companies from his own portfolio (USV).

“We don’t think about technologies, we think about trends, we think about what’s happening in society, what’s happening with people, in terms of how people behave. The technologies are important; but we don’t like to invest in mobile, or big data, or machine learning or those kind of things. We think about them, they matter to us, but we really think about things from a behavioral and a societal point of view.”

Megatrend 1: Technology Driven Networks are Replacing Traditional Bureaucratic Hierarchies

Bureaucratic hierarchies are the way that the world has been organized for the past couple hundred years. Markets, governments and businesses have one person on the top of the pyramid organizational structure controlling everything. Transaction and communication costs were so high in the industrial era that that was the most efficient way to organize work. But we are now in the information age, where technology-driven networks are replacing  bureaucratic hierarchies. Some examples are: Continue Reading…

Leadership Lessons from Steve Jobs (the late and great CEO of Apple)

Today I bring you a two-minute video of Steve Jobs. He gives us a lot of tips about how to lead a company. His ideas are just as useful for big companies as they are for startups. In fact, Jobs explains that “Apple is organized like a startup”, the biggest on the planet, of course. Continue Reading…

Hesham3

In 2007, when I first met Hesham Salman, he just had an idea: starting a company that would put the value of his thorough knowledge of polymer nanoencapsulation by applying them to multiple sectors. It was an idea that was more than innovative, it was quite disruptive: it consisted in the application of nanotechnology techniques to biotechnology, pharmacology, food manufacturing, fertilizer, etc. Continue Reading…

David  Gomez Linkedin 000dc53

One of my favourite films is Blade Runner. In this film, genetically engineered robots called “replicants” are so similar to human beings that they even have their own implanted memories. I felt fascinated by this idea and others similar in Blade Runner, like the unicorn dream. So when I heard about Hiyalife, a website where you can store your memories, I got immediately interested about it. Last week I heard that David Gómez, Hiyalife co-founder, came to my city to give a workshop for entrepreneurs. Therefore, I decided to attend the workshop and it really deserved applause. David told such good advice for start-ups entrepreneurs that I asked him for an interview to share with you. Continue Reading…

Seed Money

NadieLabs, a Spanish consultancy firm specialized in entrepreneurship and innovation in business models, interviewed me last month. They asked me about how to get funding for a startup. I tried to capture the main financial possibilities that an entrepreneur have when he launch an innovative company. I also try to give clues about how easy or difficult it is to get each financing option. This is the interview: Continue Reading…

Broken Chair

I frequently use a metaphor of a chair when I advise entrepreneurs. I compare the viability of a company with a four-legged chair. If any of the four legs is missing, perhaps you can keep sitting on the chair for a while, but when you lose balance you fall. When two legs of the chair are broken, then a fall is sure!

What are the four legs of the viability of a company?

THE FIRST LEG OF THE CHAIR: TECHNICAL VIABILITY

This is about entrepreneurs or their teams who dominate the production process. The means of production and the appropriate technology should be available, and entrepreneurs should be able to own it. As a conclusion the company should be able to produce something that works.

The technical viability leg is usually the first thing that entrepreneurs achieve, because entrepreneurs normally start a business on something that they control and that they have knowledge in. However, this is not the case for some entrepreneurs and their business projects start limping from lack of technical viability.

An entrepreneur wanted to develop and to sell an innovative tool for household recycling. Continue Reading…

Chasing the Dream

Some business projects require exorbitant figures of funding in proportion to the entrepreneur capital. These projects are out of your reach, unless your father is a millionaire or you’re a genius. This idea seems obvious, but some entrepreneurs love their idea so much that they do not see it that way.

I remember an entrepreneur presenting his project in a forum of investors. He needed three million euros, because he needed to set up a manufacturing plant. Continue Reading…

“The last person [needed in a company] is the HR person. They’re the destroyer of companies.” Don Valentine

Interview of Tom Perkins and Don Valentine. Both venture capitalists founded two of the first VC firms in USA in 1972. Perkins founded Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB), which invested in more than 500 companies in their fledgling stages, including AOL, Amazon, Citrix, Genentech y Google. Valentine Sequoia Capital, which then invested in Apple, Atari, Cisco, Youtube and others startups.

I want to ask forgiveness from my brother and all my HR friends for publishing this. I don’t completely agree with it, but the explanation the interviewee’s gives is very interesting. Valentine and Perkins were interviewed by TechCrunch Disrupt SF the 11th of September 2013. I have extracted the most interesting portions of this interview.

What kind of ideas did they liked most to invest in? What kind of entrepreneurs did they deal with?

Perkins explains that he invested “in the idea because bad people don’t have good ideas. I’d look at the back pages to see if the numbers were big, and then if they were I’d look at the front pages to see what the business was.” Continue Reading…

Tubos de Ensayo

– It is a company that uses scientific and technological knowledge systematically and continuously to produce new goods or services with high added value.

– They mainly operate in top-level strategic sectors, such as microelectronics, biotechnology, medical device, nanotechnology, etc.

– They perform R & D in-house or in close cooperation with universities and research centers.

– Many start-ups are not technology-based companies.

– Similar terms: knowledge-based companies, new technology-based firms.

Some technology-based startups in my region, (Navarre, Spain) are: Bionanoplus, Orbital Aerospace, Lev2050, Recombina, Proinec, Pharmamodelling, Kunak, ….

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Mini Cuadernos JoJaJo

Copies of the first and second version of my mini-notebooks

A couple of years ago, when I started reading about “lean startup“, the entrepreneurship methodology by Eric Ries, I remembered a story from my school days that may serve to illustrate the basic features of this methodology.

When I was ten, Santa Claus never brought me my Scalextric car racing game, instead gave me a useful stapler. When we were in class and an assignment needed to be stapled, we used to ask the teacher to do it for us with his own stapler. So with my new gift, my classmate and I decided to make several small writing notebooks that would serve to help us remember our assignments. Continue Reading…