The Exit Trap

exitI was with a friend recently who has a pretty exciting Internet startup company. He has raised some money and might raise more, his product is in beta and it’s good. It solves a difficult technical problem many companies are struggling with. We argued a little over the name of the product. Of course I thought my suggested name was better or certainly cleverer, but then he said, “It doesn’t matter because we’ll probably sell the company before the product ever ships. It may never appear at all.”

His company will exit almost before it enters. This is happening a lot lately and we generally think it is a good thing but it’s not.

If, like me, […]

Accidental Empires, Chapter 12 — On the Beach

tropicthunderGiven The Startup Channel this chapter on startups is very important. We also cover shareware and I want to point out that Buttonware founder Jim Knopf asked me to respect his pseudonym “Jim Button.” Who was I to argue with that? 

ACCIDENTAL EMPIRES

CHAPTER TWELVE

ON THE BEACH

America’s advantage in the PC business doesn’t come from our education system, from our fluoridated water, or, Lord knows, from our tax structure. And it doesn’t come from some innate ability we have to run big companies with thousands of employees and billions in sales. The main thing America has had going for it is the high-tech start-up, and, […]

JOBS Act crowdfunding is unlikely to help most startups

Earlier this year I wrote a series of columns about crowdfunding and the JOBS Act, which was signed into law last April with several goals, one of which was to help startups raise money from ordinary investors. Those columns were about the promise of crowdfunding and the JOBS Act while this one is about what progress has been made so far toward that end. For startups, alas, the news is not entirely good. Crowdfunding looks like it may not be available at all for the smaller, needier companies the law was supposedly designed to serve.

It’s one thing to pass a law and quite another to write rules to carry out that law. Title 3 […]

The crowdfunding bubble of 2013 part 2 — crooks and con men

Legal crowdfunding is coming, as I explained in the first part of this series. Thanks to the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act, investors big and small will soon have new ways to buy shares in startups and other small companies. This should be very good for growing companies and for the economy overall, but there’s peril for individual investors from scammers likely to be operating in the early days of this new law.

Most concerns hearken back to the Banking Act of 1933, enacted to bring order and regulation to the banking industry during the Great Depression.  It was the collapse of the banking industry, not the stock market crash, that did most of the damage […]

Collaborize, Rinse, Repeat

I’d been putting-off going to startups.cringely.com to finally read all 286 entries so far in this summer’s Cringely (NOT in Silicon Valley) Startup Tour.  But when I finally went to the site, I couldn’t get in.  The page timed-out.  This was not good.  Or maybe it was very good in that the site was so busy.  But even that’s not good because I don’t like turning readers away.  So which was it — good or not good?

Not good.

Twelve hours later, when I still couldn’t get in I called the CTO at the company that hosts that site — Democrasoft.  You haven’t heard about them, believe me, and I’ll […]

By |March 23rd, 2010|2010|76 Comments