Posts tagged ‘business plan’

Emotional intelligence and startup fundraising (“Pathos”)

June 27th, 2011 by Greg Boutin
Emotional Intelligence (EQ) skills by four qua...

Image by slark via Flickr

In my previous post, I explained the importance of a logical business case anchored in compelling facts. I’ll expand in a future post on how to build a solid case. First, let’s highlight that in practice, compelling business cases will frequently fail to convince investors. And occasionally, entrepreneurs with evidently subpar business cases will manage to close a financing round. Why is that?

In a nutshell: because investors are people too. Yes… even venture capitalists. Since some may disagree on whether they have a heart, let’s just call it a right brain – the part of our brain that contains the subjective, intuitive functions.

Investors use their right brain extensively when making go-or-no-go investment decisions. While those decisions might sometimes seem illogical as a result, there are several reasons investors rely on more than just a purely analytical approach: (more…)

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Attention Web 3.0 start-ups: redirect 25% of your R&D budget to market validation

July 9th, 2009 by Greg Boutin

In my observations on the Semantic Technology conference last month, I mentioned I would be blogging separately about the dire lack of investments by Web 3.0 start-ups in market understanding and marketing.

Before I start, let me signal some conflict of interest here: in the course of my job, I lead efforts on market understanding and positioning, brand awareness and lead generation. The idea is that developing my market is in the interest of start-ups with a stake in Web 3.0 and the semantic web. I get more business when they do :) But please do discount my words for this bias, and decide for yourself, when all is said and done, whether we have a solid case here or not.

My main claim with this post is that companies in the Web 3.0 and semantic web space are downright bad at filling unmet
needs, packaging their offer effectively and cutting through the market
noise to secure users and revenues. It even appears this incapacity to grow revenues has a direct impact on their
ability to make money (ok, it’s sunny outside, after five days of clouds there is no harm in having a little fun, is there? ;)

The large and growing number of players at SemTech told me that we are already in a crowded market. And yet: few real products, and very few sales. Most of the people there live on R&D funding from public institutions and overtrusting angels, not client receivables.

Why? (more…)

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Slides of Communitech Presentation on Overcoming the Tech vs. Business Type Divide

July 2nd, 2009 by Greg Boutin

As previously announced, I was at Communitech last Friday to talk with their Product Management group about the key challenges to launching blockbuster tech products. I decided  to tackle the divide between Techies and Biz types, as this has consistently been one of the main hurdles I saw at the ventures I work with. I was a little worried as at first I expected possible controversies over some of the points I brought up, but to my surprise this resonated well and strongly with most people in the room. About half the room were techies and the other biz types, so the distribution was spread nicely in the middle. There were no punch exchanges, mud fights or even light food fights (or food light fights for that matter).

I posted my presentation on Slideshare, so you can find it below. I had two hours at Communitech so this is quite a long deck of 40 slides. It’s all there. For those who attended, note I revamped quite a bit of it and there are several slides I didn’t show during our discussion. So you  can take a fresh look at it.

Slideshare did a poor job with the graphics so, for example, the cover page I was so proud of is all scrambled. Time permitting, I am available to deliver this presentation at other forums and welcome invitations. Rest assured I have unscrambled slides to present.

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Don’t Miss: Semantic Web Gang, Web 3.0 Conference, Semantic Technology Conference

April 25th, 2009 by Greg Boutin

I am finally back “on the air” after a long period of intensive work for clients of my consulting practice. My blog didn’t miss this chance to give me the usual guilt trip in return. Those things take a life of their own…

Things happened nonetheless in the semantic web space:

  • On the business side of the web 3.0 and the semantic web, I had a number discussions with a few start-ups in the field. A generation of
    companies is growing and coming up with mind-blowing technologies
    focused on solving real problems,
    ranging from detecting the broader interests of an advertising audience, to enabling intelligent platforms to manage complex insurance businesses, and to tagging online content and enabling more intelligent sharing and product recommendations. [Plug alert!] I look forward to helping them fine-tune their market approach, scale their operations and revenue, and raise funding where needed. A current client of mine received an excellent term sheet from a VC, so there is still money around for start-ups with a good business story. I helped them secure it by running a full market program for them (now in phase 2) involving a number of components (see my services at www.growthroute.com) and helping them present a coherent and well-supported story on the revenue side [end of plug!] (more…)

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