As one of the partners of a Ruby on Rails software development agency, I speak with dozens of non-technical startup founders every week who are in various stages of building their first web or mobile application. The range of technical acumen, willingness to learn, and time and resources varies widely among the group.
As a firm, we’re not just competing with other NYC based agencies for their business, but also offshore devshops, freelancers, and in some cases, the prospective client who may want to execute internally.
At the end of the day, a non-technical founder who has decided that they must build something has two options: Pay someone else, or partner with people. Below are the pros and cons.
Starting a company is hard, and finding reliable advice along the way can be even harder. There are thousands of entrepreneurs, investors, and bloggers who claim to be experts, churning out new business advice every day, but how can you trust that it’s advice worth taking?
We’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite business blogs written by startup founders for aspiring entrepreneurs. These resources offer practical advice that is bound to keep you well-informed and inspired as you follow your business dreams.
However you want to come at your next career or business idea, we at General Assembly have a class to help you do it. With on-campus courses in 12 cities—including New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, London, Sydney, and Hong Kong—and online classes available everywhere, it’s just a matter of making your next move. Which will it be? Here are a few questions to help you find an educational opportunity that fits your goals and lifestyle.
Twice a year, Y Combinator, a seed funder named the top startup incubator and accelerator by Forbes, invests $120k in dozens of promising startups in exchange for 7% equity. As of 2013, Y Combinator has funded over 500 companies, and according to founder Paul Graham, the average valuation of Y Combinator-backed companies is $45.2 million. The infantile startups move to Silicon Valley for 3 intense months and are given the space, advice, and network to whip their businesses into the best possible shape before presenting their ideas to potential investors.
The hopes, dreams, and tireless work of these startup founders, web developers, and designers all culminate in one daylong event that has the power to change their lives, and perhaps our lives forever: That event is Demo Day.
Although bad news seems to be the order of the day, there is reason for optimism on many fronts–one of them being the future of employment in the U.S. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that a projected 20.5 million new jobs will have been added between 2010 and 2020, a 14.3% growth in employment. And if you’re technologically inclined (like us!), there’s even more reason to rejoice. Read on to find out which careers are most promising.Continue reading →
It’s Official: LinkedIn has emerged to claim its place as the better-dressed, networking-savvy big brother of all social media platforms. Although you may already appreciate the site for its infinite utility during a job search, there’s even more to be gleaned by following the influential and thought-provoking CEOs who come there to share their wisdom.
Although fewer than 1/3 of Top 500 CEOs use social media, according to Forbes, those that do are overwhelmingly active on LinkedIn. Even more telling, the site is actually more popular with CEOs than it is with the general public.
CC Image Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons User D-M Commons
With the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reporting the creation of a projected 20.5 million new jobs between 2010 and 2020, there’s never been a better time to brush up your skillset, dust off your resume, and find the perfect career. But the unique needs of technology-driven commerce dictate that certain skills will naturally have greater value than others. If you focus your effort on the areas that promise the greatest dividends, you’ll likely be rewarded with a handsome payout. Continue reading →
The path to entrepreneurial success is a treacherous one; full of sharp turns, menacing boulders, and forks in the road. Once you arrive at your destination (which may not be the one you set out for), it’s likely you’ve acquired some scrapes and bruises; life lessons that you’re happy to share with other brave souls who have the intensity, passion, and grit to follow in your footsteps.
This is certainly true for many of the business leaders who made it onto our Twitter list of both established and up-and-coming entrepreneurs. Each member takes to their Twitter to share their unique perspective and expert tips on a number of promising industries.
Let these entrepreneurs guide you as you trudge the road to startup success.
CC Image Courtesy of Brian Talbot, Flickr Creative Commons
Companies are sort of like sharks. Just as sharks must keep moving to avoid death, companies must keep growing. But large, well-established corporations often find it difficult to grow organically under an existing business model. Corporations are less nimble than startups, and more averse to risk. Because of reputation and shareholder expectation, they lack the ability to “pivot” the business when a product or idea is not working out as planned.
How can large corporations focus on product innovation in the same way that startups do? Through corporate entrepreneurship or intrapreneurship.
Pricing a product is a highly important yet deceptively tricky task. Highly important because it can determine how well your product performs on the market, thus laying the foundation for your business’s success. Deceptively tricky because while you might think you have enough experience as a consumer to come up with an appropriate number, the truth is that pricing a product requires a lot more than market comparisons and a hunch.
So what does it take to figure out your product’s worth? Let’s take a look.