This Week In Startups
It's that time again, and this week's update brings you a new mobile app, insight on why startups die, and reasoning for why London is the next hottest tech hub. Check it out:
All Things Cool
Imagine going about your daily routine, wondering where to go after work, and suddenly receiving a phone notification with a suggestion based on friends' ratings. This is Blipboard. In a nutshell, Blipboard "lets you know about all the cool things happening around you and lets you 'tune' into location-based updates from friends and professionals," according to VentureBeat.
Aneil Mallavarapu, Blipboard co-founder, was trained as a cell biologist and biochemist. He wrote a computer language which simulated the biochemistry of cell-cell communication. From there, Mallavarapu began thinking about why social networks like Twitter are used and how they become popular. His science background allowed him to recognize that just as cells signal each other with molecules, people signal each other through Blipboard using pins on a map.
Currently, Blipboard is only available on iOS, but the startup plans on expanding its app to the Windows phone, Android and the web. Stay tuned for further updates on this revolutionary app!
If you Googled, "Why startups fail," you would likely find a host of blog posts and personal tips as to why some sink and some float. The Next Web published a thoughtful article explaining the process of startup death and how to avoid it.
Andrew Montalenti gives us seven "post mortems" for startups, and I have listed the first three:
Marriage trouble. As cliche as it sounds, founder partnerships can, to some degree, be compared to a marriage. You will see your co-founder more than anyone during the early-stage process, and if you folks can't survive the "beginning years of marriage", the startup won't, either.
No bootstrapping plan. Sadly, many startups that graduate from an accelerator program do not receive follow-on funding. Your best bet is to expect the first two years to withhold external funding. Without that preparation and mentality, your startup probably on't survive.
Startup is a career move. The first three years of your startup will probably be spent validating your market and product, establishing team culture and getting the startup off the ground. The next three years may include growing your team and scaling your business. Even if you are fast-growing, be ready to scale back due to market evolution, management mishaps, etc. Always be on your toes.
Can your startup overcome death? Montalenti thinks so, as long as you keep moving forward. Read the rest of his post mortem list and learn from the trends he's observed over the years. In his words, "the way to win is to keep playing".
Tech Heat Wave in London
London is known as an innovative place to work and live, but more recently it has established itself as a tech hub. It's not surprising, but we must ask, how did this happen?
One of the main driving forces behind this transformation is co-working space. These spaces have helped launch many early-stage startups in London. One of the most notable spaces is TechHub, a space that occupies two locations. The city also hosts many accelerators such as Springboard.
So what advantage does London have over other big cities? It's talent. Paula Byrne, Amazon UK Managing Director, gave the reason for locating Amazon's Development Center to London as, "we believe that the capital is brimming with world-class tech talent". It turns out that the economic downturn and job loss gave birth to a host of talented developers and designers eager to build their own products and services. Matched with a wealth of marketers and entrepreneurs, London is the world's next hottest tech scene.