• What To Do When A Tech Giant Decides To Eat Your Lunch

    What To Do When A Tech Giant Decides To Eat Your Lunch

    Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by (@msuster) Mark Suster, a 2x entrepreneur, now VC at GRP Partners. Read more about Suster at Bothsidesofthetable Any company who develops products reliant on iOS spends weeks crapping their pants before WWDC. No vacation schedules allowed for weeks before or weeks after. The announcements come out in one day and then even if you survive the… Read More

  • Is There A Peak Age for Entrepreneurship?

    Is There A Peak Age for Entrepreneurship?

    Editor’s note: Adeo Ressi, is the founder of The Founder Institute and TheFunded.com In this guest post he argues against ageism when it comes to to entrepreneurs. Ressi is 39. The recent articles proclaiming that 25 is the peak age for entrepreneurship deserve a considered and factual response. The demographic and racial profiling that has plagued venture capital and tech… Read More

  • You Need to Win the Battle for Share of Mind

    You Need to Win the Battle for Share of Mind

    Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by (@msuster) Mark Suster, a 2x entrepreneur, now VC at GRP Partners. Read more about Suster at Bothsidesofthetable Are we headed for a long era of innovation in which startups are the new norm? Are we seeing a time in which pre-revenue companies are more valuable than our offline institutional brands? Yes, there is unprecedented innovation. The era… Read More

  • Women of Color in Tech: How Can We Encourage Them?

    Over the last five years, I have taught more than 300 really smart students. One of the smartest, at the Masters of Engineering Management at Duke University, was Viva Leigh Miller, a black woman. She had the ambition of moving to Silicon Valley after she graduated last year. I expected she would become a hotshot CEO. But Viva couldn’t get a job in the Valley—despite introductions… Read More

  • Friends Don’t Let Friends Get Into Finance

    After having been a tech executive for many years, I needed to take a break, and I wanted to give back to society. Duke University engineering dean Kristina Johnson gave me a great spiel about how the school’s Masters of Engineering Management program churns out great engineers, and how engineers solve the world’s problems. She said that I could make a big impact by teaching… Read More

  • My Ordeal—and the Firestorm—in Boston

    As TechCrunch readers know by now, I speak my mind and don’t shy away from controversy. I am even more provocative when I talk to students. My goal is to make them think outside the box. I encourage students not only to challenge authority, but also to challenge me. I tell them that with my research on globalization, entrepreneurship, and U.S. competitiveness, I am learning as I go; no… Read More

  • What Exactly is a Business Model?

    Everyone in the tech world talks about business models. But I’ll bet that if you quizzed a random sample of these people, you’d find that they really don’t know what a business model is. I did just that with my students at UC-Berkeley. Most raised their hands, and MBA student Blake Brundidge’s attempt to answer the question was a valiant one—but none of them… Read More

  • Chile’s Grand Innovation Experiment

    Regions all over the world have spent millions—sometimes billions—of dollars trying to create their own Silicon Valley. They drank the same Kool-Aid and used the same recipe: start with a research university; build a fancy tech park next it; give tax breaks to chosen companies to locate in the park; attract venture capital by offering matching investments; and watch the magic… Read More

  • How China’s Entrepreneurs Are Helping It Win

    Bob Compton and I finally have something to agree about. The Washington, D.C.–based venture capitalist produced a provocative documentary, 2 Million Minutes, which tracked six students—two each in the U.S., India, and China—during their senior year of high school. It showed the Indian and Chinese students slogging to learn mathematics and science, and the Americans partying… Read More

  • Are You A Pirate?

    Are You A Pirate?

    I read blog posts by Don Dodge and Glenn Kelman today about people jumping from Google to Facebook and it got me thinking about entrepreneurs. Most people have an aversion to risk, my college economics professor told me. Which means they have to be rewarded to take on that risk. The higher the risk, the higher the possible payout has to be for people to jump. We make risk/reward decisions… Read More

  • The Goldmine Of Opportunities In Gov 2.0

    The Goldmine Of Opportunities In Gov 2.0

    Seeing a need to help 60 million Americans manage their $4 trillion dollars in retirement accounts, Mike and Ryan Alfred launched BrightScope in 2008. They headed to Washington, DC, to obtain electronic data on 401K plans from the Department of Labor. They assumed that since every employer is required to provide the government with this information, it would be readily available to any… Read More

  • Japan: To Fix Your Economy, Honor Your Failed Entrepreneurs

    After visiting Okinawa, Japan, and meeting with global experts on innovation, I’ve come to the conclusion that Silicon Valley’s greatest advantage isn’t its diversity; it is the fact that it accepts and glorifies failure. Like many other countries, Japan has tried replicating Silicon Valley. It built fancy tech parks, provided subsidies for R&D, and even created a… Read More

  • Men and Women Entrepreneurs: Not That Different

    Men and Women Entrepreneurs: Not That Different

    In any debate, it is easy to revert to anecdote and highlight examples that exemplify one point of view. Recent TechCrunch posts about women in tech have done just that. The latest of these claimed that women don’t want to run startups, because they’d rather have children. I can understand why: TechCrunch and its editors focus on the Silicon Valley/Web 2.0 world. In this world… Read More

  • Should Entrepreneurs Bet It All On The Billion Dollar Exit, Or Cash Out Small?

    One of the most interesting discussions at TechCrunch’s Disrupt conference was the debate between the “super angels” and VCs. No, I’m not referring to “AngelGate” or the question of which investor group squeezes entrepreneurs the most. Despite what they say, all investors are in the game for personal financial gain; it’s not about nurturing… Read More

  • Students: You Are Probably Not Mark Zuckerberg, So Stay In School

    Instead of another boring lecture, last week my students at UC-Berkeley got quite a treat: a lively discussion with TechCrunch founder Mike Arrington. I once described Mike as a cross between Oprah Winfrey and Howard Stern; so I was ready for a little controversy. But he ended up lighting such a big fire, that I’ve been bombarded with questions from students about their education and… Read More

  • Can Russia Build A Silicon Valley?

    A few months ago, I wrote about why I believed that Russia’s planned “science city” was destined for failure, in my BusinessWeek column. I predicted it would follow the path of the hundreds of cluster development projects before it. Political leaders would hold press conferences to claim credit for advancing science and technology; management consultants would earn hefty… Read More

  • Tech Industry Managers: Little Men in Big Shoes?

    Tech Industry Managers: Little Men in Big Shoes?

    When I was ready to transition from computer programmer to project manager, my employer, Xerox Corporation, sent me to its huge training center in Leesburg, Virginia. Over two weeks, the people there taught me some of the skills I needed in order to succeed in my new role: managing projects, motivating people, complying with employment regulations, and preparing status reports and presentations. Read More

  • Silicon Valley’s Dark Secret: It’s All About Age

    Silicon Valley’s Dark Secret: It’s All About Age

    An interesting paradox in the technology world is that there is both a shortage and a surplus of engineers in the United States. Talk to those working at any Silicon Valley company, and they will tell you how hard it is to find qualified talent. But listen to the heart-wrenching stories of unemployed engineers, and you will realize that there are tens of thousands who can’t get jobs. Read More

  • Chop-Shop Workers and Bootstrappers: Chile Really Wants You

    Chop-Shop Workers and Bootstrappers: Chile Really Wants You

    Silicon Valley’s vitality depends on a constant influx of bright people who challenge its inhabitants to work harder and think smarter. And, as I noted in my last post, America’s economy depends on startups to create jobs and innovation. Skilled immigrants have provided both. So, given the miserable state of the economy, we should be laying out the welcome mat for the… Read More

  • Startups Or Behemoths: Which Are We Going To Bet On?

    Startups Or Behemoths: Which Are We Going To Bet On?

    I knew I would be touching a raw nerve with my last two posts, on patents. But I was really surprised at the divergence of opinion. Entrepreneurs overwhelmingly supported my stance that software patents hamper innovation and need to be abolished, but friends in Microsoft, IBM, and Google were outraged at my recommendation. The big companies’ executives argued that abolishing patents… Read More