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The increasing importance of right first time execution

This Tweet from my friend Nicholas Lovell got me thinking about the changing dynamics of starting companies generally:

RT @LewieP: It is easier to make a game so more people make a game so it is harder to sell a game. <- this is something many miss.

— Nicholas Lovell (@nicholaslovell) April 9, 2014

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Ev Williams’ formula for a billion dollar business

At a recent XOXO conference Ev Williams, founder of Twitter and Medium, gave his formula for a billion dollar business (as reported in Wired):

Here’s the formula if you want to build a billion-dollar internet company. Take a human desire, preferably one that has been around for a really long time…Identify that desire and use [...]

The ideal length of subject lines, tweets, etc.

If content marketing is your game then Buffer just published some great data for you: The ideal length of everything online. Here’s the short version

Tweets: 100 characters Blog post headlines: 6 words (I just chopped three words of the title of this post…) Email subject line: 28-39 characters URLs: 8 characters Youtube videos: 3 [...]

Balancing the short and long term

One of the hardest things for entrepreneurs can be knowing whether to pay more or less attention to the short or the long term. It’s easy to go wrong doing either. I’m thinking about this today following a discussion I had with a portfolio company yesterday and after reading this quote from Index Ventures [...]

To be human is to be transhuman – Jason Silva

I’m a big fan of Jason Silva. He’s a modern day beat poet with a keen interest in the singularity - the point in the future when the human species transcends it’s biological form by merging with technology. Video is his medium and I’ve posted some of his work here before. His latest short video, [...]

The large cost of telling small lies

I just read an inspiring post about The surprisingly large cost of telling small lies. It tells the story of an angel investor called Peter who warns of the cost of lying. Talking about small lies such as exaggerating metrics or omitting facts he says:

that telling lies is the No. 1 reason entrepreneurs [...]

Physical products should be things people want first and platforms second

There has been much talk over the last couple of days about Facebook’s $2bn acquisition of virtual reality headset maker Occulus Rift, a lot of it suggesting reasons why they would pay so much for a consumer company that is yet to ship a consumer product. To my mind the best answer to that [...]

Google slashes cloud prices

I love Amazon and AWS for the way they keep cutting their prices and for the way they support the startup ecosystem. As an example they offer Forward Partners companies, and the companies from many accelerator programmes $10,000 of AWS credits, effectively making it free to get started on their platform. For these reasons [...]

Amazon’s leadership principles

I’m a big admirer of Amazon as a company (and a holder of their stock). That admiration comes in large part from their relentless focus on good execution and their leadership principles are another good example. First I like that they are clear that everyone at Amazon is a leader – so the principles [...]

Improving checkout conversion

Think about the chart above for a moment. It’s showing that 50-80%+ of people who have got far enough through the purchase process to click on the checkout button then decide not to buy. That’s huge. Another way of looking at this data is to say that poor conversion of the [...]