Growthink Blog

Angel Investment Market Grows By 10% In 2006


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According to the 2006 Angel Market Analysis released yesterday by the Center for Venture Research at the University of New Hampshire, in 2006, the angel investor market experienced steady growth. Total angel investments reached $25.6 billion, which represents an increase of 10.8 percent over 2005. According to the study, 51,000 entrepreneurial ventures received angel funding in 2006, a 3 percent increase from 2005.


Introduction to Social Media Optimization


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In the 1989 movie "Field of Dreams," a corn farmer hears voices telling him to build a baseball field. The voices say, "If you build it, they will come."

Unfortunately in the world of startups and technology, often people build it, but no one comes. The missing element for these ventures is effective marketing. If no one knows about your great invention, website, or product/service, no one will use it or buy it.


Car Parking Equals Entrepreneurial Opportunity


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I recently wrote a post entitled Smugness Equals Entrepreneurial Opportunity that suggested that a business that acts smugly or arrogantly should be sending a welcome message to entrepreneurs to steal their customers from them.


Effective Meeting Strategies


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If you manage a new or growing venture, chances are that you spend a lot of your time in meetings. Among others, meetings are critical to strategize new opportunities, assess different ways to accomplish tasks, set and update goals, and to ensure that all team members are aligned.

However, since ventures must focus the majority of their time and efforts on executing opportunities, there is a significant risk for them to spend too much time in meetings strategizing. This article provides some tips to keep meetings effective.


Smugness Equals Entrepreneurial Opportunity


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Several years ago I attended a lecture given by a former Procter & Gamble executive. In his speech, he mentioned that a significant portion of households pre-wash dishes before putting them in the dishwashers. (I just found a 2002 Arthur D. Little, Inc. report that said that 15% of households pre-wash their dishes.) The executive smugly commented about how this was great for P&G -- they made money both from the sale of dishwasher detergent and dishwashing soap.


Staying Home From School


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My son wanted to stay home from school the other day. He wasn't really sick; just wanted to stay home.

I asked him what he was going to do if he stayed home. The list went on and on -- watch this DVD, watch this show on Tivo, play this video game, etc.


Creating Zealots


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I recently reviewed the book "PRIMAL BRANDING: Create Zealots for Your Brand, Your Company, and Your Future" by Patrick Hanlon and wanted to share my thoughts on it with you.

It's truly awesome. Here's the scoop. Hanlon worked in advertising for many years for Fortune 500 clients. A few years ago, he asked himself the question: What is it that gets consumers to bond with brands like Google, Apple, Mini Cooper, Coke, Disney, Starbucks and Nike and not others?


Sell the Sizzle and Not the Steak in 2007


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There’s an old saying in marketing, “Sell the Sizzle, Not the Steak.” What
this means is that marketers need to promote the benefits of a product or
service and not the features. For instance, people buy a drill to make a hole
or they buy a light bulb to provide light.

When selling these products, it is often better to promote how easily the
product provides the benefits rather than offer a comprehensive list of the
product’s features (which many consumers may not even understand).


Conducting Informal Market Research By Asking the Right People


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Market research is critical to entrepreneurial success. It is absolutely crucial to understand customer needs in order to successfully launch a new product. Likewise, market research must be conducted on the industry, competitors, etc., in order to flourish.

However, formal market research studies are not always critical. Rather, by asking people who can offer good estimates of customer wants and needs, ventures can answer many questions more quickly and inexpensively.

Consider the following queries and suggestions:

Query: What types of toys will sell well this holiday season?


Equity Compensation for Startup Employees


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A question that is often asked by entrepreneurs and emerging businesses is how much equity to give key employees and new hires.

While there is no correct answer to this question, there are guidelines and key criteria to consider. The key criteria are 1) other compensation and 2) the risk profile of the venture.

Other Compensation: Equity compensation is one component of an employee's total compensation. Other components include base salary, bonuses, benefits, etc. For each position and geographic market there are standard compensation rates.


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