Succesful Software Startups – What are the key ingredients? Craking the code of innovation.

Some days ago I receive a tweet from Steve Blank @sgblank where one of his student did a wonderful job in a report that reveals in-depth research about what makes Silicon Valley startups successful. Today I received a post from my old Siebel Colleague Bruce Cleveland about the same.

It is really worth to read, at least the summary bellow, but if you want to read the full report you can find it here: Startup Genome Report

Startup Genome Report
Some of their key findings:

1. Founders that learn are more successful: Startups that have helpful mentors, track metrics effectively, and learn from startup thought leaders raise 7x more money and have 3.5x better user growth.

2. Startups that pivot once or twice times raise 2.5x more money, have 3.6x better user growth, and are 52% less likely to scale prematurely than startups that pivot more than 2 times or not at all.

3. Many investors invest 2-3x more capital than necessary in startups that haven’t reached problem solution fit yet. They also over-invest in solo founders and founding teams without technical cofounders despite indicators that show that these teams have a much lower probability of success.

4. Investors who provide hands-on help have little or no effect on the company’s operational performance. But the right mentors significantly influence a company’s performance and ability to raise money. (However, this does not mean that investors don’t have a significant effect on valuations and M&A)

5. Solo founders take 3.6x longer to reach scale stage compared to a founding team of 2 and they are 2.3x less likely to pivot.

6. Business-heavy founding teams are 6.2x more likely to successfully scale with sales driven startups than with product centric startups.

7. Technical-heavy founding teams are 3.3x more likely to successfully scale with product-centric startups with no network effects than with product-centric startups that have network effects.

8. Balanced teams with one technical founder and one business founder raise 30% more money, have 2.9x more user growth and are 19% less likely to scale prematurely than technical or business-heavy founding teams.

9. Most successful founders are driven by impact rather than experience or money.

10. Founders overestimate the value of IP before product market fit by 255%

11. Startups need 2-3 times longer to validate their market than most founders expect. This underestimation creates the pressure to scale prematurely.

12. Startups that haven’t raised money over-estimate their market size by 100x and often misinterpret their market as new.

13. Premature scaling is the most common reason for startups to perform worse. They tend to lose the battle early on by getting ahead of themselves.

14. B2C vs. B2B is not a meaningful segmentation of Internet startups anymore because the Internet has changed the rules of business. We found 4 different major groups of startups that all have very different behavior regarding customer acquisition, time, product, market and team.




Don Peppers live webcast with Oracle: Align Your Brand to What Consumers Demand

Live Webcast: Align Your Brand to What Consumers Demand

Complimentary 1to1 Webinar Tuesday, May 24th | 2:00PM Eastern

Consumers are a fickle bunch, often swayed by flashy promotions and discounts. Additionally, advances in social networking and mobility have fundamentally changed the way customers behave. Fortunately, this transformation also opens the door to more direct relationships. Consumer packaged goods companies (CPGs) must engage consumers across channels and learn their underlying needs and preferences to create a connection that cements long-term loyalty and evangelism—and grows revenue.

CPGs must engage consumers based on their needs and preferences to create a connection that cements long-term loyalty and grows revenue. Our presenters will examine how to build consumer relationships and cut across channels.

Attendees of this exclusive webinar will also receive a complimentary copy of the new white paper by Peppers & Rogers Group, Social Loyalty: A New Way to Make Friends and Influence Business.

The Total library

The total library is a great site where SpaceCollective members team up to explore what it means to be human today and into the future. With the image of Jorge Luis Borges (the great Argentinian writer) as the icon of the Total Library. Go to:

This is part of the project Space Collective: Where forward thinking terrestrials exchange ideas and information about the state of the species, their planet and the universe, living the lives of science fiction today.

Oauth – Authorization in the cloud

OauthWhat is Oauth?

Wikipedia definition:  “Oauth (Open Authentication) allows users to share their private resources (e.g. photos, videos, contact lists) stored on one site with another site without having to hand out their credentials, typically username and password.”

There are many reasons why one should not share their private credentials. Giving your email account password to a social network  site so they can look up your friends is the same thing as going to dinner and giving your ATM card and PIN code to the waiter when it’s time to pay. Any restaurant asking for your PIN code will go out of business, but when it comes to the web, users put themselves at risk sharing the same private information. OAuth to the rescue

This is what you see when you are in any web application which wants to use your data stored in another web application, you will see that you have to put your user and password in the “screen” of the second application, so the first application does not know your credentials, but the second application will allow access to “part” of your data (scope) to the first application. I hope that this is clear!!! Basically, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, gmail, google docs, etc can use this protocol.

The official page for this standard is:

If you want more details to understand this protocol.  This is a good Beginner’s Guide to OAuth.

This is the Google implementation of this protocol, to allow access to Google applications.

This is a good video to explain Oauth 2.0, from the  user point of view. If you want more details have a look of the subsequent videos:Oauth Part 2, Oauth Part 3 and Oauth Part 4.

I know that this post is quite technical, but quite useful to understand the authentication in the cloud.

Reality (internet) Dashboard

I remember when I was a kid and I saw my father reading the news every morning, before he goes to work. He used to read the local newspaper (“La Capital” de Mar del Plata”) and the national Newspaper (“La Nacion” in Argentina). Also I remember that he checked in his personal agenda, all the things that he had planned for that day, before he went to run his construction company. He had everything in order, in the correct place, he was a civil engineering. If I speak about my father, I can write forever, I miss him very much. But let’s back to the point about the information received every day.

Now a days, we have TOO many sources of information, as it was predicted by Marshal McLuhan, we don’t have too much time to digest all this information, from the TV, Newspaper, Web, etc. But if we just focus on the web, even tough there, we also have too many sources. We have to check:

  • Work email
  • Personal emails (in my case I have accounts at Hotmail and Gmail for different purposes)
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn updates
  • Twitter
  • Newspaper (in my case I check the Australian newspaper and the Argentinian newspaper)
  • Some blogs and or news related to our profession, etc.
  • etc.
So, how we can do that? I checked a way to have a “dashboard” to put everything in only one place, so then I have a high level overview of “what happens” today. One solution could be to have several tabs or windows in your internet browser to cover all these websites. I’ve also tried iGoogle, and Hootsuite, but the best one that I found is Netvibes (

I’ve organized my tabs with the following information:
  • Main Dashboard (Gmail, Hotmail, Facebook, twitter, The Australian, La Nacion)
  • General Dashboard (Translators, Weather, To do list, Web search, etc)
  • Mail (Hotmail, Gmail)
  • Social (Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn)
  • News Australia (, Sydney Morning Herald, Google Australian News)
  • News Argentina (La Nacion, Clarin, Google News Argentina)
  • Blogs (Mashable, Techcrunch, etc).
  • Computer (Wired, etc)
  • Oracle & Competitors
  • CRM
Sincerely, I use mainly the main dashboard, if I have time I have a quick check of the other tabs.
Please let me know if you know a better solution for this, or a better tool.

Social Media B2B Statistics

  • The three most popular content marketing channels are e-newsletters (62%), print magazines (61%) and social media (49%). (Source)
  • At a corporate level, companies are most likely to be using Facebook (68%), followed by Twitter (55%), LinkedIn (43%) and YouTube (42%) (Source)
  • 46% of companies currently have a formalised social media policy, whilst 27% have informal guidelines. (Source)
  • 84% of companies think it is important to monitor what is said online about their brand, but only 1 in 5 have invested in tools to do this, with a further 29% planning to do so in the coming year (Source)
  • 86% of B2B firms are using social, compared to 82% of B2C. (Source)
  • B2B firms aren’t as active in their social media activity with only 32% engaging on a daily basis compared with 52% of B2C firms. (Source)
  • Twitter is the most popular social media platform. More Fortune 100 companies are using Twitter than any other social media platform, according to the study.  77% of companies have accounts, up from 65% last year. (Source)
  • Companies are interacting more on Twitter. Last year, the Burson-Marsteller study noted that while Fortune 100 companies are using Twitter, they’re mostly broadcasting their messages. This year, the companies are engaging with stakeholders. The study found that 67% of Fortune 100 Twitter accounts are using the @ mention to communicate with people on the social network, and there was a substantial increase (78%) in the number of retweets from these accounts. (Source)
  • Fortune 100 companies have more Twitter followers. The average number of followers per account increased 241%. (Source)
  • Facebook use has increased by 13%. And the number of “likes” on these Facebook pages increased by 115%. (Source)
  • During the average 20-minute period in 2010, there were: 1,587,000 wall posts, 2,716,000 photos uploaded and 10,208,000 comments posted. (
  • Companies are giving their stakeholders a voice on Facebook.  Nearly 75% of Fortune 100 companies let people post comments on their Facebook walls.  Among U.S. companies, 72% with Facebook pages responded to people on the wall. (Source)
  • More companies are using “all four” social media platforms.  This year, 25% of Fortune 100 companies have Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube accounts, and maintain a blog.  Last year, it was 20%. (Source)
  • Asian companies are helping fuel the increase in social media.  The study said there was a 6% increase in Fortune 100 companies using at least one social media platform.  Among Asian companies the increase amounted to 34%. (Source)
  • 36 percent of Fortune 100 companies maintain blogs, the average number of blogs per company increased 63 percent. (Source)

Twitalk – talk & post to twitter

A friend of mine create a simple, but really good android application.
This simple application allows you to update your twitter status talking instead of typing. After the text is recognise you can amend the text before uploading to your twitter status.
Search for twitalk in your Android market, and start to use it.
Or go Appbrain to download the app, I hope that is useful for you and you will help my friend as well. Spread the word.

Augmented reality

I downloaded Layar in my iPhone, and the idea is great.
You can see the world with your iPhone (like when you take a photo), and different things could appear in your mobile screen.
You can play, you can see more information in a museum, etc, depending on which layer you use at the moment, or you can virtually walking on the Layar office.
Have a try to download this application in your iPhone or Android. (Layar)