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When considering the optimal number of founders for any new entrepreneurial adventure, the calculus extends well beyond simple formulas seemingly supported by observations of startup cohorts within specific industries. Famous technology twosomes that come to mind include David Packard and William Hewlett of Hewlett-Packard, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak of Apple, Paul Allen and Bill Gates of Microsoft, Larry Page and Sergey Brin of Google. In these examples, it is widely observed that these buddy teams complemented each other well in the early formative years of their companies.
"If you truly believe in the potential of your company to change the world for the better, there’s no excuse for settling for an acquisition."
I was reading through this month's Inc. magazine earlier when this quote caught my eye. My first thought was to challenge the notion. There are specific occasions when an acquisition is exactly what a company needs to move forward or to move on. This is just how things work, but the bold words sparked my interest enough to turn the page. I flipped to Issie Lapowsky’s feature with Vimeo founder Jake Lodwick. Lodwick was fired a year and a half after selling Connected Ventures, the parent company of Vimeo and College Humor, to InterActive Corp, an Internet company that owns the likes of match.com, Urbanspoon, and dictionary.com. After the acquisition, he felt stripped of his creativity. Where innovation once dwelled, process was introduced. Lodwick was fired a week and a half before he planned to quit. This experience backs his words of advice to entrepreneurs who think an acquisition means nothing will change within the mission of an organization. Lodwick bitterly states that "in fact the mission was lost, and everything will change."
Get helpful startup tips from this week's eMed's 6 to follow in entrepreneurship.
At age 25, Laura Sanko was a founding member of a startup that raised $3.5 Million from some world-famous investors and the Founder’s Fund. The business model was simple: a website that rented high-end jewelry for special occasions for a fraction of the retail value of each piece. Three years later, the investment money was all gone and while the site continued to operate, it had failed to meet the investors’ expectations.
In this special lecture, mother and son serial entrepreneurs Sandra and Andy Kurtzig share smart reasons for starting companies that matter. Sandra Kurtzig outlines similarities and differences between her previous ventures and her current company, Kenandy. Andy Kurtzig discusses his company, JustAnswer, and key lessons for entrepreneurs.
Serial entrepreneur and investor Reid Hoffman encourages individuals to become the entrepreneurs of their own lives. Hoffman shares the importance of taking intelligent risks, building thoughtful networks and continually adapting your skills to navigate a fulfilling career path.
Thuuz Co-Founder and CEO Warren Packard appreciates how uncertainty is a constant force in the lives of entrepreneurs. Sharing stories from his career as an entrepreneur and venture capitalist, Packard captures how life is a series of decisions made without complete information. He also addresses how his current venture approaches issues of funding and strategic partnerships.
Kauffman Foundation Senior Fellow Ted Zoller challenges Stanford students to engage in entrepreneurship as a practice of action. Based on his research into dealmaker density and network development, Zoller details the power of seizing opportunities and the pathways to developing an entrepreneurial career.
Entrepreneur and business model innovator Alexander Osterwalder discusses dynamic, yet simple-to-use tools for visualizing, challenging and re-inventing business models. Osterwalder articulates how to use the visual language of his business model canvas framework, and shares stories of how this approach helps organizations of all sizes to better create, deliver and capture value.
Entrepreneurs know they need to innovate. The fact is, one academic shows, startup business owners are more apt to kill innovation than embrace it.
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