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IBM reveals its top five innovation predictions for the next five years

IBM reveals its top five innovation predictions for the next five years

IBM director of education transformation Chalapathy Neti.

IBM revealed its predictions for five big innovations that will change our lives within five years.

Bernie Meyerson, vice president of innovation at IBM.

Bernie Meyerson, the vice president of innovation at IBM.

The IBM “5 in 5″ is the eighth year in a row that IBM has made predictions about technology, and this year’s prognostications are sure to get people talking. We discussed them with Bernie Meyerson, the vice president of innovation at IBM, and he told us that the goal of the predictions is to better marshal the company’s resources in order to make them come true.

“We try to get a sense of where the world is going because that focuses where we put our efforts,” Meyerson said. “The harder part is nailing down what you want to focus on. Unless you stick your neck out and say this is where the world is going, it’s hard to you can turn around and say you will get there first. These are seminal shifts. We want to be there, enabling them.”

(See our complete interview with Meyerson here).

In a nutshell, IBM says:

  • The classroom will learn you.
  • Buying local will beat online.
  • Doctors will use your DNA to keep you well.
  • A digital guardian will protect you online.
  • The city will help you live in it.

Meyerson said that this year’s ideas are based on the fact that everything will learn. Machines will learn about us, reason, and engage in a much more natural and personalized way. IBM can already figure out your personality by deciphering 200 of your tweets, and its capability to read your wishes will only get better. The innovations are being enabled by cloud computing, big data analytics (the company recently formed its own customer-focused big data analytics lab), and adaptive learning technologies. IBM believes the technologies will be developed with the appropriate safeguards for privacy and security, but each of these predictions raises additional privacy and security issues.

As computers get smarter and more compact, they will be built into more devices that help us do things when we need them done. IBM believes that these breakthroughs in computing will amplify our human abilities. The company came up with the predictions by querying its 220,000 technical people in a bottoms-up fashion and tapping the leadership of its vast research labs in a top-down effort.

Here’s some more detailed description and analysis on the predictions.

In five years, the classroom will learn you.

In five years, the classroom will learn you to help tailor instruction to your individual needs.

The classroom will learn you

Globally, two out of three adults haven’t gotten the equivalent of a high school education. But IBM believes the classrooms of the future will give educators the tools to learn about every student, providing them with a tailored curriculum from kindergarten to high school.

“Your teacher spends time getting to know you every year,” Meyerson said. “What if they already knew everything about how you learn?”

In the next five years, IBM believes teachers will use “longitudinal data” such as test scores, attendance, and student behavior on electronic learning platforms — and not just the results of aptitude tests. Sophisticated analytics delivered over the cloud will help teachers make decisions about which students are at risk, their roadblocks, and the way to help them. IBM is working on a research project with the Gwinnett County Public Schools in Georgia, the 14th largest school district in the U.S. with 170,000 students. The goal is to increase the district’s graduation rate. And after a $10 billion investment in analytics, IBM believes it can harness big data to help students out.

“You’ll be able to pick up problems like dyslexia instantly,” Meyerson said. “If a child has extraordinary abilities, they can be recognized. With 30 kids in a class, a teacher cannot do it themselves. This doesn’t replace them. It allows them to be far more effective. Right now, the experience in a big box store doesn’t resemble this, but it will get there.”

In five years, buying local will beat online as you get online data at your fingertips in the store.

In five years, buying local will beat online as you get online data at your fingertips in the store.

Buying local will beat online

Online sales topped $1 trillion worldwide last year, and many physical retailers have gone out of business as they fail to compete on price with the likes of Amazon. But innovations for physical stores will make buying local turn out better. Retailers will use the immediacy of the store and proximity to customers to create experiences that online-only retail can’t replicate. The innovations will bring the power of the Web right to where the shopper can touch it. Retailers could rely on artificial intelligence akin to IBM’s Watson, which played Jeopardy better than many human competitors. The Web can make sales associates smarter, and augmented reality can deliver more information to the store shelves. With these technologies, stores will be able to anticipate what a shopper most wants and needs.

And they won’t have to wait two days for shipping.

“The store will ask if you would like to see a certain camera and have a salesperson meet you in a certain aisle where it is located,” Meyerson said. “The ability to do this painlessly, without the normal hassle of trying to find help, is very powerful.”

This technology will get so good that online retailers are likely to set up retail showrooms to help their own sales.

“It has been physical against online,” Meyerson said. “But in this case, it is combining them. What that enables you to do is that mom-and-pop stores can offer the same services as the big online retailers. The tech they have to serve you is as good as anything in online shopping. It is an interesting evolution but it is coming.”

In five years, doctors will routinely use your DNA to keep you well.

IBM

In five years, doctors will routinely use your DNA to keep you well.

Doctors will use your DNA to keep you well

Global cancer rates are expected to jump by 75 percent by 2030. IBM wants computers to help doctors understand how a tumor affects a patient down to their DNA. They could then figure out what medications will best work against the cancer, and fulfill it with a personalized cancer treatment plan. The hope is that genomic insights will reduce the time it takes to find a treatment down from weeks to minutes.

“The ability to correlate a person’s DNA against the results of treatment with a certain protocol could be a huge breakthrough,” Meyerson said. It’ll be able to scan your DNA and find out if any magic bullet treatments exist that will address your particular ailment.

IBM recently made a breakthrough with a nanomedicine that it can engineer to latch on to fungal cells in the body and attack them by piercing their cell membranes. The fungi won’t be able to adapt to these kinds of physical attacks easily. That sort of advance, where the attack is tailored against particular kinds of cells, will be more common in the future.

In five years, a digital guardian will protect you online.

In five years, a digital guardian will protect you online.

A digital guardian will protect you online

We have multiple passwords, identifications, and devices than ever before. But security across them is highly fragmented. In 2012, 12 million people were victims of identity fraud in the U.S. In five years, IBM envisions a digital guardian that will become trained to focus on the people and items it’s entrusted with. This smart guardian will sort through contextual, situational, and historical data to verify a person’s identity on different devices. The guardian can learn about a user and make an inference about behavior that is out of the norm and may be the result of someone stealing that person’s identity. With 360 degrees of data about someone, it will be much harder to steal an identity.

“In this case, you don’t look for the signature of an attack,” Meyerson said. “It looks at your behavior with a device and spots something anomalous. It screams when there is something out of the norm.”

In five years, the city will help you live in it.

In five years, the city will help you live in it.

The city will help you live in it

IBM says that, by 2030, the towns and cities of the developing world will make up 80 percent of urban humanity and by 2050, seven out of every 10 people will be a city dweller. To deal with that growth, the only way cities can manage is to have automation, where smarter cities can understand in real-time how billions of events occur as computers learn to understand what people need, what they like, what they do, and how they move from place to place.

IBM predicts that cities will digest information freely provided by citizens to place resources where they are needed. Mobile devices and social engagement will help citizens strike up a conversation with their city leaders. Such a concept is already in motion in Brazil, where IBM researchers are working with a crowdsourcing tool that people can use to report accessibility problems, via their mobile phones, to help those with disabilities better navigate urban streets.

Of course, as in the upcoming video game Watch Dogs from Ubisoft, a bad guy could hack into the city and use its monitoring systems in nefarious ways. But Meyerson said, “I’d rather have the city linked. Then I can protect it. You have an agent that looks over the city. If some wise guy wants to make the sewage pumps run backwards, the system will shut that down.”

The advantage of the ultraconnected city is that feedback is instantaneous and the city government can be much more responsive.

Source: http://venturebeat.com

@Kickstarter 2012 Rakamları:Taahhüt edilen toplam tutar 320 milyon dolar

Alıntı Makale: webrazzi

kickstarter-2012Topluluk destekli yatırım toplama platformu Kickstarter‘ın bizzat kendisini ve bünyesinde gelişen projeleri Webrazzi’de sık sık konu ediyoruz. 2009 yılında ABD’de kurulan şirket, uzun zamandır önemli bir ivme ile büyüyor. Son olarak Birleşik Krallık’ta hizmet vermeye başlayan Kickstarter, hatırlarsanız burada da oldukça önemli bir ilgiyle karşılaşmıştı.

2012 yılı raporlarına geçtiğimiz haftalardan oldukça ısınmışken bugün itibarıyla aralarına bir yenisi daha eklendi ve Kickstarter kendisi için oldukça başarılı geçtiğini düşündüğü 2012 yılını yayınladığı raporla mercek altını aldı.

2 milyonu aşkın kişiden 320 milyon dolar

Raporun en çok dikkat çeken rakamlarına göre Kickstarter 2012 yılı içerisinde 2 milyonu aşkın kişiden – 177 farklı ülkeden ki bu da dünyanın yüzde 90′ına denk geliyor – toplamda 320 milyon dolar taahhüt almayı başarmış. Başarıya ulaşan yani ihtiyaç duyduğu maddi tutarı toplayabilen proje sayısı ise 18.109. Ayrıca bu projeler arasında 17 tanesi 1 milyon doların üzerinde bir tutarı kasasına koymuş.

2012 yılında oyun projeleri en çok desteği görürken müzik, sanat, film, yayıncılık ve teknoloji gibi kategoriler de öne çıkıyor. Kickstarter’daki projelerin kategorileri ile ilgili detaylı bilgiye ise hemen aşağıdaki görselden ulaşabilirsiniz.

kickstarter-2012-2

Diğer yandan Kickstarter geçen yıla göre yüzde 279′luk bir artışla 709 milyon sayfa gösterimi ve 86 milyon tekil ziyaretçi gibi sayılara da ulaşmış durumda.

Kickstarter diğer internet girişimlerine göre biraz geç de kalsa şirketin 2012 raporuna göz atmanızı tavsiye ediyorum. Rapor içerisinde her bir ay için öne çıkan projeleri de hatırlayabilirsiniz.

Boom on the Bosphorus: Turkey’s Internet Industry

Lots of young people, eager to shop and play online: no wonder Turkey’s internet industry is crowded

MUSLIM farmers do not keep pigs. This is as true of those who play at virtual agriculture as of those who fill physical food-troughs. So there are no pigs in the Arabic version of “Happy Farm”, published by Peak Games, a young firm based in Istanbul. For the same reason “Happy Farm” has no vineyards, and female farmhands wear the hijab. Local tastes matter.

Peak Games has found rich soil. It already employs 200 people and has developers in Jordan and Saudi Arabia as well as Istanbul and Ankara. More than 35m people play its games at least once a month, many of them on Facebook. Half of the players are in Turkey; the rest are in the Middle East and north Africa. Rina Onur, one of its founders, says that she and her colleagues saw a gap in the online-games market that companies catering to Western tastes could not fill. So Peak Games offers people in Turkey and nearby countries games with a regional twist, like “Happy Farm”, as well as online versions of traditional amusements. Okey, a Turkish game played with tiles, is most popular.

 

Turkey is bursting with internet companies, many of them selling things to the young. It is not hard to see why. The country is big, youthful and embracing the internet eagerly. Half of its 75m people are under 30. Around 44% of Turks use the internet, up from just 14% in 2006 and 3% in 2000. They comprise Facebook’s seventh-largest national audience. Turks are also happy to use credit cards, which are handy for buying things online: the country has three of them for every five people, says GP Bullhound, an investment bank, more than the European average. And the market still has a lot of room to grow. Penetration rates are well below those in western Europe (see chart).

Several companies have attracted foreign money. Peak Games has raised $20m. In September General Atlantic, an American investment firm, and others put $44m into Yemeksepeti, through which Turks order meals for delivery from local restaurants. In 2011 Naspers, a South African media company, paid $86m for 68% of Markafoni, an online fashion club; eBay raised its stake in GittiGidiyor, an auction site, to 93%, and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Tiger Global Management, both based in America, invested $26m in Trendyol, another fashion site.

Typically, Turkish internet companies have borrowed business models from abroad and given them Turkish tweaks. Mustafa Say, whose iLab Ventures owns the other 7% of GittiGidiyor, says that buyers pay into an escrow account, from which money is sent to sellers only when goods turn up. That, he says, has helped to build trust. Yemeksepeti’s customers pay nothing extra for delivery and can pay in cash on the doorstep. This still accounts for 37% of sales, says Nevzat Aydin, a founder and its chief executive. Not only money and ideas have come from abroad. So have people: returning Turks, most of them equipped (like Mr Say and Mr Aydin) with American education and experience.

The size of the Turkish market is a “double-edged sword”, says Numan Numan, a former Goldman Sachs banker now at 212, a venture-capital firm which takes its name from the telephone code for the European side of Istanbul. Scale at home is a boon, but start-ups in smaller countries, such as Israel or Estonia, have more incentive to look beyond their borders from the outset. Of the six Turkish firms in which 212 has invested, Mr Numan expects “a minimum of four to go regional at least”.

Turkish internet firms think they have a good base from which to expand, especially into the Middle East and north Africa. Peak Games is perhaps the best example, but others also have ambitions. Because Turkish television and culture are popular in the region, endorsements by Turkish celebrities can help to sell clothes and shoes. General Atlantic’s money will partly finance Yemeksepeti’s move abroad.

Lots of others are hoping to follow the successes. In November, in a hall at Bilgi University in Istanbul, 20 young Turkish companies coached by Bootcamp Ventures, the event’s organiser, presented their plans to prospective investors.

Events like this, Bootcamp’s fifth in Turkey, have become common. “When we started here six years ago,” says Didem Altop of Endeavor, a non-profit organisation which seeks to encourage entrepreneurs in countries from Brazil to Jordan, “there used to be three events a year. Now there are three a day.”

Turkey has so far been short of “angel” investors who will sprinkle money on a seedling company without demanding most of its equity. That is changing, as the first generation of founders become investors and mentors for the next. In Galata Business Angels, Istanbul has a network of such people including Mr Numan and Sina Afra, co-founder of Markafoni. Incubators are being set up: at Enkuba, in Istanbul, Piraye Antika, a former local head of HSBC, a big bank, and her colleagues have taken on Bu Kac Para Eder, which values antiques online, and torpilli, which helps students preparing for university-entrance exams.

The government’s policies have been a bit disjointed, says Ms Altop, but are becoming more concerted. Young companies can already get grants for research and marketing; those in “technoparks” are excused some taxes. More encouraging is the prospect of tax breaks to accredited angels, which are due to come into effect soon. Most start-ups will fail, as they do everywhere: fashion and daily deals, in particular, look horribly crowded. But more of them may get the chance to emulate those already on the road to success.

Taken from the Economist

Follow me @Elearningguru

Yeni Girişimlerde Hisseler Nasıl Paylaşılmalı?

Bilgi Kurdu Ventures

Yeni girişimlerde alınması gereken en kritik kararlardan biri, şirket hisselerinin kurucu ortaklar arasında ve sonraki etaplarda çalışanlara nasıl paylaşılması kararıdır. Birçok tecrübesiz girişimci, özenle alınması gereken bu kararın önemini ve boyutunu göz ardı ederek kurucu ortaklar arasında hisseleri eşit paylaşma eğilimindedir.

Eşit paylaşmak genellikle alınan en kötü karardır. Girişimciler, bu kararın önemini ve eşit paylaşımın gelecekte yaratacağı tehlikeleri kavramış olsalar bile, hangi kriterlere göre paylaşım yapmaları gerektiğini bilememektedirler. Farklı kaynaklardan alıntılar yapan bu derleme, girişimcilere sistematik bir şekilde yol göstererek, daha sağlıklı ortaklıklar yapmalarını sağlamayı amaçlamaktadır.

Eşit paylaşım radikal karardan çok duygusallıkla ödün vermektir

Gelir modeli iş gücüne bağlı olan girişimlerde (örnek: danışmanlık), hisse paylaşımı eşit, fakat gelir paylaşımı farklı olabilir. Gelir modeli iş gücüne direk bağlı olmayan girişimlerde şirket hisselerini ortaklar arasında eşit olarak dağıtmak alınabilecek en sağlıksız ve duygusal kararlardan biri olur, çünkü zamanla ortakların kattıkları değer genellikle eşit olmaz. Zamanla bu eşitsizlik, adaletsizliğe ve çoğunlukla başarısızlığa neden olur.

Hangi kriterlere göre paylaşım yapılmalı?

Hisse paylaşımları lidere olan inanç ve/ya pazarlık gücüne göre farklılık gösterir ve göstermelidir. Paylaşımın bir kuralı olamaz ve olmamalıdır. Her şeye rağmen, liderin karizması gibi elle tutulamayan etkenlerin olmadığını düşünürsek, hisse paylaşımı gibi zor bir kararı, geçmiş uygulamalara, finansal, sistematik ve radikal kriterlere bağlı kalarak sağlıklı paylaşım yapmak mümkün olabilir.

1. Fikrin değil, yaratıcılığın değeri vardır!

Çoğunlukla, fikri bulan kurucu ortak o ana kadar en çok katkıyı verdiğini düşünerek en çok hisseyi kendisinin hakkettiğini düşünür. Bu hak ediliş kısa dönemde doğru olsa bile ileriki zamanlarda adaletsizliğe sebep olabilir. Fikrin değeri sıfırdır! Sürekli yaratıcılığın değeri vardır. Bazı girişimlerde iyi niyet uğruna fikri bulan kurucu ortağa %5′e kadar ekstra hisse ayrılabilir, fakat bu hisse payı yaratıcılık kabiliyetine veriliyor olması gerekir; başka bir yerden kopyalanan fikir sahibine kesinlikle verilmemelidir.

2. Geçmiş girişimcilik tecrübesi

Girişimcilik, en az kaynaklarla hiç yoktan bir şey yaratmak, bir beceridir ve bu beceri sadece girişimcilik deneyimi ile edine bilinir; kaynakları geniş okullarda veya kurumlarda edinilemez! Yatırımcılar ile iyi iletişim kurmak, fon bulmak, iş planı yazmak, hukuki işlemlere hakim olmak gibi gerekli vasıfları olan kurucu ortağa deneyimi olmayan kurucu ortaktan daha fazla hisse ayrılmalıdır.

3. Uzmanlık alanı ve bağlantılar

Girişimin faaliyet gösterdiği sektör ve hedef aldığı müşteri kitlesi ortakların birinin uzmanlık alanına girebilir. Hangi tedarikçilerin iyi olup olamadığı bilgisi, geçmiş iş ilişkileri, ve sektördeki saygınlık en az girişimcilik tecrübesi kadar değerlidir! Uzmanlık alanı sektörden sektöre teknik, pazarlama, finansal alanlarda farklılık gösterebilir.

4. Fikri mülkiyet ve sınai haklar

Fikirlerin değerleri yoktur; patent, ticari sır, telif hakkı, marka gibi fikri mülkiyet ve sınai hakların değerleri vardır. Kuruculardan birinin elinde bu değerlerden biri var ise, hisse paylaşımı bu değere orantılı şekilde yapılmalıdır.

5. Risk, özveri, fedakarlık ve yükümlülük

Harcanılan zaman ve alınan sorumluluk ve risk özellikle maaşsız hisse paylaşımlarıyla doğru orantılı olmalıdır.  Girişimin CEO, CTO, CMO rollerini üstlenen bireylerin aldığı sorumluluklar ve riskler farklı olacaktır. Nasıl bir kurumda çalışan CEO’nun geliri CTO’dan daha fazla ise, hisse paylaşımı da farklı olmalıdır. Faaliyet gösterilen sektördeki rolün market değerine göre yaklaşık bir oran tespit edilip performans bazlı hisse opsiyonları ve paylaşımlar değerlendirilmelidir.

6. Kapital ve fonlama

Girişimin bulunduğu aşamaya göre kapitalin değeri farklılık gösterir, dolayısı ile hisse değeri. Birinci tur yatırımdan (first major round) sonra Advent International’ın yatırım uzmanı Ann Bilyew, tipik ve sağlıklı şirketlerin hisse yapısını aşağıdaki gibi tanımlamaktadır.

  • Kurucu Ortaklar: %20 – %30
  • Melek Yatırımcılar: %20 – %30
  • Opsiyon Havuzu: %20
  • Risk Sermayesi Fonları (Venture Capital): %30 – %40

Yukarıda açıklanan yaklaşımın uygulanmasına yönelik bir nevi kılavuz olabilecek aşağıdaki tablolar referans olarak kullanılabilir, fakat hisse paylaşımının bir kuralı yoktur ve kurucu ortakların arasındaki güç dinamikleri, her bireyin risk profili ve ellerindeki kaynaklar hisse oranlarını etkiler. Bu oranların devamlılığı, gerektiğinde tekrar revize edilebilecek şekilde dinamik modeller üzerine kurulması girişimin başarısına yardımcı olacak ve sağlıklı bir şekilde büyümesine imkan tanıyacaktır.

Tüm girişimcilere başarılar ve her şeyden önemlisi bol şans!

Silikon Vadisi hisse opsiyon modeli

Bilgi Kurdu Ventures

Örnek hisse oran hesaplaması

Bilgi Kurdu Ventures

Kaynaklar: RealityisagameAngelscornerGeekwireBusinessinsiderOnstartupsTheDailyMBA,Techflash

Görsel Kaynak: Under30CEO

Bürkan Beyli ‘nin Webrazzi’deki yazısıdır. New York ve İstanbul’da ofisleri bulunanBeyli Ventures kurucusudur.

7 Tips for Bootstrapping an Internet Company

This post was written by Jeremy Hitchcock, CEO of Dyn, an Infrastructure as a Service (Iaas) provider.

7 tips for bootstrapping a (profitable) Internet company

Dyn has been a bootstrapped company and profitable from day one. We get a lot of questions on how we pulled this off, and while I would love to claim all the credit, there’s nothing really magical about our success. We started as an open-source, community-led project, found a need, and grew a company around it — fueled by a lot of hard work and many sleepless nights.

But when we incorporated in 2001, things weren’t pretty. We had never thought about funding, and since we were in college, we asked our customers to bankroll us. Actually, we said that the project would get shut down unless we were able to raise our $25,000 goal. When $40,000 came in, we knew we were on the hook.

We’ve grown and been profitable year over year. Now we’re eight years removed from my college graduation, have 150 people, and service some of the best Internet companies — plus 4 million customers — all over the world. We’ve learned a lot along the way, and there are a few tips that we can pass along.

1. Start with something you love.

Don’t be afraid to start small. We started with a little project that helped us access papers off our dorm room computers so we could escape walking through the cold to get to a lab printer. This is also how you understand the market/product fit and who is an ideal customer. By pursuing something personal, you understand the pain and the value that you can deliver in a product.

2. Spread the word and get others involved.

It’s easier than ever to get people to see projects and other ideas and to get public momentum behind them. Kickstarter, Twitter, Facebook, and Angel.co are great ways to do just that. You’ll want to get people using your service. We were free at the time (which was pretty unique) and enlisted a core group of volunteers who served as our initial customer support staff.

3. Get to minimum viable product (MVP) and dollar one fast.

When you start out, you are constantly thinking about dollar one — the first customer that actually pays you for your service. While we asked for donations to keep the project going, we also simultaneously launched a paid version of the service with additional features. When people are willing to part with their money because you deliver value, you’re onto something.

4. Revenue has to be greater than expenses.

John Lynch, the popular governor of New Hampshire and former head of Knoll Furniture, said this line many times: If there is a single rule in business, it’s that revenue has to be greater than expenses. This fiscally conservative approach worked well for New Hampshire, which, even during one of the worst financial crises in history, was able to maintain a balanced budget and create jobs. If it works for an entire state, it’ll work for your business.

Sometimes, this means sacrificing comfort. Since we were in college when we started Dyn, we didn’t have expensive tastes (except for the occasional trip to the Cheesecake Factory); we were perfectly happy cramming into a small office space. In fact, even as we grew, we maintained modest accommodations. All of those early sacrifices paid off, as we now have a spacious 30,000 square foot headquarters — but only because we can afford it.

5. Optimize efficiency first.

The biggest tradeoff that comes with living within your means is that you obsess over efficiency. You’re always thinking about next year’s challenges while solving this year’s problem. It takes a lot of will to break out of each plateau and make sure that you don’t get stuck.

Around 2007 we were cruising along as an e-commerce platform, selling our services to small businesses and home users. But we wanted more. After a lot of careful consideration and even more risk, we decided to move upstream and provide an enterprise service. This gamble didn’t pay off immediately. There were more sleepless nights, but today, it’s fueling our growth. We wouldn’t have been able to take this leap if we weren’t living with one foot in the future.

6. Get lots of good advice.

Because people love the bootstrapping story, it’s easy to find people willing to share their experience. Don’t just talk to people in tech. Talk to people who run restaurants, ad agencies, do metal fabrication, own car dealerships, etc. You’ll realize that once you get the market/product fit relatively right (always a work in progress), all of your problems are related to people.

Of course, listening to advice is only part of it — you also have to implement it. Sometimes that is easier said than done, especially when you’re 23 years old. If you’re an entrepreneur, there is always part of you that thinks you know everything. But to grow a company, you have to accept your shortcomings and look elsewhere for answers — while simultaneously remembering that if you’re truly innovating, there may eventually be some things people can’t help you with, simply because they’ve never been done before.

7. Have a lot of fun.

In the end, it’s important to have a good time and love the people you work with. There’s nothing secret about running a company that is profitable from day one. It involves a lot of hard work but is incredibly rewarding when it happens.

5 Reasons Your Startup Isn’t Ready for Crowdfunding

This article is taken from Venturebeat:

5 reasons your startup isn’t ready for crowdfunding

In particular, here are five reasons some business owners should not pursue crowdsourced funding:

Reason #1: You can’t offer a discrete product.

The most effective Kickstarter campaigns (like the $10+ million raised by smartwatch creator Pebble) are those that will eventually deliver a discrete product.  That product might be physical or digital in nature, but the end result is a deliverable that buyers can interact and engage with.

Unfortunately, this means that crowdfunding isn’t the right solution for every growing business.  If, for example, your company provides a service or produces an enterprise-level product (which may not generate the same public interest as consumer goods), you may be better off pursuing traditional financing options than investing the time needed to apply for and run a Kickstarter campaign.

Reason #2: You haven’t thoroughly defined your distribution channels.

There’s a reason established companies have entire departments dedicated to logistics. The process of packaging and shipping products economically can be incredibly complicated and often leads to unexpected frustrations for unsuspecting startups.

Consider the case of the “Desktop Jellyfish Tank,” a Kickstarter project that received 54 times more investment than its original goal. Although the project can be considered successful from a financial perspective, the Kickstarter page associated with the campaign is littered with comments from frustrated backers who have yet to receive their purchases.

The bottom line is this: No matter what type of product you’re raising funds for, what you’ve set for your investment goal or how you plan to eventually deliver your product, it’s imperative that you put a plan into place to manage packaging and shipping costs and ensure shipments are delivered correctly before you even begin to think of soliciting funds.

Reason #3: Your prototypes aren’t effective.

People who invest in crowdfunding campaigns do so believing that the product they’re investing in has been proven to work. In general, they’re willing to grant some flexibility for final product iterations and version changes, but they typically enter into the crowdfunding arrangement believing they’re going to wind up with a workable product. All of this means that you — as an applicant — better be able to deliver the goods in the end.

Just take a look at the failed example of the i+Case iPhone cover to see why this is so important. Despite featuring designs on its Kickstarter campaign page that led backers to believe that prototypes had been successfully created, subsequent issues with signal quality arising from the aluminum in the case made the product nearly worthless — resulting in hundreds of dissatisfied backers. Not a great way to build a solid business reputation!

Reason #4: You can’t commit time to customer service.

Running a startup is challenging, and no one is arguing that the demands on an entrepreneur’s time are anything less than monumental. But unfortunately, one component of a successful crowdfunding campaign is dedicating the necessary hours to providing appropriate customer service. And if you can’t do that, you have no business seeking crowdsourced funding.

So before you hit that big green “Start Your Project” button, think about how you’ll manage customer queries — whether your project winds up being hardly noticed or hugely successful. If you don’t have the resources available to handle customer service yourself, consider hiring a friend, relative, or outsourced worker to help you manage the load.

Reason #5: You aren’t prepared for over-funding.

One final consideration is that Kickstarter and similar sites allow projects to be over-funded. Not only does this increase the amount the company generates through its 5 percent cut, but it’s also great publicity to have projects go on to do exceptionally well through its system.

But for you, as a business owner, the picture can be far less rosy. If you haven’t put effective prototyping, distribution, or customer service systems into place, how will you handle these needs if your project receives significantly more interest than you expected? As you prepare your Kickstarter campaign, make sure you address your product’s scalability.

You can read the detailed one here: http://bit.ly/MbrGxb

Creativity Starts from a Belief

In a recent animation I watched, I came across these very inspiring lines of an expression, about how and where creativity starts!

For me the most remarkable lines are:

Think when you were still a kid
Think when you were a kid,
Everything is possible!

Creativity starts from a belief

Creativity starts from a belief

Here is the rest:

Think when you were still a kid
Think when you were a kid,
Everything is possible!

You put a blanket over your back
Then you became Superman
You took your mom’s broom and rode on it
Then you became a witch
You climbed up a tree
Not knowing you might fall
And you simply MADE IT!

You just had an idea and you made it happened
Because you believe
You were then creative with strong belief

As you became adult
Things seems to be a little different
When you failed in your exam
You think ‘I can never make it!’
When you have a brilliant marriage proposal
Then you think ‘Maybe it’s not the right time!’
When you want to start a business
You think ‘Maybe it’s not as easy’
When you are already in business
You heard someone says ‘Don’t take risk!’
Then when you have a brilliant idea
That can create more jobs for poorer nations,
Can provide a better living for more people,
Can make our nation proud,
Can help the growth of our nation,
And can create a better world
And you said ‘I’m not sure!’

You were still creative but with more doubt
Then years later you heard someone had the same idea as yours
What makes him different from you???
His ACTION.
He put his action into reality
He’s the most promising Creative Young Entrepreneur of the Year
His action won him this recognition

Then you stated to think ‘How I wished how I wished I had taken action all those years ago!’
Think when you were still a kid
If that idea came by when you were a kid
Could you have taken action?

Back then you strongly believe…

It’s never too late…..
You just need to have an idea and make it happen!

YOU Still Can…. If You Believe

Creativity starts from a belief!

If you’d like to watch this inspiring animation, here is the link: http://youtu.be/mn6qqMwANms

Who’s an Entrepreneur Now? (Infographic)

A graphical breakdown shows how founder demographics have changed across the U.S. since 1996.

As U.S. entrepreneurship has grown over the last 15 years, entrepreneurs themselves have changed as well. Among the shifts: Entrepreneurs today tend to be more male, and more educated, than in the mid-1990s.

Rasmussen College has compiled data from Kauffman Foundation–an organization that studies entrepreneurship–and turned to Column Five to represent the information in the below graphic.

See how the demographics of American entrepreneurs have changed, as well as some notable trends among the country’s business owners. (Source: Inc.com)

Who's an Entrepreneur

How demographics of Entrepreneurs have changed since 1996 in US?

Herkes aynı izi sürerek farklı yerlere ulaşabilir mi? Ya da “aynı şeyleri yaparak farklı sonuçlar beklemek delilik” midir?

Türkiye’de yatırım yapılan girişimlere bakıldığında birbirine çok benzer projelerin fonlandığı ya da fikirlerin hayata geçirilmeye çalışıldığı fark ediliyor. Örnek vermek gerekirse arkadaşlık, günlük fırsat ve özel alışveriş siteleri gibi.

Gerek yerli gerekse yabancı yatırımcıların, Türkiye gibi girişimcilik konusunda henüz emekleme döneminde olan bir ülkede, risk almadan, denenmiş, para kazanma modeli doğrulanmış, biraz da yol kat etmiş işlere yatırım yapmak istemeleri anlaşılabilir. Ancak bu, yeni iş fikirlerinin çıkması ve yeşermesi aşamasında “fikir kısırlığı“na yol açmaya başlayabilir.

Geçenlerde yapılan bir toplantıda Google’ın arama motoru birim direktörü ve seri girişimci Mike Cassidy şöyle demişti: “Amerika’da özellikle Silikon Vadisinde karşımıza çıkan 50 girişimciden 35-40’ın fikirleri nerdeyse birbirinin aynı. Artık “Hadi çocuklar, bunu mu bize sunuyorsunuz?” diyerek gayet sabırsızca davranıyoruz.”

Bu söylem aslında Amerika’daki kısırlığın da bir göstergesi. Buraya nasıl vardıkları uzun bir hikaye. Ancak orada çok fazla kişinin girişimci ve yatırımcı olmak üzere kolları sıvaması, aralarından dünya çapında pek çok işin çıkmasına neden oluyor.

Öte yandan Türkiye’de biz, bu kısırlığa reel sektörde ve ticari hayatta zaten aşinayız:

Buna TTM diyelim – Türk Ticaret ModeliBaşarılı bir iş varsa, onu kopyala, ismini değiştir, piyasaya çık.

Bu yüzden belki de dünyanın hiçbir yerinde göremeyeceğimiz, başında Öz ibaresi olan işler (ÖzKasap, ÖzKebap, Özİskender gibi) yanyana dizilip kıyasıya rekabet edip, belli bir müşteri kitlesinden para kazanmaya çalışırlar. Bir süre sonra sermayesi olan ve nefesi yeten diğerlerini batırır, ya da hepsi kıt kanaat geçinirler. İstisnai durumlar tabiki olabilir.

Zaten damarlarımızda olan bu eğilim, şu sıralarda kupon veya fırsat sitelerinde de kendini gayet güzel gösteriyor: Sadece 1,5 senede 200’e yakın birbirinin aynı site ortaya çıktı, ki bu furyanın ilk beş fimasının bile karlılıkları şüpheli.

Bu noktada gerek yerli gerekse yabancı yatırımcıların, ülkemizden orijinal fikir çıkmasını bekledikleri, destekledikleri, ancak iş para yatırmaya gelince, aynı kısırlıkta göreceli risksiz olan işlere yatırımcı oldukları gözleniyor.

Yabancı yatırımcı açısından bu anlamlı olabilir. Zira bir kaç girişimciyi değerlendirdiği bir toplantıda Pond Ventures‘dan Charles Irving şöyle demişti: “Türkiye’nin global olarak başarılı olmuş iş hikayelerine ve kahramanlara ihtiyacı var. Hatta bu kahramanların heykellerini sokaklara dikip, çocuklara ve gençlere onların hikayesinin anlatılması lazım. Ancak bu şekilde Türkiye daha çok ve büyük bütçeli yatırımı çekebilir, ve yine ancak bu sayede bugünün çocukları yarının cesur girişimcileri olarak yetişirler.”

Bu söylem çok anlamlı olsa da, global iş fikri ve kahraman yaratma stratejisi, sadece denenmiş modellere yatırım yapma ve işi büyütüp global çapta bir başarı yakalamayı içermemeli.

Riskli, çılgınca, orijinal ve belki de tutması çok zor fikir ve projelerin de desteklenmesi bu sayede çeşitliliğin arttırılması, girişimcilik alanında su kadar ihtiyaç duyulan bir olgu haline gelmeli.

Yoksa Einstein‘ın dediği gibi “Delilik aynı şeyi tekrar tekrar yapmak ve farklı sonuçlar beklemektir.” cümlesinin önerdiği gibi hiçbir yere varmayan işler yapan, başarı elde edemeyen pek çok delimiz olacak.

Ya da yine kendisinin buyurduğu gibi “Hayal gücü bilgiden daha önemlidir.” gerçeğini kavrayıp buna göre hayalperestlere eşit fırsatlar sağlamalıyız.

 

Mustafa Yücelgen

Bilgi Kurdu Yazılım Hizmetleri

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