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Submission + - Why VCs Really Reject Startups (

itwbennett writes: "Instead of simply not following up with startup proposals that he doesn't intend to pursue, venture capitalist Josh Breinlinger decided to change things up and not only hear every pitch request but respond with honest feedback. For those on the receiving end of that honest feedback, Breinlinger's silence may have been golden. It turns out that Breinlinger, and perhaps most VCs, reject your proposals because you lack experience and leadership skills and your team is weak. Would you rather hear the hard truth about why your startup didn't get funded or some vague dismissal?"

Submission + - Developer Outsources His Startup Programming (

itwbennett writes: "If you've got a great startup idea, Aymeric Gaurat-Apelli has some advice for you: Outsource product development. Gaurat-Apelli is no slouch of a developer: In 2004 he was on the French team that won the Imagine Cup. The trouble was that after 8 months of proving that he had a viable startup idea, he needed to spend his time working on the business (i.e., marketing) and not doing the fun stuff."

Submission + - Latest Disruptive Technology: Tin Cans (

itwbennett writes: "Start-up brewer Churchkey Can Co. has apparently wormed its way into the hearts of tech investors. The company made the bold, retro, dare we say disruptive, move of delivering its product in old-fashioned tin cans, and in so doing got a slot on-stage at TechCrunch Disrupt. The angle, as near as ITworld's Peter Smith can figure is 'selling beer that comes in tin cans without fliptops. You need a can opener (aka a 'churchkey') to open the beer. Just like we used to have to do in the '60s.'"

Submission + - Neal Stephenson Takes Blame For Innovation Failure (

itwbennett writes: "Neal Stephenson is shouldering some of the blame for discouraging budding scientists and engineers, saying in a Technology Review interview that perhaps the dark turn science fiction has taken is 'discouraging budding scientists and engineers.' For his part, Stephenson has vowed to be more optimistic. Somewhat relatedly, Alexis Madrigal in The Atlantic says, it's time for startups to move beyond Facebook and invent something new already."

Submission + - Kickstarter Projects: Where Does the Money Go? (

itwbennett writes: "A couple of weeks ago, Peter Smith wrote a blog post about how Kickstarter may be 'sparking a renaissance in quirky, personal games.' Since writing that post, all of the projects he mentioned 'made their targets and most are still growing.' That's the good news. The bad news is what happens next: Paying out not just to Kickstarter and Amazon, but also prize fulfillment and a seemingly endless string of fees of one sort or another. Warballoon, the team developing Star Command, posted their cautionary tale."

Submission + - RIM Firing (Nearly) Everybody (

itwbennett writes: "Research in Motion (RIM) reported grim Q4 results Thursday and announced sweeping personnel changes. Leading the parade of departing execs is Jim Balsillie, former co-CEO of the company, who has given up his board seat. David Yach, who has been CTO of software for the company for 13 years, is retiring. And Jim Rowan, chief operating officer of global operations, who has been with the company for four years, is leaving to pursue other interests."

Submission + - Why Freemium Doesn't Work (

itwbennett writes: "Tyler Nichols learned an obvious but important lesson with his freemium Letter from Santa site: 'most people who want something for free will never, ever think of paying you, no matter how valuable they find your service.' He also discovered that non-paying customers are more demanding than paying customers, which only stands to reason: If someone likes your service enough to pay for it, they probably have an affinity for your brand and will be kinder."

Submission + - Failure To Communicate (

itwbennett writes: "You're not alone if you hate 'thinking outside the box' and don't even know what it means to 'exceed customer expectations'. In a blog post on the Harvard Business Review site titled 'I Don't Understand What Anyone Is Saying Anymore,' Dan Pallotta bemoans the devolution of business speak. But before you go blaming it all on marketing or the pointy haired boss, consider the alphabet soup you sling around in the name of technology."

Submission + - Getting Stuff Done in a Big Company (

itwbennett writes: "CSO magazine's Mary Brandel wrote an interesting article recently in which she polled CSOs at large organizations about how they get security done despite the 'politics or personal agendas, inflexible budgets or outright adversaries' standing in their way. One of the more entertaining tips: tailor your language to your audience. 'In an executive-level pitch for more firewalls, you might use the metaphor of needing brakes on a car, not for stopping but to go faster safely,' says Jason Clark, chief security and strategy officer at Websense."

Submission + - Groupon IPO Road Show to Hit the Road (

itwbennett writes: "Groupon, the daily deals start-up that recently got unwanted attention from the SEC for overstating revenue, plans to begin meeting with potential investors next week, according to All Things D's Kara Swisher. Groupon filed to go public in early June and initially hoped its IPO would result in a valuation of up to $25 billion. If it's lucky, 'maybe it'll end up with a post-IPO valuation in excess of the $6 billion offered by Google late last year,' says ITworld's Chris Nerney."

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