July 2010

Justin Miller: How I found the right job

In today’s job market, people often find themselves being less picky and more apt to finding a career solution for “right now” as opposed to “just right.” A year out of college I would consider my experience to be somewhat out of the norm.  With some hard work and resourcefulness, I was able to find the “just right” job.

3 Things We Can Do Better in Boston

Yesterday Doug Banks of Mass High Tech posted a great response to the Greylock leaving Boston autopsy found on Xconomy.  Suffice it to say, there's plenty of debate over the health of Boston's entrepreneur ecosystem and many are tired of the Silicon Valley vs. Boston debate and hate.  As Doug Banks wrote, "Does New England still have work to do? Of course we do." I totally agree, which is why I'd like to highlight 3 things we can do better in Boston.

Joe Baz: Do You Know What Your Customers Want?

So you’ve a great product, you’ve spent time and money, working tirelessly to make sure that it’s got all the bells and whistles that you think people will love. But how do you know? Does it really reflect what your customers need or want? Both new and established businesses fall into the same trap, thinking: We have a great product, people are going to love it, and we are going to rake in the dough. The main focus is on product development with minimal contact with customers. But not focusing on customers’ needs and wants can break a business. It’s putting the cart before the horse, and unlike in Field of Dreams, if you build it, they won’t necessarily come.

Great Insight by a Great Man – Sam Walton’s Five Points of Creating a Successful Business

I am a firm believer of learning from past and present successful Entrepreneurs. One of the greats, Sam Walton the founder of Wal-Mart, if alive today would be the richest person in the world times TWO – being twice as rich as Mr. Bill Gates. I watched a documentary on his life and observed 5 true points of a creating a successful business: 

Your Weekly Boston Startup Entrepreneur Events Guide: GreenhornTV Ep 36: July 25th - August 1st

 It's another great week in the startup scene with exciting events featuring DartBoston with their Family Dinner which includes a night of Bowling at Lucky Strike and Boston University hosting an awesome event for the students and the greater community. There are over 30 different Boston startup entrepreneur networking events and office hours this week. Check out the show and notes below to find out all about them and all the other great happenings in the community this week. And don't forget to check out the Greenhorn Connect Calendar for all your Boston startup entrepreneur networking events and office hours needs.

Founder Fridays: MyZamana

Who are the faces behind a company? How did the company get started? These are common question you may have about startups you see and hear about. If you don't get a chance to personally meet the founders, you're unlikely to ever know their story. That's where we're starting Founder Fridays. 

 
Each week, we'll profile a different startup (with ties to Boston) through a simple interview that highlights some of the simple questions that make all the difference for a startup like, "How did you meet your co-founders?" and "What was the best advice you ever received?"
 
This week, we have Ashish Kundra from myzamana, who has created a dating site for the South Asian community.

Dan Croak: What is NoSQL?

Some of the most misused and misunderstood terms in technology today are Web 2.0, the cloud, Agile, NoSQL, and HTML5. Today, I'd like to describe where NoSQL came from and how it applies to internet startups in Boston.

NoSQL Summer

The first thing to know is that there is a bi-weekly NoSQL reading group every other Thursday at the Microsoft NERD Center. The next event is July 29th. We read the academic research papers on different techniques, eat dinner together, and discuss the papers, whiteboarding with a gorgeous view of Boston.## SQL

 

Developed in the 70s and relying heavily on mathematical theory to work efficiently, SQL is a language for talking to relational databases. SQL databases have worked so well that they've become the de facto standard for storing data, particularly on the web. You've no doubt interacted with thousands of web applications that used a SQL database.

Do Leaders of Great Companies have to be Dictators?

As I've been watching the world of entrepreneurship around me, I'm always looking for patterns and trends.  One I particularly focus on is leadership. As I've looked at some of the greatest companies and business leaders in the world, I've noticed that most of them have exceptionally strong personalities and dominate their company.  I don't have all the answers, so instead today I'd like to explore the patterns I've found and I look forward to hearing all of your thoughts on this.

Jonathan Kay: Invest in a Community Manager. Now.

Have you ever noticed that girls always seem to travel in groups at night?  Or that smaller guys at the bar always seems to act tougher when “their boys” are around?  Not so much a coincidence.  People are very much a product of their community (or “tribe” as Seth Godin might point out).  In fact this concept of “community” is a very powerful one.  It’s a pretty democratic idea when you think about it.  Community is what empowers petitions and protests to be such powerful tools.  Community is the power of people.

 

In fact, social media and web 2.0 websites have only made this idea of tribes even more powerful.  Why else would there be well over 40 pages of open “Community Manager” Jobs?  Why would I do what I do at Grasshopper Group and Jason do what he does for oneforty?  Because it works…and businesses need to care about their community now more than ever.  Here are a few reasons why if you don’t have a community manger…you need to hire one:

Raising Capital From Friends / Family

After depleting your savings, maxing out your credit cards, and selling your unwanted valuables in order to support your venture, who do you go after next? The people who know you best… your friends and family.

 

Albeit, the relationship that you have makes them feel more prone to hand over the check, it also creates a flurry of questions/concerns/comments. Here are three important points to cover in order for both the venture and investor to feel comfortable with the transaction. 

Your Weekly Boston Startup Entrepreneur Events Guide: GreenhornTV Episode 35: July 18th - July 24th

 

It's another great week in the startup scene with exciting events featuring Paul English of Kayak talking about Hiring to Cirque de Soleil performers at a street party. There are over 30 different Boston startup entrepreneur networking events and office hours this week. Check out the show and notes below to find out all about them and all the other great happenings in the community this week. And don't forget to check out the Greenhorn Connect Calendar for all your Boston startup entrepreneur networking events and office hours needs.

Founder Fridays: Peekaboo Mobile

Who are the faces behind a company? How did the company get started? These are common question you may have about startups you see and hear about. If you don't get a chance to personally meet the founders, you're unlikely to ever know their story. That's where we're starting Founder Fridays. 

 
Each week, we'll profile a different startup (with ties to Boston) through a simple interview that highlights some of the simple questions that make all the difference for a startup like, "How did you meet your co-founders?" and "What was the best advice you ever received?"
 
This week, we have Ben Dolgoff from Peekaboo Mobile, who have created a highly localized smart phone coupon system for local businesses.