Skip to main content

Are You Building A Feature or a Company?

A couple of things are bouncing around in my head today.

First, I'm working on another tool because I've experienced significant pain over the past year and have heard from others that they too have this problem. I'm pretty sure it's a feature and not a business, but it's a feature I need so I'm building it in my own slow, error-prone way.

Which leads me to this question: are you building a feature or a company? A company is comprised of one or more people (unless it's a Romney shell company) organized around products or services, with the intention of generating revenue--hopefully enough to keep the company alive. (See Fred's post today on sustainable companies).

A feature could be one or more features that you build and release into the ether for the benefit of anywhere from zero to countless people, but with no sustainable revenue or people organized around it.

I think I'm building a feature in this case.

Next, I'm reviewing applications for the first Startup Lancaster Investor Day later in October.
Man, I can't believe it's October. So much I haven't finished. 
I hate the startup application thing, like for accelerators or pitch contests, or funding from govt programs. But after reviewing responses to my light-weight application form for Investor Day, I have new appreciation for a more involved filtering process.

Of the (only) 7 applications, maybe 3 of the companies are ready to look for funding. When I say "ready", I don't mean in terms of product, but in terms of how they communicate about their companies, products, and markets.

The goal of the Investor Day is to learn from each other and from the panel of investors and founders. Our group has a lot to learn--even the experienced founders can learn something.

I'm encouraged, though, but the obvious passion from some of them. Three are mostly ready, but I'l add two to the list because they can really use the help, and that's what Startup Lancaster is all about. One of the applicants doesn't belong there at all--no product at all.

Next week at the normally scheduled meetup, we'll talk about raising capital and practice our pitches. Most of us aren't really suited for venture capital, so part of the discussion will be about other sources of investment.

It's a beautiful day, and as much as I love working on this feature (complete with streaming!) I'm going to jump out there with the Bear and go for a hike while it lasts.

Maybe as I walk I'll sort through some thoughts about the feature and see if there's a business there, but my passion is around search, social, and community, so this little feature is not likely to make it past the completion stage.


Popular posts from this blog

Beta Signup

I've been working for quite a while on a new search concept, though the further in I get, the closer the rest of the world gets to what we're doing. So today I'm inviting you to sign up for the rather modest beta, which will be ready soon if we can nail down a few difficult  details. Jawaya is a way of navigating the web and getting better results. And that's as much as I can say right now, because we're not a funded startup, and things are moving really fast in this space--it's going to be very competitive. I predict there will be about 10 funded startups in the next 6 months doing something similar. One of them will be mine, and we aim to make it the best. We're raising a round of capital to fund the team, and are shooting for early sustainability. This is my fifth company; my fourth in the tech space, and my third software company. I think it will be the biggest and can possibly have a positive impact on the world by reducing the amount of time it takes

Where Innovation Happens

As I get closer to a go/no-go decision on a project, I've been thinking about the difference about my vision for the project and the supportive innovations to enable the core innovations The vision combines (in unequal parts) product, core innovation as I imagine it, the application of that core innovation, design, marketing,  developer ecosystem, and business development. The core innovation enables everything else, but it's the application of the innovation that makes it meaningful, useful, and in this case, fun. This week we're testing initial approaches to the implementation for our specific application, and that's where we'll develop the enabling innovations, which is basically where the rubber meets the road. The difference is that the enabling innovation happens at the source of real problems only encountered in the making of something, and in a project like this just getting the essence of it right isn't enough; it also has to be safe, the compone

The Real Jobs Problem

It's the economy, stupid.  Well, yes, it always has been, if you're in the distortion field of politics.  But whose economy? The pundits, the White House, the Republican candidates all miss the mark. They keep talking about debt, taxes, and monetary policy. None of those things tell the real story behind today's economy.  The Old Economy Keynes was right--in the old economy. Economy gets weak, pump some money into the economy through public works projects, which  1) puts people to work, which  2) boosts the economy and  3) generates new tax revenue, while  4) leaving us with another generation of reliable infrastructure to support  5) more growth (for growth's sake, which is another post).  The Beach Ball Imagine a beach ball, partially deflated to represent a recession. Got it? Now imagine the govt pumping that beach ball back up through sensible public investment (which we haven't seen for decades). The New Economy Same beach ball, same pum