Skip to main content

Startup Lehigh Valley, First Meeting

Last night we held the first of what I hope will be regular monthly meetings of tech startup founders up in Allentown.

It was a good start--7 startup founders at different stages of life and progress with their dreams. Let's see if I can remember...we didn't talk about models or the specifics much, just about making stuff happen:

  • A security software company. I'm not quite sure what the product is, but the company currently performs services and is/has developed something he believes will have impact. 
  • An online menu system (I'll have to check that out Mark)
  • An education thing that will help with managing classroom workflow. 
  • Something around online coupons, but I didn't quite catch the gist of it
  • Something around monitoring ocean fishing
  • an online fundraising thing for alumni
  • ...ah...that's 6 because there were two of three co-founders from the Ed company. 

The theme that emerged from the introductions was about going all in. We've talked about that here a few times, and I've pushed people to find a way to go all in because it frees you to plunge into the warm waters of beautiful startup life (yes I'm kidding), and it's also very hard to serve two masters.

That's a lesson I relearn and relearn and...well wait. It's not learning in the first place if I keep doing it again.

Focusing on a single thing--having that freedom to not worry about the bills (much), to test your assumptions, find customers/users (only two industries call their customers users; in the other one you'd be the dealer), test your models, and finally start to build a company, go from zero to one.

So thank you Anthony Durante, Mark Koberlein, and the crew of founders up in Lehigh Valley trying to make stuff happen. You can do it, you're not alone, and you're already on a good path. Don't worry that you don't know everything--you'll figure it out.

See you next month.


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