At a recent gathering of venture capitalists and other pious alumni of HIT brought together by Technology Review magazine in Mountain View, Bob Metcalfe–the inventor of Ethernet, founder of 3Com, high profile tech pundit and MIT alumnus in his own right–put the state of the YC world in fast perspective. “At one time, the venture capital community was a cartel,” he said in the night’s featured presentation. “But I believe that cartel has been broken. Competition has intensified and now the VCs are slitting each other’s throats–and that can only be good for everybody.”
The comment had stopping power not only because Metcalfe spoke pointedly to his audience, but because he spoke the truth. Today more than ever, VC firms face intense competition, because–in the words of Mohr, Davidow general partner George Zachary, “Much as anyone with a keyboard can call himself a journalist, anyone with a checkbook these days calls himself a venture capitalist.” Read the rest of this entry »
You want to start your own blog since everyone’s doing it but you’re wondering how to set up a blog. Before making your own blog, you have to be sure of what you want to write. Knowing what to write about is essential to owning your blog. If you know what to write about, you won’t have trouble thinking of what to write about. If you want to make your own blog, you have two options to choose from. You can either make blogs from websites that offer it free or from websites that require you to pay.
Many websites offer cheap blog hosting; usually they don’t cost more than $10 a year. It’s affordable to keep your own blog running if you decide to host on a website that requires you to pay. Also, you have to be sure that you can take care of your blog, writing every day or at least most of the time …11.5.15
Why are more businesses turning to mapping? The software is becoming easier to use and less expensive. Mapping software is designed to link information from a company’s back-end databases and to display data such as sales patterns, results of marketing campaigns, or concentrations of potential clients. Many programs are now meant for sales or marketing employees rather than techies. The Internet is also playing a role, allowing for more users at a lower cost.
Territory alignment has always been mapping’s most classic use. In their basic forms, mapping programs help managers decide the most effective deployment of their sales and service forces to balance account loads and achieve the biggest profits. They can also help managers recommend which accounts a salesperson should try to cover each day, ensure territories are geographically compact, and estimate driving time associated with servicing an account.
“When you think about it, the majority of all data that companies collect can be tied back to a physical address and can be displayed on a map,” says Jim Brown, vice president of TerrAlign, a Reston, Virginia-based company that specializes in sales and marketing consulting and mapping software. “So it isn’t surprising that mapping can be a powerful tool for understanding a business, its markets, and its customers.”
But before executives invest in a tool, they have to know how to choose Read the rest of this entry »
Most businesses have failed to learn from all the other competitive disciplines before them. You fight one competitor at a time, and you develop a strategy that beats competitors one at a time. There is no competition – there are only competitors.
I tried to understand why so many businesses fail to build competitor-specific strategies. I believe this is based on three reasons. First is the real lack of strategy at the brand level. I believe that while strategy is widely employed in plotting the future of the firm in terms of what businesses to buy, what countries to enter or what resources to own, little strategic attention is given to how one brand will beat another brand in the market.
If strategy is the way a brand endeavors to differentiate Read the rest of this entry »