Tag Archives: Web 2.0

Copywrong: Brilliantly Disruptive Startups from Napster to Pinterest

Entrepreneurs tend to focus on opportunity rather than risk, and rightly so. As Steve Blank has written, at its core, a startup is an organization formed to search for a repeatable and scalable business model. In the lexicon of the lean startup movement, once “product-market fit” has been achieved, the focus shifts to scale and execution as the startup matures into a growth company.

In a sense, risk and opportunity are two sides of the same coin to early stage startups. The huge risk that eclipses all others is that the product or service being offered simply won’t succeed — there is no product-market fit, at least at numbers that would make for a financially viable business — in which case (assuming competent execution) the perceived opportunity, viewed broadly, wasn’t really there to begin with.

Perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising that risk items on which legal and financial experts focus seem like afterthoughts to many startups. After all, if value isn’t created in the first place, isn’t it premature to worry about its impairment? Even at large corporations, legal departments are jokingly dubbed the “Department of Sales Prevention” because of their tendency to insist on the elimination of all risk from deals.Continue Reading

When Good Legal Advice Is Worth $10 Million An Hour

When Good Legal Advice Is Worth $10 Million An Hour

One of the highest profile liquidity events in the first half of 2012 was Facebook’s deal to acquire Instagram for $1 billion. The popular mobile photo-sharing service should fit well into Facebook’s growth strategy as a public company, but its eye-popping valuation — more than that of the New York Times, for those keeping scoreContinue ReadingContinue Reading

Plenty of Fish in the Sea, But Please Don’t Fugu Me

Plenty of Fish in the Sea, But Please Don’t Fugu Me

California Attorney General Kamala Harris recently announced an agreement with three of the largest online dating sites:  eHarmony, Match.com and Spark Networks (parent company of JDate and ChristianMingle, among others).  In much the same way Facebook reached an agreement regarding child safety with AG’s nationwide in 2008, it appears the dating sites agreed to some voluntaryContinue ReadingContinue Reading

From a Twinkle in the Founder’s Eye: Intellectual Property for New Startups

From a Twinkle in the Founder’s Eye: Intellectual Property for New Startups

Second in importance only to talented people, IP in all its forms is the key asset comprising most of the value of any tech startup. Nevertheless, even industry veterans are often fuzzy on the definitions and boundaries between different types of IP and the ways they can be protected and exploited. Hence this “Cliff’s Notes” refresher, to be followed by a discussion of why it matters.Continue Reading

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