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  • jharris9999 11:15 pm on July 26, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    I’m all of a sudden feeling like a modern day Harriet Tubman, and not in a good way. 

    Harriet Tubman "Talking Heads Series" Oil and Acrylic on Panel 2x2'

    Harriet Tubman "Talking Heads Series" Oil and Acrylic on Panel 2x2' by Christa Palazzolo

    I think that Sister Tubman said it best when she stated, “I freed thousands of slaves. I could have freed thousands more, if they had known they were slaves.” In the last few weeks of birthing H10 I’ve come to a few mind bending conclusions – (1) Internet professionals tend to fall into one of two categories – action or analysis – and both are needed at different time of the business creation process; and (2) entrepreneurial ability and educational pedigree have little positive correlation. I’m actually surprised that I’m surprised! Check this post from Business Insider by Keith Cowing that inspired this post, Why An MBA Could Kill Your Chance To Become A Great Tech Entrepreneur. The lesson learned here is that I need to find entrepreneurs that are doing “it” or have done exactly what H10 is trying to help with – regardless of their educational pedigree. We need to find mentors and advisors that have a passion for helping other entrepreneurs; not simply helping out as a favor. I pray that they’re out there and that we can find them. God willing, they will find us, and step up on their own.

    In the coming weeks I’m also determined to understand why “everyone” seemingly wants to “swing for the fences”, i.e. create the next Facebook or Google. I’m baffled as to why “no one” wants to build the Internet equivalents of Chipotle, Smith & Hawkins, Body Shop, Patagonia or Whole Foods. It’s like every High School girl in America letting their grades slide because they want to be the next Kim Kardashian? Or every boy thinking that their grades don’t matter because they want to play in the NBA. As we all know, 99% of the time, It ain’t going to happen.

    More and more I’m starting to dig 37signal’s Bootstrapped, Profitable and Proud series. They’ve got it right…

    So don’t worry, I’m not losing my faith, I’m simply rubbing some onions on my clothes, tossing some pepper on the ground and heading North – as soon as the Sun goes down.

     
  • jharris9999 4:51 pm on July 22, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Jamacian Saying...   

    “You can’t plant Corn, if you want Peas!” – Jamaican Saying
     
  • jharris9999 4:52 pm on July 18, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    “Sometimes the greatest hinderance to tomorrows breakthroughs are yesterday’s successes, But God wants to do a new thing!”

    Elder Wise, Newbirth Missionary Baptist Church
     
  • jharris9999 4:23 pm on July 18, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    “You are only as free as the number of well developed options you have” & “If you want to change your harvest you have to change your seed.”

    Thoughts of the Day – Elder Wise
     
  • jharris9999 3:27 pm on July 18, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Found this on Business Insider and was moved that Fred “Superman” Wilson was insightful enough to focus on the topic. He summaries the post by Terezan entitled XX Combinator.

    xx combinator

    xx combinator

    This is Fred’s summary of the basic argument:

    Y Combinator participants are for the most part very young — in their early 20’s. This is not when women would be most inclined. Women who start businesses like to know what they’re doing, and be trained and experienced in it. That takes up our 20’s. We have kids in our 30’s. Our entrepreneurial sweet spot is around age 40. Conventional tech investors are not really into this group and the metrics they look for are really hard for these people to hit. Most of the (few) women’s businesses that go big were funded by friends & family or strategics, not traditional angels and VCs.

    I love it. I would think that most would agree with this argument. Surprise! One of the commenters posted the following:
    “That is extremely troubling to me, and suggests that while Y Combinator has done great things for technology, something structurally, while unintended, is keeping women out.”

    No, it doesn’t. You are assuming that the number should be higher without any rational basis for it. From that you jump to the conclusion that they are actively (if unknowingly) discouraging women.

    Stop that.

    Wow! Tereza’s reply:

    I didn’t say ‘actively’. I said ‘structurally’.

    If they’re in SV and require that you move there for three months to do the program, as a friend of mine did, that is a requirement that a parent of young children cannot do. Especially a mother. So net net, they would not bother to apply.

    In this era of Obama, I’m quickly jolted back to the traditional insensitivity around the conversations of race, civil rights and women’s rights that we have witnessed for 100 years+.

    Tereza, H10 is with you. What can we do to help you? There is a desperate need for XX combinator. However, this requires a NEW thing; not like something we have seen before; not some hacked, twisted model of someone else’s dream. Even relating it to Y Combinator trips up the narrow minded, lemmings that can’t relate to this NEW idea. Don’t cheat your idea! What I love about the folks at Betaworks is that they made their own lane. They simply took what they had and ran with it. It fit what they wanted and were capable of doing. And with Betaworks we have witnessed the law of attraction – You attract the people and the circumstances that connect with your dominate thought. They defined the platform and the right ventures were attracted.

    I’m sure the same will be the case for XX (I’ve stopped using the Combinator already). What systems, programs or support would work for 40+ women entrepreneurs? Is the web space the most fertile spot or would mobile apps be better? What about the coming Internet TV revolution? Is capital the critical factor? What’s the end game?

    Having been an early supporter of BlogHer, thanks in part to my former business partner Steph Roberts, I found that they simply asked the women bloggers what they needed and filled in the gaps. They also applied the reality and desires of advertisers (the bloggers’ customers in this case) to the mix and found themselves in a very sweet spot – empowering female bloggers, giving the brands exactly what they needed, with a profitable business proposition for everyone. They created a NEW thing.

    This is also our mission for H10, with the hope that in supporting entrepreneurs of color and women entrepreneurs we will be able to grow an ecosystem that 20 years from now makes a XX or a H10 unnecessary.

    All the best,

    James
    Founding Partner, H10

     
  • jharris9999 3:03 pm on July 18, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Founders At Work, Jessica Livingston   

    All the best things that I did at Apple came from (a) not having money and (b) not having done it before, ever. Every single thing that we came out with that was really great, I’d never once done that thing in my life. —Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple

    This is from page 36 of Founders At Work, by Jessica Livingston
     
  • jharris9999 2:40 pm on July 18, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Learning, thinking, sharing, seeing the waves start to swell…

     
  • jharris9999 1:29 am on July 18, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    “No one is born big” – Jamaican folk saying 

    In a meeting with BrokenCurve, we were kicking around the idea of small focused start-ups vs. highly funded, “Go big or go home” style start-ups. It brought us to the question of why investors under value the profitable, cash flow positive internet business. I was dumbfounded and stuck. Then Iziah tossed this nugget of wisdom on the table – “No one is born big!”. Profound. He went on to explain that most of the successful web businesses started out small, “some were just a Worpress install and a dream”.

    It dawned on me that I might be living the Techcrunch “Go-Go World” where it seems as if 10 internet start-ups are funded  everyday. Maybe I need other reference points that focuses my attention on Kickstarters of the world, or 37signal of the world. “No one is born big”

    Got it…

     
  • jharris9999 10:32 pm on July 7, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: USTREAM, YouTube   

    When is a YouTube or USTREAM video series a business? “When the Money Shows Up!” Patrick McElroy
     
  • jharris9999 7:35 pm on July 6, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Cray Leges   

    Is Crazy Legs’ Lunch Breaks Show an Internet Business? 

    First, you have admire Crazy Legs, the original “Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop” Hip Hop artist. I’ve been a fan since determined that I was a B-Boy back in 8th grade (that would be 1981). But to find Crazy Legs doing an afternoon “Lunch” show was over the top – more than I could imagine – and I have a HUGE imagination…

    Crazy Legs Lunch Breaks Show on Ustream

    So why is it that VCs chase after $50 million deals and avoid simple, straight forward web businesses? What could be more simple that Crazy Legs on the turntables making lunch? What is his overhead? How much could it cost to produce a show? How much would Adidas, Puma or Nike pay to have sponsor this show? How about Logitech? How about Microsoft? Twice on the show they yelled out “Come on Food Network”! Why not?

    It’s the same argument that I have around my favorite YouTube personality Ateyaaa. Not only is she BIG on YouTube but her style is unique and original, I would argue that she has more influence that many of the shows on HGTV or Food Network. One of the unique angles is that she (and Crazy Legs) is the content – she works on her own hair. Her content is not some over-hyped, reality type format. It her, in her bathroom, doing her hair, for her audience. Powerful. This is where the money will be found in the age Google TV and Boxee. So what’s the business model? It should be as simple as the show: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/crazylegsrsc/v3

     
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