Joblie Wins 2013 Kirkland Startup

Joblie was born at Startup Weekend Kirkland in October 2013.

Twelve strangers decided to spend a weekend together trying to figure out a way to allow people to make money doing small jobs on their smartphones during the idle moments of their days.

Since launching this spring, Joblie has 2,500 workers all over the country who have completed over 100,000 tasks- all on their smartphones.

Adam Dreiblatt, CEO at Joblie, whose team won Kirkland Startup Weekend 2013 says, “We offer our users a chance to “Be Heard, Have Fun and Get Paid. Startup Weekend offered our company, Joblie, a chance to turn a kernel of an idea into a business.”

Adam continues, “We are huge fans of Startup Weekend- it’s a fantastic way to meet people, learn new skills and test out that entrepreneurial idea.”

Tap or click to see more about Joblie and Joblie on Facebook.


Adam Dreiblatt is CEO at Joblie, a crowdsourcing and market research company based in Seattle, Washington.








Bullseye: The focus of a new entrepreneur (Comic)

#entrepreneurfail Laser Sharp Focus
If you can read this sentence without thinking about your next sales call, the line of buggy code you have to fix, the intern you must hire, or the appointment you are itching to make….then congratulations! You probably have better focus than many new entrepreneurs.

A key driver of a new entrepreneur is really a laser sharp, extremely directed, pinhole-perfect focus. This unwavering bullseye and motivation to get to a goal separates the successful and the mediocre startup founders.

Easier read than done? Here are some tips from experts who know the importance of focus

  1. Identify what’s important to getting your first customer and nothing more
  2. Implement one strategy at a time for growing your business. Move to the next one, once you have assessed all aspects of your current strategy.
  3. Plan alone time and take breaks, as many of the successful entrepreneurs in this article do.  This allows you to recapture and recuperate in your mind
  4. Set mini goals and mini prizes – e.g. 30 minutes undisturbed will get you 10 minutes of social media time
  5. Publish a daily schedule and follow it. Give it to someone who will hold you accountable to those deliverables. Setting a schedule allows you to ‘be your own boss’ in a way where you determine what your future self would be doing and keep you accountable to yourself.
  6. Include an exercise schedule in your daily regimen, as this allows you to consolidate your thoughts.
  7. Say no at least 10x times than you say yes. Saying no lets you focus on your yes commitments.
  8. Learn the art of meditating, which is essentially the art of practicing being focused.
Did we miss anything in the list above? Let us know in the comments below.
This was originally created for #entrepreneurfail: Startup Success by Kriti Vichare.







Evolution of an Entrepreneur (Comic)

#entrepreneurfail Evolution of an Entrepreneur
Are you an entrepreneur, marching to progress? 
Everyone has seen the famous scientific drawing, showing the compressed evolution of 25 million years. Entrepreneurs also go through a mental evolution as they go deeper into their businesses.

I got a sale! The first fresh-faced entrepreneurs focus on volumes. Striving to increase the numbers they sell, they would use any tactic to sell more items. Ironically, huge companies (often with large inventory shipments) also capture these metrics, and looking to hit their volume metrics monthly.

The next generation of entrepreneurs are seeking revenues. No longer satisfied with just volumes, they know that pricing can make a huge difference to the perceived value of their products and services. They are carefully looking at the elasticity of their products and services.  Sure they are aiming for volumes, but the true lever is revenue.

Then reality hits! Revenues have been great, but that doesn’t mean they get to keep any of it. Anybody can flit products away at discounted prices or by bolstering salespeople to hit their sales targets for commissions. However, all aspects of the cost of doing business need to be considered to successfully generate and maintain Profits.

And now we reach the modern day successful startup and entrepreneur. In this article, Jefff Bezos recently said that “cash flow per share was the most important thing for Amazon, not profit margins”. Free cash flow, matched with the profits, revenues, and volumes sum upto a successful entrepreneur and company. You just have to let evolution get you there.

Which stage of evolution are you in? Let us know in the comments below.

This was originally created by Kriti Vichare for #entrepreneurfail: Startup Success.








Poetry Series: Thoughts of a Creator

I’m currently working on my own Startup, Gymbooth. When I wrote the poem, ‘Thoughts of a Creator’ (featured below) I was still in the Early Stage phase. Basically, still working on the idea and trying to validate it.

Now, several months later, we’re testing a first prototype with our first users! To be a founder is like being an artist. I’ve written many songs starting from the age of 16 and preformed them live. Just like in a band, a startup’s team is composed of great individuals who play in harmony and with “soul” together.

I wrote “Startup Poems” (a series of 6 poems) from the perspective of a founder and I hope that these poems will help your team create the harmony and the “soul” that is needed to build beautiful products.

Enjoy and let me know what you think by simply sending an e-mail to: michael.negele@gmail.com – Thank you!

 Below is poem #1 of 6 – ‘Thoughts of a Creator’. Check back next Friday to read #2, ‘Great Ideas’

01 - Thoughts of a Creator  - www.startup-poems.com - photo by @morskaya

Today is the day. There is no tomorrow.

I’d rather take the pain today and run away with it.

Away from habits, free of rules – guideless.

Lost in thoughts of beauty where I create, combine,

restructure and form greatness.

Out of nothing – Making it, slowly and steadily.

With the sum of all my experiences – intuition.

It is what I do – create.

 

 

Photography by Marina Negele. Follow her photos on instagram. 








An Entrepreneur: The Fixing Machine (Comic)

unnamed

 

Attention budding entrepreneurs: How handy are you with tools?

Are you ready to get down and dirty and fix what needs it? I hate to “break” it to you but you have to be ready. Starting a company requires you to have the tools to fix anything that’s broken, coupled with the patience to make it happen.  Just as I have a reliable toolkit at home, to fix the leaks, creaks and freaks at my house, an entrepreneur must be able to do that for their own venture.

As Sir Richard Branson said: “Your decision will not always be the best decision. Everyone makes mistakes, but the best thing you can do in the face of a mistake is own up to it. Honesty isn’t just the best policy, it’s the only policy. When a mistake is made, don’t let it consume you. Uncover the problem and get to work on fixing it.”

So what are the components that should be in your toolkit?

  1. Blue Prints – Make a plan for the future
  2. Level – Level your expectations
  3. Nail – Nail down your value proposition
  4. Ruler – Size up the market
  5. Saw – Cut through the clutter
  6. Pliers – Get a grip
  7. Wrench – Tighten a hold on your market
  8. Hammer – Knock down obstacles
  9. Screwdriver – Don’t screw up

 Did we miss anything in your toolkit? Do you have any special tools? Let us know below.

This comic and post were originally created for #entrepreneurfail: Startup Success.








The Role of an Entrepreneur…On a Business Card (Comic)

#entrepreneurfail Role of an entrepreneur in a Business Card

The Truth about the Role of an Entrepreneur

Scour the profiles across LinkedIn and you’ll be blinded by the countless “Entrepreneurs” and “CEOs”. Rummage through the business cards you collected at the last networking event and you’ll find an endless sea of “Founders”, and “Owners”.

While non-entrepreneur types may be impressed by these lofty titles, the rest of us can see right through you.  Those lovely euphemisms actually stand for “monkey”, “gopher”, “donkey” and various other creatures from the animal kingdom, and here’s why:

Monkey: Running around (sometimes aimlessly) fixing things

Gopher: Searching and fetching, then repeating the process

Beaver: Busy as one, sometimes biting off more than you can chew

Donkey:  Getting kicked around by investors and customers

So who do you pretend to be, and who are you actually?

 

Learning from my Business Card Mistakes

When I launched my own business I instantly printed business cards emblazoned with my self-appointed title. I might as well as written “your royal highness Excellency”.  I didn’t have a product but I had a shiny stack of glossy business cards declaring me as the head of the kingdom that didn’t exist yet.

What happened? Well within a couple of months, my logo changed, my website name changed, my company colors changed, and (gasp) yes my role changed. And here I was gazing at my pretty stack of unused business cards! I’m not committing that #entrepreneurfail again.

Alternatives to Business Cards?

I’m now here to overturn the conventional sport of printing and passing around business cards when you are just starting out.  Now introducing the MVP of a business card: No business card!  This is what I recommend:

  1. Everyone has a smart phone.  If you meet someone interesting, do the green thing and take a photo his or her biz card.  Email the person on the spot.
  2. If they don’t have a biz card, compose a blank email before you go your separate ways.  Ask them to fill out the To: field.  You should fill out the cc: field with your own email. The subject can say: “Nice to meet you today. Stay in touch.”
  3. If email isn’t your style, ensure you have the LinkedIn app on your phone. As you meet an interesting person, ask them if they are on LinkedIn and before you bid adieu send them a request as a contact.

Do you have business cards? What do they say? Do you find them useful? Let us know in the comments below.

This comic and post were originally created by Kriti Vichare for #entrepreneurfail: Startup Success.

 








Startup Weekend Skopje ги кани тинејџерите со интересни идеи да се приклучат кон листата на идни македонски успешни стартапи

Не е лесно да живееш во светот на возрасните, каде треба да чекаш долго време некој да те праша за мислење или коментар. За жал тоа е животот на тинејџерите во денешно време. Многу од нив, чекаат да завршат основно и средно образование, да отидат во друг град или држава и да започнат да се развиваат како експерти во дадена област.

Но дали тоа може да се промени? Дали можеме да ги охрабриме младите да започнат да размислуваат со претприемачки дух?

Се разбира дека може! Веќе сте виделе или чуле за многу млади луѓе кои сеуште се ученици, а веќе имаат успешни идеи и бизниси.

Дру Скот и Ник Далоисио се само два примери, како едно обично хоби може да се преврне во успешен бизнис.

Дру Скот го претворил своето хоби во успешен бизнис со милионски профит, реставрирајќи стари албуми со цел тие да бидат чувани за идни генерации.

Од друга страна пак Ник Далоисио, од Лондон, ја направил својата прва апликација кога бил само 15 години. Тој денес има успешен мултимилионски бизнис.

Затоа без разлика дали сте 15годишен и сеуште учите основно училиште, Startup Weekend е местото каде ќе можете да се сретнете со ментори, инвеститори и претприемачи кои ќе ви помогнат да ја реализирате ваша идеја и да направите успешен бизнис.

Купете го вашиот early bird билет сега. Местата се ограничени!








Entrepreneur's Palm Reading: Certain Uncertainties (COMIC)

#entrepreneurfail Entrepreneurs Palm Reading

 

What would you do if you knew, right now, how successful your startup would be in the future?

If  you knew it wouldn’t be successful, would you still pursue the entrepreneurial journey? 

And if you knew it would be successful, would you work as hard at it, or just leave it to fate?

We all know there isn’t a sure shot way to determine the success. Many times, success comes from the toughest challenges and the deepest trenches and at other times, when you least expect it.

One way to get more insight into your future potential to succeed – look at your entrepreneurial characteristics.  You may find a dichotomy of traits: most successful entrepreneurs seem to have a mix of seemingly opposing traits:

  • A loner yet collaborative
  • Loves and hates to leverage money
  • Simultaneously the smartest and most foolish person in a room
  • Silent yet determined
  • Cautious yet risk-taking
  • Eager yet calculated
  • Analytical yet creative
  • Optimistic yet realistic
  • Filled with humility and confidence
  • Lives in the present, yet relishes the future
So what does your palmist say about your future? Will you have many failed startups, or are you working on the golden egg?

What are the traits that will propel you to the next level of your venture? Let us know in the comments below.
This was originally created for #entrepreneurfail: Startup Success.

 








Monetising the CAPTCHA: An Interview with Howard Kingston

How many times have you come across an annoying CAPTCHA that you fail to complete because you’re unable to read the distorted letters in the box?

How-to-Bypass-Facebook-CAPTCHA

You’re not alone. Apparently, one in four attempts to complete a CAPTCHA fail for this exact reason. I set out to interview Howard Kingston from Future Ad Labs – the startup who is replacing the annoying CAPTCHA with a fun and engaging game for users to play while creating a new revenue stream for websites.

They are literally creating a ‘future ad lab’ with an idea he pitched at Startup Weekend London.

What was your original Startup Weekend pitch?

Replacing the annoying CAPTCHAs with a game that has a brand in it.

Screen Shot 2014-07-22 at 11.48.00 AM

Did you win the Startup Weekend? What feedback did you receive from the judges?

 No! In fact we didn’t even come in the top three. The feedback from the judges was that it’s going to be difficult to get brands on board – but if anything that became a big motivator! There was an element of wanting to prove them wrong.

Only twice in my life have I been so annoyed I couldn’t sleep. The first time was when Ireland didn’t qualify for the World Cup after a handball by Thierry Henry. The second was the night after that Startup Weekend! That would be my biggest piece of advice to anyone attending a Startup Weekend – if you really believe in your idea you can make it happen, regardless of what anyone else might be saying! Sometimes you just know you’re right. This was one of those times. We went on to start Future Ad Labs.

Future Ad Labs is on a mission to replace the CAPTCHA with something more engaging and game-like. Why does the CAPTCHA need a makeover, and can you share any market data that shows why you chose to revolutionise the CAPTCHA?

Because they suck, and most people get them wrong because they’ve become so difficult that they are not even readable. There are 300 million CAPTCHAs completed on the web everyday (110 billion a year), and one in four attempts to complete a CAPTCHA fail due to people not being able to read the distorted letters in the box.

So is there research indicating that an interactive CAPTCHA performs better than a regular CAPTCHA?

Yes, our PlayCaptchas perform better than standard ones. Standard CAPTCHAs have a success rate (ie. people getting them right) of 75%, whereas our success rate is 97% (proving people find them easier). Actually in third party research, 91% of people prefer our PlayCaptcha to standard CAPTCHA! (Source: Vizeum insights).

So the Monday after Startup Weekend you applied and were accepted into an accelerator?

I already believed monetizing the CAPTCHA would be a success so I had plans on applying right after Startup Weekend whatever the outcome was. Although we lost the competition, I met a great team – some of whom are still with me today!

FAL

We raised our first investment round of $1m from various VC’s. Since then we’ve signed with clients like BBC, ITV, Unilever, Heinz and Nestle, to name a few, and we actually launched a crowdfunding campaign last Monday to raise more funds.

We set a goal of £300k and managed to hit the target within 36 hours – one of the fastest on record – thanks to the campaign being picked up in Forbes, The Financial Times, etc.! We are now onto £400k and due to demand we’ve decided to keep the crowdfunding campaign open for another week or so to allow people to get involved. We hope to drive the total investment to half a million before we close it at the end of the month.

Screen Shot 2014-07-22 at 12.15.52 PM

It definitely seems like you are onto something big! Where do you see the business going in the future?

 PlayCaptcha is the first product – and now we are in the middle of developing two other products.

94% of online video viewers click “SKIP” after the mandatory 5 seconds of advertising. We will use the same PlayCaptcha format to advertise products via online videos more effectively. Unfortunately, I can’t really discuss the second upcoming product yet because it’s still in the early stages, but watch this space!

Thanks Howard, I definitely will be! What exciting times ahead for you. I have one final question, do I have to capitalise CAPTCHA every time?

You don’t need to in PlayCaptcha (the name of our product), but I believe the correct way to write CAPTCHA is in caps.

If you would like to take part in the crowd funding campaign please do so here at: https://www.seedrs.com/startups/future-ad-labs and become a part of this exciting stage of investment for Future Ad Labs.

 








Del fracaso al éxito en Perú

Arturo Calle es un emprendedor digital por naturaleza, y está involucrado en temas de Internet desde 1995. Se inició en las startups en 1999 creando un Canal de Televisión por Internet conocido como Alterlatina. Al caer la burbuja de Internet convirtió Alterlatina en una empresa de servicios con la cual impulsó el Streaming Media en Perú. Hoy trabaja con alumnos de la San Pablo en una startup llamada Suruna que utiliza Inteligencia Artificial para predecir el comportamiento del uso de videos.

Arturo Calle

Desde 2008 apoya activamente el emprendimiento habiendo auspiciado iniciativas como Lima Valley, Social Media Day y Blogday, entre otros.

Nos habla de su experiencia en la comunidad emprendedora de Perú y de cómo se puede sobrevivir al emprendimiento.

Cuestionando todo el proceso del emprendimiento después de que fracasara su primer startup, se dedicó a entender y ayudar a otros emprendedores a atravesar el proceso y así poder generar y fomentar la cultura emprendedora en el país.

Cree que si hubiera asistido a un Startup Weekend hubiera tenido claras algunas cosas desde el principio, y hubiera obtenido soporte de los mentores para no cometer los errores que tal vez por falta de conocimiento cometió. Tenía una razón personal y quería crear un ecosistema dinámico y real. Entendió después de casi 15 años cuáles son los factores para hacerlo:

1- Si no hay ecosistema, y existe ignorancia en el tema de emprendimiento es difícil formar startups, y en Perú, me di cuenta de que es un tema cultural. La educación del país sigue siendo de ‘vieja escuela’ y esperamos ser empleados en compañías multinacionales, especialmente fuera de la capital. Hay que implementar educación enfocada hacia el emprendimiento.

Se puede enseñar y estructurar mejor el conocimiento a los próximos emprendedores. Existen metodologías y recursos que ellos pueden utilizar para tener una mayor tasa de éxito en un tiempo más corto.

En las provincias y lugares menos privilegiados hay una sed de aprendizaje inmensa. Y se quiere replicar el modelo que funciona en la capital, sin analizar la problemática real de la localidad.

2 – En Perú hay un prejuicio alto acerca de la corrupción estatal, y en realidad el Estado está dispuesto a asociarse y a proveer apoyo a los emprendedores. Hay que averiguar y aprovechar las oportunidades que brindan organismos externos y buscar apoyo de inversionistas y aceleradoras de negocio.

3- He creado startups en diferentes momentos, en un principio lo hacía de una manera más ortodoxa, pero ahora lo que hago es estructurar y plantear la idea y el equipo de trabajo para llegar a una sinergia más completa. Se deben potenciar los startups que ataquen la problemática local y podrían permitir un desarrollo más enfocado a la comunidad, además de que la posibilidad de éxito es más alta.

Peru Community

Su consejo para los emprendedores de la comunidad Peruana es que no se desanimen, es difícil emprender en un montón de aspectos y hay que aprender a tener tolerancia ante el fracaso porque la posibilidad existe cada día, pero hay que ser perseverantes y seguir adelante con la idea, se deben tener grandes expectativas y tener claridad en el cambio de estrategias para llegar al punto de equilibrio y así llegar con más fuerza al éxito.

Si quieres más información del ecosistema emprendedor, o quieres participar en los eventos de la ciudad conéctate con Arturo en Twitter, @arturocalle