Key takeaway ~ Reversing the Decline in Big Ideas

Key takeaways from this HBR piece

  • Pop and Mom Entrepreneurs - Founders who don’t want to change to world. They just want to make enough money to provide for their family, buy a car, or earn their freedom. These people are just more technologically leveraged and profitable than their brick & mortar predecessors. Instead of starting restaurants and hairdressers they build coupon apps that are used by thousands of restaurants and hairdressers. The startup ecosystem’s inability to differentiate mom and pop tech entrepreneurs from high growth entrepreneurs ready to build the next billion-dollar company wastes a lot of people’s time and energy.
  • Engineer+ Sales Guy - Billion-dollar companies do not happen if the founding team is not extremely well suited to the market (now called “founder/market fit”).  Combine a lone technical genius with a mesmerizing sales guy and you had the DNA for a billion dollar technology company. In the past, the magic formula was two engineers or an engineer and a businessman. Most of the big successes followed this pattern. Hewlett and Packard, Jobs and Wozniak, Gates and Allen, Ellison and Miner, Larry and Sergey, Thiel and Levchin, the list goes on.
  • Design - In the last seven years it became clear that a technical genius and a mesmerizing sales guy weren’t enough. A new competency started to appear in the DNA of this generations successful founding teams: Design. Design is everywhere. Design thinkingDesign ConferencesDesigner FundsDesign Celebrities. And if you need a few successful companies who consider design a key competitive differentiator you don’t have to look hard: MintSquareQuora,Asana and Path, just to name a few. Design at its best is more than just a beautiful interface, it synthesizes complex technology with a deep understanding of end users’ motivations and abilities into a unified, intuitive product experience.
  • Domain Expertthe missing piece from the DNA in the founding teams of transformational companies is now the domain expert, who has deep insight into the industry they are trying to disrupt.Without a domain expert, attempts at disruption are unimaginative and incremental at best.

Zynga, Facebook & Groupon - all sail the same boat.

They have been growing really, really fast. Yes, they all are desktop-first companies struggling to find traction in an increasingly mobile world.

GroupOn, which was at one time offered $6 billion by Google and now has a market valuation of about $4.68 billion. Private investors are rumored to have valued Zynga between $7-to-$9 billion, but in public markets it is being valued at around $3 billion. Facebook was valued at $80 billion when it was private. These days, it is valued at around $62 billion.

"The next billions of people, we believe, are going to come through mobile ~ Javier Olivan, Facebook Growth team"


Definition by Eric Reis proposed: “The minimum viable product is that version of a new product which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort.” 

  • Before we build a prototype, we make certain assumptions. Be lean and agile while getting your prototype to market as quickly as possible. 
  • Validate your assumptions by seeing whether users are finding value in your prototype.
  • Gather data from users and use that data to inform your future decisions.

This helps prevent you from needlessly venturing down an inefficient path and incurring a huge opportunity cost during a time period where your assumptions aren’t very strong.

Reuters Institute - Digital Report

The Reuters Institute Digital Report 2012 reveals new insights about digital news consumption across Europe and the United States

 Based on a representative survey of online news consumers across five countries – UK, US, Germany, France and Denmark – the report is the start of an ambitious project to track changing digital news behaviour over the next decade.  

Original Source -

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Gartner report on consumers usage behaviour on “Tablets”

Gartner found that just as it is with PCs, email was the most popular activity with respondents: 81 percent said they checked email(81%) on tablets. After that, newsreading(69%) was the second-most popular activity at 69 percent; checking weather(63%) was the third-most popular at 63 percent; social networking(62%) was at 62 percent; and gaming(60%) in third at 60 percent.

Tablets, Gartner notes, are used most in the living room (87 percent), the bedroom (65 percent) and kitchen (47 percent)

Common Triats of successful and “Viral” consumer internet products

Common Triats of successful and “Viral” consumer internet products

Social Features - Friending, Sharing, Access to Curated Content

Google Reader had all the Social Features. In Oct’2011 they removed them.


Sarah Perez posted a poll on Google+ asking who missed these features

Its was 2600(Yes)  Vs. 159(No)

Read Comments on this article on Techcrunch.

Kamal Tripathi ·Losing the social feature is disappointment and I will hate it to be clubbed in Google+. Why do I need that extra click to go to Reader. This change is for the worse.

Aaron Scher I, and a good number of my friends, use “Share”, “Share With Note”, and comments in Reader every day-all day. It’s the best social network I’ve ever been a part of, and I’ve seen and learned so much more from my friends’ shared items than I ever would from the likes of Facebook, Twitter or Google+.

Leah Libresco Google Reader is my favorite social network. Facebook works for basic news and gossip, but Reader shares and comemnts are where a lot of my intellectual arguments play out. I’m heartbroken.

Scott Nishida well that’s one way to drive your core users away.

Blake Helms I use the “share” feature and the “send to” feature everyday! A lot of the good posts I find through the shared links. I really hate that they’re taking that away.

Jesse Stay I’m pretty frustrated by this. I have no reason to use Google Reader if they remove sharing to friends. It just becomes another RSS Reader if they remove it.

Lior Amsterdamski This is horrible. For me and many of my friends, Google reader is the internet, and it’s social features are its main differentiation from other RSS readers out there. is there no way to change their decision?

Robert Mangiafico I agree. The “people I follow” on Reader are the best part of my reader. It’s a sad day for RSS folks…

Kyle Wegner  Chiming in to support this post - not happy about the loss of old social features on gReader at all. 

Dan Berger  Let Google know how you feel about this disgraceful decision to kill the social aspects of Reader.

Debbie Cusick I used the share feature of Google Reader all the time - one of the main ways I kept up with the thoughts of my son and DiL. I’m really sad to lose that. I used to share stuff with them too. Now no good way to do it anymore. :-( I really don’t like the look of the new google reader.

Over 100+ more such comments…..


What is Glassdoor?Glassdoor Facebook Integration

It took over 2 years for Glassdoor to attract their first 1 million users but only 1 year to attract their second million. Wanna guess how long it took them to gain their 3rd million users? 7 days. Yup, that’s how fast GlassDoor is growing right now. The Tipping Point? Well, in February of this year GlassDoor introduced a Facebook API integration that allows users to sign-up or log-in using their Facebook ID and also shows you whom you are connected to in each company. 

Customer Acquisition: Viral sharing(User driven method)

For every user that comes on your platform, he or she refers 1 additional user. This ensures a service will “hockey stick”.

It will take longer to grow if each user brings in fewer new people, but as long as most users don’t leave, you’re all good.

Obviously, the more viral a service, the more sustainable it is, but it’s really in the details. And overnight success is not a guarantee for sustainability.

Every startup should hope for early virality. But if it doesn’t exist initially, you must work to perfect a soft onboarding of virality that’s based on high engagement, and create a product that people love and will come back to, while layering viral techniques(“SHARING”) on top of that.

Pinterest made a bunch of product tweaks early on to iterate around sharing and engagement, as virality took hold.

Instagram User Acquisition: out of network (sharing to Facebook and Twitter) and via word of mouth, with limited sharing in the network. there’s no real sharing inside the network.There is no “regram” if you will. Facebook Opengraph worked wonders for them.

Pinterest: in-network virality (pin, repin, like) in addition to out of network sharing (Facebook, Twitter) to grow virally

Consumer Internet Products for Consuming NEWS

Twitter/Facebook : Only 9% which means, social media is NOT for reading NEWS content. Social Networks at This Point Are Mostly an Additional Way to Get News, Rather Than a Replacement Source

Following Topics : 32% by using key word search

Feed Reader : 29% Through Feed Aggregators

Original source -


Study Finds News Is 350 Times More Likely To Be Shared On Facebook Than Google+