Category Archives: Startups

New Startups from San Francisco

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Here are some new startups from San Francisco

This startup helps people take care of their aging parents and relatives with on-demand care services. Elder care in America is dismal, but Honor has been helping solve that problem. They raised over $20,000,000 in 2015, and are still growing. Honor starts workers out at $15 and wants them to create long-term relationships with seniors instead of being an Uber type health care matchmaking database.

Checkr assists companies get quick background checks on perspective employees. Many employers are hiring freelancers more and more, and hiring them by using apps or website directories. You can find out within hours if your potential new hire is a criminal or pals with Osama Bin-Ladin!

Founded in 2013, Slack is a messaging app for teams. Users get a chat room where it is easy to share work files and work in a collaborative way. It is far more advanced than the annoying instant messengers with their pop ups. Slack received $340 in funding from various large groups including Google Ventures, Index, and Horizons Ventures.

AltSchool is an alternative educational system for elementary and junior high school students and is a popular choice in the Silicon Valley, San Francisco, and New York City. AltSchool emphasizes acadenics, social and emotional training, as well as a long list of projects that children can do together.

Navdy helps you navigate while keeping your eyes on the road by having a virtual monitor right in your field of vision while you are driving. Just use hand gestures and your voice to control it. Navdy — it feels like driving in the future.

Lever helps employers find people to hire who are high quality candidates. Lever boasts an applicant tracking system, collaborative email functions, and see the candidates entire history on one page. Lever has helped many companies grow from 10 to 10,000 like Lyft,, Netflix, Reddit, and others.

This ride sharing company crowd-sources new routes based on what its riders need in real-time. A person can suggest a route and if they get enough votes — voila!, a new route will be created. I believe that ride-sharing is the solution to traffic and the nightmare of public transportation — and Chariot makes ridesharing feasible and convenient!

After School
This app is banned from many stores, but let’s teenagers gossip, create videos (selfie-videos), share photos, and protect themselves from cyber-bullying. It seems like a lot of fun if you don’t have too much homework.

Brigade created an app to handle political discussions. In an attempt to get millennials interested in politics (or something other than themselves). Brigade helps people find friends and neighbors with similar points of view so that they can sign petitions together with you.

A system that allows bitcoin to change payments on the internet. The website doesn’t make it clear what is unique about these payments, or the process, so perhaps you can figure this out.


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More interesting startups from San Francisco

New Startups in the Techstars Accelerator

New Startups on the Techstars accellerator

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Here are some interesting new startups that are part of the Techstars Seattle Accelerator program. This program focuses on promising and innovative companies that take advantage of some of the new technology such as analytics, drones, gaming, and information sharing.

This company replants forests using drones at a price that is 10% as expensive. I’ll think they’ll be doing well until the drones get their heads together and form a union.

this is a slack bot for collecting critical feedback at work. Information can come in the form of polls.

This company connects gamers through interactive live streaming.

Fig Loans
This company offers affordable credit for low-income families

This company connects property managers and contractors such as handymen, plumbers, electricians, etc.

Kepler Communications
This company offers access to space borne data in real-time. This service is normally used to communicate with spacecraft. If they want to really save money on rent, they can put their office in space too!

This service makes it easy to swap shifts at work in a hurry! I thought that’s what semi-balding managers were for…


New Chicago Startups

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SiNode Systems
A developer of materials for up and coming ion-lithium batteries

This app helps drivers find real-time parking solutions including free, metered and permit parking. “Stop driving in circles!”

This company offers services and software to manage your reviews.

Vibes Media
This company is a provider of mobile marketing solutions & mobile wallet marketing.

Pangea Money Transfer
This company helps you send money internationally using their platform.

This company helps you get better sound quality from your mobile phone and optimize your connection.

A mobile security platform that does mobile app testing, device monitoring, forensics and security intelligence!

Call attribution software for marketers and phone tracking analytics.

Broadview Communications
A mobile advertising and sponsorship platform.


The Startup Lab — simulations in business

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There are startup incubators. Unfortunately, I know nothing about them. I bet they help the promising startups with some very senior level business experts. Senior level people might have solid business knowledge, but they can’t think of everything, and can’t predict what idea will take off. But, if they do see an idea do well, they can contribute money and expertise to make it better. Startups might be new, but to make them do well, you need some old-school business talent to fuel their success with the inspiration of younger people. But, what would happen in a startup lab?

I could see that a startup lab could be a business that has all of the tools for a startup to grow. The startup lab could have social media experts, marketers, call centers, and other staff. The lab could work for or host multiple startups and see how each one did. For a startup to succeed they need cash, marketing, and people to get the work done. The lab could arrange for all of this. But, if the lab did all the work, what would be the role of the entrepreneur and why would the lab need the entrepreneur?

Perhaps the lab could give the entrepreneur a salary and a cut of the profits. If the entrepreneur didn’t perform well after all of the financing they gave, they could can the entrepreneur and find someone better to work for them. Venture capitalists often work like this. However, venture capitalists don’t grow the business using their own mechanism.

Another take is that the lab could test how good an entrepreneur’s business decision making skills were. They could put the muscle into executing an entrepreneur’s ideas. But, if the entrepreneur had too high of a rate of bad decisions, that particular entrepreneur would get weeded out. That is an expensive way to weed people out, but would make a great reality show. In a sense they could make a simulator that would show fast results for the entrepreneur’s decisions. Or, entrepreneurs could track decisions made by other entrepreneurs and track the results. Either way, a simulator would be a great learning tool.

Another idea for a startup lab is to wait to see if the startup is doing well. For the more successful ones, they could get an extra boost by having the right team to help them grow. In a sense, that sounds like what an accelerator might be.

Putting aside how fun simulations can be, the important fact in business is what happens in the long run. If your business grows slowly, but stays afloat, that is much better than one that grows fast and then dies. Remember what the rap artists always say:

“The faster you rise — the faster you fall.”

What does Mark Cuban say about startups?

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Startups are a popular topic for discussion. I started a startup fifteen years ago. Most businesses fail in the first year or two mostly because the person in charge just doesn’t have what it takes to compete, or perhaps because there is not enough market for their service. In my opinion, a startup should be done by someone who knows his business inside out. The business might be new, but the business person should be seasoned. What seasoning? Cajun! The problem is that we normally do not have all of the skills we need, nor do most of us have the discipline that we need. Lastly, we normally create our startups in our 20’s or 30’s when we just aren’t seasoned! People who create businesses in their 50’s tend to do better. They have had a lot of experience going through problems at work, dealing with things, mastering people skills, hiring, firing, and seeing the long term effects of decisions. Young people just can’t duplicate that. But, what would Mark say if he were guiding you?

I read an article on Entrepreneur written by Mark Cuban himself where I learned what his “rules” are for entrepreneurship. It makes a lot of sense when you see it from the long run. Here are some of Mark’s points with my commentary below.

1. Don’t start a company unless it’s an obsession and something you love.
Honestly, if you are not obsessed with your work,how can you succeed? You need to take your work home with you, talk about it with your friends. If your friends don’t say, “Is your business the only thing you talk about?” Then you are not in the right space for success if you ask me.

2. If you have an exit strategy, it’s not an obsession
Warren Buffet buys stocks that he would keep for life. Of course he buys and sells just like the rest of us. But, he wouldn’t buy the stock if he didn’t have absolute faith in the company. Your business should be the same in my opinion. I have a friend who is always talking about exit strategies. I don’t want an exit strategy. My business is my baby. I agree with Mark on this point as well.

3. Hire people who think will love working there
It is not easy to hire people who will love working for me. My work is nitpicky and grueling. Everyone I hire I have trouble with. Why? Because they don’t love the work. I agree once again with Mark’s point (3), however living up to this standard is tough. I might have to go through one thousand people to find one who loves working for me. It might be easier if my job included photographing bikini models.

4. Sales cure all. Know how your company will make money and how you will actually make sales.
The best business model in the world doesn’t work if you can’t make sales. I started my company with a product that sold — advertising that works and courses that get you in business fast. But, not all business have realistic products to sell. Better see if your idea sells before you invest too much in it.

5. Know your core competencies and focus on being great at them.
I focus on the core competencies of my business. However, over time the competencies changed. Mark says to hire the best in your core areas. But, what if they are hard to find or don’t exist in a niche market? I hired people who understood my products well, used them for themselves with great results and were masters of selling my wares. My business did well as a result. I guess I followed Mark’s advice fifteen years before I read it.

6. An espresso machine? Coffee is for closers.
I disagree with Mark here. Sure, you don’t want a corporate culture of people who gossip all day in the coffee room. But, coffee is a stimulant, and many people need it to get that burst of energy in the beginning of the day. Small amounts of coffee have been proven to be good for your heart as well. I drink my coffee before I “go to work” which for me involves rolling out of bed and commuting five feet to the left where my computer is. I just have a Starbucks dougle shot.

7. No private offices. Open offices…
Mark claims that there is nothing private in a startup. By no offices, I think he means private rooms in an office suite.There is also no room for those who want swanky comforts like personal secretaries or flying first class. In my opinion, if everyone is not on the same page in a startup, you will have a lot of friction, disloyalty, and trouble. Even in a small business that has been around for a long time, users, cheaters, lazy people, and troublemakers can cause a lot of grief even if there is only one of them.

8. As far as technology, go with what you know.
I disagree with Mark here even though he is richer and smarter than I am. You might start off with technology you know. But, technology changes fast, and what is right for your startup may easily be very different than what you are familiar with.

9. Keep the organization flat.
Having managers that report to managers can create all types of complications. I’m not sure what Mark means by keeping it flat. If you are the owner, then everyone needs to either report to you, or you need to devise an internal system of checks and balances where everyone checks everyone else’s balances.

10. Never buy swag.
Having logos on company outfits is not critical in a startup. Perhaps that is the opposite of what a startup needs. Maybe everyone needs to wear atypical outfits. The main point is that people’s hearts need to be uniform in a startup — not their clothing.

11. Never hire a PR firm.
I cannot comment on this point as I have no experience with or without PR.

12. Make the job fun for employees
An engaged employee is much more productive and fun to be with than a disengaged one. Contests, parties, events, and other fun ways to work get people in the right mood. Conversely, not being mean to people is another good way to maintain a neutral mood. If an employee is so much trouble that you have to spoil the mood just to deal with them — perhaps you shouldn’t be dealing with them assuming you can live without them.

If I were Mark, I would include point 13: Have an insatiable desire to learn and master new skills and hire others with that same desire. Thanks for reading my commentary. Hope you liked it!

A startup that helps startups

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I heard of a startup that was created to help other startups. But, in reality, startups generally fail. When you do have a startup, you need the stability of a senior level person to make sure you do well. It is critical to have seasoned mentors guiding you and a way to get reliable staff. In real life, companies that do well have generally been around for a while and have a very stable following and a very reliable and stable staff. The only way a startup can do well is to break the mold and have a brand new way of offering a service that nobody else has thought of and also get their system to grow faster than the competition can catch up. I think that Uber is one of the best examples of this type of startup.

However, I feel that startups would do better if they had older and wiser people guiding them. And, it is a fact that entrepreneurs that do well are normally older and have decades of experience behind them. Entrepreneurs in their 20’s have a much lower chance of doing well than entrepreneurs in their 50’s. The key to success as an entrepreneur is not only having a new idea, but having tremendous drive, and very solid business skills as well as industry knowledge and experience. Someone in their 20’s by definition doesn’t have very much experience, and probably not very good judgment either.

So, what would startups need help with? They would need help finding help! HR would be the most critical task.

(1) H.R.
A startup that could help startups find reliable outsourcing companies and freelancers to help them do all types of tasks would be amazing. Tasks could range from call center, data entry, custom software, web design, social media and more. Not only would hiring be a task for the startup to do, but keeping track of whether the company was doing a good job, and if there were issues. The startup could also help replace bad freelancers and outsourcing companies.

(2) Market Research
It might be difficult for a new startup to be able to do market research. So, they would need a good mentor to help them research, or even do part of the research for them.

(3) Marketing
You can’t have a business without clients. But, what if a company out there would get clients for you and charge a commission after the fact? They would be your lifeline. In real life, there are many agents out there. But, how good are these agents, and how do you find them?

(4) Social Media
Social media is yet another aspect of marketing. But, if the startup could get you started on social media, that would be a tremendous service. However, social media work is expensive, and a startup working on a shoestring might be better off doing this type of work themselves.

(5) Strategy
People creating startups might have a lot of drive. Or, they might just want to escape the 9-5. It is also possible that nobody in their right mind will hire them creating the necessity for them to become an entrepreneur. Young people creating a startup might have a lot of drive, but might not have good judgment. Someone older and wiser with 30 years of business experience might be a God-send to keep them out of trouble in the strategic realm.

(6) Financing
Startups typically need cash from somewhere. I always started my businesses by bootstrapping. I never borrowed, and I build my businesses little by little. You can invest $100,000 in a business you know nothing about and you’ll lose your money fast. But, if you build little by little, you learn the business well by the time you have spent $100,000. You’ll also know if you have income by the time you are ready to invest any serious money.

(7) Finding Partners
As a general idea, partnerships are very risky as no two human beings are going to go the same direction their entire lives. However, if a startup specialized in finding you the right partner to cooperate with, that might really make a huge difference in your life.

That’s all for now. There are probably a lot of other tasks a startup helper could do. But, that is a good beginning!

Silly ideas for tech startups

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Startups are the rage these days. Everyone on social media is interested in reading about them. Startups have interesting ideas and even more interesting names. Personally, I feel that you can’t do well in a startup unless you have a goofy sounding name. But, what are some cool and interesting ideas for startups? Here are mind.

(1) ForgiveFind
I think the Pope should create a startup called, ForgiveFind which could be a site used to locate forgiving people. And if the programmers who build the site screw-up (they usually do,) then forgive them. And if the Pope doesn’t like my silly idea, I’ll forgive him too.

(2) You’re Fired!
I think someone should create an app where you can enter in employee information. You can track if they have been late on a project, or gave you an attitude about anything. Three strikes and you’re out. This app could have a database that tracks everything from coming in five minutes late to talking back to the boss just a little bit which could be 25% of a strike. If the employee doesn’t like being fired, they can visit ForgiveFind and try to talk the boss into getting a membership.

(3) InterestLevel
This site will track all of your interests, not to mention how interested you are in your interests. Are you very interested in hiking, but only a little interested in rock climbing? It will compare your data to everyone else’s data not to mention their attitudes about every issue on planet earth and find you some friends. Your friends might be older, younger, or funny looking, but they will have lots in common with you if you found them on InterestLevel.

(4) ParkingBuddy
This app will help you find parking places anywhere. It will be connected to a satellite that can see all parking places in the world (on a non-cloudy day) and see if where you want to park is free. Additionally, ParkingBuddy will be on good terms with the Parking Gods just to be on the safe side. I always pray to the Parking Gods and so far, I have been taken care of.

(5) RateMyTweet
This startup will help rank your tweets. It will take into consideration how the tweet performed the first time it was aired. But, it will also offer graphs to see how it does it tweeted on a regular basis and will help you determine the ideal frequency in which to tweet your various tweets. It will also track tweet variations, so if you worded your tweet in multiple ways, you will quickly learn which variation worked better. If you need help making your tweets a little more fly, try visiting PimpMyTweet which is a fictional tweet writing outsourcing startup in India.

(6) AuraJudge
This startup will come up with a machine that can read people’s auras. If you are walking through a seedy part of town, you will quickly learn who the dangerous people are when your aura-machine’s alarm starts going off. Germans can also use it to verify which innocent Syrian refugee is really an extremist!

(7) ScreenWriterBuddy
If you are a writer, and need to makes sure your schedule stays full, this startup will create an app that will email and text your contacts on a regular basis to see if they need your services. You can have your contacts buzzed once a week, once a month, or whenever you feel necessary.

(8) WineLover
This startup will create an app to track your favorite wines. It will remember which restaurants have wines you love, which regions you liked the most, and which stores have the wines you like at the best price. The wine-lover app will also tell you when you are too intoxicated to be using your i-phone by having Siri say, “Sober up you wino!!! — you’re too intoxicated to be using this app.” Or, “You know you’re too inebriated to be using this act when you spell Merlot — as Mr.Lote!” This app will also let you search your favorite wines by notes — if you want floral notes, raspberry, mocha, or vanilla, this app is for you.

Interesting Startups from around the globe

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Startups are a huge topic of conversation with young people today and on Social Media. I also find startups interesting as I have created many businesses in my short life, and a few of them have been very successful as well. Chinese investors are going all over the globe including places like Israel, Boulder, CO, and others to capitalize on venture capitalism involving startups.

After you see the various names of new companies, you might ask yourself: does it help to have a goofy sounding name if you are a startup? I think we all know what the answer is!

OurCrowd from Israel helps regular affluent people invest in startups with the same verms that top venture capitalists get. By utlizing crowdsourcing, they are helping smaller investors capitalize on early stage wealth creation.

This Indian startup sells mobile first coupons and has a cash-back app. It was chosen for the 500 startups accelerator programme which is one of the best accelerators in the world

Rubicon Global
Leonardo Dicaprio just invested in this trash startup. They use software to manage a network of independent waste haulers that bid on picking up trash from convenience stores and other types of businesses as well. I guess there’s truth the the saying, “There’s money in muck.”

This company helps mobile developers find clients and find advertising for their apps. This Israeli company already has half a billion users per months.

This Israeli company has a palm sized printer that walks across a piece of paper printing text on it.

Elio Motors
Elio Motoers is a top 2015 automotive startup. They make three wheeled vehicles and will be on display at the next Los Angeles Auto Show in November.

Yotpo helps eCommerce sites fill their review sections with genuine reviews. They send an email to customers right after they bought a product and have technology to make it a snap for them to write reviews from their smartphones.

This deal hunting startup ranks particular models of running shoes by price. A shopper can quickly find out where they can get the best price at the moment.

This European used clothing startup specilializes in “nearly new” clothing as well as coordinating pick up and delivery. They are a great alternative if you are fed up with the other startup ThredUp.

Should you work for a startup to learn how they operate?

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Portrait of a startup
I have a friend who wants to start a business. But, he wants to know how other startups do things. There is a certain energy at startups that is contagious — a zeal, a passion, a certain “je ne sais quoi.” The problem with startups is that the people running them don’t always have solid business experience. They are also working on a limited budget and don’t always have the best resources for hiring the right people. There will normally be one or two very talented people who have amazing skills, but are winging it as far as business predictions, human resources, and management are concerned.

Casual is good!
Startups are also fun because they are often casual, have a lot of younger energetic people, and have room for fast job advancement. If the company doesn’t fold, you’ll probably be promoted to Vice President the minute the boss can put someone under you!

Fixed routines might not exist
Companies that are venturing out into new directions are very different from long established companies with set routines and set procedures. I remember when I started my company how I changed my techniques for doing everything. My programmers and employees got really upset. They had just learned my methods, and then I changed them just like that. Being frustrated with change is not a good way to start if you want to work at a startup. You need to embrace change, and also understand the reasoning behind the changes (if there is any.) Additionally, your job description might need to include “other things.” The boss might not be able to afford a full time janitor or social media expert, so you might have to do both when you are not in marketing, you’re in management. If your tech genious quits, you might find yourself in HR when you signed up for a job in sales. If the company grows, but you haven’t yet moved into your new office, you might be stuffed in the corner. But, it’s all good, because this is part of the overall excitement of working for a startup. Personally, I love it.

Learning from the pros
If you want to learn from seasoned business people, the management teams at Coca Cola or Toyota are who I would sign up to learn from. Although they are far from startups, they have the most innovative, top notch managers that you can get. They have had to deal with more complicated situations, growth issues, marketing issues, and tactical situations than you can imagine. Those managers come up with smooth and well thought out solutions to any type of problem while managers at small businesses are often very limited in their thinking — especially if they have no experience like in many startups. Sure, working for a startup might be exciting, but learning from people who are competent is also exciting if you don’t mind being around suits all day long. My psychic and I channeled twenty companies using “magical” means (consciousness.) The results that we found were that the best business advice that we got came from seasoned pros. Organizations like Harvard or Hyundai were light years more sophisticated during the channeling than newly mushroomed companies like Uber or Twitter. My personal experience sounds very bizarre (and it is,) but try to think a little more deeply about the situation. Do you want to learn management skills from someone sound or someone who lacks a stable foundation? Who do you think you’ll learn more from? Personally, I feel you should try it both ways as you will learn different things from each experience.

The failure rate is high
Most startups do not succeed in the long run. There is a lot that can go wrong and many factors that will be out of your control. People who make the most money in business are able to perform a service or create a product that is better than anyone else’s. How can you possible be better when your company has no experience? However, if the owner of the company has twenty years experience working in robotics and your startup is in robotics, then you have a fighting chance since your skills are not just starting up.

If you don’t have the complete skillset
Many people dream about doing business. I once dreamed about it to. Now, I’m really “in business” as my friend Steve used to say with emphasis. The reality is not so glamerous. I need to do twenty types of tasks every day. If I only did nineteen out of the twenty, my business wouldn’t stay afloat. People I hire only want to do one or two tasks. When you ask them to do three, they start complaining. The lady who does incoming calls complains if she has to do outgoing. The lady who does over the phone testing doesn’t want to do social media. The person who likes social media, doesn’t want to write blogs. I have to do all of these things and more — and be good at all of them or I am out of business. If you are serious about working for a startup, you have to multi-task and be good at all of your tasks. If you start your own startup, then you have to do more than multi-task or you are out of business.

Think positively
If you do a good job, you might be the next Google, Uber, Baidu, or Facebook. So, work hard, try hard, and even if things don’t go as expected, you will learn a lot. Stay thirsty for success my friends!

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What does Mark Cuban say about startups?

Should established companies create startups?

Interesting startups from around the globe

What advantage does a new entrepreneur have over someone with 10 years experience?

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I remember when I was just starting out. I was so enthusiastic, and so hard working. I remember working seventy hours a week. I worked until it hurt. I slowed down a few years later as I couldn’t take it anymore. I watched each aspect of my business very carefully as I was concerned with everything. Although I lacked skill, I was so adament about everything I did, that my endeavors went well. I remember having trouble getting others to get things done, but I bugged the hell out of them until they accomplished their tasks. I remember financial risks I took, but I managed those risks so carefully, that I never lost big.

These days I am a lot smarter, and have a lot more experience. However, I make tons of mistakes just because I am too busy to watch everything I am doing with the same level of carefulness as before. When I was just starting out, I was so careful to make sure nothing went wrong. Just a week ago, I had a failed data migration that cost me a few hundred in lost labor. Sure, the cost won’t kill me, but the fact that I didn’t oversee the project with the carefulness that it deserved showed me something. I need to be a lot more on top of things, and that means managing my time better. I need to make priorities more as I am so busy.

Another thing that bothers me about my level of experience is that I have had so many different social media helpers, that I have become more complacent when their work doesn’t measure up. When I was first starting out, I wanted to make sure I got my money’s worth from everyone I hired. As I got more used to particular companies, and individuals, I let them have a lot of slack. I feel I am paying for that slack. Sometimes it is good to hire lots of new people, because people often behave better when they are new, and then start slacking off four to twelve months later. This is a very realistic and unpleasant fact about hiring people!

Looking back, I think it is definitely better to have the spirit of a brand new inexperienced entrepreneur and mix it with the experience and knowledge you have as an older person. If you have lost that new entrepreneur spirit. Try to gain it back. Try to relive your earlier moments if you can remember them. Try to rethink some of those thoughts you had as you were very short on money. Remember, when you first started your business, everything was new to you. As someone more experienced, most of what you are working on is old, and you only hire new people from time to time. When you were just starting, everyone was new and everything was new. Get that new feeling back into you!

Choosing company names that create an impression or tell a story

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When we start our first business, we are in a huge hurry to choose our business name. What we don’t realize is that our business name in a sense defines us. We also don’t know where that name will be in thirty years. For all we know there could be one thousand people working for us by that time in an international company.

Many companies choose their names based on the founders. Levi-Strauss was founded by some German Jews who headed out west to make their fortune. They didn’t make it panning for gold, but by selling denim jeans to those who did. Law firms are often named after the founders such as Silverman & Beckman. But, then there other companies that name themselves based on geographic information such as Pune BPO Ltd. for example (I just made that one up.) Then, there are other names that use strange terms like Yahoo and Google who turned out to be amazingly successful.

Amazon did well with their business. Their business name conjures up images of dense forests, piranhas, and adventures! And then there are car names that name themselves after words in foreign languages like Toyota Corolla. You could name your company after Ethiopian royalty with the name Sheba (which is also a cat name — meao!) You could name a company after a Native American Tribe like Zuni. Or just come up with something weird.

The point is that a well thought out company name gives you an extra edge in your business. It can give you image, intruigue, recognition and more. It is critical to compare thousands of well researched names before you pick your final name. The problem is that most business creators just pick a handful of names, ask their friends and family, and then ultimately choose one. Then, later on their change their mind. Take naming your business seriously as the rewards for doing a good job are fantastic!

Boulder is an amazing startup hub

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If you want me to identify the coolest little city in the United States, it would be Boulder, CO. Boulder is filled with young, hip, energetic, and healthy people filled with ideas and a desire to make things happen. Boulder is a University town, but is also a vibrant startup hub and IT mini-hub in the United States. Venture capitalists have their eye on Boulder for opportunities, but I have my eye on Boulder because I think it’s a cool place. I actually spent a night in Boulder on two occasions. It is so healthy there and I slept like a baby and enjoyed coffee in a jam jar the next day!

Boulder is a small and vibrant community that’s enthusiastic about technology. It combines small town warmth with fast paced industries normally found in the Silicon Valley or Boston. You’re right there forty-five minutes from Denver which is one of the biggest cities in the Western half of the U.S. But, you’re also only minute from hiking trails in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. In Boulder, you can enjoy the hip University town culture of eclectic restaurants from around the globe, but then enter the culture of skiing and hippy culture up in the mountains while having lunch at a Nepali restaurant.

It is always interesting to me how Swiss and Nepali immigrants to the United States often prefer Colorado. I guess the air is too thick for them down at sea level.

Boulder also has a much lower cost of living than other IT hubs. However, since more people want to live in Boulder than there are jobs, costs are not cheap by any measure in this city of 100,000 residents.

TechStars co-founder Brad Feld feels that Boulder has an incredibly open collaborative startup community. It makes me want to hop on over there and get to know these folks if they’re not too busy working. It’s fun when you can feel excitement in the air. Others have noted that Boulder has the “give before you get” mentality where the locals are very willing to help anyone without expectation of getting anything back. That is exactly the type of attitude you need to succeed, because success is all about being the best giver!

Some of the interesting startups of the area include:
Epic Playground which tracks video stats across different websites
FlixMaster which makes entreprise-focused videos and editing easier.
Gnip focuses on social analytics
Mocavo tracks your ancestors and genealogy in a similar way to
Precog lets people ask very sophisticated questions from their data

There are many other startup enterprises in Boulder. I hope I have given you a taste of what Boulder is like. If I were you, I would just drive on over. It would take me two and a half days of driving to get there, but it is worth it just to soak in the energy that the locals have about entrepreneurship. I am an entrepreneur and feel lonely in Los Angeles. I won’t be lonely in Boulder though.

On a final note. What did they call Boulder before it grew up… Pebble?