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startups_by_the_numbers-thumbSome interesting “numbers” on “startups”.

The term ‘startup’ is used too broadly to have any meaning . Many of the numbers really apply to small businesses  – which is not synonymous with ‘startup’.

And, I hesitate to call these statistics or data because they are subject to much interpretation. For instance, this infographic perpetuates the meme that 50% of new businesses fail within 3 years. This is a gross generalization. 50% may not exist after 3 years, but this also may be due to other factors such as the owner retiring and closing the business.

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staff-com-cost-to-run-startup-thumbA rather interesting infographic/analysis on the annual cost to run a small startup , in different cities around the world (assuming your startup is at the point where it can actually start paying developers):

Staff.com is based on the idea of hiring employees from all around the world.  And we’re a startup. So we thought it would be interesting to compare the costs of a startup including a small office and hiring 2 developers and 1 designer from different cities and countries:

 

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18-Mistakes-That-Kill-Startups-THUMBInfluential and iconic venture capitalist and entrepreneurial though leader Paul Graham, known for his epic essays on entrepreneurship, recently penned an interesting one listing the 18 mistakes that kill startups.

While I wholeheartedly agree that there are many fundamental mistakes that can derail (or even kill) a startup’s chances for success, not all 18 of these are true “startup” mistakes.  Mistakes like “Poor Investor Management” assumes that your venture is far enough along that you have investors who need managing.  Like all advice – these 18 cannot be taken at face value.  Mr. (Dr., actually) Graham cites “Obstinacy” as a top-5 mistake –

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An excellent overview of the kinds of funding available for entrepreneurs (startup funding). But this can be very misleading in a way: The “money available” and amounts invested absolutely do not reflect the likelihood of attracting funding from each source – nor do the amounts indicate how effective the funding source is towards the success of the startup.

Startup Funding Infographic

 

Entrepreneurs - What people think you do
   
Credit: Rubin

 

The infographic below is a very good overview of startup funding, particularly for first-time entrepreneurs,  from our friends at Funders and Founders.  how-startup-valuation-works-infographic

For new entrepreneurs the chart can be a tad overwhelming.  When you’re scraping for your first few dollars from friends and family it’s hard to look ahead at the metrics for your IPO in 5-10 years.

The math, logical and psychology surrounding the premoney and postmoney valuation is the most important aspect that every first time entrepreneur has to grasp. Entrepreneurs are focused on the cash that they need to make the idea a reality, or to take it to profitability. Investors’ issues are entirely different. Most entrepreneurs quickly realize the chasm, and start to pitch in terms of a huge return-on-investment potential. This is too simplistic. Experienced investors think of start-up funding in terms of stages – with each stage ideally making their on-paper investment more valuable.

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Below is an ironic infographic that so nicely illustrates how some of our most iconic (and wealthiest) entrepreneurs never graduated college. This is an attractive meme based largely on casual evidence. Apparently this evidence is enough to power the belief, or implication, that college is irrelevant or even detrimental to entrepreneurial success. So powerful and attractive is this belief that even Stanford-educated-billionaire-Paypal-founder-Facebook-investor Peter Thiel established the Thiel Fellows aka “20 under 20”:

Thiel Fellows are given a no-strings-attached grant of $100,000 to skip college and focus on their work, their research, and their self-education.

While I don’t want to be the one to challenge or question anything Peter Thiel thinks will be successful, I do question the underlying logic. If the top Billionaire/Entrepreneurs all skipped college – then does this necessarily mean skipping college made them entrepreneurs? I’ll also point out that, the iconic entrepreneurs below all are men. By that same logic we should be encouraging only men to drop out of college and become entrepreneurs.

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