Startup Articles


3 Stages of Design Thinking for Startups

It’s not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” – Steve Jobs

Ever wonder why Apple fans camp out for days and stand in long lines to purchase the latest product? Or the fact that they held candlelight vigils at Apple stores all over the world upon Steve Jobs’ passing? It’s not just because they love their iPhones, iPads and Macbooks. It’s because, to them, the Apple founder and CEO was a deity. Jobs was the living embodiment of an “intelligent designer.”

Apple products are addictive not only because they make people’s lives easier, but they’re just cool products period. They’re beautiful to look at it. That’s what great design thinking is all about.

Design thinking refers to the process of creating a product that solves everyday problems. It is applied throughout the entire lifecycle of a solution, from ideation to market delivery, with major emphasis placed on user experience. Just as an artist contemplates a painting and the emotions it will evoke in the observer, a good designer immerses him or herself in the persona of the one who will be using their product. [more]


Why Big Companies Buy Startups: 4 Main Reasons

When it comes to successful mergers and acquisitions examples, Facebook buying Instagram for $1 billion (when Instagram had zero actual revenue, mind you) is certainly one of the biggest deals in the modern age. At the time, a lot of industry experts thought Mark Zuckerberg had lost his mind. He had pretty much skipped the entire process of M&A due diligence. He didn’t even inform his board of directors about the purchase. He just did it. Now, Instagram is worth over $100 billion.

Today, Instagram is worth over $100 billion, according to a recent report by MediaKix. Obviously, Zuckerberg knew exactly what he was doing. However, when the news went public that Facebook was planning to buy Instagram, everyone began asking “why?”

Why do big companies buy smaller companies? What exactly is their acquisition strategy? We’ve come up with four reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with profit and loss statements. Here they are. [more]

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What Startups Can Learn From Famous Pitch-Decks

Every single successful organization began with an idea that was pitched to potential investors in some sort of slide presentation called “the startup pitch deck.”

A pitch deck is basically a series of PowerPoint slides that serve to communicate the overall business concept, target audience, and growth plan of a startup company. When it comes to pitch deck design, there is really no perfect format or magic formula, as each presentation is as unique as the idea being presented. There are, however, a few best practices that any entrepreneur should consider when putting together their first presentation.

We took a look at the original pitch decks of Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube. Here are a few tips we learned. [more]

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Startups: The Next Generation

Technology trends tend to change as quickly and often as fashion trends. Every new advancement sparks a niche industry of startups looking to capitalize on the latest breakthrough, and every incubator program and venture capitalist firm wants to be the first to nurture the next big thing.

Previous trends have led to the current rise of the Internet of Things, smart devices, self-driving cars, delivery drones, and virtual reality apps. The next wave of startups seems to be more focused on digital inclusion and harnessing the power of technology to do the most good.

There are currently three industries that are experiencing a high level of growth and interest in the startup investment community. Let’s take a look at trending startups in each industry that have already made great advancements. [more]

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Elixir vs. Ruby: Which is Better for Your Startup?

Ruby has been one of the most popular programming languages for decades. It is still the coding language of choice for most web app developers. As more new languages enter the development landscape, will Ruby continue to be so popular? Or will another language take its place?

The Elixir programming language was developed in 2011 by José Valim, a famous Ruby developer and creator of several Ruby gems. It is a general-purpose programming language that runs on Björn’s Erlang Abstract Machine (BEAM) which can be easily scaled over many servers (that’s a huge advantage when you’re working on a really big web application).

Elixir is the perfect language for developing highly scalable applications and websites that receive a lot of traffic. [more]

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How to Create a Pitch Deck That Converts

A not so long time ago, in a galaxy not far away at all, Facebook, Google, Twitter, Uber and other well-known tech companies were struggling startups trying to get funding. The founders had amazing ideas and hoped their solutions would be huge successes. But they needed money to grow. They needed a way to pitch their idea to venture capitalists in order to get them to invest. They needed…the perfect pitch deck.

A pitch deck is simply a PowerPoint presentation that explains a startup company’s business plan to a group of potential investors. Facebook’s original pitch deck was only 7 pages long and was filled with typos and bad graphics. However, it contained the right information and was presented in such a way that investors hoped it would become the juggernaut that it is today.

While there is no magic formula when it comes to overall pitch deck design, there are a few best practices you can certainly follow. Here are 5 tips that will help you create a pitch deck that will impress your audience and hopefully get you the funding you’ll need to become the next great success story. [more]

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5 Ways Startups Use Technology to Save Money

Ask any founder of any startup – whether it’s a now wildly successful unicorn or a distant dismal failure – to name one of their biggest challenges in the very beginning, and chances are they will say cash flow.

A recent report from CB Insights breaks down the top 20 reasons why startups fail. Not surprising, “running out of cash” is one of the main factors. Most initial startup funding comes from the founder’s own personal financial investment and happens way before any seed money is received. In order to attract the attention of investors and venture capitalists, a viable product or solution that fits a defined market need must be well-developed and properly presented.

Smart money-management is crucial in the early stages of any business. Entrepreneurs must look for creative ways to save money wherever they can. This is why more and more new companies are implementing high-tech solutions in order to work smarter, spend less, and make every dollar count. Here are 5 ways successful startups are using technology to reduce costs by 50% or more. [more]

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How DevOps Can Help Scale Your Startup

According to research, 90% of startups fail. 

 

The synergy between your software development team and IT operations department is one of the most important keys to growing your business. Establishing solid DevOps practices at the very outset of the startup lifecycle is vital to your long-term success.

 

One of the ways to prevent failure is by keeping up with good DevOps practices and using essential DevOps monitoring tools like Docker and Ansible. [more]

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These Startups Are Making the Web a Safer Place

In June of this year, companies all over the world, including Merck, BNP Paribas, and Federal Express, were held hostage by a ransomware attack. According to Microsoft, the attack originated in Ukraine and quickly spread to more than 64 countries.

With ransomware attacks such as this becoming increasingly common, cyber-security is now mission critical. Hackers and purveyors of the dark web are constantly finding new ways to steal proprietary and sensitive information.

Two of our start-up clients, Cybersponse and Tigera, have created innovative and viable security solutions for the next generation of cloud commerce. What they’re doing is pretty revolutionary when it comes to battling online hackers. [more]

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