83% of Startups Hiring in 2011

Silicon Valley Bank recently published “Startup Outlook 2011” with results from 375 interviews of private and VC backed hardware, software and clean-tech companies.  Across the board the startup companies are reporting better results than in the past with increases in expected hiring, economic perception, profitability and overall growth.

Startup Outlook on Business Conditions from SVB

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Golden Triangle of Search

One of my favorite graphics is the result of a study done by Enquiro Research that tracks the eyeball movement of people as they used an Internet browser.  Clearly shows the impact of the top three search results and the obscurity of not showing up in the top five results.

Image showing density of eye tracking as users search through a typical search page on Google.

US Broadband and the Death of the Land Line Internet Connection?

According to research from the OECD, the US continues to see growth in broadband connections and is the largest in terms of total accounts at around 81 million connections at the end of 2009.  But when the same data is reviewed based on connections as a percentage of population the US drops to 15th.  One article published on Gigaom.com looks raises some concerns about the type of connections and pace of growth.

Graph comparing US broadband penetration to rest of OECD countries

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Learning from Gaming

There is an interesting article published yesterday in the Harvard Business Review that takes a look at the idea of increasing the use of games in the classroom.  This is not surprising given the continue growth in the game industry and as a larger percentage of the population has grown up with technology, the percentage of people playing games is impressive.  So how many people are actually playing games?  Can games be an effective education resource?  How can games be used most effectively in education? Continue reading →

America’s Competitive Advantage

As an advocate for entrepreneurship, in late 2005 I was asked by a friend to write an article about my thoughts on entrepreneurship and immigration policy.  Researching that article I cam across some very interesting statistics on the productivity of foreign-born entrepreneurs, the United States dependence on foreign minds and the most surprising, that during the dot.com 1990s, more than 50% of start-up companies in silicon valley were started by foreign-born nationals.  In a nutshell, America’s competitive advantage is its ability to attract foreign entrepreneurs and innovators.

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Can Entrepreneurs Be Made?

A brief but interesting article in Tech Crunch today by Vivek Wadhwa, entrepreneur and Visiting Scholar at UC-Berkeley that takes a look at the origin of entrepreneurs and attempts to dispel some commonly accepted myths perpetuated by the VC community.

Entrepreneurs aren’t born, they’re made. And they aren’t anything like you think they are. My team surveyed 549 successful entrepreneurs. We found that the majority didn’t have entrepreneurial parents. They didn’t even have entrepreneurial aspirations while going to school. They simply got tired of working for others, had a great idea they wanted to commercialize, or woke up one day with an urgent desire to build wealth before they retired. So they took the big leap.

It is clear from the research over the past decade that many of the assumptions regarding entrepreneurs, often perpetuated by the VC community and media are pretty flawed.  Entrepreneurs are more likely to be older than right out of college, foreign born, and not in Silicon Valley.