If you think your business startup can never get off the ground or that you need years of experience and a lifetime of connections to get others to pay attention to you, the story of 16-year-old Nick D’Alosio will change your mind. The London-based teenager has received funding from the likes of Zynga founder Marc Pincus, actor Ashton Kutcher, and artist and Beatle widow Yoko Ono totaling $1 million in startup capital so far. But you don’t need to get endorsements from celebrities to launch your next great business. Our roundup looks at D’Alosio’s success and then gives tips on how other entrepreneurs can find it too.
Getting the Ball Rolling
Boy wonder. To be accurate, D’Alosio was even younger, just 15, when he received his first $300,000 from Horizons Ventures, also an investor in companies like Facebook and Spotify. D’Alosio got these investments, of course, not just because of connections but because these investors and others were interested in an application he had created called Trimit and later Summly that summarizes online news on mobile devices. The best takeaway for any investor: Create a product or service in demand first. Yahoo! Small Business Advisor
Book smarts. Some entrepreneurs take plenty of training courses and read lots of books to learn how to start and run their business better…and to learn how to be a better entrepreneur. While education is important, it may be unwise to rely on those books and courses for everything you need to know to get a business started, warns online entrepreneur Steve Chou. Brave words for a guy who sells his own training course for starting an online business, but check out more of what Steve has to say. My Wife Quit Her Job
The curiosity key. The real key to entrepreneurial success maybe something completely different than the level of knowledge you possess, blogs businesswoman and writer Catarina Alexon. In this post, she shares thoughts from Steve Blank, serial entrepreneur and Stanford consulting associate professor, about the characteristic that is most important to entrepreneurs. Catarina’s World
Watching for Obstacles Ahead
Bad vibes. Conversely, there are some things that can clearly hamper your startup success, and your success as an entrepreneur for that matter. Pay close attention to this simple list of “5 Reasons Why You Will Never Startup.” Some of these items may take you by surprise, since they are often the opposite of the qualities we normally associate with success. If you find some of these in your own startup preparations, don’t stress. Use this list as a road map for change. Rahul Varshneya
Startup chasm. No, you won’t find this landmark on any map, but you will discover it in any graph reflecting the growth curve of a startup. As startup adviser Martin Zwilling explains, these chasms are waiting for entrepreneurs in every area of their company’s growth, including product development, marketing, sales, and customer support. Here are some thoughts on crossing the chasms that appear with every new startup challenge. Startup Professionals Musings
Keeping Track of Costs
Low cost launch. Of course, you don’t need Nick D’Alosio’s $1 million in investment capital to start a profitable business. Heck, even Nick didn’t have that when he started out. In this post, Deborah R. Humphrey gives us some thoughts on keeping costs low when launching a business. It’s a must read for entrepreneurs who want to get started but don’t have much money to spend. Expert Advice
Lean and mean. Any business can operate on a tight budget and reign in costs, even if it’s got plenty of capital to start with. But possibly the best time to be frugal is during the startup phase when you remain uncertain about the demand for your products and services and thus unsure of the revenue you can ultimately count on for your operations. Here are six tips that should help you keep costs under control, giving you more maneuverability as your business grows. SBA.gov
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