Francois Houbert

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The 13 Most Powerful Founders And CEOs In Tech 2014

Control technology and you’re on your way to controlling the modern world. Technology has become so ubiquitous that it’s hard to imagine a world where you can’t find information with a quick Google search, buy anything pretty much anything with a few clicks, and connect with people around the …

14 CEOs On What Makes And Breaks A Best Small Company

In his first year as CEO at Sturm, Ruger & Co., Michael Fifer went to retailers across the U.S. that sold his company’s guns so he could learn what customers <i>really</i> thought.<p>“I spent more than 30 weekends working behind retail counters all around the country, often without revealing to consumers my …

How 'Good Enough' is Actually Optimal

<i>This article originally appeared on the iDoneThis blog.</i><p>Ten years ago, Jon Bell, now a designer at Twitter, told his wife that he’d be happy with how much he was making for the rest of his life.<p>I didn’t make much at the time. But that marked the day I began trying to fight back the impulse for …

10 Things A Startup Founder Learned About Money While Backpacking Around The World

"I realized I was living a childhood dream," he says of that moment, near the beginning of his year-long, 21-country travel adventure. "And I started wondering why I was the only one there. "<p>That epiphany became the first seed of his financial education website, Phroogal, which crowdsources …

Personal Finance

Why Every Founder Should Work for Someone Else ASAP

<i>Daria Shualy is Don Draper/product marketer at daPulse.</i><p>All entrepreneurs are serial entrepreneurs. It’s a personality trait, some might even call it a condition. Serial entrepreneurs don’t like to stop. They sell one startup (or more likely shut it down) and shortly after, they’re telling you how …

5 Startups That Get Customer Service Right

Nordstrom. Zappos. USAA. Everyone knows these classic cases of customer service success.<p>But did you know that there’s a whole new generation of startups successfully using customer service to build loyalty and grow their businesses, fast?<p>Meet some of today’s customer service superstars:<p><b>1. Asana</b><p>At …

8 Things You Should Never, Ever Include in a Pitch Deck

You have perfected your pitch and are feeling confident. But before you step into that big meeting, there are a few common stumbling blocks you should be aware of.<p>We asked eight YEC what you should never, ever include on those slides (no matter how tempting).

8 Books Every New Entrepreneur Should Read

In this, perhaps, Golden Age of technology entrepreneurship, Peter Thiel can rest assured he will find an eager audience for his new book, <i>ZERO TO ONE: Notes on startups, Or How to Build the Future</i> (apparently he couldn’t decide).<p>Thiel, who turns 47 next month, was a co-founder of PayPal, and a …

Tips Every Startup Founder Should Live By, As Told By One Of Silicon Alley's Most Successful Entrepreneurs

For some (and probably many) startup founders, that line probably doesn't exist. Few entrepreneurs know this as well as Alexa von Tobel, the founder and CEO of LearnVest.<p>Von Tobel officially launched LearnVest in 2009 as an online subscription-based service aimed at making financial planning easy …

Startups

3 Ways to Boost your Startup

Let’s start with a simple truth: three out of four startups are destined to fail. The scariest thing is, the line between success and failure is a fine one. Even if you’ve got a killer product and your startup is ‘off the ground,’ if you’re not getting your fair share of capital, coverage and …

3 Signs You Should Not Become an Entrepreneur

<i>Jeffrey Lyon is the founder of Black Lotus.</i><p>Everything looks easier on TV. From the safety of your couch, you know you are a better singer than the contestants on “The X Factor.” You are a tougher cook than those on “Hell’s Kitchen,” and you would be a far better entrepreneur than those …

How to Make Your "Uber for X" Idea More Than Just a VC Pitch

It will be a given that these services are instant and accessible via a device that we always have on us.<p>As a venture firm, we see entrepreneurs routinely pitch companies as “Uber for X,” where X can be any number of mobile-enabled services. We agree that Uber is just the tip of the iceberg and …

7 Ways to Validate Your Startup Idea

<i>Ariel Rosenthal is a co-founder at</i> <i>Xprt</i><i>, a new startup looking to save people the hassle and the headache of doing extensive research before buying a product.</i><p>I don’t know if you ever experienced a eureka moment – a second when everything comes together and an amazing idea pops into your head. As …

So You've Validated Your Startup Idea. What Next?

<i>Ariel Rosenthal is a co-founder at</i> <i>Xprt</i><i>, a new startup looking to provide instant technical support and shopping advice from reliable and vetted experts.</i><p>Working on startups for the last 10 years, I had some successes and some failures. Six months ago, I pulled the curtains on a startup I had …

Stop Micromanaging Your Employees

<i>This post originally appeared on the 15five blog and has been republished with permission.</i><p>Running a company can often feel like caring for a newborn child. There is a natural and healthy fear that arises that if you are not eternally vigilant then something bad will happen.<p>With a baby, this is …

Tasks Startup CEOs Should Always Outsource

<i>Mikita Mikado is the co-­founder and CEO of electronic signing software PandaDoc. This article was co-written by Christy Delehanty, the Content Manager at PandaDoc.</i><p>“There isn’t enough time.”<p>It’s a common complaint. A familiar refrain reverberating through the startup world, picking up volume as it …

28 Mistakes Startups Make When Pitching To Investors

Entrepreneurs from early stage startups have to pitch to investors to raise financing, and many entrepreneurs are inexperienced or terrible at making the presentation. As a venture capital and angel investor who has heard many pitches, I’ve compiled a list of mistakes and things to avoid if you are …

The Right Crowdfunding Sites for Your Startup

<i>Johnathan Leow is the author of “The Crowdfunded Kit.” This post originally appeared on his blog.</i><p>I commonly get asked what is the best crowdfunding website for your startup.<p>In order to answer this question, we’ll have to first answer another question: Which crowdfunding model suits your project …

How to Create Better App Icons, 6 Tips from Apple.

This is a guest post by Martin LeBlanc, the founder of IconFinder, a search engine for icons. You can follow him on twitter here<p>Shortly after the WWDC event in San Francisco in June, a plethora of iOS7 resources became available on the web. Throughout the hundreds of sessions, speakers and …

How to find a techie co-founder for your startup

I’m not a tech guy, but even before I knew what a startup was I wanted to make one. Finding tech co-founders has been the biggest challenge for me in building one. Over the course of three years, I’ve made countless mistakes and wasted a lot of time.<p>But I did manage to build an awesome team of …

Asana Finally Launches A Native iOS App After Facebook Cofounder Bet Wrong On Web-Based Apps

Collaboration software company Asana’s mantra is about moving beyond email in the workplace. But the company cofounded by Facebook billionaire Dustin Moskovitz hasn’t been really delivering on that message considering that users have struggled to use Asana on their mobile phones–precisely where …

Why Bad Financial Predictions Will Kill Your Startup

<i>Paul Jackson is the Founder of Worthworm.</i><p>If headlines are to be believed, it’s a great time to get into the startup game. It seems like every day startup after startup is announcing its most recent million dollar round of funding or billion dollar valuation. However, if you’re just entering this …

Get those software patents fast: take advantage of special U.S. patent programs

Obtaining a patent has traditionally been a long process, which is particularly burdensome for software patents. But it doesn’t have to be that way.<p>As of March 2014, the average time between filing of a patent application and having that application examined by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office …

How to Build an Attractive Financial Forecast for Investors

<i>Andrej Kiska is an Associate at Credo Ventures.</i><p>“Why should I build a financial forecast for my fundraising presentation? There is no way I can predict what kind of numbers I can hit in the next four years.”<p>This is one of the most common reactions we get during a pitch when we ask about a financial …

Every Company Is A Tech Company

Uber is encountering a series of challenges that are notionally unfamiliar to the current generation of tech companies: wrongful-death lawsuits, rent-seeking by an entrenched industry, regulatory scrutiny from local bureaucrats, worker protests. The company admitted to having disrupted a …

Hyper launches the first Made-for-iPhone/iPad USB flash drive w/ built-in Lightning connector

Hyper— we’ve reviewed some of its MacBook batteries and iPhone accessories in the past— is today announcing the first Made-For-iPhone/iPad/iPod touch (MFi) flash drive that includes a built-in Lightning connector. Unfortunately you can’t get your hands on one just yet, but you can preorder through …

FDA Approves Segway Inventor's Mind-Controlled Robotic Arm

The era of real cyborgs has begun. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave its first approval for the sale and marketing of a prosthetic arm …