Investor Laura Sachar says she can spot entrepreneurs who have ideas, but don’t know how to execute them.
Sachar, general partner and founder of StarVest Partners, has been involved in early stage companies since the mid-’90s. She shared her insights on a panel at Business Insider’s Startup 2012 conference:
Sachar focuses on people in the early stage, because it’s about the belief that the person can figure out what to do with the business to make it successful.
“Often, the initial idea is not how the company succeeds and drives revenue,” says Sachar. “Focusing on the people first, and a belief that they can develop attractive ideas and move from there, makes sense.”
There needs to be a clear path that shows that the person can turn the idea into something real.
“If you can’t execute, you don’t have a company,” she says. “A lot of people have ideas.”
Nowadays, companies don’t need as much money to get momentum. She suggests that you take more money than you think you need (if it’s available), because so many investors are looking for the companies that are gaining tons of velocity in the early going. By having that money, you have more resources to pull that off.
Fans of the Lincoln-Kennedy coincidences can appreciate similarly contrived dynamics in comparing Nokia and RIM (neither of which, contrary to the occasionally expressed opinion, has been murdered despite “Apple and Android” consisting of three words and 15 letters). Both companies are former smartphone market share leaders — RIM in North America, Nokia globally. Both have had success in developing economies with efficient operating systems that they plan to support indefinitely. Both developed reputations for high build quality and good antenna design, and both were initially dismissive of the iPhone as they continue to see Android as the path to commoditization. And after precipitous market share declines, both hired new CEOs. Nokia, a European company, hired a CEO raised in Canada. RIM, a Canadian company, hired a CEO raised in Europe. These men now struggle with keeping their companies part of a viable alternative to the two dominant marketplace offerings.
Since embarking on their new operating system strategies, though, there have been many contrasts. While Nokia hired an outsider as a CEO, RIM hired an insider. Nokia decided to adopt a licensed OS; RIM decided to build its own (based largely on acquisitions). And now that both the 2012 Nokia World and BlackBerry World conferences have passed, there’s an opportunity to assess their comeback progress.
But Yelp faces a difficult path to becoming a profitable company. For now, the company has no clear path to profitability, according to Business Insider Intelligence research.
- How Yelp’s Business Works
- YELP: It Has No Clear Path To Profitability
- Hey, People Buying YELP At $25 A Share, What On Earth Are You Thinking?
Just one question.
Who reads privacy policies?
You probably don’t. Just like you don’t read the terms and conditions when you download and install software, or sign up for an online email account, or rip the tag off a new mattress.
The 1% of you who do read privacy policies are probably the exact same 1% who are losing sleep because information from your iPhone address book was secretly being uploaded to the servers of Path and some other app makers.
So the Attorney General and the six companies win for looking aware and concerned about online privacy, and the privacy zealots get to rest a little easier before going off on their next crusade. (Probably against Google.)
Plus, apps makers now all have to hire lawyers to write up these privacy policies and interns to put the policies online and build links to them in their apps. Which increases employment!
Wins all around. Well done.
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Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.
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