Well, it looks like Adobe is wrapping things up nicely before the long holiday weekend. Mere days after the most recent round of updates, the software outfit has just announced its acquisition of Behance, the online portfolio community for creatives in a number of disciplines. Founded in 2006 by CEO Scott Belsky, they NYC-based outfit will remain it’s current location and retain all of its 32 current employees. Touting over 1 million active users and 90 million project views in the past month, Behance is an online repository for portfolios, feedback, inspiration and the hiring of creative pros. Adobe is planning to fully integrate the design community’s wares into it’s Creative Cloud arsenal “allowing members to seamlessly create content, seek feedback, showcase their work and distribute it across devices.” For now, there won’t be any changes for free and paid members of the Behance offerings, but Adobe is evaluating how to integrate the paid portions into Creative Cloud memberships with the free option from the community remaining as such. Head on past the break to take a gander at the full announcement.
There probably is no “right way” to start a company.
But, if there WAS a picture-perfect, fool-proof method, it might look like Percolate.
Percolate, a SaaS solution for marketing managers, was founded by James Gross and Noah Brier in early 2011. Today it raised a $9 million Series A round and it has more than 30 Fortune 500 companies as clients. They’re each paying Percolate about $10,000 per month.
There are a few things Gross and Brier did in their startup’s earliest days that set them up for success.
- They each worked for marketing companies before founding Percolate.
- When they had enough knowledge and industry connections, they quit.
- They bootstrapped until they proved their model.
- The used outside capital to step on the gas.
Gross was a former sales executive for Federated Media and Brier worked for a marketing agency, The Barbarian Group. While they were there, they created a lot of contacts in the marketing and advertising departments of major corporations. They were also able to see inefficiencies and demands in the industry. Later, while the two were bootstrapping Percolate, everything they absorbed at Federated Media and TBG became very valuable.
Being employed also enabled the pair to save up money and bootstrap. They funded their startup themselves for one year, during which Brier ! and Gros s worked out initial kinks.
When they finally had a working model and paying clients, they sought outside capital. They used a $1.5 million seed round to accelerate growth; they didn’t waste it stumbling around and pivoting.
Of course, a lot of successful companies have been founded other ways. Zuckerberg never had a job before founding Facebook. Ben Silbermann initially set out to be a doctor, but he ended up founding Pinterest
It’s too early to guarantee Percolate’s success. But whatever Gross and Brier have done up until now, it seems to be working.
The graphic includes recommendations by month and by day, as well as some additional optimal times to buy (e.g., oil changes early in the morning). The savings recommendations overlap our own comprehensive Best Time to Buy Anything guide and Best Days of the Week to Buy Almost Anything, just offering a different view and some additional items like real estate.
The company plans to use the investment round to expand the product and curriculum as well as increase distribution. In the past year, half a million elementary school students used the platform, viewing more than 11 million lessons. An independent study found that students who used DreamBox for four months, improved their test scores by about 5%.
As a nation, the United States is lagging behind in math, but educational startups may soon change that. Another popular startup Khan Academy recently raised $5 million, which uses videos and practice problems to teach a range of courses including physics and computer programming. In October, Founders Fund invested $33 million in education startup Knewton, which has an adaptive learning algorithm that has been used to power a college online math readiness course.
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He noted that pundits said a $99 Kindle would send people into a “fervor”. Then Bezos whipped out a $99 Kindle Touch and said the “fervor” for cheap Kindles could begin.
A few minutes later, (oddly) with less excitement, Bezos revealed a $79 Kindle. Considering the Kindle started at $399 four years ago, these are very impressive price cuts.
We’ll start the next round of questions from the pundits to Bezos: When will the Kindle be free? When will Amazon’s special offers, and Prime program make it cheap enough for Amazon to give away Kindles? Next year? The year after that?
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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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