Tool helps companies develop app prototypes | How to run a company full of productive geniuses | Pitfalls to avoid when building your startup
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March 4, 2013
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Bold Ventures
Tool helps companies develop app prototypes
Entrepreneurs Marko Lehtimaki and Henri Vahakainu created AppGyver, an application that creates app prototypes quickly, as a tool for pitching their ideas to clients when they worked as mobile-application builders. Now, with $600,000 in funding, they are exploring the commercial potential of AppGyver. "Startups love it because they iterate so fast," Lehtimaki said. "They want to meet with investors and the media, and demonstrate what they've come up with." TechCrunch (3/1)
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Leading the Pack
How to run a company full of productive geniuses
Good leadership is not only about unlocking your workers' talents, but managing them for the best cohesive performance, says John Peoples, vice president of global franchise marketing and innovation at Merck Consumer Care. The key, Peoples says, is "trying to find a unique perspective in each one of the people who make up the organization and figure out how all of those unique perspectives work together." SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Leadership (2/27)
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Finance & Growth
Pitfalls to avoid when building your startup
Entrepreneurs shouldn't waste time arguing about titles and equity splits when they launch their startups, writes entrepreneur Stella Fayman. "Equity splits at an early stage startup are somewhat of a moot point: 50% of nothing is nothing," she writes. They also shouldn't require investors to sign non-disclosure agreements or neglect the importance of monetization. Forbes (3/1)
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Business lessons from the firing of Groupon's CEO
The dismissal of Groupon CEO Andrew Mason illustrates the need for leaders to avoid growing too quickly, adapt to changing leadership demands, improve their products and make sure their underlying business models are sound, entrepreneurs say. "Mason clearly had a vision that created a new industry of online deals," said Roman Stanek, CEO and founder of GoodData. "Unfortunately, he also created a difficult-to-control giant that very few startup CEOs have the leadership maturity to manage." Forbes (3/1)
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The Whole Entrepreneur
Don't get in the way of your company's growth
Entrepreneurs may be wise to step back once their companies reach a certain size, write Karl Stark and Bill Stewart of Avondale. Focus on creating a business that other people would want to buy, and consider taking some time off to make sure your company can survive when you aren't around, they recommend. Inc. online (free registration)/Herding Gazelles blog (3/1)
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Other News
Ideas for Innovators
Has America's innovation engine stalled?
Some economists think that America's ability to innovate and grow its economy has stalled -- but a recent study goes against that view, Irving Wladawsky-Berger writes. Patent applications are as robust as ever, suggesting that there's "no evidence that the ideas machine is breaking down," Wladawsky-Berger writes. Irving Wladawsky-Berger blog (3/4)
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Fortune from Failure
Zipcar's founder's direct approach to recovering from a key mistake
Once Zipcar had accumulated about 400 customers, founder Robin Chase discovered the rate it was charging was much too low. She wrote an e-mail to customers explaining that the price would have to go up, and she apologized for the error. Most of the customers who responded were supportive of the decision. "Had we not increased the rates, I'm not sure that we could ever have reached profitability," Chase said. Inc. online (free registration) (2/28)
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SmartQuote
One of the most valuable things you can do for your business is to be willing to walk away."
-- Karl Stark and Bill Stewart, managing directors and co-founders of Avondale, writing at Inc. online's Herding Gazelles blog.
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