Tool helps users clear clutter from their e-mail inboxes | Cancel your meetings and go for a walk around the office | Platform connects students, alumni to promote collegiate entrepreneurship
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March 28, 2013
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Bold Ventures
Tool helps users clear clutter from their e-mail inboxes
A service called Mailstrom, created by 410 Labs, is designed to help users quickly sort through their e-mail inboxes and get to the messages that really matter. "What we've done is exposed and made easy a set of processes that a lot of people maybe could do but they haven't really thought to do it," said David Troy, the company's CEO. After receiving coverage from bloggers, the service's user base has grown to 35,000 even though it has yet to officially launch. TechCrunch (3/27)
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Leading the Pack
Cancel your meetings and go for a walk around the office
There are better ways for bosses to spend their time than in endless meetings and evaluation sessions, writes S. Chris Edmonds. The best leaders take charge of their schedules and make plenty of time for walking around the workplace, engaging directly with workers and modeling the kinds of values they hope to see emulated. "These leaders invest time in observing by wandering around, connecting one-on-one with frontline team leaders and frontline employees and asking how things are going," Edmonds explains. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Leadership (3/26)
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Finance & Growth
Platform connects students, alumni to promote collegiate entrepreneurship
A new crowdfunding platform called AlumniFunder is intended to connect students with entrepreneurial ideas to alumni who have access to capital. After registering with their .edu e-mail addresses, students are placed into the appropriate collegiate networks. As with Kickstarter, users who post projects on the site have a certain period of time in which to raise funds. TechCrunch (3/27)
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Startups eschew social networking, focus on "boring problems"
After a string of disappointing IPOs from social media companies, the startups involved in the Y Combinator incubator program appear to be focusing on topics other than social networking. "Now startups are more focused on solving boring problems that make money," according to investor Don Dodge. They are also more focused on generating revenue than on number of users. The Wall Street Journal/Digits blog (3/26)
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The secrets to creating a thriving startup
It's important to assemble a supportive group of co-founders and to pick an idea you are passionate about to achieve startup success, according to Victor Henning, CEO of Mendeley. "Startups can be so emotionally draining, frustrating and demoralizing, that unless you believe your idea is worthwhile, it's unlikely you will stick with it," he notes. Also, try to find someone to be your first investor who can help you by making valuable introductions, he recommends. The Guardian (London) (3/27)
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The Whole Entrepreneur
Build your startup without burning yourself out
Turning a startup into a successful, mature company can take a long time, so it's important to create balance in your life, writes Todd McKinnon, founder and CEO of Okta. You can accomplish this by prioritizing your personal goals, making time for your family and finding time to exercise, he writes. "If the president can find time to hit the gym, so can you," he writes. The Wall Street Journal/The Accelerators blog (3/27)
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Ideas for Innovators
Why large groups can stymie creative thinking
Some people may choose not to join in innovation initiatives that already have a large number of engaged participants, writes Scott Bowden. For this reason, it may be a good idea to split employees into small "pods" -- perhaps consisting of two or three people -- to generate new ideas. In these situations, "members realize that they must contribute something to the conversation as a way of representing their pod," he writes. (3/27)
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The journey from startup to mature company is a marathon, not a sprint, and you might be hiring a former boss in 10 years if you do it right."
-- Todd McKinnon, founder and CEO of Okta, writing at The Accelerators blog.
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