Linksify just got a $500K cash infusion from Jon Fisher. I don’t quite get it to be honest. It seems no better than managing your contacts in Google, LinkedIn, and Outlook. In addition, these competitors are certainly established. I signed up to check it out because the company is in a similar space as my company, Lead411. The interface looks fine, but I wasn’t able to upload/sync in contacts. I, first, tried with Google/Gmail and none of my contacts were sync’ed. I tried it multiple times, but none of them were imported. The next thing I tried was an Outlook sync, but this feature is not available yet. I am suprised they would even go through with a beta launch if you don’t have an Outlook sync. Is that your most important feature?
Apparently Amazon has acquired Zappos for $880 Million in Amazon stock and $40 Million in cash. The link above links you to the letter Zappos CEO sent to their employees today. They have raised around $47 Million in funding over the years and began in January 1999. This is great news for Zappos equity holders.
I have gone to a lot of conferences and seminars over the years that were focused on startups, business plans, venture capital, etc. Not only that, but I graduated from USC with a degree in Entrepreneurship. Every single day we would have an entrepreneur or a venture capitalist present to the class.
Many times these speakers talked about how an entrepreneur is a unique breed, self reliant risk taker that goes through an enormous struggle when starting a company. This message almost always seemed to come from a VC and/or a so called chronic entrepreneur that received venture funding. I find this sort of ironic considering I believe the real entrepreneurs are the bootstrappers.
An entrepreneur is someone that assumes the risk of a company and owns all aspects of a business. First of all, almost all founders of vc funded companies get a 6 figure salary. You call yourself a risk taker? When I started my company I had nothing. If I didn’t make a profit that month I was seriously hurting. In my late twenties I was couch surfing to save money and when I did have enough for an apartment it was a literally a box with no kitchen. My car got repossessed! I am not trying to say my life has been tough(it hasn’t), but I am bit tired of the violin playing CEO of a company that got $5M in funding…
Second, once you get financing you are not in control of a company regardless of what you might think. Bootstrappers completely control their destiny… Even if you try to blame your failure on an employee you have to look at yourself. You are the one that hired them. If you fail it is because of you. You make the final decisions.
No offense to anyone that has received venture capital… I am sure I will raise money for other ventures in the future. I am just asking if we could make the struggle a little less sensational…
I have been using OpenTable for about a year now. It’s a great site and I will continue to use it. I don’t use it to search for restaurants by a specific type or cuisine, but more for trying to make a reservation. When I find a restaurant I want to go to I search for them on OpenTable. I find it easier to do this than to actually call the restaurant. For one, it sends you reminders so you don’t have to schedule it. Second, if there is no availability, it is easy to see the times available that night or for nights around that date. Another cool feature is just looking for a specific restaurant in a certain neighborhood. That is a great option if you are in a large city like New York.
OpenTable also recently priced out their IPO at $12-$14 a share. They could expect to raise around $42M. They did about $16M in revenues in the first quarter of this year.
PEHub is reporting that Minyanville just received $2M in venture capital financing. I have never heard of Minyanville, but apparently they get roughly 650,000 unique visitors a month. They are a media company that focuses on educating people in finance. The founder, Todd Harrison, is an ex-Wall Streeter who was the featured columnist at TheStreet.com.