Friday, July 15, 2005

Live From OSCON

Follow along from troutgirl's blog:
I think we will also be doing a 106 Miles session in Portland, probably on Wednesday evening -- so if you've ever wanted to attend one, this is the time to let me know via email or the comments to this entry. I'm going to try to get someone to speak on some topic related to building a business with Open Source software, and we'll have some free-as-in-beer beer and pizza. It's a good time for entrepreneurial engineers, and space is limited. I'll try to give as much priority as I can to people who aren't from Silicon Valley and therefore haven't ever had the opportunity to attend a 106 session, but please let me know early.
By the way, there's still plenty of time to sign up to attend OSCON 2005... see you there!

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

"Oh -- I get it."

Dylan pointed me to a nice writeup by Seth Levine on putting together a good venture presentation. My favorite two DO's are the first two:
DO have a 2 or 3 sentence description of what you do. This should be simple and straightforward. Your grandparents should hear you say this and say ‘oh – I get it’.

DO make sure you start your presentation by telling the people who you are talking to what it is you do. (I’m truly amazed by the number of times it takes 6 or 10 powerpoint slides to get to the part of the presentation where I finally understand what it is the company that is presenting actually does...)
One thing not addressed in that writeup is whether or not a company needs venture capital. This is a question for which there is no definitive answer in all cases. Just last week, Joe Kraus (of JotSpot) and David Heinemeier Hansson (of 37 Signals) chimed in with their perspectives on the subject.

Friday, July 01, 2005

How many new ventures?

106 Miles is hopping lately! I know of several conversations between members that have led to job offers, people joining startups, cooperation between projects, and other cool opportunities -- even a date or two, heh. There seemed to be mad networking going on at the party last night, everyone was so genuinely interested in what everyone else is up to. It's fantabulous to think we might be useful as an information hub for our members! Remember, Rifkin is LinkedIn to practically everybody, and loves to be asked for favors... ;-)

But then someone asked me today: how many actual new ventures have been started by 106 Miles members in our first six months of existence? I'm afraid I don't have a good count. There's at least three that I know of, although I can't claim that 106 had much to do with any of them -- but it does show that members are seriously thinking about the startup life. If you know of others, we'd love to hear about them.