links for 2009-11-14

  • One of the surprising things about PR is that the value to your business, in my opinion, is not that you are in the news one day. Sure it's great to be able to say to your friends and family, "We're going to be on the six o'clock news!" or "Look for us in tomorrow's business section." But for my money, that one story pales in comparison to the continuing benefits:

    • It is independent, third-party validation that your business is worth noticing. An advertisement that you purchase is you saying your business is great, but a feature story is someone else, someone with credibility, saying it. That is why it is so valuable.

    (tags: pr marketing)

  • The Department of Energy has tapped a venture capitalist to run its ts loan guarantee and green auto loan programs.

    The D.O.E. said Wednesday that it had named Jonathan Silver, a former managing general partner at Washington D.C.-based Core Capital Partners, to head the loan programs. Those programs, notes the Earth2Tech Web site, have doled out millions in loans and guarantees to venture-backed companies like Tesla Motors and Fisker Automotive.

    Core Capital focuses on alternative energy, advanced manufacturing, telecommunications and software.

    The loan guarantee program has $4 billion in appropriations to support up to $32 billion in loan guarantees, while the green auto loan program has $7.5 billion in appropriations to support up to $25 billion in loans.

  • More and more television content is making its way online. But because of different deals by various networks, it’s all over the place. Even the huge sites like Hulu, only skim the surface in showing what is out there. Clicker, a service launching today at TechCrunch50, wants to be the most comprehensive way to find the video content you’re looking for on the web.

    While there are no shortage of video search engines out there, Clicker believes its offering is superior because it creates a structured database of programming, organizing shows by things like network, genre, and show name. This type of data not only allows for better search results, but it allows you to browse content without having to do text-based searches, which you probably won’t be doing when television and future web-enabled tablets start to serve up this content. Clicker already has a deal with Boxee.

    (tags: search tv video)

  • Amid the spam, books, and late night TV infomercials promising inside information about little known government programs and free money, there actually is cash out there for your business. In fact, in Q3 2009, ChubbyBrain, which tracks venture capital, angel investment and several other types of investment in private companies, tracked $2.3B going to 65 young companies from various governmental or government-affiliated entities. These programs and government sponsored public-private partnerships offer funding via loans, grants and equity investments to promising young companies and technologies.

    getting funded badgeThe average deal was $36.2M, but this aggregate number is misleading; several large fundings by the Department of Energy distort it. The more interesting highlight for early stage entrepreneurs is seen in the chart below. The great majority of investments are under $5 million, with the median across the 65 deals standing at $1.1 million.

  • If you really want to learn how to move up in the business world, you’ve got relatively few sources of expert information. And when you’re done with all the MBA BS, the business self-help books, and God help us – the life coaches – ask somebody who’s done it, and he’ll tell you.

    Come to think of it, if you think you can learn what works in the real world from anyone but someone who actually succeeded in the real world, well, let’s just say you might want to rethink your management potential.

    In the past we’ve talked about all kinds of management tools and leadership qualities, but this time, we’re going to cut right to the chase. You won’t find these five tips anywhere else, since you’re the first ones to read them. Moreover, these are indeed CEO best practices that I’ve observed in few middle managers – those with CEO potential.

  • Suppose you’ve started a business that needs $100,000 of external financing to get off the ground. Because none of your friends or family has the money to make the investment, you’re looking for an accredited angel investor.

    That investor is going to be very, very hard to find. Statistically, very few people are in a position to make these kinds of investments.

    Let me give you some numbers to show you how rare this source of financing is. Because only a small number of new companies are successful enough to generate a reasonable return on an investor’s capital, most accredited angel investors realize that they need a diversified portfolio. Therefore, most investors will only invest a small portion – sophisticated angels say no more than 10 percent – of their net worth in start-ups. So a person who can invest $100,000 in start-ups needs a net worth of at least $1 million.

  • Google's Chrome OS project, first announced in July, will become available for download within a week, we've heard from a reliable source. Google previously said to expect an early version of the OS in the fall.

    What can we expect? Driver support will likely be a weak point. We've heard at various times that Google has a legion of engineers working on the not so glamorous task of building hardware drivers. And we've also heard conflicting rumors that Google is mostly relying on hardware manufacturers to create those drivers. Whatever the truth, and it's likely in between, having a robust set of functioning drivers is extremely important to Chrome OS's success. People will want to download this to whatever computer they use and have it just work.

    (tags: google chrome os)

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