links for 2010-01-13

  • Getting “funded” is the holy grail for most entrepreneurs. Unfortunately in early stage startups the drive for financing hijacks the corporate DNA and becomes the raison d’etre of the company. Chasing funding versus chasing customers and a repeatable and scalable business model, is one reason startups fail.

    This post describes how companies using the Customer Development model can increase their credibility, valuation and probability of getting a first round of funding by presenting their results in a “Lesson Learned” venture pitch.

    It should go without saying that this post is not advice, nor is it recommendation of what you should do, it’s simply my observation of how companies using Customer Development positioned themselves to successfully raise money from venture investors.

  • o deliver useful search returns from the so-called real-time Web–such as seconds-old Twitter "tweets" reporting traffic jams–Google has adapted its page-ranking technology and developed new algorithmic tricks and filters to keep returns relevant, according to a leading Google engineer.

    Google rolled out real-time search technology last month, to offer searchers access to brand-new blog posts and news items far faster than the five to 15 minutes it previously took Google's Web crawlers to discover newly created items.

  • According to a report from The Korea Times, Apple is set to introduce the "iPhone 4G" no later than April, with the device hitting store shelves around the globe by June. The report includes some interesting specs on the unannounced product. Let's take a look.

    Apple is set to make an announcement later this month. The topic of Apple's reported press event is said to be about a tablet device, though new information about the iPhone is not out of the question. Ahead of that event, The Korea Times claims to have information from a source inside KoreaTelecom (Apple's distribution partner in South Korea) that confirms details about the next generation iPhone.

    The iPhone 4G — as it is currently being called — would sport an OLED display, a dual-core processor and a better graphics chip. Other features being reported include a removable battery (!!!), dual cameras to support video calling, and possibly mobile TV services.

  • Facebook had a master password that allowed employees to access any account and still records far more information about how you use the site than you’d assume, according to a new interview with a Facebook insider.

    American blog, The Rumpus, has published an interview with someone it claims is a current Facebook employee. The biggest revelations: there was once a master password that would access any profile and Facebook records which profiles you visit most (essentially a stalking count) amongst many other bits of data.

  • "This is not GDrive" said Google Docs product manager Vijay Bangaru yesterday while showing me something that sure does look exactly like the fabled GDrive.

    "How is it different," I asked.

    "That's hard to say, because GDrive doesn't exist."

    Alrighty then. Putting that aside, you can soon upload any file type at all to Google Docs, not just the dozen or so Office formats that the service allowed as of yesterday. Video files. Images. Audio Files. Even Zip files. As long as those files are 250 MB or smaller, you're good. The new feature will roll out over the next several weeks, says Google.

    Like other documents in Google docs, files can be kept private, made public or shared with a few users. Google Viewer can be used to view many file types, with the notable exception of video.

  • As Facebook reached 350 million users worldwide, its largest single source of growth was still the US.

    Inside Facebook reported that the US gain of more than 4.5 million monthly active Facebook users was the highest number of any country. Because of the large installed base of US Facebook users, it represented a 5% gain, compared with 10% growth in countries such as Indonesia, the Philippines and Malaysia.

  • When pitching a business to a venture capitalist, the presentation should be so simple it can fit on a square napkin. Well, actually seven napkins, according to Tech Coast Angels, a group of Southern California angel investors.

    “Southwest Airlines business plan was conceived on a cocktail napkin. Compaq Computers “portable” design was originally sketched on a restaurant napkin. An investor presentation can equally be simplified by following some guidelines that offer thoroughness with simplicity,” the angel group says.

    Specifically, Tech Coast Angels lays out the seven “P’s” for entrepreneurs to include on slides when pitching a VC:

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