Venture Shark

by Demetri Demascus

Posts tagged entrepreneurship

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E-Tip: Search Engine Optimization

Many people have asked me if I could explain search engine optimization.  In this web based world that we live in, Search Engine Optimization, better known as SEO, is key to success.  This first SEO post will just be a basic overview of the first steps you must take to optimizing your site for search algorithms.  A step by step guide will be posted soon.  Please take advantage of these tips before the guide is posted as it will save much time and even make your site more appealing in the short term.  The factors that contribute to the algorithm that is Google’s search bot are:

  • External links on other websites to yours
  • Freshness of content
  • Technical soundness of site
  • Relevancy of data
  • Time site has been on web
  • Link popularity of a specific page

Let me elaborate, the external links on other websites are important as search engines such as Google are driven to organize websites by the amount of other websites linking to it.A website with hundreds of thousands of websites linking to it will be listed much higher than a website with few.Be careful though, as most social media links do not apply to these rankings.In addition, over optimization, or purely posting links around online in a spamming type manner can earn you penalization by Google, such as ban or becoming buried in the listings.Freshness of content and time on the web are other major factors as the engines look for the newest material to list first.New content will make you appear more important to Google.A blog on your website is a solid way to be sure that the content stays fresh and up to date.In addition, make sure the data and text on the site is relevant to your company and keywords.Technical soundness of site is crucial as well.You cannot have broken links or elements of the website not optimized.By making these changes and being sure that your site fits this framework, you are already well on your way to moving up the Google rankings.Keep checking back for future E-Tips, including and SEO step by step guide.

Filed under entrepreneurship e-tip seo search engine optimization

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E-Tip: Structuring Equity when bringing on Investors

When starting a company, many entrepreneurs wonder how they should dole out shares in their company.  Even structuring an agreement with your partners can turn into a messy situation.  This can be especially difficult when bringing in external financing.  I recommend that you use the 3 T’s to structure how you would divide your company:

  1. Time
  2. Talent
  3. Treasure

Time would include how much time have you invested in your business since inception.  This is extremely important to consider as some entrepreneurs have invested years of time into their business.  Talent would encompass all of your skills and knowledge.  Was it your business idea?  How did you develop it?  What value did you add?  How can you help it move forward?  These are all important questions to consider when evaluating talent.  Treasure is exactly that, what investment did you put into the business?  How much will other investors put in?  How do you value that?  Remember that once people get their skin in the game (ie. put their money into the business), they will usually become extremely invested in the business in both the time and talent categories.  I will touch on this later.

Many investors feel that because they are taking monetary risk, they should be receiving a significant chuck of the company.  While it will come down to your negotiating, you must consider your time and talent.  While as an entrepreneur you may have only had limited funds to invest yourself into the business, it is important to remember what you bring to the table.

Despite this, I want to urge you to completely consider what value venture capitalist’s can add to your business.  Too many times on Shark Tank have I seen entrepreneurs leave empty handed because they would not give away merely 30% of your business.  With venture capitalist’s with such expansive networks and experience, it confuses me why an entrepreneur would not give 30%+ of their business to a magnate such as Mark Cuban.  Remember that while an investor may be at first contributing equity, they are businessmen as well and will want their investment to grow.  Evaluate and talk with them about what time and talent they plan on contributing.  Get to know both sides and see the total value that an investor is adding.  Owning 100% of a company making $30,000 per year is much different then owning 30% of a company making $1,000,000.  

Filed under financing venture capital e-tip entrepreneurship

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You can buy Twitter followers (if you’re willing to spend money stupidly), but you can’t buy a living network of people who are invested in you as a person and/or a creator. You have to earn that through work, and by being a person worth friendship.

John Scalzi via http://whatever.scalzi.com/2012/05/03/amanda-palmer-kickstarter-and-everything/ (via msg)

This is where I see the weakness in Facebook in the future. Facebook is making its money by trying to allow a company to buy your friendship. This will only work for companies that are you want to associate with in that way and the problem for Facebook is that there are not that many companies that fit that bill.

(via siminoff)

(via siminoff)

Filed under e-tip entrepreneurship

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E-Tip: A short idea about Failure

I would like to share a quick Tumblr post that came across my Tumblr feed.  As failure and entrepreneurship go hand in hand, I felt It was important for new, young entrepreneurs understand that failure is all part of the journey.  You must learn from your failures, and apply your new knowledge to your next venture.  Remember failure is just an educational experience, NOT the end of the road.

msg:

The act of failing shouldnt be seen as a flaw in ones self but more of a flaw in hypothesis and approach. 

The goal to some extent should be to fail as quick as possible so you can get closer to being on the right track.

Dont apologize for failures either.

Own your failures and create an action plan to make sure you dont make the same mistake again.

As the Facebook kids like to say: “Move Fast and Break Things”

Filed under entrepreneurship e-tip

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I just wanted to share a video that I have known for some time but my professor reminded me of in class today.  For all interested in entrepreneurship, this is great to watch.  For those who aren’t, watch and see.  Comment and let me know your thoughts.

Filed under Entrepreneurship