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Virtual Co-Working Session.  We had our first virtual co-working session last week and I think we have a winning concept.   We are goiing to improve the format on this a bit and keep organizing and experimenting with these.  

If you have recently been added by this Google page it is because you have indicated at some time that you may be interested in these, and we may be transferring management of these HOA's to this page which will give us more flexibility.  Please consider adding this page to your circles.  We hope to see you at the next one.  
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How to Create a Minimum Viable Product This article in Business2Community doesn't quite live up to its title and its "prescriptions" aren't great, but it does give a good description of a Minimal Viable Product: "An MVP is the absolute bare minimum service or product that will allow you to get users, buyers, clients, etc. to see how they interact with your main idea. The goal is to spend as little as humanly possible in order to begin getting user feedback". The article also does a good job of reminding us that MVP methods can be applied to service businesses also: "Not building an app? Not to worry. As you decide upon the service or product that you intend to create for the problem you intend to solve, visualize all of the wonderful things you want this new company to do — and then throw them out the window. Start with one basic principle or functionality that is the foundation of the solution".

#startup #leanstartup
http://ow.ly/Fcocr
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An Alternative to the Pivot. The article describes an alternative to the traditional "pivot" where a startup quickly changes direction or approach that it calls 'the grind" described this way:

"there is another approach to finding product market fit and I call it the “Grind.” The Grind is when you launch something, it fails to get product market fit, and you grind on it, week after week, month after month, year after year, until it does. Usually the entrepreneur who chooses The Grind is obsessed with the problem they are trying to solve and can’t let it go. This tenacity is often rewarded if everyone is patient enough".

It goes on to use a company called "Brewster" as a case study. They started off providing an alternative to DropBox but have gradually evolved to a wholly different kind of service that provides contact syncing services for smartphones.

#startup
http://ow.ly/FSMJw
Everyone knows what a pivot is. You launch something, it fails to get product market fit, so you change direction and launch something different. There are many examples of successful pivots. Flickr, Twitter, Slack, and Kik all came out of pivots. But there is another approach to finding product ...
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Has Craigslist already done most startup ideas? A chart made four years ago by Spark Capital's Andrew Parker has been making the rounds again and as this article in Business Insider points out 'it seems to go viral every year"i. The chart is a screen shot of the Craigslist homepage and a list of valuable startups that have the same functions as the major functions of Craigslist. "Some of [the startups] have IPO’d," Parker says. "Others are out of business. If you could have made investments in all of these companies back in 2010, you’d have a portfolio of 34 companies with roughly 6-8 billion dollar outcomes, which would likely be one of the best venture funds of the decade."

#startup
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America's independent Workforce is over 50 million and growing. A recent study by elance-oDesk ad the Freelancer's Union has confirmed the existence of a massive and growing contingency workforce More than 53 million Americans are doing freelance work- more than 34 percent of the entire workforce.

The study divided freelancers into five categories and found that independent contractors comprise 40 percent of the independent workforce, moonlighters comprise 27 percent, diversified workers - those with a mix of traditional and freelance work comprise 18 percent, temporary workers are 10 percent, and freelance business owners are five percent.

The survey reported that demand for freelancer services was increasing with both education and experience strongly correlated with this demand and freelancers working in STEM fields experiencing the strongest demand of all. Earning extra money is the primary reason for Freelancing but schedule flexibility is also a top motivator. Finding work and income stability are, not surprisingly, the biggest barrier to freelancing more, but technology is making it easier to find work. The majority of freelancers feel that respect has grown for freelancing as a career choice.

#freelance #jobs
http://ow.ly/FSSIj
More than 53 million Americans are doing freelance work, according to a new, landmark survey commissioned by Freelancers Union and Elance-oDesk. The connected era we live in is liberating our workforce, and this is just the start. This deck contains data results of the most comprehensive survey of the U.S. independent workforce in nearly a decade. For more information visit: http://www.freelancersunion.org/53million
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+Jerry Nord​: That's something I worry about too. I wonder whether something like guilds could do for freelancers what 19th-20th century unions did for employees. 
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Every job in America in one Fascinating Infographic. A graphic image produced by the Planet Money Show of National Public Radio show the distribution of every job in America in one easy to understand picture. It was produced earlier this year from data complied from the United States Department of Labor for their monthly employment reports. The infographic speaks for itself, but Planet Money notes that there are roughly 137 million jobs in this country, and about two-thirds of those jobs are in private-sector services; the remaining third are split between goods-producing jobs (mainly manufacturing and construction) and government work (mostly at the state and local level).

#jobs #jobcreation #economy
http://ow.ly/FDUWG
There are about 137 million jobs in America. Here's how they break down — and how the picture has changed over the past few years.
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Canadian CEO concerned about involuntary entrepreneurship. An article in the Globe and Mail by Ken Tencer, CEO of Spyder Works, a Toronto based business design firm, expresses concern about the rising number of involuntary entrepreneurs.

Titled: "Why Entrepreneurship by Necessity Scares the Hell Out of Me" Tencer said he became concerned when he read about "accidental’ entrepreneurs" and learned that almost 13 per cent of the U.S. working-age population last year was in the process of starting or running a new business, but that more than one in five of those said they did so "out of necessity rather than opportunity.” While he agrees that "necessity is the mother of invention", he also believes that "you shouldn’t have to become an entrepreneur because you’ve been downsized", and instead, "you should want to become an entrepreneur because starting your own business is the one thing that you want or need to do more than anything else in the world".

Tencer expresses regret that he doesn't have "the perfect solution" for those that have found themselves self-employed our of necessity. but cautions to not be overly influenced by statistics that promote the rise in entrepreneurship as a positive trend because, he says, 'for some people it’s a trap".

#entrepreneur #selfemployed #economy
http://ow.ly/FDVtw
You shouldn't have to become an entrepreneur because you've been downsized. You should want to become an entrepreneur because starting your own business is the one thing that you want or need to do more than anything else in the world
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Focus on One Thing to Succeed | Inc.com http://ift.tt/17hHGJn
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Why an Accountability Buddy Is Your Secret Weapon for Faster Growth http://bit.ly/16Tpoun
Partner with another entrepreneur and coach each other to success. Here's how to create a win/win situation.
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This a great win - win tool for any business owner!
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Will China’s tech entrepreneurs challenge Silicon Valley? That is the premise of this article by Thomas Lee in "Biz and Tech" - a blog hosted by the San Francisco Chronicle. The article profiles Eric Li, a top venture capitalist in China who is convinced that China will soon rightfully take its place as a top global economic power and "might even displace Silicon Valley as the epicenter of tech innovation" Li, who was educated at Stanford acknowledges that they got some help: “There is a tremendous amount we learned from the U.S.,” said Li, founder and managing director of Changwei Capital. “We imported venture capital from Silicon Valley.”

Lee notes that trade restrictions have provided some real advantages to Chinese tech startups since government there bans Facebook, Google and Twitter, for political reasons which also shields homegrown companies from foreign competition. "A de facto monopoly on the world’s largest Internet base offers a huge strategic advantage for Chinese firms", he noted, "allowing those companies to quickly grow and develop in their home market before expanding to the rest of the world".

The article notes that many successful Chinese entrepreneurs have been educated in the United States and there seems to be growing acceptance of entrepreneurs in China. It also noted that while there are many challenges there are also huge opportunities for entrepreneurs in China. "That’s the beauty of starting a business in China: it’s a quickly developing country where there is no shortage of opportunities to be first at something" they quoted an entrepreneur in the medical industry as saying, “As an entrepreneur, there are a lot of problems to solve in China - it’s the best time to be an entrepreneur.”

#China #entrepreneur #SiliconValley
http://ow.ly/G1pnq
“In five years, the most valuable and second valuable company in the world will be a Chinese tech company,” said Li, a top venture capitalist in China. In many ways, Li, who received his MBA from Stanford, represents the new face of China’s business elite: confident and aggressive. China’s emerging class of entrepreneurs and venture capitalists, including Li and Alibaba founder Jack Ma, honed their skills at America’s top universities, corporat...
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Problems with Crowdfunding and Some Alternatives. This article in Entrepreneur titled, "Is Crowdfunding a Disaster Waiting to Happen?" author John Mullins describes what he considers to be serious problems with the Crowdfunding model.

First, he notes that most crowdfunding projects don't raise much money - only about 30 on Kickstarter have raised more than $i million. Second, a crowdfunding project is a tremendous amount of work - they need to be almost professionally managed and to be successful often require that you bring your crowd with you and have investors already lined up. Third, he says, "customer traction from the crowd lacks both the credibility and repeatability of customer traction from those whose problems your business will actually solve going forward".

Mullins notes that "raising funds is actually the easy part' but that "building a successful business that customers will love is much harder" and that crowdfunding doesn't help much with this because it is not a repeatable and reliable source of funding.

Instead, he recommends "funding your startup with your real customers’ money" and mentions five alternative models; matchmaker models, pay-in-advance models, subscription models, scarcity models and service-to-product models. In each of these models, he says, "the entrepreneur gets her hands on her customers’ money before having to pay her suppliers".

#crowdfunding
http://ow.ly/FSMo9
Equity crowdfunding has serious shortcomings compared with proven alternatives.
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Is Hollywood the Next Silicon Valley?  This article in the Los Angeles Times doesn't go quite that far, but it makes a solid case that things are really happening in the LA tech startup scene. They discuss, for example, how companies like Disney have started mentoring programs for startups and how many of the large tech companies are establishing branch operations there California is now the nation's fastest-growing hub for start-ups and the entertainment industry with its "reservoirs of cash, creative talent and glamour" is the key driver.  They go on to say that companies focused on online video, virtual reality, crowdfunding, gaming and online marketing or shopping are among those finding Los Angeles attractive because of the access to entertainment, advertising and fashion expertise.

#startup #LA
http://ow.ly/FDVTD
Japanese technology entrepreneur Ken Fukazawa was in San Francisco in March when his geeky friends told him about something awesome coming up in Los Angeles.
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Introduction
This is a page you should follow if you are an entrepreneur, startup company founder, small business owner, self employed or otherwise working in the new economy.   We publish publish curated summaries of the best articles about startup business and entrepreneurshi and this material will be well worth reviewing.   

This page is associated with the "Entrepreneurs, Self-Employed & Small Business" community here on Google+ so please consider joining that community if you are not already a member.  We also invite you to join the community platform World-Startups.com where we will also be organizing information and services to benefit entrepreneurs and small business. 

IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT THE CONTENT ON THIS PAGE.  This page contains curated and summary content.  Because we post something here does not necessarily mean we agree with it.  In the business of starutps and small business, there is a huge amount of conflicting information, and we think it is important that startup company founders be exposed to a wide variety of viewpoints.   
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