Great sources of information for start-ups

November 20, 2007

Recently we exhibited at the Startup Exhibition at Olympia in London. It was refreshing to see that there is indeed a growing spirit of entrepreneurship. My view is that. if the new Chancellor doesn’t succeed in completely bringing it down to pieces with his proposed CGT and taper relief changes, the UK may be on the right track to reducing the gap that exists with the US in being a breeding ground for new businesses.  

Interestingly, the a very common problem people seem to face in the very early stages of starting a businesses is one of information. You would have though that it’s more tangible things like raising cash or building a team that top of the list; but arguably before one even gets to that stage even they need to read up on “how to raise capital” or “how to build a team” etc. etc.

Whilst one may think this is a paradox given the vast resources of information accessible online these days, it’s actually quite daunting to think how much information is actually out there: even in the blogosphere alone (which is still a relatively new phenomenon considering).

In light of that I decided to share with you a few of my favouritre sources of information relevant to small-businesses and start-ups (aside of www.peopleperhour.com of course!)

  1. Paul Graham’s essays:. Covering a wide range of topics from “common pitfalls in startups” to “how to raise funding”: very pragmatic, concise and to the point.
  2. Book called “Founders at Work” by Jessica Livingstone: a very pragmatic insider into the real stories behind some of the most successful startups, and the problems they faced, as narrated by the Founders. 
  3. Book called “Crossing the Chasm” by Geoffrey Moore: great marketing book relevant to anyone working on disruptive innovation
  4. Book called ‘The Tipping Point’: now a classic, and still the best book I’ve read on how things go viral
  5. Techcrunch:   Web 2.0 blog
  6. Venturebeat similar to Techcrunch
  7. A VC : Blog of a New York Venture Capitalist 
  8. The Funded : if you’re raising VC money you better go to this website! You will find stories of companies funded by VCs that may just change your mind (wither way)
  9. The Bootsrappers Bible, by Seth Godin. Also a summary available online on http://www.changethis.com/8.BootstrappersBible  
  10. Venture Hacks:  great  source of in formation for business planning. And what to avoid when negotiating Terms Sheets   

Needless to say, this is not an exhaustive list, but rather ten of my favourite sources. Aside of one other which I find myself looking back to every time things go a little bit astray, just to remind me that it could all be a lot worse: the ultimate pitch . Enjoy!

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