Startup Help, Expertise, Wisdom and Resources For Startups and Entrepreneurs

David Skok

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Top Stories by David Skok

There is no question that success for the entrepreneur starts with a breakthrough (or at the very least great) product or service. Yet too often, entrepreneurs fall into the "field of dreams" mentality (in the words of Terence Mann, AKA James Earl Jones: "build it and they'll come"). But the truth is that defining the product is just the beginning. Entrepreneurs must spend significant time thinking about the complexity of their sales process and the cost of customer acquisition, as these factors will strongly impact a company's ability to make money and attract investors. An obvious requirement for a successful startup is that they are able to make more money from a customer than they spend for a customer, i.e. Lifetime value (LTV) should be greater than cost of customer acquisition (CAC) (see my prior blog post, Startup Killer: the Cost of Customer Acquisition). In ... (more)

Consumerization of the Enterprise By @BostonVC | @CloudExpo [#Cloud]

Consumerization of the Enterprise – Phase 2 Consumer VCs like to make light of the Founders Fund mantra ‘We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters.' For those of us working in the enterprise, it's actually the reverse, "They promised us 140 characters, instead we got Workday." Since 2010, SaaS applications were supposed to "consumerize", but as anyone who has used the majority of SaaS applications released prior to 2014 knows, they are still clunky, punishing interfaces that happen to be hosted in someone else's datacenter. 2014 is proving to be the year where this cha... (more)

Battle In The Making

Portals, e-commerce sites, B2B commerce and so on...we're witnessing unprecedented demand for e-business solutions of every stripe as companies rush to put their businesses on the Web. With Y2K now out of the way, this has become the top IT priority. In the past many of these solutions have been built on top of IRM (Internet Relationship Management) products such as Vignette and BroadVision whose primary specialization has been content management and personalization. For early Web sites, mostly serving up static content, this was sufficient. But once the basic site is up and run... (more)

J2EE Standard Dramatically Changes Application Server Market

Earlier this year I wrote an article describing how Enterprise JavaBeans had impacted the application server market, causing a convergence between Web application servers and distributed object and transaction servers. With the advent of the J2EE (Java 2 Enterprise Edition) standard, we're about to witness another seismic shift in this market. It's worth looking at what J2EE is - and isn't. J2EE builds on the Java 2 standard, and adds specifications for most of the important programming interfaces in an application server. Key interfaces are EJB for middle-tier logic, and servle... (more)

Startup Killer: The Cost of Customer Acquisition

In the many thousands of articles advising entrepreneurs on what they have to focus on to build successful startups, much has been written about three key factors: team, product and market, with particular focus on the importance of product/market fit. Failure to get product/market fit right is very likely the number 1 cause of startup failure. However in all these articles, I have not seen any discussion about what I believe is the second biggest cause of startup failure: the cost of acquiring customers turns out to be higher than expected, and exceeds the ability to monetize th... (more)