“Silicon Valley is a Graveyard”

December 18, 2008

I’ve just read early-stage Australian entrepreneur Kevin Garber’s story about his visit to Silicon Valley in Australian Anthill.

For a quick trip to Silicon Valley, this is an insightful observation. For those of us who live it day to day and have done so for years, we see it as simply reflecting the reality of a high risk, high reward culture that Silicon Valley is.  A place where 1 in 10, if you’re lucky, get funded, and “great ideas” without a market will quickly die.

The bottom line is – you’ve got to be here, you’ve got to try those great ideas, yes, every single one of them, because it’s only when you take the risk that you’ll ever reap the reward.

Subscribe to Australian Anthill — Score a Free DVD!

December 16, 2008

If you live in Australia and are not already a subscriber to Australian Anthill, here’s a chance to pick up a year’s bi-monthly subscription — and get your choice of one of nine free DVDs — for just $39.90 (AUD), but you have to act fast.

Click here and follow the instructions — there are only about 24 hours left as this offers expires at 5 pm Melbourne time, Thursday, December 18. The DVDs are a pretty cool assortment of quirky entrepreneurial entertainment — a mixed bag of titles like “Wal Mart: The High Cost of Low Price”, “Keating! The Musical”, and “Running with Arnold” (the Governator, of course).

But wait, there’s more! You don’t have to live in Australia to get a subscription to Australian Anthill. You might not get a free DVD, but you too can subscribe by clicking here. Australian Anthill covers what’s happening across a wide range of highly innovative and fast-growth businesses, SMEs with rapid growth potential and larger companies that realize the value of reinvention to stay ahead.

Editor James Tuckerman and his crew believe Australians are highly innovative but often lack entrepreneurial talent or global drive. Australian Anthill aims to change this culture and delivers the goods. If you’re not familiar with the magazine, you can sample some recent content online by clicking here. Daily doses of the editor’s insights into the Australian entrepreneurial climate can always be tapped into at the Anthill blog.

SmartCompany’s Best (and Worst) of 2008 Awards Lists Omnisio as “Best Deal of the Year”

December 15, 2008

Online video company, Omnisio, founded by Sydneysiders Ryan Junee, Julian Frumar and Simon Ratner simply had no competition when it came to SmartCompany’s 2008 Best Deal of the Year for Australian companies.  The time it took from start up to sale to Google’s YouTube was just 4 months. What’s their advice to others looking to move along a similar path in the US marketplace?

“Just do it”, said co-founder Junee. “It’s easy to spend months analyzing a potential business idea, trying to decide if there is a market, whether there are potential competitors, whether it’s even something people want. But honestly you’ll never know until you just put something out there – and in the process of building and releasing a product you will learn a LOT.”

Ryan Junee spoke about Omnisio’s success in Silicon Valley at this year’s Gateway to the US.

Tickets on Sale Now for Second Annual Crunchies Awards

December 15, 2008

Mark your calendars and purchase your tickets now — the second annual Crunchies Awards for the best tech start-ups of 2008 will be handed out in San Francisco, January 9, 2009 at the Herbst Theater.

The Crunchies are sponsored by TechCrunch, GigaOm, VentureBeat and Silicon Alley Insider. This year’s theme of “What Went Right in 2008” ought to be fairly inspiring — and if that doesn’t do the trick, surely the after-party across the street beneath San Francisco’s majestic City Hall rotunda with open bar and DJ will lift spirits.

Perkler’s Spotted as Trendsetter

December 10, 2008

Springwise.com has spotted Perkler, the ACT-based online community “for perks and people who love them,” as a smart new business idea for 2009.

Loyalty programs have been around for years—as evidenced by the mass of cards weighing down many consumers’ wallets—but the difficulty of keeping track of them all can mean that consumers often don’t reap the rewards they’re entitled to. Enter Perkler, an Australian site that just entered beta for the sole purpose of helping consumers get what they deserve.

Perkler is a 2008 Gateway to the US company with a big buzz for 2009. Read the full story here.

ANZA CEO Viki Forrest on the Silicon Valley Investment Climate

December 9, 2008

ANZA Technology Network CEO Viki Forrest tells the December 9 edition of Australian Financial Review that, based on her experience working with hundreds of Australian companies exploring the Silicon Valley innovative tech climate, green tech is primed to see immediate benefits from the incoming Obama administration.

Investment in clean technology has been booming in the US despite the parlous state of its economy.

“I think the limited partners that put money into clean tech and green funds are really glad they have done it, because [with] the change in the administration there will be more government grants and support behind environmental issues.”

….The growth of investment in clean technology has not “deflected” venture capital from more conventional technology and web start-ups, Ms. Forrest said. But such groups were exercising more caution in allocating funds to “high-risk advertising models,” she said. They were expecting to have to wait longer before making a profitable exit.

The Art of Bootstrapping by Guy Kawasaki

December 8, 2008

I share Guy’s outlook — in a down economy it’s those who think outside the “getting funded” box who will still be around when the economy picks up.

The term bootstrapping comes from the German legend of Baron von Munchhausen pulling himself out of the sea by pulling on his own bootstraps. That’s essentially what you’ll have to do, too.

Read the top 10 art of bootstrapping essentials here.