Fresh, Ep. 2 with Teaman & Company Founder | Joining 500 Startups and selling luxury jewelry online

For those who enjoyed the first Fresh episode with Wetravel.to Co-Founder and CEO about Building a travel startup, here is the second episode with Teaman & Company Founder about joining 500 Startups and selling colored gemstone  jewelry online:

Audio version:

Please let us know what you think in the comments or give us some anonymous feedback.

 

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Fresh, Ep. 1 with Wetravel.to Co-Founder and CEO | Building a travel startup

If you are interested in tech entrepreneurship, you might like my recent experiment shooting video interviews with startup founders. For now, there is only one video, featuring my Berkeley-Haas classmate Johannes who is the Wetravel.to Co-Founder and CEO.

Without further ado:

Audio version:

Future plans:

For the first episodes, I am planning to focus on UC Berkeley MBA classmates and friends. Unlike other tech and entrepreneurial shows online, I am going to focus on “fresh” entrepreneurs who have just got started recently and are not hugely successful to the point when they only give you boring politically correct “CEO press-conference” type of answers.

Also, in terms of style, I am planning to keep it very conversational as opposed to conducting it as a formal interview. It means that sometimes we will be talking about a bunch of things unrelated to business, such as music, books or life in general, just like we would when meeting friends to catch up.

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Quora: ask any question

I could not find enough time to post here recently. I certainly have been doing more reading than writing. So, I thought why not to share some of things I read? And I decided to tell you about Quora.

As you most probably already know, Quora is a questions-answers website which succeeded in doing what Google and multiple other companies failed at: provide a decent quality of responses.

Several months ago they even created their own book “Best of Quora 2010-2012“, compiled of best answers, available for free download. It covers quite a range of topics. From Steve Jobs to moldy cheese, from neurological basis of curiosity to Jay-Z. I hope to find time and selectively read the most intriguing ones.

quora

In a meanwhile, here is the short list of questions on the website itself that I found noteworthy:

Add me if you are there.

Venture Lab: free Stanford University online courses

I devoted some of my time to self-education in September-December using the opportunity provided by Stanford University Venture Lab‘s online courses. In this post I would like to briefly describe my impressions and share some useful materials from the courses. Venture Lab courses are somewhat different from other online courses in that they take place during a specific time with specific deadlines, and you need to enroll in order to participate.

I tried three courses: Technology Entrepreneurship, Crash Course on Creativity, and Finance. As they are very different, I will tell you about each one separately.

Technology Entrepreneurship

This is probably the best one. Although, there are multiple opinions on whether entrepreneurship can be taught, there are a lot of useful materials.

Lectures certainly vary in content. Some are quite theoretic and contain, for instance, large charts showing, how probability of team’s success depends on the number of members or on their background. Others are more about anecdotal. There was, for example, a story about history of skateboarding culture. I didn’t know that it originated from dry Californian summer during which many Californian pools were empty and people started using them to ride inside instead of swimming.
Aside from theory, there is also a team work that is highly encouraged and is in fact an integral part of learning process. Working in teams you are supposed to do market research, create and test the business model. Participants are very diverse. There are people from Pakistan, Belarus, Serbia, Russia, Canada and many other countries. You can pick any of already existing teams (hundreds of them) or create your own and invite other students to join.

If it is too late for you to participate, you might still benefit from these materials:

I think it takes about an hour a week or so to keep up with the lectures. But if you want to do more, for example communicate on forum, read recommended books, and actually try to apply ideas to some project, it will take longer, of course.

By the way, if you are interested in this topic, I highly recommend you these recent notes from Peter Thiel’s lectures. They also happen to be in Stanford. Computer Science dep. It will save another hundred thousand dollars. 😉

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How to win any negotiation: summary of “Getting to Yes” by William Ury

I listened to Getting to Yes by William Ury who is probably the most recognized negotiations expert few months ago.

If you never heard about William Ury, short TED talk might be the best way to get to know about his impressive career:

And here are the notes that I wrote down while reading it. Probably they will be of some use for you as well:

1. Always set a goal of negotiation form the very beginning: “You want to sell at the higher price and I want to buy at the lower price. Let’s find the fair price that can both agree upon.”
2. Always try to understand interests behind a position. How did you arrive at that price? Why do you consider it just?
3. Always repeat the position of another side: “Correct me if I’m wrong. Do I understand correctly that you consider this price to be just because…”
4. Always set a principle, external standard to judge the agreement. E.g. fair solution.
5. Separate a person from a problem. “We are very grateful for everything you did for us but it’s very important for us to arrive at the fair solution.”
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Business model generation

Business model generation book that I’m currently reading is a brilliant example of how complicated topic can be structured and explained visually so simple that even a kid would understand it.

Here is the 72 pages free preview of the book provided by businessmodelgeneration.com.

CONS
It should be noted that it doesn’t go into much deep granularity level, doesn’t give you numbers, formulas or ready-to-use solutions.

PROS
However, it does give you food for thought, important questions to ask and what’s more even more important a great thinking framework that can also be used for brainstorming and collaboration.

Available on Amazon.

What Would Google Do by Jeff Jarvis, personal & business lessons

Recently I finished reading What Would Google Do by Jeff Jarvis. Judging by title I didn’t really expect lots of insights from the book but it appeared to be truly visionary and smart. It even made me kind of regret choosing Economics&Business major over Computer Science 7 years ago…

WWGD appeared not to be about Google itself but about the way business, economics, relationships and world in whole change as the result of technologies wide spread and simplification. So, in fact the book covers quite wide range of topics. From Google’s PageRank, to Facebook, new media, customized solutions, customer relations, blogging, Twitter, context advertising, search engine optimization, online communities management, government policies and many other.

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How can online entrepreneur or a frequent traveler get the most of Evernote internet service (6 tips)

What is important for the entrepreneur who travels around the world? To be totally mobile. And part of being mobile is to have all your information, both business and personal available with you at the any part of the world. Preferably, without carrying anything with you. Well, Evernote lets you get precisely that.

how traveler and online entrepreneur can use and get most of evernote

This is the online service which allows you to store any images and texts (even Microsoft Office documents in the paid version) that you want to use as a reference in future. You can save the data right from the browser by selecting pieces of information and pressing just one button or using the shortcut or you can type something manually. All the notes can be viewed and updated if it’s needed either with the Evernote application or online web-site.

But the most important thing about online storage services like this is that they lower your level of worry. When you know will not lose any information because it’s stored on the server and accessible 24/7 from any place in the world that has the internet.

What makes Evernote even better is that it has a very powerful search engine built-in. It means that even if you upload a picture with text, it will be automatically recognized and transformed to the text format. To make the long story short, this is a priceless tool for me. And if you still don’t have an account I recommend you to get one right now.

So what are the useful lifehacks that can help you get the most of Evernote?

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