Everything Is Changing

The digital revolution means that everything can be improved. So in a few short years, everything will be improved.

Most services and products are as good as they could be. There were limits to what any company could do, so they did the best they could and grew into giant multinationals on that formula. But the digital revolution pushes the possibilities to the end of the rainbow. The walls limiting what was possible have been breached. Already the improvements are massive. Just decades ago, banks were drowning in a sea of paper. Every bank had to process every piece of paper and stuff every check into an envelope and mail it back. No more. In a few short years, everything will be improved. Not just a little. But in big massive ways like paper disappearing from the banking industry. In the same way China skipped by the infrastructure phase of development and went straight to cell phones, new businesses that today are just in their infancy (like Bitcoin), or just starting up or a just a glimmer in someone’s eye will drive giant incumbents in every industry to their knees. Entire industries will be wiped out. By the second or third decade of this century, the landscape will be vastly different.

How will you cope?

I can see my industry, accounting and tax being entirely wiped out. What about yours? How will you pivot? Or will you wait it out?

You best study guide is science fiction. The singularity? Who knows? Whatever.

This will be a topsy turvey two or three decades. The entire 21st century will reverberate with possibility.

But keep in mind. Ellis can help you do whatever you need to do. At the very least you need to maximize profits by improving infrastructure, cutting taxes, cutting costs, protecting your business and making it more valuable. This is an urgent issue you need to address now. Then at least you will have more options.  This is what we do. http://www.elliscpa.us. Call us.

99% won’t see it coming until it hits them in the eye.

Fund Raising

http://tech.eu/features/3064/difference-raising-seed-capital-us-europe/

Money>Opportunity
More money available than investment opportunities?
Money with expectations looking for a place to land?
This puts VCs behind the proverbial 8 ball.
They’re sitting on money they need to place.

Big ideas by decent teams will get funded.

The problem is most ideas are too small.

Fund raising tip:

Every investor wants to make money. Answer that question and his ears will perk up regardless of the rest of the presentation. Everything else pales to insignificance when this question is answered. That will keep the presentation alive until something else kills it. Answer the return question with a home run and the rest of your presentation just has to be, “don’t kill it.” VCs roll the dice hoping for one out of ten to come in, but they’re looking for that “one” every time they talk to anyone. They don’t invest in anything they don’t think can be the “one”. Don’t make investors connect the dots for themselves. Tell them. Make sure they understand. If you’re in doubt, ask them, “Was that clear?”

Startup Decisions

A client met with trademark attorneys to get a trademark and found out there could be problems with another company with a similar name. He asked for my input and this is what I told him.

I don’t think he’ll be a risk to the other company with a similar name, but in a completely different line of business. He may even be able to get a waiver from this company, but …

But I’m wondering what are the consequences if there is a dispute? Could you establish the name in the marketplace and then lose it? I have seen a startup that had gained traction and started cash flowing lose it’s website over a naming dispute. It’s something you want to take seriously. The other guys end up with your name or your website or both, and you have to start branding all over again under a new name.

I’m also curious about the attorney. What does he mean it could be a risk? I’d like to hear something a little more specific. That sounds like he doesn’t know what to expect or whether he can even get it through the process. Is that what he’s talking about or is he talking about getting sued? I’ve gotten the impression start up communities attract a lot of unqualified professionals who get passed around like candy among startups who have no idea. I think networks are so important in those communities that referring someone adds to your status. I’ve seen more train wrecks than I’ve seen good work. Every time I touch something, there’s problems. In fact, I’m seeing this as the weak underbelly of the startup community.

I think it’s unique to the big start up communities because everyone intends to make a big impact, so everything has to be basically perfect. If you saw the Zuckerman movie, he had to keep screwing people just to stay in control. He’s been sued a bunch of times and paid off in most of them. In most places, startups are happy just to survive.

Some otherwise good startups never recovered from bad setups, bad stock grants, etc. One I’m aware of was all set for its first big round of financing when due diligence turned up the company was actually in the name of a former boyfriend. Patents, everything were in the name of the company. Everything died. Pretty funny on one hand, but scary on the other hand.

This shouldn’t be a big deal, but it can be.