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Good article on 11 Startup Skills You Won’t Learn in School

Article in Inc. by Young Entrepreneur Council  @YEC



LiveRamp + Acxiom !

Acxiom announced it is acquiring LiveRamp for $310 million: Acxiom Press Release

See a video of Acxiom CEO, Scott Howe, and LiveRamp CEO, Auren Hoffman, talking about the combination: LiveRamp Blog Post


e-Discovery and the Electronic Trails You Leave Behind….

Interested in how legal and information technology teams collaborate to protect a company from lawsuits and meet compliance requirements?  Curious about all the electronic “breadcrumbs” you leave along your daily journeys?  Here is a good overview of eDiscovery:


Search within the enterprise is more fascinating than you think, encompassing intelligent ways to determine relevant information in obvious and not-so-obvious records, such as sound recordings, video, email, chat, IM, text, images, documents, spreadsheets, relationship management systems, phone logs, cell phone data,  access logs, keycard access records, and GPS tracking devices.

Take this a step further into machine learning:  How can we quickly and accurately parse through the mountains of pages involved in complex contracts, financial assets, and intellectual property, for example, to extract relevant, non-duplicated information,  with a high degree of accuracy and  confidence?

I am working with a cutting edge search, content management, and eDiscovery company right now, in a great stage of growth.  If you are a Developer or Architect with LAMP, Java, or NLP background, or a Technical Client Consultant with Windows/AD/SQL, with interest in this product set, looking for an established, profitable company that still has pre-IPO stock available to a talented few, contact me right away. I am helping to build several teams right now.

Well Employed, But…..HAPPY?

You are a great engineer / developer / lead / manager and are well-employed in this economic downturn. But are you HAPPILY employed? If you are a good to gifted developer, don’t settle for “employed” – people with big things to build are looking for you!!!

  • Are you underpaid?  If so, but you like your environment, team, and challenge, go ask for a raise!
  • Do you want, and are you on, a promotion track?  Is your company growing enough to provide that rapidly?
  • Are you sufficiently challenged?  Are you innovating with the most cutting-edge tools and technologies?
  • Are you constantly learning new skills?  If you are not, your market value is shrinking as time passes.
  • Are you loyal?  Ensure your company is loyal to you as well, and keeping your best interests in mind as well as theirs.
  • Do you have significant equity?  If you do not, perhaps a startup – early, mid or mature stage – or a small or mid-sized company is a good move for you now.  If your expertise is building the company, you should have a piece of the investment.
  • Are you aware of your options “out there”?

Assess your current situation, improve what you can on your current job, and talk to a recruiter like me to keep tabs on other opportunities, which skills are in the highest demand, what the market is paying, and which opportunities come with pay, benefits, AND equity.    Recruiters – or Head Hunters as the good ones LIKE to be called – have access to jobs and companies that you may never otherwise find.  There is no obligation to simply check in with us once in a while.  🙂

Working With a Team

I’ve made a new move, trading in much of my home office time for a shiny glass desk at Montgomery and Market that’s a-buzz with energy.  I’m pretty good from a home office at staying in contact with people via social media, phone, email chat, Skype, and good ol’ networking event attendance; but there’s something to be said about the synergies fostered by working in a room with your colleagues, teaming up to quickly put a special talent in place with a good team, and taking time together to sharpen your head-hunting and client personalization skills.  And to be honest, I love rising up out of the train tunnels in the morning into the skyscraper landscape with all it’s accompanying hustle, bustle, color, sound, and excitement.  Make that a double shot mocha on my way to the elevator!

So what’s in it for YOU?  My Clients will be getting even more specialized attention and quicker candidate search response.  Candidates – I have more positions opening for you daily/weekly than ever before.  Right now, I have Java, iOS, Android, and PHP jobs coming out of my ears, so let me know what you are looking for and send me an updated resume for starters.  And when you are in my part of town – let me know if you have time to meet!

Consumer Internet is Hot

Consumer internet is where the big acquisitions and exits are happening, according to an SDForum VC panel I heard recently.  And Q2 2010 is up significantly from Q1. (See the data detail on the PriceWaterhouseCoopers site.)

 Angels stepped in  to help new startups in the last few years, but the VC’s are starting to come back around.  There is more interest in the B2C than the B2B space right now.

Group buying, which was tried but died about 10 years ago, is now poised for a comeback.  The communications infrastructure, mobile access, and social networking is in place to make it truly successful.

The word of caution, however, is that we are likely to see some hyper-growth in the next year as investors grasp for consumer internet assets to put in their portfolios on the heels of Facebook’s recent successes, but we will likely see some valuation rebalancing for hot consumer internet assets in about 18 months.

Startup Health Litmus Test Questions for the Recruiter

I enjoy working with early-stage startups.  Some recruiters think I am crazy – the monetary compensation is not usually as high as corporate, I will often work deferred and on contingency, and the risk is great.  The searches are harder because you are looking for extreme talented people who are willing to step away from a lucrative job, bet on their ability to deliver, and work for a deferred or low initial cash compensation.  So why do I do it?  It’s FUN!  The right startup team will be comprised of very interesting, highly intelligent entrepreneurs and I love to see how they put the next best thing together.  And to build the initial team that may one day turn into the next big brand – priceless (almost!).

I have paid a heavy price from some of my earliest involvements with startups,  including extended placed contractor payroll dollars.  Also priceless – lost meals with family, missed child performances, missed paying business deals, stress, etc.  Startups are to a large extent art, and so is the decision to work with one.  I have started a list of considerations I run through now when approached by a startup to recruit.  I will share it here, and please – if you have some items or advice to add, let me know!

  • Company Viability Background
  • Value Statement – simple, clear?
  • When/Why Founded
  • Founders’ Background
    • Starts
    • Funding Connections and Experience
    • Successful exits
    • Expertise in current core industry/sector
    • Are Founders “in” 100%?  How long can they last?
  • Core Team in place?
  • Board Members
  • Competition Research
  • Current Funding Status
  • Possible exits – have they planned?
  • Early Adopters, Clients, Partners on board?
  • Software Build Framework:  Fast Engineering Iterations  (Agile)
  • User Testing – Perspective/Plan
  • Marketing Approach and Expertise
  • Experience Evaluation with other Recruiters
  • Corporate Structure?  Credit Ratings; Personal Guarantee of Financial Commitments
  • How consistent and transparent is their communication with ME?
    • Readily available by email, IM, and/or phone
    • Able to put agreements in writing and sign
    • Review and respond to candidate submissions in a timely manner
    • Give me multiple contacts, including CFO or other key finance person
    • Keep me updated on their funding progress and team changes
  • Is some payment in equity available?