Tag Archives: entrepreneurship

Why stories are important to online retailers

9 Aug

I found this to be a wonderful insight on the importance of stories for online retailers.

On the marketing side, we’ve learned that having a great story is as important as having a great product. As a small company, you need to connect with your customers on an emotional level as well as on the physical level of the product. We sell DODOcase’s exclusively online which means most of our customers are buying a product without ever touching it. To achieve sales in this way, its important that customers ‘want’ to buy into the story as well as the product. We’ve believe that we are in the middle of a giant cultural shift from the book to the computer (e-reader/iPad). We hope that DODOcase can help ease that transition by providing the tactile experience we’ve all grown up with applied to these amazing new devices.

via The Way of the Dodo — How to Sell 10,000 iPad Cases at $60 Each (and Other Lessons Learned).

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Bottlenecks in the Entrepreneurship Pipeline: Legal

3 Mar

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the entrepreneurship pipeline and the bottlenecks that keep people from starting a business. Some of these bottlenecks are necessary (not every company deserves the $500k in funding they want) but many of them are process problems that can and should be fixed.

An overly complicated legal system can keep people like me in business but there’s no question that its harmful to entrepreneurship.  I can count at least a dozen potential entrepreneurs who never entered the race because the legal challenges seemed to daunting.  You could make an argument that perhaps those folks wouldn’t have succeeded to begin with but isn’t it possible that the costs outweigh the benefits?  I refer not only to the cost of incorporating (as high as $500 in many states) and the cost of raising money ($30k or more in legal fees) but the cost in time and energy wasted on activity that does not always create value.

A group of attorneys and venture capitalists led by Series Seed’s offer of open source legal documents is a good example of how we can make the process simpler, I encourage you to check out the explanation of these documents. With reliable financing documents and a few hours of legal advice, many companies seeking to raise $25,000 or $50,000 will be able to get the financing they need to expand and their business ideas.  In the situation where both the investor and the company want to play ball, this is a way for the “umpire” to get out of the way.

More: YCombinator also offers open source financing documents.  I haven’t reviewed either set so I can’t tell you which is better but I can say that fantastic attorneys appear to have worked on creating both.  Series Seed and YCombinator both give you a disclaimer and I better do the same: I don’t offer these as legal advice and can’t assume any responsibility for the consequences of using these documents.

Hat Tip: VentureBeat.

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