Although I really didn't have time to go Jeff Pulver's Facebook party given my new job, new child and relocation errands, I'm glad that I stepped by. Letting your Facebook friends connect with each other over free drinks is definitely a great idea. Everyone was wearing stickers with their name, company and tagline. Anyway, I made some new acquaintances and had a chance to catch up with some old friends. Kudos to Jeff for inviting me and for the great idea. I wonder if there are any other Facebook networking events like this around the world? (In the picture Jeff, me and Ouriel).
Yesterday Loic and I took our RunCast (or should I call it a FogCast?) to a new level: The Golden Gate RunCast featuring guests: Bill Tai, General Partner with Charles River Ventures (and on the Maxthon board) and Konstantin Othmer,CEO and founder of Coremobility. It was a great run on a bridge over troubled water and can bee seen as bridging the gab between Europe and the US ;)
Since the feedback on my idea of using storyboards to develop business plans have been very positive, I decided to create a Facebook group dedicated to the topic. Enter Storyboarders. Drop your word-based business plans & burn those power points. Enter the storyboards! We are the storyboarders, creating conversations - not just presentations! Feel free to join in & let's crowdsource it to the next level. Who knows, perhaps this group will give birth to a new business plan format better suited for humans including VCs?
Since I have been sitting in on quite a few start-up pitches as well as continuously being pitched myself by all kind of ventures, I was thinking if it is not on time to change the current format for business plans. Let's face it most VC's don't even read them, not even the executive summary for that matter. Power point is more and more taking over although we are all sick and tired of them too - especially if they have more than five slides.
Since most businesses are like a developing story - wouldn't it be easier to use the storyboard as an example of visualizing you business plan? We all love stories, wether they are fiction or not , on TV or not, true or false. As a matter of fact, most good businesses have a good story to tell. Why not try to tell that story as you see it develop over time on a storyboard?
Using the storyboard as a format for describing a business forces you to reduce the crucial steps into single frames and let go of those long never ending paragraphs that nobody reads anyway. I personally use a lot of visual tools in my day to day businesses. My favorite so far is Mind Mapping wether on paper or as for the past four years, a software called MindManager. As a matter of fact, I went through all my University studies using mind maps, which some of them I still have left.
I think that story-boarding is very close to mind mapping, but helps you perhaps better to tell or develop a story. Going forward, I will start using storyboards for some ideas I am developing in parallel with mind mapping.
What then are my favorite tools? Well, except for paper and pen:
Finally there is Montage, which is a very interesting screenwriting software aimed at pro's - but an interesting option if you really would like to tell your story in a screenwriting format. What are your favorite tools?
Ever since I announced that I am stepping down from my active involvement in Maxthon, the stream of proposals and offers just keep coming. Although I did expect some positive reactions I never anticipated the amount of positive reactions. I now really need to carefully think about what my next move should be and what kind of venture/s I would like to get involved in.
Since I know that my blog readers are extremely intelligent, wise and really wise people, I have decided to crowdsource for some inspiration. Currently a number of options are open:
What do you think?
For those of you located in the Bay area, I will be over again July 24 - Aug 1st and as always I love to meet up with fellow entrepreneurs and share experiences, so if you want to meet up, please leave a comment or contact me directly on you know what...;)
Last week I meet with Ruper Dolasia CEO and Marcy Keenan, VP Business development of MX Play - a new and very cool music player based in San Francisco. At first I asked myself, who needs another music player? But MX Play is different from other players out there in that they have really emphazised on the audio quality. The founders have a strong background in working with audio codex and technologies - and you can hear that.
MX Play makes you music come alive with 3D audio. For serious music lovers this is music to your ears. But there's more to it than that. MX Play even lets you mash your own music with videos from YouTube and let's you discover new music as well.