1. One way you can tell the tech bars in New York is the start-up stickers in the bathrooms," said Allison Mooney, the head of trends and insights at Google’s New York office. "They’re in the ladies room, too.
  2. London is by far the largest startup ecosystem in Europe, even though SV is three times larger
    London has been slow in adopting mobile as a new trend. It has 30% less startups than SV or NYC in the mobile space
    Despite London being the first-choice for US Valley companies to base their European headquarters, there is the danger it could be supplanted by the rapidly emerging Berlin ecosystem
    London has a funding gap (81% less capital raised in the second stage compared to Silicon Valley) for early stage startups before product-market fit. This is likely due to a lack of Super Angels / VC funds
    London is the female tech entrepreneur capital of Europe. It has the highest proportion of female tech entrepreneurs in Europe:
    London – 9%
    Madrid – 3%
    Paris – 7%
    Berlin – 3%
    Moscow – 7%
  3. [Tel Aviv Israel] :World’s number 2 startup ecosystem and serious contender to Silicon Valley
    - In 2009, 63 Israeli companies were listed on the tech-orientated NASDAQ – more than from Europe, Japan, Korea, India, and China combined
    - Almost every major tech company today has some kind of subsidiary in Israel: Intel, Microsoft, Google and Cisco etc.
    - 39% of Israeli high-tech employees work in the R&D departments of multinational companies
  4. Hardware does well on crowdfunding sites. The spread of tablets makes it possible to build new things controlled by and even incorporating them. Electric motors have improved. Wireless connectivity of various types can now be taken for granted. It’s getting more straightforward to get things manufactured. Arduinos, 3D printing, laser cutters, and more accessible CNC milling are making hardware easier to prototype. Retailers are less of a bottleneck as customers increasingly buy online.
  5. The first time Peter Thiel spoke at YC he drew a Venn diagram that illustrates the situation perfectly. He drew two intersecting circles, one labelled “seems like a bad idea” and the other “is a good idea.” The intersection is the sweet spot for startups.

  6. I’ve just set up this scheme, Gineagrotis – “Become a farmer”. It’s not complicated: city-dwellers rent a patch of land from a farmer, tell him what they want him to grow on it, and get their own fresh vegetables delivered to them weekly.

    … The farmer’s happy because he knows in advance what and how much he has to plant, and he sells all he grows. It’s a regular, guaranteed, stable income; customers commit for a year. And the consumer gets fresh veg for 70% less than at the supermarket or greengrocer’s.

    You go online, opt for one of three plot sizes from 50 sq m to 100 sq m, and choose from 10 summer and 10 winter vegetables. It costs from €14.20, to feed two people, to €20.90 a week for five or more. The veg are delivered within 24 hours of being picked, and if you are away or on holiday, you can ask for them to go to a soup kitchen… 

    The site has been up two months and we’ve had more than 5,000 accounts created, and 900 farmers sign up. Last week, we started deliveries to the first 100 families from the first four farms

  7. Farmhopping is a network of operating farms that users can part-own and manage using an interactive web platform.

    Targeting both would-be virtual farmers and already-operating real-world farmers with sustainable farms to share, Farmhopping allows users to buy animals online from its network of farms around the world. Then, as owners of the animals, they get to make key farm-management decisions such as when to milk the animals or sell their wool, for example, and whether to keep or sell to other users the young animals that are born over the course of the year. Farmhopping features a game-like interface that teaches about farm management through an interactive and engaging routine based on farming activities carried out in the real world. The site’s participating real-world farmers, meanwhile, reward users for their achievements with different offline privileges, including free stays on the farm and the opportunity to consume their own organic produce and learn how to take care of their animals in person.

  8. Online design sales site Fab.com has acquired Llustre, a similar but much smaller UK design store. …
    The company was launched in November of 2011, but it only launched ten weeks ago — so it’s one of the fastest UK exits in recent history. Sources say the deal took less than a month to complete.
  9. Monday’s launch of a new think tank called DisCo that wants to educate Congress about disruptive technologies is just one of several new efforts proposed by the Internet and startup community to get their voices heard.
  10. This is a rich country, but its nature punishes those who fail to respect it and understand it. This makes us not only pragmatic but also humble, practical, cautious. But there’s a downside to that. We don’t like people who overreach and we kick those who fail. Australia’s mindset is built for an old reality. The internet has fundamentally changed our world. Distance is much less of an issue than it was. Technology platforms can scale ideas globally in a millisecond. Our miners and farmers have understood their new world and they are doing things on a truly global scale. Tall poppy syndrome used to be about cutting others down to size, but it ends up making all of us shorter. No one should be embarrassed to have global ambitions any more. The internet’s ease of distribution means that the world should be the default market for any Australian business plan.
  12. Life inside successful Web startups—especially the really successful ones—can be nasty, brutish, and short. …
    Venture capitalist Peter Fenton calls this phenomenon “the violence of a startup.” …

    Throughout its first five years of existence, Twitter always seemed on the verge of committing some excruciating form of startup seppuku. There were constant service outages (epitomized by the ubiquitous “fail whale” cartoon message), an embarrassing security breach in 2009 that released a torrent of internal documents, and nonstop departures of key employees. The pièce de résistance was the turmoil at the top: Twitter had three chief executive officers in as many years. …

    Now something freakish is happening in San Francisco. Twitter, which for years treated the responsibility of earning money as an annoying distraction, may be turning into a viable business

  13. The Samwers are revered for putting Berlin’s startup scene on the map and despised for sticking Germany with a reputation as the copycat capital of Europe. Not that the brothers take offense at the label. “There are pioneering entrepreneurs and execution entrepreneurs, and maybe we belong more to the execution entrepreneurs,”… Groupon CEO Andrew Mason praised the Samwers: “What people have to realize is the idea is the easy part, and that execution is the hard part, and Marc and Oli are the best operators I’ve ever seen in my life—they’re just inhuman,” he said. Says Oliver: “Groupon taught us about the business, and we taught them about internationalization.”
  14. While private venture capital firms and the investment wings of big corporations are staffed with serial entrepreneurs or former technology executives who promise tutelage and a willingness to share their Rolodexes, few have what Google has: a deep bench of A-list technology talent that it loans to companies in its portfolio.

    And for start-ups, that can be as important as a cash infusion.

    For CustomMade, Google Ventures sent in one of its research partners, Michael Margolis, a developer who helped design Google’s e-mail service, Gmail. Margolis spent three days working at CustomMade’s Cambridge office on its 97 percent problem. Before its new site was launched, Margolis conducted user tests to tweak the site, based on potential customer responses.

    “A traditional VC firm doesn’t have a guy like Michael,’’ Rosen said. “His whole job is flying around the country helping companies create a better user experience.’’

  15. Zuckerberg didn’t just wait. He obsessively learned what being a CEO was about. He surrounded himself by people who had strengths he didn’t and absorbed from them like a sponge. Unlike nearly every other Internet wunderkind who came before him, he didn’t hire the grown-up to run the company. He became the grown-up to run the company.

    There are a lot of reasons Larry Page envies Mark Zuckerberg these days. But the pre-IPO Page would most definitely envy his ability to hold onto the reins, experience and age be damned.

    Since 2006, I’ve argued that Facebook is not the prototypical Web 2.0 company: It’s an outlier. It’s one of those companies that comes along every decade or so and does more than just create wealth and jobs and a product we can’t live without. It changes the very nature of what it means to be a startup. It innovates not only on whatever product it is taking to market– it innovates the idea of what a startup is.

    There’ve been several of these throughout Valley history: Shockley Labs, Fairchild Semiconductor, HP, Intel, Silicon Graphics, Oracle, Netscape, eBay, Cisco, Google are some of the major ones. Each has in its own way changed the game.