Monday, February 22, 2010

What is Job Generation?

Last week we taped the pilot of “Job Generation” and in March we will roll out our first live events.

So what is Job Generation? It is a variation on Start-Up Presentations to Investors except that we include senior executives seeking leadership positions in the conversation.

The bigger picture – the part that is creating the buzz - is that new business ideas tend to come from young start-ups with little capital and less experience. They are usually energized by real world interaction with savvy execs but are too busy chasing investors to do that.

This is a uniquely informative experience because it brings savvy executives into the conversation at an early stage. Too often these executives are chasing after the same entrenched jobs that everyone else is after - so by putting these two generations of business execs face to face along with VCs, we see a variety of possibilities will occurring: employment, consulting, joint ventures and investment.

More than a "Job Interview"
Job Generation is about about more than savvy execs being interviewed by young Entrepreneur about running their companies. It is telescoping the process than made companies like Google, Apple and Microsoft great - when they raised enough money they hired senior execs that took them to the top. We are starting the conversation now hat these execs are available as a way to increase their chances of raising money or building sales.

Polaroid goes Facebook - Lesson from the Job Generation Pilot

In the first Job Generation, a former exec from Polaroid – a great fallen American business presents to Pixable, a company that generates photobooks from Facebook – where he notes that although the technology is different, the customer base is almost exactly the same, young women. The Pixable founders agree and they want to hire this exec. The VC on the other hand, would prefer they hire an exec with operations experience. The net result is a blend of consulting and strategic rethinking and maybe a hire or a consulting opportunity…….

In this environment have seen roll-ups, consulting arrangement and joint ventures or alliances of one kind or another. After all, only a tiny number of start-ups are investible – somewhere between 2 – 10%. So, to a large extent this is an exploration of what happens to the rest of those start-ups. Often, these are concepts that need further sales or business development provided through a joint venture context. By taking this conversation beyond the purely start-up funding conversation, we allow many more business opportunities to flourish. When business grow through sales, investors find them!

Business Discovery

One thing we learn about what the CEOs bring to the table when they talk to Entrepreneurs is a deeper understanding of the true nature of their businesses. We also have VCs at the table to help the parties understand what each can do to increase the value proposition and make them more investible.

Starting in March we will be doing a regular series of Job Generation events. In addition, all iBreakfasts going forward will still have the typical informative content but will also feature this interaction between Start-Ups and experienced execs as part of the warm-up session.

The Theory Behind Job Generation: Raising the Investibility Quotient

For those who have experienced our “Hierarchy of Start-Ups” presentation, you’ll know the most investible class of start-ups, at lest in sheer numbers re those who have these key attributes:

• 10 Years or more of domain experience in a field

• Identify and industry-specific problem

• Have a team with the solution that the mother company doesn't value

• Have an existing relationship with the natural buyers

If this is you, your check is in the mail! Most start-ups aren't like this but we find that putting them together with savvy execs can get them much closer to this fundability zone - and that is the basic goal of Job Generation.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Unexpected Entrepreneur? A New Way to Understand Creating Your Own Business

Are you an "Unexpected Entrepreneur"? this popular presentation lists the "secret code" of Start-Ups

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Job Generation: The next phase of the iBreakfast

As you know the business world has changed!

After 14 years of running the iBreakfast, the iEvening for Innovators, the Web 2.0 NY Conferences and number of associated events, we are changing with it.

Our audience has always been those executives following the Digital Media revolution. Now, in this jobless recovery, what they need are more jobs.

We don’t believe the government or any state organization can make that happen, although they can certainly help. What really makes a difference is when entrepreneurs develop a new market or find news ways to solve persistent problems.

Often these great ideas needed help and our industry has generally viewed capital as the key driver.

We think that has changed. Today, start-ups can launch for a fraction of what they once required. On a relative basis, that means business expertise and contacts are worth more than start-up capital.

So the iBreakfast is launching a series of events and media initiatives to tap this shift. For the most part, they revolve around bringing seasoned execs in front of start-ups as a way to develop new business, employment and investor relationships. As we look back, these kinds of interaction have always taken place. Now, we are going to accelerate the process because we think it is the key to developing a new wave of employment opportunities.

So look out for announcements covering the following:

TV Show – will run to an audience of 50,000 on ours and partner websites
Local TV
Global Talk Weekly Radio Show
Job Generation Events
Business Opportunity Events

A Few Thoughts About Building Jobs and Innovation

Innovation grows when the government encourages people to buy into it. Not every new idea is an iPod or an iPhone. Most require taking risks and overcoming inertia. But like cash for clunkers – if you give people a good reason, they line up. Governments should be required to buy say 10% of new American technology and businesses should get tax incentives to do the same.

How else can you encourage innovation?

Let’s face it, if left to their own devices, most companies and government purchasers are afraid to buy new products. So, even when the government pumps money into innovations it may not really drive business: you may get new products and services but you don’t necessarily get buyers. Besides, sales cycles are slow and many innovators lack sales skills. So the inovation cycle is not completed the companies and fail and the money is wated.

At the end of the day, it is not enough to push technology – you also have to pull it by creating a buying incentive.

The most spectaculalry successful plan for boosting business was the cash for clunkers which gave people a clear incentive and moved cars off the the lots. Sales is is what drives innovation, everyithing else is more or less welfare.