A VC Bailout, Microloans, and Great Presentations
BY Ryan McCarthy
Should venture capitalists get part of the stimulus package? That's the question posed by the argument made by Thomas Friedman in The New York Times. One prominent venture capitalist, Fred Wilson, thinks thinks there's way too much money in the VC world to begin with. "And the top 20 firms in the venture capital business are the least in need of a bailout of any group I've ever thought about," writes Wilson on his blog. "These firms, the Sequoias and Benchmarks and Accels and Kleiner Perkins etc etc can raise a fund anytime they want. Accel raised a ton of money last fall in the midst of the worst global financial meltdown in my lifetime."
How to give a great presentation. Chris Brogan has a nice breakdown of the elements that go into a stellar presentation. Some good advice: "I absolutely loathe the "I'm going to tell you this; I am telling you this; I told you this" method of presentations. We don't watch movies that way. Only some books have a table of contents up front (fiction doesn't do that often). It's just not fun seeing the "Title, Agenda, About Me" method. We're too used to it."
And, if you needed another reason to read our magazine, you might want to check out Chris' video review of the latest issue of Inc.
How Twitter got started. The LA Times catches up with Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey and examines a early diagram that would form the basis micro-blogging service. Twitter, reports the LA Times, "has its conceptual roots in the world of vehicle dispatch -- where cars and bikes zooming around town must constantly squawk to each other about where they are and what they're up to."
Consumers —and businesses — thriving paycheck to paycheck. According to the WSJ, some businesses — especially those that sell household goods and food — are paying more attention to consumers' paycheck cycles. Because of the downturns, thousands of consumers tend to spend more immediately after payday and much less immediately before. Which is why some businesses are tweaking inventory and promotions to match these new spending habits. One New York food and beverage maker interviewed for the story sells pricier multi-pack snacks at the beginning of the month, while pushing sales of cheaper smaller packs by the month's end.
Microloans to come from the government. One of the stimulus bill's components is $255 million for the SBA's emergency microloan program. Owners who already have bank loans will be able to apply for microloans up to $35,000 from banks. The SBA will completely guarantee the loans and will also full subsidize whatever interest is charged. The goal is not funding growth, but to encourage entrepreneurs to pay down existing loans. More here.
10 questions to ask yourself before you start a business. The economy is driving a lot of people to consider entrepreneurship. But before you file the forms to incorporate, ask yourself these questions from the Wall Street Journal. Can you accept financial risk? Are you passionate about your concept?