Monday, August 14, 2017

Is it better to seek investors for your start up or start with your own resources?

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Is it better to seek investors for your start up or start with your own resources?

It seems that nowadays success for a startup is to get investors first (what is known as "lift a round") and then sell the company in a short time for a good amount of millions and a lot of people get into this way without understanding very well what options you have and especially its implications.

I wanted to share my views and experience on the subject, and try to compare the two extremes that exist in terms of funding a startup (although actually there are many intermediate options as we speak Where, when and how to find investment for my startup?, and even combinations thereof). I have done business in other bootstrapping , but on this occasion and given how ambitious we are with Startupxplore, have sought foreign investment (soon I'll introduce our investors !).

In any case, you must first remove complexes up and be honest with the reasons that lead you to create your company as for the decision to be successful it is important to know where you get and above all, be clear about what you want to be "higher". In simplified terms could include one of the following two options:

LIVING WELL
If what calls you is to mount what is called a business lifestyle, where you are your own boss, you earn good money and can dedicate yourself to what you like, surely you should seek investors for the reasons see below. Less risk, less reward potential

BE RICH
If you are ambitious and want to build a great company that leaves a big footprint, growing fast and where you can end up winning a lot of pasta, or become the next Mark Zuckerberg surely need much capital to grow fast. Risk, reward higher potential

In any case note that one thing does not exclude the other, and that many companies begin funding their own business model (either by themselves or funds boostrapping) until they get validate the business model and demonstrate drive, and then seek investors (and let's face it, going to be complicated: according to the Kauffman Foundation less than 1% of the startups get VC financing fund)

And that a company has failed investment does not mean at all that it can finish growing a lot or being bought by Google (the wet dream of many entrepreneurs). Just think about companies like GitHub, Behance, TechCrunch, Envato, Blogger (sold to Google) to remove many resorts.

The idea is to fund the company with our own resources (either own funds, the money we earn in other activities) until we are able to revenue from startup make it self-sustaining.

PROS

  • Absolute control over all decisions without external intervention
  • Growing pressure and internal and controllable by the founding dates
  • It can be compatible with a job (at least initially while the business is explored)
  • Shortage of funds makes us focus on what we important
  • Great to validate the business model at first
  • There is no requirement that the end is to sell the company or make it grow very fast for outputting investors
  • Suitable for businesses where there is a barrier to entry for competitors

CONS

  • Slower (potentially) by the lack of sufficient capital growth
  • Difficulty run models that are not profitable from the outset
  • There is an outside group of people who help us gain perspective and we add value
  • There is a lot of pressure to bill as soon as possible, which often means we can not act in the longer term
  • The shortage of capital complicates virtually all the team recruiting, marketing activities ... etc
  • Capital marks the speed at which we can go, which means that competition may forward us.

STARTUPS SUPPORTED BY INVESTORS

It is to seek investment that allows us to accelerate the growth of the company and involve the same ( has stock speaking) to investment funds venture capital or business angels to support us with their capital, network, experience ... etc.

PROS
Availability of capital to grow faster and expand.
Having the support and expertise of a group of investors who often know better than you the sector and have made the same way (or have supported those who have)
Access to a network of investors large and high quality ( not only important for get new investors, but customers, employees, partners)
Ability to run business models where, although there is some profitability from the beginning, be certain scale necessary for great returns or where the necessary investments are high.
Ability to mount larger teams and check out new markets, creating barriers to entry for new competitors

CONS
Partial loss of control of the company at shareholder level and in making "important" decisions.
High sense of urgency in that a group of people have entrusted their assets to grow your business fast
If things go well in the end instead of owning 100% of the cake you will have a lower percentage
If you mess investors or are not comfortable with them you'll have to "put up with them" for a long time.
Pressure to change course if investors do not share your vision on the future of the company.
Loss of focus and from time to raise investment rounds and not to seek customers.

CONCLUSIONS

Maybe some people call attention not mention things like better wages for the founder, but is that no investor will make money for you to pay better (although you should collect what you need to live). Remember that your goal is to make money doing increasingly valuable your business and not paying you a good salary. But in any case, whether you're going to look for investors or not, remember that investing is not a goal in itself but a tool that you must achieve your goals (in line with your expectations). The goal of a startup is not to convince investors how great your company but persuade customers how great your product.

The best smartphones 5 inches and up to less than 250 € (2017)

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There is little to the impossible, the smartphone with a large screen under 250 € is now the battleground of many builders. So we end up with a slew of models, always promising more for less. But who can claim the title of champion of his category? Which ones deserve a prize list? Answers here.

Obtain an effective smartphone phablette at a price below 250 €, it is possible. The increase in the market share of large-screen smartphones, coupled with the lower prices of terminals, driven in part by the enthusiasm of the French for non-binding formulas, now offer several models in this category, Some of which prove to be frankly good.

Every year, smartphones are always more efficient at ever lower prices. Unthinkable not so long ago, finding a good smartphone to big screen under the 250 euros is no longer so difficult. Some manufacturers are particularly focused on this segment, such as Lenovo and its Moto G4, Honor and its 5X / 5C or Acer with its Liquid Zest Plus range. Each one has its own strengths, one of them may correspond to you. 

But because you do not all have the same expectations with regard to your smartphone, we made a small selection, depending on whether you were looking for a good screen, an enduring device or a different OS.

Best Value for Money: Honor 6X


Successor of the already very successful 5X , this Honor 6X takes what succeeded in making its predecessor and quietly improves the recipe. Its 5.5-inch screen benefits from a colorimetry to the hair, except a slight stall in audio, its multimedia performances are very correct and in addition to that the mobile enjoys a seamless autonomy. All this is contained in a well finished mobile and equipped with a fingerprint reader, making this 6X an unequivocal success under the 250 €.

The Most Balanced: Huawei P8 Lite 2017


While we did not expect much in the performance of the original "P8 Lite", this version restored to the taste of the mobile Huawei discreetly managed to establish itself as a must-have product in the middle of range. Its screen IPS delivers satisfactory results once well set, its performance in photo are more pleasing than a good package of smartphones below the 250 €, and in addition to all that, it enjoys a solid autonomy. Not much to complain about.

2 Days of Battery Life: Acer Liquid Zest Plus


Acer has become a specialty of smartphones of good size endurance. After the Z630S, the Liquid Zest Plus takes the place of the most enduring smartphone of this selection. Unlike other terminals, the Zest Plus makes the clear choice to contain its data sheet so that the whole is as greedy as possible. So you have to be satisfied with a moderately powerful SoC or an HD screen (1280 x 720 px), but this allows this smartphone to offer 2 days of autonomy.

Android Pure Juice: Lenovo Moto G5


Worthy descendant of the Moto G4 Plus who occupied this place before, the G5 takes back all that made the success of the G lineage at Moto: a price content, an Android stock with only two three improvements made in Motorola, and performances at Overall balance. Without being a lightning of war, this G5 will be suitable for all those who need a simple mobile and without fuss for a basic use.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Immerse GH70: MSI presents a new gaming headset 7.1 RGB

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The announcements of new gaming headphones abound at the moment. After the Astro , Razer , Plantronics , Trust and Boulanger , MSI unveils a new helmet for the new school year: the Immerse GH70 with two pairs of interchangeable pads.

Not surprisingly, MSI made the choice of a particularly aggressive design for its new gaming headphones . The Immerse GH70 has a double arch consisting of a stainless steel part and another covered with artificial leather. This coating is also used on large ear pads of the circum-auricular ear cups.

GH70 New gaming headset 7.1 RGB
The manufacturer, however, gives the user the option of replacing them with the second pair of fabric pads provided. For a more comfortable wearing around the neck, the ear cups can be rotated flat (90 °). Right now, the great fashion of gaming accessories goes through the RGB backlight. The Immerse GH70 does not escape the rule and enjoys a light game Mystic Light customizable at the level of the atria.

The new model of headphones from MSI connects only in USB on PC and Mac. On the 2-M cable, a large command allows to activate or not the sound virtualization 7.1, to mutate or not the microphone and to adjust the volume of listening. The dedicated application allows you to configure RGB lighting, 7.1 virtualization, access to an EQ and many presets.

The communication part is provided by a retractable microphone, which unfortunately is not removable. In terms of sound performance, the MSI Immerse GH70 relies on large 50 mm neodymium magnet transducers. The manufacturer specifies that its helmet is compatible Hi-Res , a certification which, let us remember, is in no way a guarantee of quality. The following technical sound information is provided:

MSI Immerse GH70

  • Frequency response of the headphones: 20 Hz to 40 kHz;
  • Sensitivity: 100 dB (+/- 3 dB);
  • Impedance: 32 ohms;
  • Frequency response of the microphone: 100 Hz to 10 kHz
  • Microphone sensitivity: -40 dB (+/- 3 dB). 
Immerse GH70 with two pairs of interchangeable pads


The MSI Immerse GH70 will be released in late August / early September at a price of € 139.90. A carrying pouch is also provided with the additional pair of pads.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

HomePod, Finally a Home automation assistant for Apple

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According to a survey conducted in the United States, 17% of Apple users would be interested in the HomePod solution . The home automation assistant of the Cupertino firm seems to have a little more rating than the Apple Watch at its launch.

And... It is now official: Apple has just raised the veil on a connected speaker that imposes itself from the start as the competitor of the Amazon Echo and Google Home . The HomePod is thus the domestic assistant in the heart of the house connected with Siri as a megaphone. 

Apple finally unveiled the HomePod, a connected speaker that intends to walk on the land of Amazon Echo, Google Home, Essential Home and other virtual assistants. While it is clear that Apple did indeed a slight delay on the competition, the Cupertino firm played it fine by pointing its enclosure as a product especially dedicated to audiophiles. 

The name of HomePod is also reminiscent of the sacred heritage of the musical universe of the brand head. It was not until later, during the presentation, that we learned that HomePod would indeed embark Siri - who was also the star of this edition - who would then act as conductor. 


This small enclosure less than 18 cm will carry 7 directional speakers, 6 mics and a subwoofer. To power all this, it is an A8 processor - which officiated at the time on the iPhone 6  - is part of the game. It may be that the embedded chipset is swift enough to run the whole. According to Apple, this speaker would be able to detect the part in which it is installed in order to offer unparalleled precision. For this, it incorporates a detection of spatialization which would allow him to better reproduce the sound scene. The operation of this enclosure will be wired or will not be done, no battery being embarked in the device. 

The features of Siri are such that: They will allow - like the Amazon Echo, Google Home and others - to ask questions, to be informed about the weather, information, traffic, etc. Users can ask Siri to start music, replay a song or broadcast a certain style of music. As a good virtual assistant connected, HomePod will be able to control all Apple HomeKit compatible devices and will therefore become a real hub. Apple specifies that all requests " Hey Siri " will be encrypted, the firm thus defending against possible attacks on the confidentiality of the data. 

HomePod able to control all Apple HomeKit compatible devices

The HomePod will be available in white and gray at a price of $ 349. The most reliable rumors evoked a premium positioning, it is now confirmed. The Amazon Echo is available under $ 200 when Google Home is available at $ 129. For the time being, only the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom are concerned with the commercialization of this product, scheduled in December according to Apple.