John Rampton is a serial entrepreneur, an investor and an expert in online marketing. He’s also a tremendously successful online contributor, writing regularly for Entrepreneur, Fortune, Forbes, Mashable, Huffington Post, Inc., Time, and TechCrunch. In fact, if you read about entrepreneurship or startups at all, you’ve probably read something by John Rampton.
You missed a good one that people rarely talk about – Kestrel Solutions, backed by Carlyle, Fidelity, Credit Suisse First Boston, BankAmerica Ventures and more. My understanding is they blew through over $300M without a product that was fully deployed. One of the biggest flame outs that gets no coverage. Management team was largely incompetent. http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB948665381942593554
If you do not expect to make a profit in the first year you are in business, you should consider amortizing the full amount of start-up and organizational costs over 15 years. This will allow you to minimize taxes in years where you make more money. For example, if your start-up costs are $30,000, you could deduct $2,000 per year for 15 years instead of taking the $5,000 deduction in year one.
No matter how close of friends, how much you trust each other or how good your intentions are money comes between people and everyone over estimates their own contributions. Furthermore, founders become highly emotional about their companies. Thus, the process of negotiating taking back stock from founders is not rational and inherently very difficult. However, vesting schedules reduce the difficult negotiation to simply and mechanically exercising the companies pre-agreed right to repurchase stock at the price it was issued. I foolishly let myself fall into the “it won’t happen to me” trap but no startup gets it right on the first try and theses hiccups often lead to changes in the team. Believing that any startup won’t have to deal with stock vesting issues is totally unrealistic.
What aren’t start up costs? Now that you know what start up expenses are, you need to know what they are not. They do not include monies that you spend on interest, which are deductible anyway, taxes or research and development. They also don’t include any depreciable assets such as furniture, vehicles, machinery and cost of depreciable real estate.  These are treated separately as depreciable assets and can be written off over a number of years or can be written off using bonus depreciation or the expense election.
Startup culture tends to be a magnet for the best and brightest, but it also lures all the misfits and kooks (I’ve even considered writing a book collecting the nuttiest inquiry emails I’ve received; there are some insane ones).  Overall it's not that big a deal-- generally it means you have to fine-tune your filters-- but it's still time-consuming and taxing to weed out the big dreamers from their nearly identical nut job twins.
Deduct start-up and organizational costs in equal amounts over the applicable amortization period (discussed earlier). You can choose an amortization period for start-up costs that is different from the period you choose for organizational costs, as long as both are not less than the applicable amortization period. Once you choose an amortization period, you cannot change it.
History has taught us how hard it can be to call the timing of a market transition. We have seen this play out first hand in the commercial drone marketplace. We were the pioneers in this market and one of the first to see the power drones could have in the commercial sector. Unfortunately, the market took longer to mature than we expected. As we worked through the various required pivots to position ourselves for long term success, we ran out of financial runway. As a result, it is with a heavy heart that we notified our team, customers, and partners that we will wind down the business.
In the past year, the Lily family has had many ups and downs. We have been delighted by the steady advancements in the quality of our product and have received great feedback from our Beta program. At the same time, we have been racing against a clock of ever-diminishing funds. Over the past few months, we have tried to secure financing in order to unlock our manufacturing line and ship our first units – but have been unable to do this. As a result, we are deeply saddened to say that we are planning to wind down the company and offer refunds to customers …

To be deductible for tax purposes, expenses incurred for travel, meals, and entertainment must be ordinary and necessary expenses incurred while carrying on your trade or business. Generally, you also must show that entertainment expenses (including meals) are directly related to, or associated with, the conduct of your trade or business. For more information on travel, meals, and entertainment, including deductibility, see Pub. 463.
For your convenience, the IRS provides an online database for all Authorized IRS e-file Providers that choose to be included in the database. You can locate the closest Authorized IRS e-file Providers in your area where you can electronically file your tax return. For more information on finding a tax return preparer who provides IRS e-file, see Authorized IRS e-file Providers for Individuals on IRS.gov, or go to IRS.gov/uac/Authorized-IRS-e-file-Providers-for-Individuals. The inclusion in this database does not constitute any endorsement by the IRS of the e-file Providers listed in this database or any of the products or services that they provide. You should always be sure to conduct your own due diligence when selecting an e-file Provider. In addition to the Authorized IRS e-file Provider locator tool above, you can also find professional help through the IRS Tax Professional Partner page at IRS.gov/Tax-Professionals/IRSTaxProAssociationPartners.
Nobody at Mochi wanted this to happen and there were parties interested in acquiring Mochi from them (including myself) for more than they’d make by dissolving it. They’re simply not interested in making a rational decision here, and they certainly don’t care about you all like we do (past and present Mochi employees). We’ve been trying to prevent this from happening for quite some time, but we failed to change their plans.
Many creators with millions of subscribers on YouTube and Facebook were initially attracted to Vidme’s model, but faced difficulty transitioning audiences from their home platforms. Convincing people to use (and keep using) a new platform is hard, leaving many creators locked in. Both Facebook and YouTube also actively deprecate content shared from competing platforms (Vidme’s social traffic dropped markedly once Facebook began to prioritize its native player).
Paul and I were definitely working together, especially on "A Day in the Life" ... The way we wrote a lot of the time: you'd write the good bit, the part that was easy, like "I read the news today" or whatever it was, then when you got stuck or whenever it got hard, instead of carrying on, you just drop it; then we would meet each other, and I would sing half, and he would be inspired to write the next bit and vice versa. He was a bit shy about it because I think he thought it's already a good song ... So we were doing it in his room with the piano. He said "Should we do this?" "Yeah, let's do that."[7]
If you reimburse these expenses under a nonaccountable plan, report the reimbursements as wages on Form W-2, and deduct them as wages on the appropriate line of your tax return. If you make a single payment to your employees and it includes both wages and an expense reimbursement, you must specify the amount of the reimbursement and report it accordingly. See Table 11-1.
accountability (6) An online personal brand recipe book (4) Appreciative Inquiry (5) Birthday (7) Blogging (21) Careers (7) change management (32) communication (3) consumerism (14) Culture diversity (4) Digital marketing (19) Edgar Schein (3) environmental sustainability (8) Facebook (12) Flow (3) gender diversity (6) Global Leadership Summit (4) goal setting (28) Identity (34) Innovation (29) Ipswich Brisbane 2011 Flood (5) it industry (8) James Bond life lessons (7) Kurt Lewin (3) Leadership (49) lung lump (4) Meaning (4) My Pizza Personality (4) New Year's resolutons (9) Organisational Culture (21) Perception (3) Personal Development (54) Personality (6) Personal Potential (20) Position (11) Power (4) Project management (6) Random Hacks of Kindness (RHoK) (3) Roles (9) self-esteem (3) seven habits of highly effective people (9) social enterprise (4) social media (26) social media taxonomy (3) spirituality (8) Stephen R. Covey (9) strategy (9) Strengths (7) Susan Scott's Fierce Conversations (5) Teams (6) Twitter (8) Vision (14) Willow Creek Association (4) Wordpress (5) Work-life balance (11)
In this example from a Windows XP server, we set the ORACLE_SID to the name of the database and we log into SQL*Plus using the ?sys as sysdba? login. This gives us the privileges we need to be able to startup the database. Finally, after we enter our password, we issue the startup command to startup the database. Oracle displays its progress as it opens the database, and then returns us to the SQL*Plus prompt once the startup has been completed.
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The technical and managerial incompetence of the VCs and those they hired drove the company into the ground. All but 10 of the 240 employees were fired, laid off, or quit. All of the $40+ million in venture capital was squandered. The monthly operating profit turned to loss as more talentless executives were hired who threw out the company’s old, useful products and put their blind faith in engineers who spent millions building complicated software that solved no business problems.
That's the key to success as a startup. There is nothing more important than understanding your business. You might think that anyone in a business must, ex officio, understand it. Far from it. Google's secret weapon was simply that they understood search. I was working for Yahoo when Google appeared, and Yahoo didn't understand search. I know because I once tried to convince the powers that be that we had to make search better, and I got in reply what was then the party line about it: that Yahoo was no longer a mere "search engine." Search was now only a small percentage of our page views, less than one month's growth, and now that we were established as a "media company," or "portal," or whatever we were, search could safely be allowed to wither and drop off, like an umbilical cord.
Nobody understands this situation better than Boulder, Colorado–based entrepreneur turned venture capitalist Brad Feld. And now, with Startup Life — the second audiobook in the Startup Revolution series — Feld and his wife, Amy Batchelor, share their personal experiences with you, and reveal what it takes to survive and thrive in an entrepreneurial relationship.
By trying to play in the pure storage business, Nirvanix found itself in a market that, over the past five years, became increasingly commoditized by Amazon Web Services, Windows Azure and now Google Compute Engine, which have all been engaging in a price war. With no service to offer on top of its storage, Nirvanix did not stand a great chance of differentiating from such large competitors.

During this time I was also very involved in the startup community around Boulder. I was a die hard regular at #BOCC, attended Ignite, helped organize events for Boulder Startup Week, and made regular appearances at a litany of other startup and tech events. If you met me during this time, you would have never known how awful I truly felt. I regularly espoused how amazing things were. How excited and grateful I was for my job. How wonderful it was to be a proxy to what the engineers I worked with were building. Sure the hours were long and things felt cobbled together, but startup life, right? Work hard, play hard! I dare not confide that it had been months since I had experienced play, let alone rest.
While our peer-to-peer model was accepted by hosts and subscribers alike with real excitement, installing “Hosted” solar systems at scale depended on 3rd party project finance by banks or specialized solar funds.… But we couldn’t convince traditional project financiers to test our thesis. We were forced to self-finance the first couple of projects as a proof of concept, but did not have the resources or runway to continue.…

In short, due to a lack of funding, we are now beginning the process of winding down BriefMe and will be turning off the servers next week … Our users are extremely passionate, but after pursuing every possible path, we no longer have a sustainable avenue forward for the company. Over recent months we’ve been developing a significant update however we haven’t been able to secure another round of funding to finish and get this work to market. Without sufficient capital to provide BriefMe the energy and attention it deserves we have decided to move forward in the best possible manner for our team, supporters and users.
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Because it costs money to create a new product offering, develop and test prototypes, and market the product, the firm's and the industry's profits are usually negative at this stage. Any profits generated are typically reinvested into the company to solidify its position and help fund continued growth. Introduction requires a significant cash outlay to continue to promote and differentiate the offering and expand the production flow from a job shop to possibly a batch flow. Market demand will grow from the introduction, and as the life cycle curve experiences growth at an increasing rate, the industry is said to be entering the growth stage. Firms may also cluster together in close proximity during the early stages of the industry life cycle to have access to key materials or technological expertise, as in the case of the U.S. Silicon Valley computer chip manufacturers.
“We learned that your best customers are your past customers, and we were the first major publishing company to really know and build relationships with them on an ongoing basis. This allowed us to move from a traditional “hits” driven model where one bestseller pays for all your losers, to consistently making money on each new book that we put out thanks to 80%+ gross profit margins. What we ended up doing in a way was precursor to other direct-to-consumer companies like Casper, Bonobos and Warby Parker, who have adopted a similar model in their respective industries more than a decade later.”
Like most other nanotech companies, Optiva took a while to get its product out. It shifted focus, its technology changed, as did the market. Its “polarizer” technology was supposed to be sold for use in wrist watch, calculator and PDA displays, but as VentureWire reports, suddenly the people who already made the displays found a glut of scrap material, which was also suitable, thus resulting in a rapid drop in market prices.
Ultimately, [its] structure … is based on very large economies of scale … building out any transport service before it can get to that scale is extremely capital intensive … Karhoo, however, didn’t appear to have the reach with consumers to achieve anything like enough scale. [Its shutdown letter states that the] “Karhoo staff around the world in London, New York, Singapore and Tel Aviv have, over the past 18-months [sic], worked tirelessly to make Karhoo a success. Many of them have worked unpaid for the last six weeks in an effort to get the business to a better place. Unfortunately, by the time the new management team took control last week, it was clear that the financial situation was pretty dire, and Karhoo was not able to find a backer.”
Failure is one of the best learning experiences you can have as a founder. Unfortunately, it’s just a lot to go through emotionally, and you’re going to have many feelings surrounding it. Sometimes the best thing you can do with those feelings and with what you’re learning from failure is to share them. This will help you to get your feelings off your chest, and if you share what you are learning with other founders, they can learn from your mistakes, too. This takes the form of a “startup post mortem” where you share openly about what happened and any lessons learned. You may actually find that writing about a failure is incredibly therapeutic. And if you need some inspiration, check out a few well done post mortems from Shyp, Circa, and Everpix. In this case, sharing is quite literally caring. Let it out and start to get on with your life.
In Tarighi, the Tax Court concluded the taxpayer wasn’t engaged in a business during 2009 and 2010, because CES didn’t have any income or clients and didn’t bid on any jobs during those years. Though the taxpayer did engage in promotional activities, he didn’t intend to earn a profit in those years, because he didn’t pursue contracts or bid on jobs. 
Business start-up and organizational costs are generally capital expenditures. However, you can elect to deduct up to $5,000 of business start-up and $5,000 of organizational costs paid or incurred after October 22, 2004. The $5,000 deduction is reduced by the amount your total start-up or organizational costs exceed $50,000. Any remaining costs must be amortized. For information about amortizing start-up and organizational costs, see chapter 8.
Once I was forced to discard my protective incompetence, I found that business was neither so hard nor so boring as I feared. There are esoteric areas of business that are quite hard, like tax law or the pricing of derivatives, but you don't need to know about those in a startup. All you need to know about business to run a startup are commonsense things people knew before there were business schools, or even universities.
A specific classification of worker that is not an employee of the company. Usually distinguished by 1) whether the business has a right to direct and control how the worker does the task for which the worker is hired, 2) whether the company has a right to control the business aspects of the worker’s job, and 3) what kind of relationship the worker has to the business.

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According to the recent Startup Genome Report, an estimated 90% of those startups that fail do so primarily due to self-destruction. It was their founders’ own bad choices or lack of preparedness rather than so-called “bad luck” or market conditions that were out of their control. Understanding your position in the business lifecycle just might help you stay a bit ahead of the game here and defy the odds, as you anticipate the potential challenges and obstacles that are upon you or are on the way depending on what phase you are in or about to transition to.
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