How My Father-in-Law Disrupted the Soap Dish: His 5 steps for designing a better version of anything.

By Andy Raskin

 
A bar of soap on the SoapAnchor

A few months ago, my wife and I stayed overnight at her parents’ house. The following morning, as I entered their shower, I noticed a bar of Irish Spring floating next to the tiled wall, as if suspended mid-air.

That was the moment I knew my father-in-law had achieved a goal he set three years earlier: designing a muck-less soap holder.

Had anyone else’s father-in-law told me he was pursuing such a goal, I surely would have dismissed him. But this was Bernie Cohen — my father-in-law — a highly respected Miami dermatologist, yes, but one whose string of successful entrepreneurial side projects dates back to when you were still in diapers.

If you’re an aspiring inventor or entrepreneur — or just fascinated by how you take a common household object and make it a whole lot better — here’s what you can learn from how he did it.

Read more at medium.com

Y Combinator on 2017 trends and growing your startup after the seed stage

by 

Twice a year, the crème de la crème of Silicon Valley flocks to the Computer History Museum in Mountain View to listen to 100 or so startups deliver carefully curated pitches at the widely popular Y Combinator (YC) Demo Days.

To select the batches, the accelerator program reviews countless applications from various sectors and countries. According to YC partner Adora Cheung, these were some of the trends that stood out this year: artificial intelligence and machine learning (especially in health care), tools for machine learning engineers, augmented reality, cryptocurrency products, personalized consumer packaged goods (CPGs), “and also lots of biotech,” Cheung wrote, in an email to VentureBeat.

When asked whether the accelerator program is seeing an increasing number of female-led startups, Cheung replied: “Yes, but I can’t tell if the lift is just a random blip for now because it’s small. We have a lot of work to do to get to a statistically significant change.”

The accelerator program already has an annual Female Founders Conference, where female YC alumni take the stage to share their experiences and progress.

Internally, YC is also doing a great job at promoting gender equity, as one-third of its partners are women. This includes founding partner Jessica Livingston, partners Cheung, Carolynn Levy, Kat Manalac, and Kirsty Nathoo, and, more recently, Anu Hariharan, who joined the accelerator as a partner of YC Continuity, a growth fund for later-stage startups.

VentureBeat checked in with Hariharan to learn more about Continuity’s recently launched Growth Stage Program, the difficulties of raising a series A, and what investments she and partner Ali Rowghani are eyeing for 2018.

Click here for the interview at VentureBeat.com

10 Regrets Most Entrepreneurs Eventually Face

By Jayson DeMers

10 Regrets Most Entrepreneurs Eventually Face

Image credit: Shutterstock
From the time you first start thinking about owning your own business to the day you open the doors, entrepreneurship seems like an exciting, challenging, gratifying experience. Even the stressful moments have a bit of magic to them; you go to work, knowing that your mistakes will likely be little more than temporary setbacks that teach you lessons about how to conduct your business.

Read more at Entrepreneur.com

30 Ways to Become a More Successful Entrepreneur

By  Neil Patel

Whether you’re just starting out or are an old pro, who doesn’t want to be a more successful entrepreneur?

Screenshot 2017 08 22 at 9.52.31 AM

Owning your own business gives you a sense of freedom and empowerment. You can build things and watch them grow.

Entrepreneurs make decisions for themselves, realize their creative visions, and develop lasting relationships with other entrepreneurs, customers, and vendors.

It’s a great way to live. That’s why I’ve founded so many companies — I can’t get enough.

That’s why I’ve put together these tips to help you to become more successful.

Read more at Neilpatel.com

I Started Saying ‘No’ to These 6 Things. My Life and My Business Got a Lot Better.

by  Kimanzi Constable

I Started Saying 'No' to These 6 Things. My Life and My Business Got a Lot Better.

Image credit: Paul M O’Connell | Getty Images
I’m a people pleaser. It’s hard for me to say “no” to people who ask for something — despite a reluctance inside of me. This has gotten me into trouble more than a few times in life and especially in business. Time is precious and slips by quickly but there is also no lack of things that have to get done in an entrepreneur’s life.

For 12 years, I took life a day at a time. I had a dream but no goals for making it real. I just woke up each day hoping for something more. In 2011, I had had enough and began chasing my dream of starting a lifestyle business. This meant more work on top of a service business that took 60-80 hours of my week. It didn’t take long for me to realize that something had to give. I had to learn how to say no to open up room for the things that were important. Seeing how much time and energy was freed by saying no, I started looking at all the other areas of my life. Here are six things I said no to. Saying no helped me live a much better life and create the kind of business that I love.

Read more at Entrepreneur.com

Bitcoin, cryptocurrency and how I spent my summer

By Francine Hardaway 

Bitcoin, cryptocurrency and how I spent my summer

 

I have not been involved in anything as exciting as the blockchain and cryptocurrency since I got involved with the internet in the early 90s. I first heard about Bitcoin in 2013, and I opened a Coinbase wallet and announced that I would accept payment in Bitcoin. Of course none materialized, since it was early and I was in Phoenix.But I couldn’t stop hearing about BTC from my most “out there” online friends (looking at you Thor Muller,) and on January 2014 made my first investment. I have no memory of why I chose that sum of money, which even back then did not even buy an entire Bitcoin.

I kind of forgot about it, until that summer when I was in London, and I met a man named Simon Dixon, who “took his company public,” now known as an ICOon a bitcoin exchange. He raised a lot of money for his startup that way. Along the way I learned about the underlying technology, the block chain. I learned more about that at YxYY, an unconference full of fascinating people.

Read more at bizjournals.com

Can you make a living doing what you love?

By Eric Johnson

It’s hard having talent. Mix in passion and an entrepreneurial spirit, and things can get even trickier.

Because now you have a choice.

Either you do what most people do: fear failure, keep that drive inside, and apply for that company job that doesn’t look too bad.

Or you can act on that talent, turn your passion into a business, and let your dream shape reality.

Dina Rodriguez followed her dream. Using a simple online shop, she’s now cashing in on her hobby by doing something she loves.

Here’s how she did it.

Turning your hobby into a career

While some worry that digital natives are sending the written script to its grave, Dina is breathing life back into the hand lettering trade.

Today, she’s a professional illustrator and hand lettering artist. And as the founder of Letter Shoppe, her work has been commissioned by companies like American Greetings and Penguin Books. How did she get there?…

Read more at Typeform

So You Want to Start Your Own Business? — 10 Invaluable Things People Never Tell You

By Andrian Iliopoulos

They say that the only way to self-mastery is by assuming absolute control over your life processes. Entrepreneurship is one of the activities that can have a massive impact in that respect. It is an activity that will not only allow you to take matters into your own hands but also reveal the essence of the words responsibility, discipline, and productivity in all its glory.

In this post, I will reveal some things that you seldom find on the headlines of famous media outlets. These are things that you learn only when you have hands on experience in the area and you have spent days and nights trying to polish your strategies. My hope is that by revealing these things I will save you time, money, energy, regrets and unwanted conflict.

Whether you are an entrepreneur already, or you are thinking to start your own business, this article will prove invaluable along the way.

Read more at Hacker.com

The Best Way to Document Your Brand Voice Guidelines

By  on October 9, 2017

As a young journalism major learning about the publishing industry, I was in awe of the well-oiled machines that were large magazines, where I wanted to write one day.

How in the world could they combine hundreds, or even thousands, of different writers and voices—some veteran, some new to the team, some freelancers or temporary interns—into this one voice that was cohesive and just…fit?

Was it that everyone they hired just thought and talked the same way? That seemed unrealistic.

No, as I got further into my writing career, I realized that the well-oiled processes of the publishing industry ran deeper than I’d thought, and they usually had a documented system for representing the publication’s voice.

I’m talking about the holy editorial guidelines….

Finish reading at CoSchedule.com

The Power Of Compounding: You Can Achieve Anything, If You Stop Trying To Do Everything

By Darius Foroux 

Do you have a long list of goals, desires, and wants for your life? Do you want to learn more? Earn more? Improve your skills? Get the most out of your relationships? Live better?

All those things are good. Life is about moving forward and making consistent progress.

However, there’s one important thing about all this working, hustling, striving, and achieving more: You can’t do everything at the same time.

That’s common sense, right? You only have so much time and energy. So if you take on too many things, you end up spread too thin.

Instead, it’s much more effective to focus your effort on one thing.

Read more at medium.com