Reflections on the year of the start-up: making 2012 a more thoughtful year

As the year is quickly coming to an end, its time to start thinking about 2012. This annual and inevitable soul searching on my part has me thinking and re-thinking about this past year as part of the Boston start-up community. 

Frankly, it’s a mixed bag.

We all know it takes a village to help raise and embrace the core start-up ideals that will make every startup in Boston start better and start faster.  We’re all doing good work to further this effort, but we’ve fallen short on developing a community-wide startup identity.

We need to move away from that chip on our shoulder because we’re not Silicon Valley or New York as Santo Politi recently ranted, stop the twitter/blog bickering, and give up obsessing about being one of the cool start-up kids in town… we’re better than that.

At the end of the day none of this matters.  What does is getting the dauntingly hard work of startups done and acquiring the skills necessary to do it in an efficient way.  Most of us are overwhelmed and over stretched whether we care to admit it or not, and that limits our overall success.

With all this in mind and with the goal of increased collaboration between all startup support efforts in Boston, Hacker Chick and Microsoft Startup Evangelist Abby Fichtner , Microsoft New England Research and Development Center Tech Community Outreach Director Walter Somol, and I roped in Dogpatch Labs,TechStars, MassChallenge, Harvard i-Lab, The Capital Network, GreenLightLabs, MIT Entrepreneurship Center, Stay in MA, and New England Venture Capital Association’s CriticalMass for a special workshop next Tuesday, December 6th, for startup entrepreneurs and students with Michael Bungay Stanier, based on his book Do More Great Work.

This event is not about being seen and the free flow of drinks—although we all love a good party and we’ve enjoyed several this year.  It’s about taking some of your networking time and using it to rethink how we will work in 2012. The invitation/registration can be viewed at Registration is $10 and includes a copy of the book.  I hope to see you there.

In the end, it’s all about doing great, meaningful work in 2012— in our daily lives, in our startups and collectively as the Boston region fully embraces a startup culture and pulls out all the stops to enable success.

At least for me, 2012 will be the year I refocus on the stuff that really matters.


Seed takes hold and continues to gain momentum

Good adds of Peter Blacklow and Dave Balter to Boston Seed Capital and a great explanation of what they are into.


An Introduction to Pay-Per-Click Search Marketing Part 1

Good set of best practices and smart tips when embaring on a PPC Campaign for those of you in need to be prudent with your spend.



CM SheEO's featured in Boston Globe article "The (new) old girls’ network"

Great pic of Monika Desai of Open Runway bonding with fellow startup execs. Great insight of life as startup girl by Sarah Biller of Capital Market Exchange and Rebecca Xiong of Socmetricswonderwoman— truly wonder women of Boston!



Welcoming CoachUp to CriticalMass!

We are pleased to announce that Jordan Fliegel, Founder and CEO of CoachUp, Inc., was recently awarded a Golden Ticket associated with the one-on-one meetings at the Massachusetts Leadership Technology Council’s UnConference last month.  Mr. Fliegel’s company, CoachUp, Inc. is an online marketplace connecting people with private coaches in sports.

The Golden Ticket awards free office space and resources to entrepreneurs sponsored by the New England Venture Capital Association and its member venture capital firms. 

"We are really excited to be part of the CriticalMass entrepreneur community in the Cambridge Innovation Center," Fliegel said. "Winning the Golden Ticket is a great honor, and it’s really great to be able to work in proximity to many of the region’s top startups, and in close quarters with so many talented entrepreneurs, mentors and investors. A special thanks to Nancy Saucier of the New England Venture Capital Association for making us feel right at home!"

(Thanks for the vote of confidence Jordan! N)

13 Notes

This and That: Why is NYC great and Boston sucks?

A clear opinion from Spark Capital’s Santo Politi about the varied strengths of the different east coast regions, and why we collective need to get over the obsessive need to compare… great post.


If I ever sit on another panel to discuss “Why is NYC great and Boston sucks?” I am going to throw up. This was the topic at the NVCA panel discussion I participated today as a budding NEVCA board member (NEVCA: New England Venture Capital Association not to be confused with the NVCA: National…


More Impact & Less Busywork: The Art and Science of Great... - Eventbrite

Great community wide event as we all prepare for 2012— It’s only ten bucks and you get the book to boot.

The idea of the workshop is to make the good, but pressed and furious work you’re already doing and making it great work— you know the more productive better thought out type.

Hope you’ll be there!