Gust Quarterly Startup Map

If you could pick the top five countries with the most newly created startups, which countries would you choose? The United States? What about India, or Brazil? With thousands of new entrepreneurs creating startup profiles on Gust each month, we’re excited to share with you some of the major findings that are happening in the startup world. To capture the global reach of startup growth, we’ve put together the Gust quarterly startup map. The map visualizes all new startups profiles created on Gust between July 1st and September 30th 2013. We’ve highlighted some of the major industries, countries, and cities from across the world with the newest startup activity. Take a look below.

startup map

Entrepreneurs Must Not Confuse Action With Results

Too many entrepreneurs confuse actions with momentum and results. We all know someone who repeatedly tells us how “busy” they are, when it’s hard to see what they get done. Momentum is moving things forward (mass x velocity). Founders or employees in constant motion, but with no momentum, will never get off the ground.

It is true that motion in any direction is often better than no motion at all. But motion without momentum may be even less productive. For a more complete discussion of this phenomenon, see the book entitled “Fake Work: Why People Are Working Harder than Ever but Accomplishing Less”, by Brent Petersen and Gaylan Neilson.

So how do you fight this, and get real momentum going in your startup? Here are some key recommendations: Read more

Martin Zwilling , Founder and CEO, Startup Professionals
January 12th, 2014

How do I get to the top of the search results in Gust?

The page rank algorithm for Gust is a deeply held secret so that people won’t game the system (they even won’t tell ME how it works! :-), but I do know that it is intended to surface both “investable” companies and companies that are willing make available to serious investors all the information they need to make at least a first-pass decision. Read more

A Valid Business Model Requires Real Customer Sales

Image via Pets.Answers.com

Image via Pets.Answers.com

“Will the dogs eat the dog food?” This rather crude expression weighs heavily on the mind of all good startup founders, no matter how confident they appear. We all know the products they give away, and the ones purchased by family and friends don’t count. The real milestone, proving the business model, is that first product sold for full price to a total stranger, leaving him happy.

So what can you do to expedite this event, or even improve the odds that it will happen at all? Of course, one sale isn’t really enough, so you need to get the first customer to recommend you to a second, and make sure the rate of sales ramps up quickly enough to keep the business alive and growing.

This whole process is particularly worrisome to many startup founders, since their expertise and background more likely technology than sales. If you are one of those, here are some basics principles you should follow and live by until that milestone is behind you Read more

Martin Zwilling , Founder and CEO, Startup Professionals
January 5th, 2014

One of my investors wants me to host a session where all the investors can meet and talk to each other. Is this a normal request?

There’s nothing inherently wrong with your investors meeting each other, and it’s actually usually a pretty good thing. That said, it’s a bit unusual coming from the F&F side rather than the professional investor side. So I’d just be a bit cautious in trying to understand why your friend is pushing for this. Could it be that s/he just want to hang out with the “high profile” types? If that’s the case, it’s not really the right reason. Read more

10 Startup Shortcuts That Will Be Back To Haunt You

Image via HealthyBodyLife.com

Image via HealthyBodyLife.com

I’ve been advising and mentoring startups and growth companies for years, and find myself always pushing them to try something new, for the sake of growth and survival. When you try new things, you make mistakes, and I’ve seen many. Smart companies learn from their own mistakes, but some don’t pay enough attention to other people’s mistakes.

In the spirit of saving you a few lifetimes of pain, here are some common mistakes or shortcuts that seem to happen routinely: Read more

Martin Zwilling , Founder and CEO, Startup Professionals
December 29th, 2013