venture capital

Entrepreneurship. TV Interview. Nov 30th

Entrepreneurs need Untitled design(2)to  learn new traditional management skills to improve their ability to both attract funding and succeed. That is the message I delivered in a local TV interview discussing #entrepreneurship in Northern Virginia. The region is now called “Silicon Valley East” based on the surge of entrepreneurial ventures in the area.  Read More

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Surge Rate of Hispanic Entrepreneurship

Hispanic Entrepreneurs Are Beating Expectations and Bolstering the U.S. Economy

This point obviously seems to be missed in our current political debate. And the conclusions here are driven by numbers and data, not rhetoric. Hispanic entrepreneurship helps drive our economic growth. Read More

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Gemini Business Group Now Focusing Exclusively on New Venture Development

3Starting September 15, 2015, Gemini Business Group, LLC will focus exclusively on addressing the needs of entrepreneurs and investors and offer a portfolio of new venture development and management support services that have been well received in the market.

The revised Gemini Business Group website provides an overview of the new directions we will be pursuing with clients in coming months.

Look for additional announcements in coming weeks on staff appointments , new developments, and updates on the Gemini Venture Partners Emerging Growth Fund.

I also encourage you to visit my blog www.paulbsilverman.com/blog and also sign up for the complimentary Entrepreneurship Today! e-mail updates which I am using to share new venture developments, management tips, insights on new venture financing trends such as equity crowdfunding, and other topics.

Your comments are always welcomed. Drop me a note anytime at paul@paulbsilverman.com.

Paul B. Silverman

Managing Partner

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$9 M Google Ventures Funding… And Shows Future of Digital Publishing

Book Pile   BlogRecommend reading the Fast Company article “The Picture Book That Parents Worldwide—And Google Ventures—Can’t Put Down” http://www.fastcocreate.com/3048158/the-picture-book-that-parents-worldwide-and-google-ventures-cant-put-down

Take a good look here and you see where digital publishing is heading as print-on- demand, analytics, creative software, graphics design, and content creation merge to create what looks like a new market sector.

When we here about personalized children’s books we think about a child’s name inserted into the same story and replicated for others. Here we have a new paradigm using algorithms to create customized stories printed with high quality illustrations.

Here is what #Google Ventures says: “We don’t look at them as a book publishing company,” says Avid Larizadeh Duggan, a London-based general partner at Google Ventures. “It’s a platform for the best personalized content for children’s entertainment on multiple platforms. They’re redefining a category.”

When you read this article, I suggest keep the following points in mind:

  • Automated content creation using algorithms and software is a new frontier- as noted “… there are tens of thousands lines of code for each book delivered”
  • This is a technology not a book publishing startup –when you review the article that is clear
  • The team identified a market opportunity, organized a talented team, and then pursued the business. Market opportunity defined first, then technology solution- that is the way it is done to avoid having a creative technology looking for a market, a problem we often see with early stage companies

So where is this heading? Here are may perspectives:

  • The content creation analytics and software will advance quickly- we can envision more powerful and multi-threaded content creation options emerging- I expect these will be driven by start-up firms
  • We will move beyond the children’s book market- what I call ‘adaptive’ content creation will also address other traditional book publishing markets
  • Adaptive, personalized content creation has other applications in education and training. Customizing content to adapt to readers’ learning styles and disabilities, personalizing training content based on readers’ skill level; developing personalized healthcare education materials which adapts based on staff background, experience, their optimum learning approach are some of the many possibilities here.

Bottom line – like 3D printing, this is another disruptive breakthrough that I believe will open many exciting opportunities to create value. Recommend all stay tuned as this develops.

Paul B. Silverman

Paul B. Silverman writes about entrepreneurship, healthcare, analytics, and strategy management and serves as Advisor, Speaker, Educator, and Managing Partner of the Gemini Business Group, LLC, a new venture development firm, and author of “8 Building Blocks To Launch, Manage, And Grow A Successful Business.” He also serves as Adjunct Professor in the School of Business at George Mason University. See more at Paul B. Silverman Blog and sign up for Entrepreneurship Today! email updates to track latest new venture developments.

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NEW FACEBOOK PAGE

New Facebook Page – will focus on #entrepreneurship, #predictive analytics, #new ventures, #healthcare

More to follow. Check out http://tinyurl.com/m8t5z4g

Paul B. Silverman writes about entrepreneurship, healthcare, analytics, and strategy management and serves as Advisor, Speaker, Educator, and Managing Partner of the Gemini Business Group, LLC, a new venture development firm, and author of “8 Building Blocks To Launch, Manage, And Grow A Successful Business.” He also serves as Adjunct Professor in the School of Business at George Mason University. See more at Paul B. Silverman Blog and sign up for Entrepreneurship Today! email updates to track latest new venture developments.

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Music Streaming and Analytics-How Spotify is Impacting the Music Business

Excellent New Yorker article about Spotify and how music sector business models are changing- very clear here that the online music market business models are morphing quickly- check out http://tinyurl.com/lw88lkc

The article reinforces my view that analytics, not content, packaging, or other features will be the primary success driver in most of today’s markets, including the music sector. I am looking at analytics-centric healthcare, financial, and business management ventures and clear to me these ventures will reshape current sectors and create new large scale opportunities just as Spotify is doing in online music

To fully understand the possibilities here, consider the following 3 points noted in the article:

  • Note migration from early stage “collaborative filtering” analytics-using what you did before to define what you want in the future – first generation analytics here which provided a competitive edge.
  • Spotify bought Echo Nest-an analytics company and created “Truffle Pig” – result is an artificial music intelligence platform that helps Spotify dissect in detail the music elements (they now look at 50 parameters for all music products) and further tighten ability to meet users’ needs
  • Most significant, Spotify’s analytics are what I call second generation, seeking to use other external personal/ environmental data to improve their ability to meet users’ needs/improve user satisfaction (and of course not switch to iTunes or Pandora). To get a glimpse into what is meant here, check out the following from the article:

Now that the Echo Nest is part of Spotify, its team has access to the enormous amount of data generated by Spotify users which show how they consume music. Spotify knows what time of day users listen to certain songs, and in many cases their location, so programmers can infer what they are probably doing—studying, exercising, driving to work. Brian Whitman, an Echo Nest co-founder, told me that programmers also hope to learn more about listeners by factoring in data such as “what the weather is like, what your relationship status is now on Facebook.”

When I look at how analytics is shaping all market sectors, we see explosive growth of what I call second generation analytics- this will spawn many exciting new ventures, and some of these will be in new market sectors that don’t even exist today. Exciting times lie ahead here

Paul B. Silverman writes about entrepreneurship, healthcare, analytics, and strategy management and serves as Advisor, Speaker, Educator, and Managing Partner of the Gemini Business Group, LLC, a new venture development firm, and author of “8 Building Blocks To Launch, Manage, And Grow A Successful Business.” He also serves as Adjunct Professor in the School of Business at George Mason University. See more at Paul B. Silverman Blog and sign up for Entrepreneurship Today! email updates to track latest new venture developments.

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Comments on Business Models at “For Entrepreneurs”

Excellent summary by David Skok on new business models we now see in the entrepreneurial arena. If you are interested in understanding the variety of business models we now see in the market this is a good place to start. I contributed comments on Data Intensity Models or “DIM” which I am looking at for new ventures- very exciting area using analytics. Check out David Skok’s site and my comments at  http://www.forentrepreneurs.com/business-models/    Copy of my comments below:

David
Excellent summary on business models – good work. Glad to
contribute here. I am focusing on a related models in the new venture arena looking at how companies create value based on their customer and ‘community of interest’ data. The Data Intensity Model (“DIM”) goes beyond lead generation models to increase revenue and looks at the value created by understanding customer needs using analytics. Mint.com is the widely quoted example here but other directions are emerging. Sounds far out but the DIM model may shape how you manage your wardrobe- check out https://paulbsilverman.com/2012… Obvious opportunities in finance arena similar to Mint.com but major opportunity I foresee is in healthcare arena. Check out my post/exchange about new business models on Accenture blog https://paulbsilverman.com/2013…. The excellent contribution you are making to educate entrepreneurs is I am sure appreciated by all.

Paul B. Silverman

Paul B. Silverman writes about entrepreneurship, healthcare, analytics, and strategy management and serves as Advisor, Speaker, Educator, and Managing Partner of the Gemini Business Group, LLC, a new venture development firm, and author of “8 Building Blocks To Launch, Manage, And Grow A Successful Business.” He also serves as Adjunct Professor in the School of Business at George Mason University. See more at Paul B. Silverman Blog and sign up for Entrepreneurship Today! email updates to track latest new venture developments.

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Failure Is Often A Key Driver for Success: Check out “Failing Forward — 3 Tips for Failing Your Way to Success”

Most entrepreneurs are familiar with the story of Thomas Edison’s invention of the light bulb. To outsiders, looks like a waste of time and effort- we see about 10,000 failures and one success. Thomas Edison saw it differently in his widely quoted views on success and failure: “I have not failed 10,000 times. I have not failed once. I have succeeded in proving that those 10,000 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work.”

I agree with Thomas Edison and always define failures as “Learning Experiences” — this works for me.

I recommend checking out “Failing Forward — 3 Tips for Failing Your Way to Success” – an excellent perspective on success and failure from Marshall Graham, Managing Partner at Indian River Advisor, LLC. Excellent insights here for all entrepreneurs.

 

Paul B. Silverman writes about entrepreneurship, healthcare, analytics, and strategy management and serves as Advisor, Speaker, Educator, and Managing Partner of the Gemini Business Group, LLC, a new venture development firm, and author of “8 Building Blocks To Launch, Manage, And Grow A Successful Business.” He also serves as Adjunct Professor in the School of Business at George Mason University. See more at Paul B. Silverman Blog and sign up for Entrepreneurship Today! email updates to track latest new venture developments.

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WSJ – Comments on Alibaba “Singles Day” Results

On November 10th, the WSJ reviewed Alibaba results and the Gross Merchandising Volume or “GMV” metric used to measure performance of e-marketplace companies such as AliBaba and others. I find GMV and related platform business model metrics not well understood. These will be increasingly important as growth of “customer to customer” platform networks accelerate in healthcare and other sectors. Below is a full copy of my comments. Link to the WSJ article and edited comments at http://tinyurl.com/n369mha

Eeading about Alibaba’s business model, I recall the “eyeball model” driving the e-commerce explosion in the 1990’s. The premise- attract large numbers of users/customers to your site, generate value by product and service sales and, most important, generate scale to drive advertising revenue and “exponential” future earnings. Some did it well such as eBay, but the model spawned hundreds of new ventures and most failed. Why? Management, undercapitalized, poor execution strategy- these are the usual reasons most ventures fail. But there was also a fatal flaw here- the eyeball model at the time could not create a universally successful business in all sectors without careful positioning and deep pockets, not the outcome many investors expected. “Build it and they will come”- they didn’t.

Fast forward to today. Alibaba reported very impressive results on “Singles Day”, I.e., 111114, reporting 35 billion yuan ( about $5.75 billion) in the 24 hour Singles Day period. GMV or Gross Merchandise Value is their key business model metric- high GMV translates to higher revenue and presumably long term earnings growth. Following a $25 billion IPO two months ago, there is great pressure to show high GMV.

Several comments here. No question Alibaba is an outstanding success by any measure. One question is long term sustainability. Having merchants offer steep discounts ( 50 % in some cases) to create high single day sales volume looks like a “loss leader” strategy- at least one analyst also questioned whether this is sustainable long term. Remember Groupon and LivingSocial issues. Secondly, note GMV shows total value of transactions sold through Alibaba’s marketplace platform and is not a well defined standard. GMV may include shipping charges, items that will be returned, and other components for the “customer to customer” sales via Alibaba’s platform. GMV is excellent for comparing marketplace companies, but each player may use different assumptions to calculate. Finally, recognize GMV is one of several platform model metrics such as Gross Transaction Volumes or GTV which is well suited for platforms using commission-based pricing strategies. Bottom line here- Alibaba’s success will spur other “GMV” centric new ventures as did the “eyeball” model- lets understand the definitions here and standardize, ensure the proper financial accounting and reporting practices are in place, and ensure the e-marketplace sector achieves the global market growth we all foresee.

Paul B. Silverman writes about entrepreneurship, healthcare, analytics, and strategy management and serves as Advisor, Speaker, Educator, and Managing Partner of the Gemini Business Group, LLC, a new venture development firm, and author of “8 Building Blocks To Launch, Manage, And Grow A Successful Business.” He also serves as Adjunct Professor in the School of Business at George Mason University. See more at Paul B. Silverman Blog and sign up for Entrepreneurship Today! email updates to track latest new venture developments.

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Right Answer, Wrong Question- New CIO EHR Survey

New Survey- “CIOs Say Usability, Search-Related Problems Prevalent Among EHRs”

iHealthBeat reports on new Frost and Sullivan survey focused on CIO EHR perspectives. I believe we need to refocus today’s EHR dialogue on the many benefits EHR provides- this vision seems to be missing. We are playing catch-up to many countries who have embraced EHRs. Survey highlights and summary of my comments posted on iHealthBeat http://www.ihealthbeat.org/articles/2014/10/27/cios-say-usability-search-related-problems-prevalent-among-ehrs . I see many parallels between the e-commerce revolution in the 1990’s and today’s EHR debate. Copy of my unedited comments below.

 

Right Answer, Wrong Question…

Asking CIOs how they feel about EHR’s, you would expect comments that today’s EHRs are challenging, slow, and have operational problems. That is the right answer, but in my view the wrong question. While the information gained provides insights into perceptions, the more important question to address is from the CIO perspective, what do they see as the most immediate EHR applications they need to change and/or enhance their current operations, including meeting ACA guidelines and improving their cost/performance benchmarks. What I am suggesting is let’s move the discussion to focus on specific process enhancements that EHRs will drive. My thinking is driven by what we saw in the e-commerce market evolution.

E-commerce, new electronic services that displaced paper, was a driver of the Internet revolution in the late 1990’s. Many saw the vision that cost/performance benefits, not paper or admin cost reduction was the real driver here, but we faced formidable challenges, e.g., lack of standards, privacy, multiple technology platforms, training issues, complexity compared to ‘simple’ paper forms, and others.

From my perspective, sure sounds like exactly what we are facing with today’s migration to EHR. So looking back, what did we learn and what does experience tell us about today’s EHR “revolution.” I see three key directions based on my experience.

First, e-commerce winners understood that changing process, not solely displacing paper, was the key benefit. For example, using electronic purchase orders rather than paper saved paper and admin costs and were more efficient, but they also enabled analytics to optimize supply chains and improve profitability- that could not be done with paper. This was a key point driving e-commerce revolution which myself and others reinforced, i.e., “implementing e-commerce systems will cost more, but you will achieve cost and operational efficiencies and improve your competitive position.” This was not accepted by all at the time. Key point here- today’s EHR’s may cost more but they don’t just automate paper-based record keeping- they really open the door to create new processes and dramatically reshape healthcare. That is the message we should be reinforcing backed up with solid cost- effective applications.

Secondly, new e-commerce applications emerged and many new ventures were spawned contributing to e-commerce market growth. And these were entrepreneurial ventures, targeting sectors and all value chain functions to improve operations, e.g., supply chain management, distribution channel optimization, marketing analytics, and so on. Market growth at the time was fueled by venture capital and creative entrepreneurs, not the major firms. In today’s EHR environment, expect to see many new ventures accelerate in areas of remote telemonitoring, predictive analytics, and others- healthcare is a significant target, long overdue for major cost performance step up, and EHR is the accelerator to make it happen. VCs in my view are still behind the curve here but I believe approaching a critical mass here.

 

Finally, e-commerce was a global business and, at the time, many new technologies and e-commerce structures emerged overseas. Today, recognize that many countries have EHR adoption rates greater than 90 percent, and we are playing catch-up with EHR adoption at less than 70 percent and CIO resistance based on the survey . In these overseas markets today, EHR is embraced and driving new applications, analytics, and solutions which I expect will play a role as the US market for enhanced EHR achieves what I believe will be exponential growth in the next decade.

Paul B. Silverman writes about entrepreneurship, healthcare, analytics, and strategy management and serves as Advisor, Speaker, Educator, and Managing Partner of the Gemini Business Group, LLC, a new venture development firm, and author of “8 Building Blocks To Launch, Manage, And Grow A Successful Business.” He also serves as Adjunct Professor in the School of Business at George Mason University. See more at Paul B. Silverman Blog and sign up for Entrepreneurship Today! email updates to track latest new venture developments.

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