Archive for May 2011

Google – a failed approach to information management

Google claims that its mission is to organize the world‘s information and make it universally accessible and useful. At first look this seems to be a valuable goal. However, it is important to keep in mind that this mission is subordinate to the primary goal of any company which is to increase the wealth of its owners (shareholders) by paying dividends and/or causing the stock price to increase. Plagued by this paradigm Google Inc. adapted a business model in form of the AdWords and AdSense advertising programs that in its consequence led to the development of an entirely new industry: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) which in its various forms – such as content farms – has caused an explosion of digital content that is essentially marketing copy disguised as information. In short: Google consequently organizes mostly the world’s ad copy rather than the world’s information. It is hence an utterly failed attempt to effectively organize information. Unless the search giant is willing to radically change its business model there seems no way out of the corner the company painted itself into.

I am working on an concept for building a better search engine that addresses the inherent conflict while attempting to put the challenge of information organization into a wider scope than simply ‘search’ and aim to push out a minimum viable product out this year.

Ways to Raise Money for your Start-Up: Angel Funding

Angel funding is one of the more common ways to raise money for a start-up. An angel investor typically is an affluent individual who provides capital for a business start-up, usually in exchange for convertible debt or ownership equity. Additionally an increasing number of angel investors organize themselves into angel groups to share, research and pool investment capital. Angels typically invest their own funds, unlike venture capitalists, who manage the pooled money of others in a professionally-managed fund. Although typically reflecting the investment judgment of an individual, the actual entity that provides the funding may be a trust, business, limited liability company, investment fund, etc. The amount of active angel investors in America continues to grow, with the Small Business Administration estimating that there are now over 250,000 active angel investors in the US, and that they provide funding for about 30,000 companies per year.

The following is a short list of steps an entrepreneur should take before approaching an angel investor.