Leading Cause of Death of Startups: Real Estate

Ross Mayfield, CEO of SocialText, and a long-time blogger himself, is finally getting an office.

For two years his company has operated virtually, with employees working from their homes across the United States. He calls it “net-enabled bootstrapping” because the company has used technology tools to operate at a low cost and grow from within.

He says real estate is the leading cause of death of startups, and notes:

“I am convinced that being virtual is the best way to start a company. The benefits go beyond cost (although the culture of frugality can go a very long way). In our case, it improves the product. But generally it is more productive. When the bandwidth for collaboration is constrained at times, you gain a certain focus.”

Be sure to read the entire post, including the comments. He also notes the downsides of virtual businesses.

Two other blogs have picked up on the post and added their own insights — check them out too: Steve Shu, and WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg who notes that the WordPress team operates virtually, also. (WordPress is a popular Open Source blogging software.)

I find blogs such as Ross’s and Steve’s and Matt’s — which discuss their own experiences and observations — to be excellent sources of insight to “see” trends.

In this case, they give a great sense of how technology startups operate today.

Forget three guys in a garage — that was your father’s startup. Today it’s 3 people spread out across the country or even across continents, each in their home offices or back porches with laptops, mobile phones, and WiFi.

For more, read my essay “Trend: Small Businesses Go Virtual.”

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Internet scams cause major financial harm to Indians, study finds

Half the Indian users surveyed felt the responsibility to protect people from frauds lies with the government and 60% feel the responsibility lies with the website.

Half the Indian users surveyed felt the responsibility to protect people from frauds lies with the government and 60% feel the responsibility lies with the website.

New Delhi: Indian Internet users have suffered among the highest financial losses because of Internet scams, a survey by Norway-based telecom operator Telenor ASA found.

“For those surveyed who have been subject to an online scam in India, 90% have lost money and compared to neighbours, the amount of money stolen is the highest. Regionally the average financial loss per person is Rs.6.81 lakh ($9,900), but alarmingly in India the average loss was Rs.8.19 lakh ($12,000),” a statement on the study from the telco said.

Indians are also some of the most aware of such fraud.

“The study revealed that 85% of India’s internet users are familiar with the term ‘Internet Scam’ and feel open to online threats, with 63% saying they’re very concerned about online scams—a third more than those who say they’re concerned with muggings,” the statement said. “A further 57% know a friend or family member who has been scammed online,” the statement added.

The study further found that the top three scams in India were the ‘work from home’ fraud (39%), lottery scams (25%) and fake bank email scam (17%).

The ‘Work from home’ fraud refers to when users are duped into paying someone online to help them start a business but nothing materializes, or users are tricked into completing work but never receive payment.

Lottery scams are when users are asked to pay a processing fee so as to win a large sum of money. Bank email scams are those in which scammers pretend to be bank officials to acquire personal information to access the user’s funds.

On the prevention side, half the Indian users surveyed felt the responsibility to protect people lies with the government and 60% feel the responsibility lies with the website.

[“Source-Livemint”]

Internet scams cause major financial harm to Indians, study finds

Half the Indian users surveyed felt the responsibility to protect people from frauds lies with the government and 60% feel the responsibility lies with the website.

Half the Indian users surveyed felt the responsibility to protect people from frauds lies with the government and 60% feel the responsibility lies with the website.

New Delhi: Indian Internet users have suffered among the highest financial losses because of Internet scams, a survey by Norway-based telecom operator Telenor ASA found.

“For those surveyed who have been subject to an online scam in India, 90% have lost money and compared to neighbours, the amount of money stolen is the highest. Regionally the average financial loss per person is Rs.6.81 lakh ($9,900), but alarmingly in India the average loss was Rs.8.19 lakh ($12,000),” a statement on the study from the telco said.

Indians are also some of the most aware of such fraud.

“The study revealed that 85% of India’s internet users are familiar with the term ‘Internet Scam’ and feel open to online threats, with 63% saying they’re very concerned about online scams—a third more than those who say they’re concerned with muggings,” the statement said. “A further 57% know a friend or family member who has been scammed online,” the statement added.

The study further found that the top three scams in India were the ‘work from home’ fraud (39%), lottery scams (25%) and fake bank email scam (17%).

The ‘Work from home’ fraud refers to when users are duped into paying someone online to help them start a business but nothing materializes, or users are tricked into completing work but never receive payment.

Lottery scams are when users are asked to pay a processing fee so as to win a large sum of money. Bank email scams are those in which scammers pretend to be bank officials to acquire personal information to access the user’s funds.

On the prevention side, half the Indian users surveyed felt the responsibility to protect people lies with the government and 60% feel the responsibility lies with the website.

[“source-Livemint”]