The Next Big Thing Isn’t Going To Be Obvious

Did you know that Sergey Brin and Larry Page tried selling Google to Excite for $1 million in 1999? Excite turned them down.

From Entrepreneurs talk back: Straight-up feedback and advice for VCs and angels:

A first-time entrepreneur who has raised nearly $5 million for her start-up writes, “My biggest concern for the health of the start-up economy is the avoidance of any kind of original thinking by VC’s. It just isn’t rational to fund the fourth, fifth or seventeenth copycat business. I love what Floodgate’s Mike Maples and Ann Miuro-Ko say about their preference for funding non-conforming ideas because they usually turn out to be the biggest ones. They say if an company is a hot deal it is rarely a home run because it’s not original enough. The real ’10+ baggers’ are the investments no one would touch — the ones they had to defend the first few years.”

I believe that true entrepreneurs can believe in their idea to a fault, and it’s really hard to tell blind optimism from revolutionary insight. Still, the next Google isn’t going to be an un-original idea. It’s going to get laughed at a bunch of times before it finds its path to greatness.

Finalist Investor Pitches At TechWeek Compete

Now that TechWeek Chicago, has come and gone, I wanted to share with everyone the presentations of the top five finalists of the midVenturesLAUNCH COMPETE competition. For those of you who weren’t able to attend, COMPETE is a competition between 35 startups, selected from a pool of applicants, for over $100,000 in cash and prizes. They were judged by an expert panel, including Sam Yagan, Co-founder of OkCupid.

The finalists were:

  • BabbaCo, an online store of great products for busy parents.
  • Chute, a cloud-drive service for backing up, syncing and sharing your photos.
  • Forecast, a new app that lets you and your friends share where you’re going to be!
  • gtrot, a social travel site for people to share travel plans and get advice from their friends on destinations.
  • Safety Book, a web-based home inventory tracker and safety recall monitor.

BabbaCo ended up winning COMPETE, congratulations to them, and to all of the finalists!