Mar 30, 2011 On Our Blog

Calling All Jedi Designers to Launch Startups for Peace and Justice in the Galaxy

Note from Enrique Allen: I joined 500 Startups because it’s the greatest way for me to optimize my energy-to-impact ratio and inspire great design with hundreds of companies at the earliest stages of their DNA (before they become a bureaucracy). I don’t wake up excited about investing a little seed money and making big returns, that’s just a way of keeping score and things running. I dream about creating a whole new generation of empathetic designers with the education, technical skills, community and resources to actually solve real meaningful problems & pleasures that ultimately benefit humanity at scale (not just consulting to keep big brands rich). Our goal is to make startup design innovation more predictable, pragmatic and human centered. Think …

Mar 29, 2011 On Our Blog

An Entrepreneur’s View Of The Japan Quake

This is a guest post by Matthew Romaine, co-founder and CTO of mygengo. This is reblogged from the original post on Reuters. Matthew was in Tokyo with the rest of the mygengo team when the earthquake struck Japan earlier this month. Here he reflects on how it impacted mygengo. As I write this entry traveling 200 kilometers per hour (124 miles per hour) on a bullet train bound for Tokyo, I’m anxiously curious to catch up with my colleagues in person. One returns from Hong Kong today, another from Taiwan. A third is returning from a remote island south of Kobe, and three are making plans to return from Melbourne. Just last week we were all in the same room focused …

Mar 22, 2011 On Our Blog

Engineering vs. Design

This post is a reblog from Jason Putorti’s blog. Jason is a 500 Startups founder (of Votizen) and venture advisor. View the original post here. The extranormal guy talking about features still thinks that the consumer actually cares about them, and that’s often the mindset of an engineer. Engineers are very interested in making the impossible, possible— and a device and feature are expressions of that possibility. Designers focus, or at least they should, on empathy with real people, and how to use the available technology to create a solution that delights them and solves their problem. Funny aside, there’s an important insight in this clip: the cell phone market, like many other technology markets, has become an experience market. This …

Mar 21, 2011 On Our Blog

Serendipity: A View From SXSW

Meet Phoenix (Jean Grey) aka 500 SuperMentor Wendy Tan-White. Wendy is Founder of Moonfruit, a simple and powerful website builder for SMBs who expect better design tools to produce better designed sites. Moonfruit was founded in 1999, survived the Dotcom crash in 2000 and made a rapid resurgence in 2009. Wendy was Marketing Director of Gandi Group, helped start-up – first European P2P lending site and – first UK internet bank. She sold her soul to Arthur Andersen after getting a BEng Computer Science from Imperial College, London. Wendy’s also a designer for fun and has a MA in Smart Textiles from Central St Martins and is the mum of Josh and Bella! If I had to describe …