The grand ambitions of Google Ventures

Google Ventures is looking to become one of the top-tier VC firms in Silicon Valley, and hiring high-profile partners is part of the path to the top.

Today in Connected Consumer

Does Facebook have a Mark Zuckerberg problem? If eyebrows were raised when Facebook’s initial S-1 revealed Zuckerberg’s near complete control of the board and voting shares, they’re positively twitching now in the wake of a series of moves that could delay the company’s keenly anticipated IPO and reduce its initial valuation. FIrst came Facebook’s impulsive acquisition of Instagram for $1 billion, which according to the Wall Street Journal was entirely a Zuckerberg deal. Then came the $550 million deal with Microsoft for a group of patents Microsoft had just acquired from AOL. All that was happening while investors were trying to get their heads around Facebook’s less-than-impressive numbers in its last full quarter before the IPO. It’s enough to have some analysts wondering whether Zuckerberg just isn’t that into making a big pile of dough right now and is more interested in making Facebook into a company built to last. Even his house has been criticized for not being ostentatious enough. If so, good for Zuckerberg. Wall Street is not the only party in interests and it would be great if more companies focused more on their business and less on their share price.

How to hire a killer product launch team

In this video Q&A, Daniel Raffel shares how he assembled the right team to build and launch Snapguide, a mobile app. He also shared what he learned working for famous chef, Thomas Keller. It is must see TV for startup founders.

The afterlife: When founders leave

Twitter co-founder Biz Stone is stepping away from the site’s day-to-day operations. While many folks in the industry have seen this coming for months, the news has still raised eyebrows. But Stone is not the first person to step away from a company he helped start.

Young, Experienced Co-Founders Are Key to Success

The key to success in startups is making sure you’re young, experienced and not the only founder. That’s the takeaway from a new survey being conducted by SV Angel of successful startups that have gone on to or are projected to have big exits.

FairSoftware: Instant Software Companies

FairSoftware: Start Your Virtual Online Business - Mozilla Firefox (Build 2008092414)FairSoftware, one of the TechCrunch 50 finalists, is up and running and accepting alpha participants (although it’s marked as alpha, registration is open to anyone). The company hopes to give entrepreneurs yet another function they can outsource: that of actually providing a corporate and governance structure. It’s an interesting notion, though I’m not 100% convinced that it will make sense for the average small software project (though in theory you could use their structure for any company, right now it’s tuned for those selling software online).

After you set up an account with FairSoftware, you can create as many projects as you like. Each project has participants, and you assign shares to them to indicate their share of the profits. There are mechanisms for share vesting and voting on proposals, as well as payroll and sales tracking – the idea is that you form your team, you build your product, and you sell it via FairSoftware: you can have a purchase button on your own site, but all sales must go through FairSoftware, who take a cut (9.9%) of each sale to cover their expenses and profits.

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Six Lucky Videobloggers Set Off on The Gap Year

Bebo, which recently lost its successful web drama KateModern, tomorrow launches a replacement of sorts: The Gap Year. The twist is, it’s a reality show, produced by Endemol.

Over the last six months Bebo and Endemol have whittled down the entrants to six young people who will be sent on six-month trips around the world. Sounds like a pretty spectacular deal to me. The chosen six set off tomorrow. They get a per diem allowance based on what guides like Lonely Planet recommended for the country they’re in. Each person travels individually, accompanied by a cameraperson/director, and will send in one 3- to 5-minute video per week. On Sunday Bebo will run compilations. The show currently disables embeds for its videos, but you can see some samples here.

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