entrepreneurship

The True Cost Of Working For Free

I am often asked to work for free. It has many forms: “spec work”, free consultation, free public appearance or simply helping out a friend. There are many reasons for providing free services: self promotion, supporting a cause and returning a favour. There are, however, far more reasons to decline.

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Posted by Samuel Miller in Blog, entrepreneurship, 0 comments

Roooster Is Shutting Down

It was a long journey for us here at Roooster.

We started working on the idea of a business platform for creative professionals in early 2015. We believed, and still do, that the time has come to present the world with a new method of doing business: where independent professionals are not just Continue reading →

Posted by Samuel Miller in entrepreneurship, 0 comments

So What Is Roooster All About?

We started Roooster out of our own experiences and frustrations: Chasing projects, only to find, once we won the bid, that we have none of our favorite team members available. Continue reading →

Posted by Samuel Miller in entrepreneurship, 0 comments

Working with remote freelancers

I can still hear the squeaky sounds of the 4 brand new, state-of-the-art Mac Pros, trying to escape from their polystyrene prison and run free towards what will be their new home soon. It was back in 2007 and my business partner and I just completed 3 weeks of backbreaking work – sanding, painting and refurbishing our first London studio in Soho. Continue reading →

Posted by Rotem Nahlieli in Blog, entrepreneurship, 0 comments

“Creative”, A Dirty Word

Mike Monteiro takes offense to being called “creative”. At least this is what I understand from his pinned-tweet. Is “creative” such an offensive word? How come this adjective-turned-to-noun became such a politically incorrect reference to people who take pride in being craftspersons ? Is this word, as Monteiro claims, really used as a tool by The Man to disenfranchise hard working design trade professionals?

L. Jeffry Zeldman says Monteiro’s claim is “rubbish”, but seems to actually agree with Monteiro in certain points of his post: First, Zeldman says that the title Creative does not diminish your trade, if you admit that Creative is just one of the many other professionally acceptable components of the trade, such as “research, data, conversation, testing, and all the other science-y stuff we trot out to prove that we are worthy business partners”, as Zeldman puts it. Meaning that the whole Idea of being called Creative is insufficient in itself to gain any sort of professional recognition and appreciation. You do need to stress the fact that there is this “science-y stuff” along side the creative “stuff” to garner public respect.

Zeldman goes further into undermining his own argument, by writing about “That spark, that divine spark, that indefinable creating essence of the spirit”. Thus, being a creative is much the same as being a prophet, in the most biblical sense of the word. This quote from Zeldman should be alarming for any non-designer who may consider hiring a designer. After hearing it. one must be reassured that they are not hiring a possessed person or a religious fanatic who suffers psychotic episodes.

To reconcile both Monteiro’s and Zeldman’s views, we can argue that Creative is this single-letter-code which may be used by members of the creative clan, but not by outsiders. A C word which self proclaimed creatives can utter freely, but god forbid a corporate suit will use it. Isn’t it, anyway, a problem of how designers are perceived by the non-designer majority of the general market?

Well, Paul Rand didn’t think so. In his article The Politics Of Design, he refers to “the skilled graphic designer is a professional whose world is divided between lyricism and pragmatism. He is able to distinguish between trendiness and innovation, between obscurity and originality”. Yes, the skilled graphic designer is one who needs to have achieved equilibrium between the level of artistic expression one expects from themselves AND the level of service one knows the customer needs for the market in which they exist.

Rand’s approach is not as naive as it may sound. He claims the optimal terms are where an ideal customer provides “a harmonious environment in which goodwill, understanding, spontaneity, and mutual trust — qualities so essential to the accomplishment of creative work — may flourish.” But Rand also contends that customers are insecure and worrisome, which causes them to doubt the direction given by a professional designer. A secure and skilled designer, on the other hand, should be able to provide the best solution and convince the customer of this one solution, instead of providing several halfhearted sketches. If you are a skilled and confident designer, being called “creative” by non designers should not be an issue. There is nothing diminutive about this word.

Design, according to Rand, is a problem solving occupation. Funny, because this is exactly how engineers define their occupation and you can probably find many theoretical mathematicians, physicists, physicians and plumbers, who define their occupation as a problem solving practice. I think that the only ones to argue against this observation, will be psychologists. They will resent this assertion as demeaning, simplistic and reductive, before ceding their high ground. Creativity? This is how you, as a professional, solve the problems at hand.

On the other hand, those working in traditional problem-solving occupations, like software engineers, are also very creative. But this adjective is not often used in relation to engineering. You hear a lot about “innovative” and “ground breaking”, but creative? nope. However, if you talk to software engineers, medical doctors and police detectives, they will use the C word more often than you might suspect in relation to their own occupation. Assuming that “creative” is used by detectives to denote their methodical approach and not in how they treat evidence, I think we can put this awkward debate about this word to sleep.

Posted by Samuel Miller in Blog, entrepreneurship, 0 comments

How Is Sharing Caring?

This is Africa: I drove with my host around Soweto, when he threw his plastic water bottle out of his passenger’s seat window. To my protest, he just smiled and said “sharing is caring”. I noticed while driving around these roads, how the shoulders were littered with bottles and cans, plastic bags, cardboard boxes and old rags. Now, as he kept smiling, I started noticing the people walking on the side of the road, picking up stuff. “Everything is recycled here”, my host continued: “nothing is left unused”.

Roooster is a solution based on the idea of sharing. Obviously, freelancers can’t be compared to used water bottles: water bottles don’t get to decide if they want to be refilled or not. In this competitive independent studio market, sharing is perceived as a problem, and for a very good reason:

Being someone who relies on a freelance workforce, you want to have an edge on your competitors, to signify you as unique and make you stand out from the rest. You hire only the most talented professionals, those who you already know have both the skills and the work ethics to provide the best contribution to your project. But how can you establish this edge, when the talents we use for our projects are also employed by other studios? Our competitors?

The answer is simple: every studio has a leader, someone who distinguishes the studio by their quality of work, by the creative ingenuity or by the speed of delivery. For the busy studio, there is always need for a fresh talent to join a project’s team. This person, if they’re good, will probably be constantly busy with many creative leaders queuing up to hire them.

So how does one make sure that the project is teamed by the best available talents? Evidently, a big list of high quality contacts is needed, because, as a creative leader, if you blink for a minute, you’ll find that all of your precious contacts are already employed by other studios.
And it is a good thing: it tells you that your previous projects were part of the reason these people were hired for their current project. It is also Your work which is evaluated by your peers. You do the same: appreciate other studios’ work and try to contact people from their credit rolls.

There is this African code of sharing one’s good fortune with those who need it. If you have a good job and a steady income, it is basically your moral obligation to hire a housekeeper. This piece of information, believe it or not, was provided by my host as an answer to my question why there is no self-service gas station in South Africa. For the same reason, in this industry, where high-value professionals sometimes find it hard to market themselves, they rely a lot on the recommendations of those with whom they have worked. If you can’t provide your dear freelance a job right now, why not help them get hired? By the time you’ll work together again, you will also benefit from the gained experience.

Exchanging contacts is a great way to communicate with other studios. Sometimes you recommend a brilliant illustrator and get the details of a 3D modeller to build your fantasy castle. Sometimes you ask for a character designer, and get “go fish” as an answer. Besides, there is absolutely no reason to think that the creative freelancers that you keep in your secret address book are, well, a secret.

 

Posted by Samuel Miller in Blog, entrepreneurship, 0 comments

Marry Poppins case: Who is in charge of hiring?

While Marry Poppins is used very often as an example to explain gamification (because “a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go doooown”) there is a different case to be made from the 1964 film and it is about recruitment of professionals. Weirdly enough, it is alarmingly similar to the situations I found myself when hiring a web designer, only without a star talent gliding down with umbrella from the sky.

For me, the most unbelievable thing about Marry Poppins was not her umbrella flights or her crossing over to animated reality. The hardest thing for me was to believe that the adorable children in need of a nanny could be considered mischievous or misbehaved. Why would a nanny resign in such a protest? Sure, the kids disappeared again, being dragged away by their kite, but where was the nanny? Oh well, this is a Disney film. Julie Andrews had it easy as a nanny, first with the Banks kids and later with the Von Trapp seven. Yes, they did some pranks, but comparing with my kids, they’re pretty docile. and docile is what some project managers, corporations and even some creative leaders want their employees and freelancers to be. They are often regarded as highly valuable assets who don’t necessarily know what’s good for them or for the greater good.

When it comes down to recruiting new hires, executives tend to act just like Mr. Banks, the father. They receive requirements from the “children”, only to ignore them, while letting HR, or a project manager / producer compile a different set of requirements.
The difference between Marry Poppins and reality, is that in real life, a star talent is not blowing away the competition to be singled out and present the corporate with no alternative for the position.

Marry Poppins was the perfect match to the children’s original list of requirements, to the dismay of HR (which, for the sake of argument, is Mr. Banks). For one, she did not fit the “corporate culture” of stern, no-nonsense professionals (the cook, the maid). However, she did allow the children to change this culture into a creative, imaginative and fun dynamic.
Professional services for recruiting new hires often work against the interests of the hiring professional. This happens as HR specialists believe they know better that the recruiting party, with whom they should be working. It can be a corporate department or an external recruitment service working for small businesses. Marry Poppins’ case for recruitment shows the negative points of using recruitment specialists:

1. Advertising the wrong requirements for the job
2. Ignoring the stakeholders
3. Accepting only candidates who fit the bill exactly, with no differentiating qualities

Of course, dealing directly with the task of finding the perfect person for the job, is extremely time consuming. There are almost no shortcuts to it. The burden is much higher for independent studios, when the need to hire arises several times per month, according to project necessity. Well, there are many cases where you can let other people do the job for you, but talent recruitment isn’t one of them.

Posted by Samuel Miller in Blog, entrepreneurship, 0 comments

This is Roooster

As an owner of a creative studio in London, I have very few in-house employees. Like many other design companies, we are heavily depending on freelances to help with the ongoing projects. This is a good thing: our work is not limited by skill, location or staff. Working with freelancers, both on-site and remotely, allow our studio to adapt fast, be very versatile in style and discipline, keep our overheads low and work with exciting artists and clients from around the world. But this flexibility comes at a price: The grueling and constantly recurring task of chasing after available freelance artists or scouting for new ones.

Being a design professional is supposed to be living the dream, to challenge ourselves with new ways of thinking and explore our creative boundaries. Starting our own studios meant we felt responsible enough to take on bigger projects, so we get it: there are managerial tasks, more accounting and there’s also constant hiring of freelancers. Gone are the days of setting up shop and working with an in-house staff of 9 to 5 artists. We are constantly on the lookout for talents who meet the specific requirements of each project. These high quality professionals, are not just waiting for us to call them: they actively search for projects. 

In the domains of high quality design and creative services, there is very little comfort in using freelancer recruitment services. Even if you think you may have found the right person for the task using one of these services, you still have to spend a lot of time going through their portfolio, understanding what was their part in every project, where creative projects are often collaborative, and trying to learn from colleagues what is it like to work with this person, as the match needs to be personal as well as professional. The challenge is even bigger when trying to find a remote artist to work with.

This is why we started Roooster: We had enough browsing through hundreds of online portfolios and fancy websites that claim to understand your creative needs. Or even worse, online services that offer useless ranking systems and focusing mainly on low cost bids rather than quality. You know these sites, those which are avoided by self respecting freelance designers and artists. In Roooster we want to allow creative studio owners to share freelance information with their peers – who else can vouch for their professional contacts?

Posted by Rotem Nahlieli in entrepreneurship, 0 comments

How Products Form Habit (and Promote Addiction)

If you ever felt that it is getting harder and harder for you to disengage from social media, from your downloaded mobile game apps or any other new app, this feeling is not accidental.

Addicting games are in existence for years: Tetris had its share of putting many work hours to waste. But what is the difference between Zynga’s Farmville and Candy Crush? Aren’t they both highly addictive games? Free games that made a lot of money from addicted users? Well, while Farmville had its run to quickly become a formula game with predictable reward system, Candy Crush is packing surprises: Players don’t know whether they will pass the level and if so,why. In addition, every level introduces new behaviours, which limit the ability of the player to predict the coming development. Randomness and variable difficulty make an exciting and addictive combination, and it is hardly by chance.

Once there was need to explain to software developers how their consumers are using the products. Very little software products were developed with the help of User Interface experts and behavoiural psychologists. User experience design has become, along the years, an essential part of new products development. At a certain point, it seems as if game developers have shifted from programming their game levels into programming their players. More and more games, as well as other types of applications, are trying (and succeeding) to turn the consumers’ use of them into a regular habit, not to say an addiction. The goal: Coercive Monetization. The means: Developing habit forming products.

Hooked - How To Build Habit-Forming Products

Nir Eyal, and American UX designer and blogger, has recently published his book, Hooked. In his book, he explains his method of user habit forming. Habits, which are intended to convert the user from a casual user of a social media tool or a game, into a regular. Eyal obviously talks about “good” habits rather than a Candy Crush addiction. He discusses social media services use habits, such as Pinterest and Facebook, but you may want to listen when he describes the Variable Reward step in the habit-formig cycle he presents.

Trigger, Action, Variable Reward and Investment, are a lot like the vicious cycle of addiction, which is built around the triggering of the dopamine receptors in the brain. The stress which is entailed in the anticipation to the reward, is the thing that accelerates compulsive behaviour – whether it be the search for your drug, or even behavioural addiction, such as gambling, porno and, also, Candy Crush.

Hooked is intended for professional readers: executives, product managers, UX designers, who are looking for methods to create new products, products which will be profitable throughout a long life cycle. The book is not intended for consumers of those products. Eyal is cautious, apparently, about referring to the dangers of creating addictive products. There are good aspects for creating use habits and for creating products that cater to the users’ needs. But the science that allows us to pinpoint the reasons why users will want to return to using our products, enables addiction inducing manipulations.

What’s the solution to the problem of increasingly addictive products? There is none. On the one hand, there are product developers, like me, who want to create use habits and on the other hand there are consumers, who will have to learn how these manipulations work and will develop, with time, immunity to them.

To Nir Eyal’s Lecture

Posted by Samuel Miller in Blog, entrepreneurship, games, 0 comments

Yoovi’s Lesson In Viral Marketing

About a year ago I met Eytan at the Google Launchpad, a startup bootcamp of sorts, in TelAviv. A year has gone by and out of that bootcamp only a handfull of startups survived.

One has managed to recruit several million dollar from investors, some gave up and moved on to the next venture and some returned to the employee workforce. Eytan Levitt is one of the entrepreneurs who made it through the year and his startup, Yoovi, is now at the final stage of its product launch – a closed beta.

The idea behind Yoovi is a photo management and sharing service for parents. Yoovi is not an ordinary mobile app and its launch requires a considerable investment. The app is at the Apple App Store for several months now, but it is an invite-only service as yet. Eytan’s challenge is double: on the one hand, potential investors require guarantee of public demand. The goal that Eytan set are pretty straight forward: 20,000 pre-enrolls will get Yoovi enough funds to complete the launch. 100,000 will fund additional services. On the other hand, the public doesn’t know Yoovi and users are constantly bombarded with messages from dozens of competing products every hour. Photo sharing is something we do every day. An average mobile user has 3 to 5 different apps they use concurrently to do this: Whatsapp, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Path. Yoovi has a unique niche and it does answer a specific problem for parents who take loads of photos. But in such a big ocean of apps, who will notice a unique little drop?

Eytan’s solution to these two problems was a brilliant videoclip, where he presents the idea and asks the viewers to vote for the app by adding their emails on Yoovis website. The clip was shot at the end of January, cut and edited at the beginning of February. Now all that’s left is to distribute it and hopefully make it viral.

On February 18 Eytan released the clip on his personal Facebook profile and on Yoovis page. He needed to get the required number of users within 31 days.

In startup meetups, when seasoned entrepreneurs speak in front of new entrepreneurs, they talk a lot about “evangelizing” – the  need for an entrepreneur to become a preacher or a prophet for their own venture. This is exactly what Eytan did in the days that followed the release of the clip:

Launching the campaign was a live event broadcast on Yevvo. Within several hours, with the good help of friends, he already collected 700 emails.

The following day, Yoovi’s team opened a “war room” at the Google TLV Campus. It was a viral marketing hackathon, with beer and pizzas. Friends came over to show their support and within a day the number of emails collected surpassed 4,000. Eytan practically moved into the Campus. His presence there was put to good use: on the third day he spoke in front of a group of entrepreneurs from South America. It was February 20 and responses from all over the world were pouring: a guy from New Zealand sent a moving message, someone else sent a video of herself using Eytan’s clip in a lecture about viral marketing and Saul Singer, the author of Startup Nation enlisted to the campaign, posting about it on his highly popular Facebook Page.

Yoovi’s livecast was still going strong on the fourth day, making it effectively the first TV reality event of the Israeli startup scene. Meanwhile, responses continued to flow: Eytan reported about a twit fro Saudi Arabia sharing the clip and about a CEO from one of the largest parents’online communities asking for a beta invite. On the sixth day the count was already on 8,000.

Things changed on the seventh day. It was opened in Barcellona, at the World Mobile Congress. With all due respect to hackathons and friends’support, you still need the big conventions to meet investors and get media exposure. Here is what Eytan shared on his Facebook account:

 Hello friends, first I’d like to say thank you very much to everyone that’s supporting, helping, saying nice things, sending emails.. wow.. just wow..

Yesterday was my first day in the Barcelona conference – I was in the less successful venue but I still got the maximum I could, chinese investors that really liked Yoovi and offered to invest, I also reached 3 journalists – one of them from a really big publisher.

Things I learned yesterday:

1. Always provide value – the way I got to these 3 journalists was through a panel where the crowd was participating, and I really participated and asked question that made sense to the discussion. When the panel was done the journalists came to me(!!) and said thanks for participating. 

2. Everybody is trying to fight over media’s attention, my primary goal isn’t to pitch my story, but to create rapport.

3. The “second most important person in the room technique” – when everybody wants the attention of someone, look for the person that came with him – and talk with him. It’s gets amazing results.

4. Always help – I offered someone to charge his iPhone with my mac’s USB, turns out he’s the BizDev of Rovio(Angry Birds) and really helped.

5. The parties in the night just as important as the conference – my goal for today, get access to the most important party/

6. Someone told me a great sentance – “the most content I create, the luckier I am” – HOW TRUE!! I’m thrilled that our campaign continues going well, I find it a world wonder, I hope our attempts to get converage will be fruitful soon(they will).

Sorry for not live streaming as much, 3g and bettery are a real constraint on that.

That’s for now – HAVE A GREAT DAY!!

Eytan from Barcelona

February is ending and Yoovi achieved half of their target number so far, within just 10 days.

A campaign’s success is measured against its defined goals. As of today, the campaign is a success. Goals can be changed during the campaign. In the case of Yoovi, the Barcellona convention was a great opportunity not to be missed and a game changer. Talking about viral campaigns, it is hard not to refer to global phenomena such as Kony2012 , which received over 100 million views within 6 days on YouTube. But such a comparison would be unfair: Yoovi is a struggling startus, trying to pre-enroll potential users – not raise funds on Kickstarter or fight against child abuse in Africa. Behind Yoovi you won’t find massive donor support or an army of Twitter controlling Hollywood stars. Yoovi’s campaign is an excellent lesson for young entrepreneurs with limited resources.

Posted by Samuel Miller in Blog, entrepreneurship, 0 comments

How To Ruin Your Business With Blackhat SEO Tactics

Expedia has a newly introduced statement in its website’s footer, saying: “Expedia, Inc. is not responsible for content on external Web sites.” This statement is aimed at a single reader: Google and what it is saying is simple: If we are popular and receive many backlinks from spamsites, increasing our ranking in search result pages, we are not to blame. Backlinks from spamsites is the main tactic tool for what is referred to as blackhat SEO. This statement is also not entirely correct: Expedia is indeed responsible for content on external websites, if these websites are owned by Expedia, or operated by agencies hired by Expedia for promotion.

Search Engine Optimization, just like any other marketing practice, is about creating an advantage over your competitors. When it comes to search results for specific keywords, almost everyone with a website is your competitor. So it is kind of a rat race, and everyone is busy updating fresh “quality” content en mass. And just like in any competitive sports, there are cheaters. Blackhat SEO is cheating: creating a multitude of external links to a destination site and littering the web with fake content which is not really meant for real people to read, but prevents them from accessing relevant quality content.

Google is taking no prisoners in the war against Blackhat SEO. For Google, it is enough that a suspicion of cheating exists, to take action against those who possibly gained unfair lead. Since the beginning of the year we’ve heard about big media entities, such as Expedia and Vivint being taken off the Google search results for their sought keywords. In Expedia’s case it is keyword phrases like “cheap flights”. Both Vivint and Expedia are very big businesses worth Billions of dollars. Google didn’t flinch before shutting them off. This is encouraging: a company with the motto of “Don’t be evil” is punishing giants trampling over the smaller businesses. This is also worrying: the same punishment will be used against the smaller businesses when mere suspicion arises.

Search Engine Optimization is a marketing channel existing since the time before Google was even thought of.  Altavista and Lycos, Inktomi and others allowed SEO tactics for website promotion and in return gained easily indexed pages. Google introduced the popularity criterion, which, in turn, increased the presence of fake sites and link farms over the web. These tactics are eventually spotted by the search engines and their owners are punished. By the way, the same goes for innocent websites which have been linked to on link farms: They will also be blacklisted by search engines if they fail to notice that they are a part of a link farm.

 

Posted by Samuel Miller in entrepreneurship, 0 comments

Why Is Product Management Important?

There is a product at the end of the rainbow. It can be a website, a mobile app, an online service (SaaS) or a toy. Someone needs to imagine it. Someone needs to visualize it and someone needs to build it.

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Posted by Samuel Miller in entrepreneurship, 0 comments

Is a Kickass Co-Founder what you need? Seriously?

You need a co-founder to get into a startup accelerator in Tel Aviv. There’s a known bias towards founding teams as opposed to single founders. This issue is well discussed in many forums and I even deal with it in this blog. So if we are looking for a team of co-founders, what should be the ideal equilibrium of the team?

I have spent a lot of time looking into several pair-up events and founder matching groups. There are certain questions that keep popping up in almost every form that I need to fill. One of them, which I never have a good answer for, is “why should a kickass co-founder want to join you?”. Why indeed?

We are now light years away from the era of “great idea is enough”. Gone are the days when you could buy a great domain name and get funded based on a vague promise. We are well into the the era of “have great partners will travel”. This still doesn’t mean I want to have my ass kicked, metaphorically or not. But before we can establish wether or not anybody needs a kickass co-founder, it would be nice to establish exactly what is a kickass co-founder.

Let’s assume that this is someone you want to work with and have an equal partnership with. The “kickass” adjective does not refer to aggression, anger management problems or an involuntary tendency towards jerking one’s foot into another’s arse. It is common sense to assume the term means someone who is highly proficient, dedicated, reliable and a high-achiever. Another assumption I can make, is that this is a rare breed: most people will not qualify to be kickasses, let alone candidates for startup founding.

OK, but is there a domain expertise to this person? Are we talking about someone who is a coder extraudinaire? Or is this person a spreadsheet wizard? Investor pitcher-preacher, or someone who can do almost everything with a high level of performance?

Non of the forms include the question of “do you regard yourself as kickass?”, but I guess, very few will really make such a statement. If anyone does make this statement, I guess that there will be very few who will want to join such a self-professed genius.

Peter Thiel, in his CS Startup course in stanford describes how PayPal rejected an engineer who qualifies as “kickass” simply because he was not a good fit to PayPal’s company culture. The ancient distinction between beggars and choosers is still relevant. When you are a chooser, it is almost always safe to say “no”. The beggar mindset does not allow you to say “no”. you may find yourself paired up with partners who are the wrong fit for you. You may find yourself partnered with a person who is, by any other standard, “a kickass”. This does not mean that you need this kickass in your business.

Posted by Samuel Miller in Blog, entrepreneurship, 0 comments

accelerated in TLV

Accelerator or incubator? I seriously don’t know, but right now I classify all known open spaces hosting budding startups in Tel Aviv as accelerators. They simply host startup entrepreneurs wanting to accelerate the process of launching and funding.

Getting on investors’ radars, being helped by peers and exploiting networking and hidden marketing channels is exactly what this means. Participation in one of the accelerators’ cycles (or waves) can reduce the time lost fro a year or a year and a half, to 3 and four months.

This is why it is so funny for me to hear from accelerator coordinators that “we don’t like to see ourselves as an accelerator”. Nope, this is a cozy gathering of the techie-tribes for the next several moons where we can all share the mead and listen to the storytelling of the great wizards and masters of the lore of venture capitalism.

For development purposes, accelerators are generally a good thing, as they allow you to accomplish a lot that you cannot do on your own. But if you have a team and the clarity of the road you take, a local coffee shop will do. There are several known cafes scattered around the streets of Tel Aviv, which are known spots for founding team on the verge of seed funding.The main benefit of these accelerators is as an access portal into the network of investors and entrepreneurs. This access is very hard to gain from a local cafe.

The best accelerators are the cheapest ones to enter. At least this is my impression after almost a year wondering around the city, at first with my previous co-founder and currently on my own, They provide space, focus, support and facilities that beat the price and distraction experienced at cafes. But the more expensive offer you nothing that will promote you anywhere. They will provide lectures by other entrepreneurs and possibly some sessions about anything from the spirituality of entrepreneurship to the merits of analyzing yourself to understand how you and your startup idea fit together.

There is a comprehensive list of known accelerators in Israel (page is in Hebrew) that is a must read for any Israeli entrepreneur who wishes to step into this world.

Posted by Samuel Miller in entrepreneurship