ReadWriteStart Weekly Wrapup

After the success of last week's ReadWriteWeb Mobile Summit in Mountain View, California, we are back with this week's best startup advice in the ReadWriteStart Weekly Wrapup. This week we discuss VCs and NDAs, balancing features between power users and newbies, geeky startups and how one startup shrugged off a lack of funding and made the money themselves. We also have stories about Diaspora, the open source Facebook alternative, as well as an interview with Gary Vaynerchuk about the bright future of geolocation.

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Why VCs Won't Sign Your NDA

There are several important documents you'll want to have ready when you meet with potential investors. Your mission statement. Your founding team's resume and responsibilities. A business plan.

But most investors agree: they do not want to sign an NDA.

While non-disclosure agreements are designed to protect your ideas, asking potential investors to sign an NDA is generally seen as unnecessary and unwise. Most VCs point to the following reasons for avoiding NDAs:

Balancing Act: Keeping Power Users Happy Without Overwhelming the Newbies

balance_beam_may10.jpgFor many successful startups, there exists a point where their product is popular enough to grow beyond the minimum viable product, but is yet to be discovered by millions more that may be turned off if the service is too complicated. Internet startups need to find a balance between keeping the power users interested, while not overwhelming the newbies. According to Spark Capital's Bijan Sabet, Tumblr, a rapidly growing micro-blogging service, is one company doing a beautiful job of finding this balance by turning the "less is more" mantra into "less and more."

Is Your Startup Too Geeky?

If you tell most folks that Diaspora is promising to build a distributed, open-source social network, they are apt look at you glassy-eyed. Perhaps they'll nod and say, "Oh. Cool." Tell those same people that Diaspora is promising to build an alternative to Facebook, and they're much more likely to know what you are talking about. And as of late, it's much more likely they'll nod and say, "Oh! Cool!" - and mean it.

No Funding? No Problem! How Occipital Shifted Gears to Success

Last week during my stint at Boulder Startup Week, Occipital co-founder Vikas Reddy was gracious enough to let me stay with him rather than in a hotel. Oddly enough it wasn't until one of the late night mixers a few days into the event that I got a chance to talk with Reddy about Occipital and the company's history and evolution. As it turns out, barcode scanning, which the company is now well known for with its RedLaser application, was not their original plan, but rather a pivot made to take the company in a more profitable direction.">

The Diaspora Project and Kickstarter: The Power of (Micro)Funding a Good Idea

Since we broke the story about the Diaspora Project last week, the plans for an open source, distributed alternative to Facebook has seen widespread press. But just as importantly, funding for the undertaking has skyrocketed.

Gary Vaynerchuk Talks Geolocation and Answers Your Questions

nets_gowalla_may10.jpgLast week we asked you to send us your questions for our interview with wine connoisseur and social-media expert Gary Vaynerchuk. Gary and his consulting company VaynerMedia recently ran an experiment with the NBA's New Jersey Nets and geolocation app Gowalla (in which Gary is an investor) to see if location services could draw fans to games with free tickets. For all parties involved, the experiment was deemed a success, and the findings from it have provided a unique insight into the future possibilities for geolocationtional advertising.

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