October's most interesting news bring us closer to artificial intelligence taking over our lives: Tesla pushed autopilot software to as many as 50,000 Tesla vehicles currently on the road in mid-October -- and the world's first ticket on autopilot was soon to follow. Torches and pitchforks up next.
In this week's startup news, Dell beat Facebook for "world's biggest tech acquisition" this month by acquiring EMC for a eye-popping $67 billion. Meanwhile, OKCupid & Tinder parent company Match Group has filed for IPO with 59 million monthly active users and $888.3 in 2014 revenues. Next, Jack Dorsey has returned as Twitter CEO - and is already working to restructure the company and beef up M&A action. He continues to serve as Square CEO, which is soon to IPO. Last, Apple announces its best year ever, bringing home $51.5 billion in revenues compared to $42.1 billion during the same quarter last year, with a $2.6 billion increase in profits.
On the Startup Grind blog, we've dug into the skills required to be an entrepreneur and the tactics to train them, methods for validating and launching your idea, case studies in getting funded and growing into a behemoth, and the global markets to consider as expansion destinations when you're reached that size. You know, it's basically like the secret manual to taking over the world with your business. No big deal. But you probably don't want to miss it.
Here are our 10 favorite October reads from the blog:
There's no way to learn to be a CEO besides doing the job, says Ben Horowitz - but there are ways to learn how startups work from the inside, how products are managed, how teams are motivated, and how vision is expressed into the day-to-day grind. The best way of all: join a rocket ship - that is, a growing startup going somewhere interesting - and soak up everything you can along the ride. Jun gives us the secrets to earning your seat on the shuttle.
The Collison Brothers and Story Behind The Founding Of Stripe by Derek Andersen
Started by Patrick and John Collison in their early 20s after the sale of their first Y Combinator-backed company Auctomatic, Stripe has taken over the digital payments world. Now valued at $5 billion, Stripe has become such a major financial tool that even the Startup Grind couldn't be without it. But even startups that have raise money from Visa have humble beginnings. Here's our Founder's take on the Collison brothers' adventure.
Check out our chat Patrick at the Startup Grind Global Conference below.
Steve Blank's 10 Steps to Building a Web Startup by Steve Blank
Known for being an originator of customer development and the lean startup, Steve Blank has condensed decades of entrepreneurship into a single class: the Lean Launchpad, taught online and in schools around the world. Steve's classes have graduated thousands of students, many with successful startups. From this process, Steve further distilled company founding into 10 steps. If you've been wanting to tackle an idea but haven't known how, you just cannot miss this. Of course many wantrepreneurs will skip it anyway. Don't be like them -- start shipping.
The Startup Framework to Validate Your Idea Before you Spend $1 by Mitchell Harper
If Steve's guide wasn't enough to get the right kind of feedback on your idea, Michelle offers an even more detailed dive into idea validation: the process by which a founder can assess how important and profitable a problem is to solve, and for whom he or she should be solving it. You're less than 6 hours away from having early customers. Read through this framework and get to work.
Chamath Palihapitiya on Equality, Courage, and Future of Venture Capital by John Michael Eden
Chamath's vision is clear: make the world a better place by earning like Berkshire Hathaway and investing like the Peace Corp. Responsible for the Facebook growth team, he has brought his early wins to the founding of Social+Capital, a data-driven private equity and venture capital fund that seeks to "destroy the calcified centers of power" in markets like healthcare, education, and finance to create both wealth and human progress.
Read John's brilliant summary for the key points or watch Chamath's full interview below.
Why Women Investing in and Championing Women in Tech Makes Sense by Denise Terry
Himself an investor and strategist, Chamath doesn't mince any words in the interview above: if you're a female or minority founder, he says, you're going to have a hard time raising money in Silicon Valley. Faced with a systematic reality that has led to only 4% of venture-backed companies to be female-led, women like Jessica Livingston, Elizabeth Holmes, and Sheryl Sandberg to join Denise's call to arms: "The people who will change the ratio for women will be us women. It's time for us to be the solution we've been looking for."
What You Need to Know About the Internet in China by Daniel Ekström
Startup Grind Founder Derek Andersen just returned from China with one takeaway phrase: "China is the future." The 25 Asian companies in the Wall Street Journal's billion dollar startup roundup have only grown and multiplied, setting off nothing short of a feeding frenzy in Chinese expansions plans and Asia-based venture investments, with Goliaths like Uber leading the fray. But before you or any big startup starts gunning to the 1.4 billion Chinese consumers, know that the digital environment in China is a whole different world from the West. China scholar and researcher Daniel takes you through the key differences, from censorship to accessibility.
India's Startup Bubble: Separating Myths from Facts by Siddhartha Jain
While the Western world kicks around theories of startup bubbles on a weekly basis, the East has been mostly left out of the conversation, and rarely have arguments been supported with clear company data. Siddhartha finally brings clear eyes to India's growing startup scene, showing steady demand supported by growing and competitive supply in everything digital. Of course, it's never that simple - dig into the report to discover how Indian startups are expanding, attacking rivals, and increasing their value.
Steal the Strategy "Traction" Used to Capture 3,000+ Emails by Justin Mares
Despite diverse entrepreneurial successes, Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares weren't names commonly thrown around Silicon Valley -- until the pair launched Traction, the startup marketing book that took founders across the world by storm. It was finally here: the strategic "cream of the crop" of thousands of tactics previously littered across websites, ebooks, and heads of founders or growth teams. If you didn't know any better, you'd think the books success was luck. Enter Justin, who gives us a peek behind the machine that generated tens of thousands of signups and sales -- and which you can now use to presell your own book, online course, software, or hardware.
You're Destined To Be an Entrepreneur with these 5 Traits by Margarita Hakobyan
We're finishing our roundup with a fun one: if you're detail-oriented or critical of advice, you just might be an entrepreneur. Inspired by an analysis of the most productive and impactful founders, check out the other three traits that may mean you're prone to catch the startup bug.
What would you like to learn about next? Let us know in the comments -- we're digging into news happening in every one of Startup Grind's almost 90 countries every day.