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About Dharmesh Shah

Dharmesh Shah is a serial software entrepreneur. He is the author of the widely read startup blog OnStartups.com which focuses on advice and ideas for startup founders and management teams. Dharmesh is also the co-founder of HubSpot.com, a software company building applications that help small businesses transform their website into a marketing machine.
5 Tech Deals That Should Happen

Today’s big news from TechCrunch is is that Google is in the final stages of acquiring digg for about $200 million.  Makes sense to me.  Particularly given some of Google’s recent experiments having social voting in their search results pages.

Student Entrepreneurs And StartUp Companies

I’m going to be giving the keynote presentation at an upcoming event organized by and focused on student entrepreneurs being held on the MIT campus this Saturday (May 3, 2008) from 12:00 – 4:00 p.m.. Student entrepreneurs from MIT, Harvard, Babson, Olin and Boston University and other Boston area academic institutions will gather to talk about startups. I could not hope for a better group to interact with.

Should You Buy A Twitter Account?

It’s been a mildly interesting weekend.

One of the interesting things that happened was a TechCrunch article that described Andrew Baron selling his Twitter account

It was the weekend, and I was looking for some quick amusement value, so I jumped into the auction on eBay.  Things got really interesting from there.

Twitter Topic: OnStartUps

I’ve been (personally) using Twitter more frequently lately because more people I know are using it. 

Not sure how many people really care where I’m having dinner.  But, I figure there are many more people interested in startups.  So, I’ve kicked off a Twitter account for OnStartups.

If you are interested in getting pithy insights, quick tips and short quips On Startups on Twitter, follow OnStartups on Twitter:  

Try Hiring the Next Seth Godin

A recent article by Zoli Erdos really got me to thinking about startup hiring. The article was titled "Startups: Executive Hiring Challenges or Beware of the Suits".

The Loss of Reddit

Reddit and I go way, way back.

I was there when Alexis and Steve presented the early idea (and a working application) at one of the early Web Innovator’s meetups in a small, cramped bar in Kendall Square, Cambridge.

Several months later, there was a startup meetup at MIT.  I was one of three groups presenting at a startup gathering at MIT.  The guys from Reddit spoke right after me.

Who has the Best Startup Blog?

I’ve been reading startup blogs for as long as there have been startup blogs.

I’m a fan of Joel Spolsky.  I’m impressed with his wit and humor.  Some of his older stuff was really good, but most of his newer stuff just hasn’t struck me in the same way.  But, maybe that’s just me.

I’m a fan of Paul Graham.  I’m impressed with his intelligence and ability to really cover a topic well in a way that makes sense and appeals to my analytical side.

Things LinkedIn Can Learn From Digg

I came across an interesting article today on CNNMoney.com titled "LinkedIn Says It Will Own Business Networking".

What’s Wrong with Social Content Sites
I’ll jump to the punchline first:  What’s the one thing that’s wrong with social content sites like digg?  The content!

How Not To Give Your Software Away For Free

If you are a startup entrepreneur, at some point, you will need to make a decision regarding your business model.  Many software startups have a strategy to build early market traction by giving away their offering for free with some plan to monetize at a later date.  I’m not going to make a strong argument against this.  So, for purposes of this article, lets assume for a moment that as a software startup, you actually *want* to charge money for your software someday. 

Why Combinator? Should You Join Paul Graham’s Gang?

April 2 is a significant date for many early-stage entrepreneurs as this is the deadline for applying to Paul Graham’s Y Combinator this summer. If you don’t know about Y Combinator, then I encourage you to read up on it as they are one of the few groups doing anything remotely interesting as it relates to very early-stage investment in startups (with an emphasis on software startups).

Raising Startup Funding Without A Plan Or A PowerPoint

Before we get too deep into this, let me clarify two things.  When I say without a “plan”, I mean without a formally written business plan – not that you should be clueless about what you want to do.  And, when I say startup funding, I’m talking more about early stage seed funding via angels (though most of these tips should apply to VCs as well).

Startup Hiring Pointers

I’ve been in the startup business for a pretty long time now.  One of the things that I’ve found hardest to do is find and recruit exceptionally talented individuals.  This is not particularly surprising, I think all businesses (big and small, young and old) have this challenge.  However, I think this challenge is particularly acute for startups.

5 Quick Pointers On Startup Hiring

Perhaps Entrepreneurs Can Stay East After All

A little while I ago, I wrote an article on this blog titled

Thoughts From An Introverted Entrepreneur

For those of you that have not heard yet, yesterday (February 24th) was the big kick-off for Entrepreneurship Week USA.

I had not really heard about this event before, but it has been brought up on a number of blogs that I read, so I thought I’d go check it out.  As a passionate, but introverted advocate of entrepreneurship, I thought I’d look into the event and what it means.

The Power Of Caring For Customers

I’ve been working in and around startups for most of my professional career. A topic that often comes up in startups I’m advising or considering an investment in is: “How will the big guys respond?”.

Do VCs Make Less Than You Think?

For some reason, I find myself reading a fair number of VC blogs. This is mostly out of curiosity. Though I’ve never raised venture capital for a startup before, I find the industry interesting.

How VCs Can Help Software Startups in India

This article is a continuation of my series of articles on software startups in India (a topic I know very little about, but am hopeful that I can spark interesting conversation in the comments).

Startups: Compete With Your Customers

Before we go too much further, let me explain a bit further what I mean when I say “competing with customers”.

What Do You Know About Your Marketing Results?

My co-founder at HubSpot, Brian Halligan, posted an interesting article today on our partner blog titled “Advanced Internet Marketing: Turn The Pareto Principle On Its Head“.

Startups Can Innovate Better Than Big Companies

Don Dodge wrote a couple of great articles recently titled “Why Startups Innovate While Big Companies Incrementally Improve” and “What do the PC, Mac and Xbox All Have In Common“.

User Generated Revenue As a Business Model

In 2006, we saw a lot of energy and interest in user generated content.

MIT Venture Capital Conference Videos

As I noted a couple of weeks ago, I was a panelist on one of the sessions in the 2006 MIT Venture Capital Conference in Cambridge, MA.

Is The Valley Better For Software Startups?

I want to start out by saying that this is one of the more troubling articles that I’ve written for this blog.