Startup Tips: Building Perseverance From Ken Oboh Co-Founder Of

Ken Oboh, remix,umix,startup,founder,startup tipsStartups, like fragile seedlings, need to be in the right environment to flourish. It takes drive and doggedness to see any idea through to success, and persistence is often the only thing separating those who succeed from those who fail.

That’s why one of the most vitally important aspects of starting a new business is being in an entrepreneur-friendly environment. Although many people think of capital, labor, or experience as the most challenging aspects of starting a new business, finding people to provide advice, support, contacts, and resources can be just as difficult.

It’s much easier to keep pushing toward a goal if you have a community of people who understand and encourage you. Being an entrepreneur takes more drive and guts than most people can comprehend, so surrounding yourself with like-minded people can help you succeed.

Find Your Motivation and Drive

Anyone who wants to pursue an extraordinary goal — from professional golfing to creating a company — must have an extraordinary level of motivation to succeed.

In my experience, discouraged entrepreneurs who are unable to overcome negativity are often those who do not have a deep passion for the area of business they’re in, or who lack the sheer desperation of not wanting to fail. As with losing weight or giving up smoking, being persistent enough to see a goal through to fruition requires strong motivation.

If you’re building a startup, be sure it’s something you’re interested in; invest yourself in your startup’s success. Successful entrepreneurs would often rather die than give up — an attitude that will help you push past criticism and other obstacles.

Seek Out the Right People

Unless you live in Silicon Valley, you’ve probably been the target of negativity from people who don’t believe in your idea. Dedicating your life to a business idea requires single-mindedness and dedication, which is hard for people who aren’t entrepreneurs to understand. Normal people fear the risk, hard work, and intense commitment required to succeed in business, which leads them to try to dampen the aspiring entrepreneur’s enthusiasm.

All that negative energy can be disheartening, and it will ultimately work against you. Persistence is the key to success. If you’re living in an environment without a network of people with similar interests, you may be shooting your startup in the foot.

When my business partner and I first decided to pursue our own business ideas, most people didn’t understand what we were doing. They constantly tried to steer us toward more conventional jobs. We began meeting weekly with a group of six entrepreneurial-minded friends to study and share ideas. After two years, Chris and I eventually hit upon a business idea that began generating revenue for us. In retrospect, those meetings were the most important factor that contributed to our success.

Be your own best friend when it comes to encouragement. Surround yourself with people who will help you work toward your goals and inspire you to persevere.

Building a web of support is even easier now with online networking sites like Facebook and LinkedIn. Here are three tips to help you build a network online:

1. Join the conversation.

Become an active participant in online groups formed by like-minded entrepreneurs around subjects that you are interested in or passionate about. Get engaged in the conversation: Ask questions, learn from other members, and share your perspective.

2. Initiate community.

Set up your own groups or forums and invite people you’ve met through similar groups to join. This will increase the strength of your relationships and your connection to an online community in your field.

3. Do your research.

Look for people who’ve been successful in your area of interest to find potential mentors, either directly or indirectly. Most people are happy to be contacted by fellow entrepreneurs for their advice and expertise — especially if you’ve already established yourself as an up-and-coming person in the field by connecting to online communities.

Startups need to be surrounded by people who understand what they’re trying to do and who can offer emotional, moral, technical, and even financial support. Seeking out help is one way to encourage a persistent mindset in yourself. In the meantime, be aware of what’s motivating you and consciously work to build the perseverance you’ll need to succeed.

Ken Oboh is the co-founder of and, two revolutionary music sites that give users the power to be their own DJs. Ken is a serial entrepreneur in the entertainment industry.

Now read I know we want venture capital but what is it?

JustDecide Startup Dilemma Of The Week: Work Visas And Startups


A lot of my friends who are startup founders, developers or designers happen to be Asian, Indian, and even Russian. Many of them have either immigrated to the United States, work remotely and come here occasionally and a handful are actually working illegally. Now this isn’t the forum for an immigration debate but if a foreigner comes over to the US and wants to start a startup, more power to them it’s not like their startup is taking away jobs from Americans because their startup is their idea. Even better, when their startup gets bigger they’ll hire Americans.

So our Startup Dilemma Of The Week, this week, comes from a guy in Washington DC. He’s currently here on a work visa and working for a major corporation.

The dilemma comes in because he has a great idea for a startup, one that’s not really being done anywhere just yet. He wants to move to Silicon Valley but isn’t sure if he should move and work for a different startup or just venture out on his own.

This is obviously a dilemma with a bit of a legal issue in the background. Here’s the dilemma from

The Details:I am currently on my work visa with a corporate company working in the Washington D.C. area. I really want to move to Silicon Valley, but am unsure if I should try to find a job at a startup or start my own company. Because I am on my work visa establishing my own in the US isn’t that straight forward. But I know eventually that’s what I want to do. I am a web developer and you can find my portfolio at for which I am one of the Co-Founders and manage the App development, Customer Acquisition & Growth.

You can help him with this dilemma by submitting your answer here. There are four possible outcomes to choose from.


Weigh in on this weeks Startup Dilemma Of The Week, Here

See past dilemmas here

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JustDecide Startup Dilemma Of The Week: Foundersync Founder Wants To Know, Patent or Not To Patent

If you haven’t heard about the JustDecide/Nibletz Startup Dilemma Of The Week then you’ve been missing out on a great feature here at Every week we partner with crowd sourced decision making platform to help one chosen startup handle an actual real life dilemma that they are going through in the startup process.

There are definitely some great advantages for startup founders in participating in this free feature that takes less than a minute to contribute.

– The founder of the featured dilemma’s startup gets great feedback from members of the startup community
– Members of the startup community get to contribute to a crowdsourced answer from like-minded individuals
– Founders who weigh in on the dilemma may actually be going through the same or similar problem that they can use the same advice for.

This week’s dilemma comes from our good friend Ryan Gambrill the founder of FounderSync in Cleveland Ohio. Fourdersync is a great way for startup founders to get involved and meet other founders whether it be technical founders, biz dev people or other entrepreneurs. From there you can network with great people who are living the same startup lifestyle you are.

Gambrill’s dilemma is actually about a new startup idea he is working on. He has a dilemma that tons of startup founders face, to patent or not to patent. While Gambrill thinks his idea is great, he’s a realist so he knows that it may not take off. If for some reason, the idea doesn’t take off, than Gambrill would potentially be out thousands of dollars in legal and patent fees.

What makes this tough for Gambrill though is he’s a networking pro, a people person and loves to talk. He’s one of those guys that doesn’t believe in “stealth mode” and as such he needs to protect his idea if it’s going to be out there.

A patent isn’t like a copyright. We all know the “poor man’s copyright” and for songs or published works the process takes under $50 and under 15 minutes. A patent can cost thousands. This patent problem of Gamrbill’s is something we hear about all the time on the “sneaker strapped nationwide startup roadtrip” and unfortunately we’ve seen both sides of the issue.

We’ve seen first hand entrepreneurs who have blown their entire savings on a patent for an idea that totally fizzled. We’ve also seen entrepreneurs who went the non patent route and got screwed by a competitor.

What say you startup community?

Weigh in here at 

Checkout Foundersync here, sign up it’s free!

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Interview With Aaron Gray Founder Of Atlanta Startup The Legacy Movement

As a youngster growing up almost Asian (Hawaiian) I sort of fell into a minority category. As my career in media, first in radio and then later in tech media, flourished I was no longer in the minority. Especially in the tech scene. However in our plight to cover startups “everywhere else” we also try and highlight those startups that are women owned, black owned and latino owned, because those entrepreneurs are underserved.

In fact, when we did office hours a little over a week ago in Memphis Tennessee we met the co-founders of BioNannovation a startup currently participating in the zeroto510 incubator in Memphis. The companies co-founders, Charleson Bell and Andre T Stevenson are both in their twenties and black. Both of them appeared similar to any of the other young black guys I have hung out with near my home in Baltimore. However they may both have been the smartest two guys I have ever had the chance of meeting.  Bell, a Phd candidate, had discovered a nanoparticle that could change the way doctors find, track and treat virus’ and infection and Stevenson had discovered the biomarkers for cancer, before it manifests. (see what I mean BRILLIANT).  Now these two on smarts alone should have no problem bringing their ideas to market, but that’s not the case for everyone.

Take another good new friend of ours, Harold, his startup Yadoog is one of the best photo-sharing ideas we’ve seen in years. Harold is really friendly, outgoing and has ideas pouring out of his brain at a mile a minute. He’s also in his twenties and black, and admittedly a little rough around the edges. He’s got another great startup as well.

This is where Aaron Gray and his Atlanta based startup “The Legacy Movement” comes into play.  Gray, like many

Aaron Gray founder of Atlanta based Legacy Movement

entrepreneurs, fell into the world of corporate America early in life but had an itch that needed to be fixed. Actually, two itches, that Gray is hoping to solve with one startup.

The Legacy Movement, he hopes, will become the Linked In for anyone who wants to do deals. Anyone who wants to buy or sell a company, or launch a new company will come to the Legacy Movement they way you go to LinkedIN for talent.

His second itch, helping the underserved entrepreneur ecosystem in America, will also be solved by the same startup.

Gray filled us in on The Legacy Movement, check out the interview below:

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Arizona Startup: Kwiddy Is The Ultimate Bartering Platform INTERVIEW

Bartering has been around almost as long as civilization. Back in the earliest recordable days of mans existence people would trade for the things that they needed. If you had fruit and needed meat you would trade someone. If you had meat and needed clothes you would trade someone.

Bartering was kind of lost for a while, and then barter networks came about. Barter networks were actually popular with advertising in the nineties. Whether it be print, radio or sometimes other broadcast media, media buyers could go through a barter network and trade airtime for vacation giveaways and other tangible and non-tangible goods.

Craigslist brought back bartering for tangible goods at the local level. If  you’ve ever perused the bartering section of Craigslist there are some crazy odd ball things out there, and others that make sense.  I once was traded a $50 gift card to Outback Steakhouse for just setting someone up a Twitter account and spending 30 minutes showing them how to use it.

So what is Kwiddy? Kwiddy is slang or another name for Quid Pro Quo, tit for tat, bartering if you will. You probably remember the scenes in Silence Of The Lambs were Dr.Lecter and Agent Staring go quid-pro-quo. The doctor helps Agent Starling with the case in exchange for Starling telling the doctor intimate details of her childhood.

I assure you that Kwiddy is not the least bit gruesome its actually one of the better pitches we’ve heard in recent days. Kwiddy is the ultimate online bartering platform.  It facilitates the ability to swap goods in person and in real time.

We got a chance to interview Kwiddy co-founder Adam Thelwell. Check out that interview, after the break

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Copenhagen Startup: Klusterr Social Ratings For The Workplace INTERVIEW

Copenhagen startup Klusterr is an entirely new kind of social platform that allows users to rate workplaces, bosses, co-workers and work environments. It started out as an idea for a site to gather references for jobs and keep them in one place but as co-founder Richard Blackham tells us in an interview, they pivoted to the workplace ratings model.

Klusterr allows employees to share information and ratings about their workplace across Facebook,Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. This type of broad social sharing forces a new kind of transparency.

While this startup is similar to California startup Worker’s Count, Klusterr seems to be focusing on a broader more social picture. Employees can provide reviews, ratings and information about their employers and workplaces either by name or anonymously.

Check out our interview with Blackham after the break

Read More…

We Check Out NY Startup TAPP, Automagically Updates Your Address Book

We caught up with the founder of a new startup called TAPP at TechCrunch Disrupt this week in New York.

TAPP works like Plaxo. It essentially updates your contacts and address book automagically. When your friends, family members and colleagues update their phone numbers, instant messaging id’s and email addresses TAPP updates them for you.

TAPP just recently moved to New York where they are launching their app to iOS and Blackberry first. They have plans to work on an Android version very soon.

TAPP also has other features like TAPP ID now you can communicate via TAPP ID rather than your actual phone number if you so choose. You can also customize your TAPP ID with a link that’s easy to share across your network of contacts.

This is just one of many startups in the telecommunications field at TechCrnuch Disrupt. Most of them were focused on conference calling and messaging.

Here’s the video interview:

Israeli Startup: YouHoo Location Based Social Networking For Friends And Strangers

(photo: pcmag)

An Israeli startup called YouHoo was in the Israeli pavilion at startup alley at TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2012. They have a new spin on social networking, and in particular,location based or proximity based social networking.

As you’ll see in the video below, YouHoo takes your location and polls the people closest to you. It then turns around and shows them to you on your Android powered smartphone. Your actual friends are in pink, your mutual friends are in blue and strangers are in white.

Founder Ohad Assoulin talked to us for a while about his new social network and how he hopes to turn groups of strangers into groups of friends.

YouHoo would make a great icebreaker for trips to the beach, and other locations where a lot of young people are congregating.

Israel is becoming a hotspot for social networking startups, earlier this week we featured a 15 year old named Tal Hoffman from Israel and his new social network based on interests called  iTimdi.

Take YouHoo for a spin, sign up for their beta below and watch the video:


Sign up for YouHoo’s beta here

More of our TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2012 coverage here

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Baltimore Black Owned Startup: Point Click Switch Presents At TechBUZZ DC

capitcalconnection,techBUZZ,dc startup,nibletz, phil croskey

Point Click Switch CEO & Co-Founder Phil Croskey Speaks At TechBUZZ DC (photo: Nibletz inc)

Phil Croskey,, CEO and Co-Founder of Black Owned Baltimore Startup, Point Click Switch took the stage today for four minutes to talk about his business which has a solid foundation to stand on because “everyone needs electricity”.

Point Click Switch is a web based application that helps people who live in de-regulated states discover, compare and sign up for utilities. The deregulated states are: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida,Georgia, Illinois, Indiana,Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan,Montana,Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Washington DC, and West Virginia.

Point Click Switch is like an Expedia or for your energy choices. The site aggregates 7-10 of the most competitive offers and allows the user to compare rates and offers side by side from the comfort of their computer.

When the user is done making their selection, Point Click Switch allows them to initiate service through their site. They will still be billed by the utility itself and they will also still call the utility directly with outages and problems.

Croskey told us that he thinks the rest of the country will eventually adopt the deregulation of energy and electricity which will add an even larger base for Point Click Switch.

Here’s the video:


Check out Point Click Switch here

Check out more coverage from this event here

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We Check Out NY Startup Knodes Social Context API At TechCrunch Disrupt

Ron Williams, the co-founder of SnapGoods and Knodes, caught our eye on the second day of TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2012. Knodes is a social data driven context API. You’ve probably heard the term SaaS before (Software as a service), Knodes is a BadasS startup (Big Data As A Service) according to Williams.

Now we’re accustomed to getting pitches. We receive hundred of pitches a week via email, Twitter, Facebook, Google plus and in person. We know what to look for and how to cut through the pitch clutter that most entrepreneurs have to use to get noticed and talk the talk. We’re 100% guilty of doing the same thing. However, Williams is a show me person, so today he showed me an amazing API.

Knodes takes social data form all the major social networks. We’re not just talking profiles, likes or interests, we’re talking about all of that and actual conversation data too, to find the relevant people pertaining to whatever it is you’re looking for.

At Nibletz I’m the Content Director. We decided we didn’t want an Editor in Chief and content directing, procuring and writing is what I do among a million other things. There are a few Content Directors out there but that’s the title on my personal Twitter profile.  For the demonstration of Knodes Williams typed Content Director in the box and I was the second result listed.

I thought, wouldn’t it be great for startups to be able to use the Knodes tool. If they wanted to make a pitch for coverage they could simply check the word Editor, and of course it served up hundreds of editors, and notably, the ones that were closest to us first.

Williams sees Knodes as a very valuable tool and service for developers, publishers and many more. The foundation for it is solid and it’s very fast. Williams says it was born out of a need to better search things in his other successful startup SnapGoods. SnapGoods was one of the first peer to peer rental sites in the space. Many are copying his model.

Coincidently Williams shared with me the crazy story about how they came up with SnapGoods too. Since it’s not in the video I’ll tell you.

Williams had started dating his now fiancé, back in 2009. He wanted to impress her by taking her out for a motorcycle ride. The problem was he didn’t own a motorcycle, and you can’t rent them anywhere. Sure you can rent a Vespa but if you’ve met Williams a Vespa really isn’t his style. He wanted a hog.

So on a whim, Williams took to Craigslist and was able to rent a motorcycle from a complete stranger for $250. After he did that he decided more people good do things like that. It’s more experience driven than needs. As SnapGoods grew, Williams needed to build a better search and that’s where the original idea for Knodes came about.

Enough of that, check out the video below:


Find out more about Knodes here at (developers especially)

For more of our TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2012 coverage click here

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Israeli Startup: iTimdi A Social Network For Interests Founded By A 15 Year Old

15 year old Tal Hoffman is the Israeli founder of new social network iTimdi

Last month we brought you the story of 15 year old Jackson Gariety who’s startup #hashtraffic debuted at Startup Weekend Portland.

Now we’ve got the story of another 15 year old entrepreneur, Tal Hoffmen thousand of miles away in Israel. In his own words he describes his startup as: “iTimdi is an interests based social network. That means it lets you both create new social connections based on your interests & keep your previous ones”.

This is actually Hoffman’s second startup. His first was a new media reviews site which he did “just for fun”.

We got a few minutes between classes, and building his startup to talk with Hoffman about an interest focused social network and how a 15 year old launches a startup.

Who are the founders and what are their backgrounds?
Unfortunately, I’m the only founder, though I’m looking for one more technical co-founder.  My name is Tal Hoffman, 15 y/o from Haifa, Israel.  I’m a WEB programmer in PHP, and know a bit ASP & C sharp.
So you’re 15 years old? How does a 15 year old up and decide to start a social network?

Well, as a tech lover and programmer I thought about new ideas for new possible big websites. The fact I started to get bored of Facebook just accelerated all of this. At this point, I started to think about gaps Facebook and its competitors don’t cover and came up with this.

 What do your parents think of this startup of yours?

My parents support my, though they aren’t really tech guys. The costs aren’t big so far, and the fact I do programming work for someone gives me some money to cover these little costs.


 Is this your first startup?

This is my first startup, though I once built a reviews site from zero for fun matters.

So describe for our readers how an interest based social network works?

Well, interests based social network, specifically – iTimdi – lets you choose your interests.
Then, you’ll be able to post updates, share collections, create events, search for friends, etc on each interest’s page. This way, you’ll get the best opportunity to make new connections & manage them successfully.

You’re based in Israel, will itimdi come out in Israel first or are you targeting the US first?

Even though I’m based in Israel, iTimdi, from the very first day, targets to the international market, specifically, to the US. With Israel being the “startup nation”, it has some of the world’s best startups and entrepreneurship scene. The problem is that Israel is a very small country with only 7 million citizens. Therefore, iTimdi is targeted to the international community.

What problem does iTimdi solve?

Although the main social networks today provide their users ways to preserve their general connections, they don’t offer any efficient ways to get to know new ones. iTimdi does both due to a simple interface.

 What is your secret sauce?

iTimdi’s secret sauce is the combination of meeting new friends, preserving old-general connections & customizable privacy preferences.


What other interests do you have outside of developing itimdi?

Besides programming I love rock music (including the best: RHCP, Eric Clapton & Led Zeppelin), drums (I’m a drummer…) and playing basketball.

 What’s your plan for after high school?

My biggest plan is to keep being involved in iTimdi and making it to one of the biggest social websites players in the field.

 What’s next for itimdi?

Hopefully, after releasing the Beta – release the final version to the public and work on making it the leader in helping people really manage great, interesting social life.

How can people find out more about you and itimdi?

At the official website:
For any more questions feel free to email to

Nibletz is the voice of startups “everywhere else” check out more stories from “everywhere else” here
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