The Failure Of Startups In An Infographic By

We all know that startups are up against a stacked deck. Depending on your source, startups fail at rate of anywhere form 70% – 90%. Startup founders are often big risk takers and know that to get their idea to the masses, it’s going to take hard work.

The folks at have released the infographic below that, while bright and colorful, paints a dark picture for people who consider themselves entrepreneurial and venture out on their own.

The timing of the infographic is a bit convenient as well. Just Saturday we published an infographic from our friends at oDesk highlighting that 72% of people with “real jobs” want to quit and be entirely independent. Further, 61% say they’re likely to quit within 2 years.

oDesk is a platform connecting free-lancers with any background to those needing workers. oDesk is enabling startups across the globe to stay in their hometowns by offering remote workers from developers and designers to administrative professionals.  Naturally, the lifeline of oDesk’s business is people working for themselves. oDesk is a huge resource for startups and entrepreneurs. They are also a good friend to startups “everywhere else” on the other hand, is a much more traditional firm. They help match employers with employees, so the lifeblood of their business is to keep people in traditional positions. No fault there; people have to work.

We all know “stats” can be skewed. Which infographic do you resonate with more?, odesk, everywhereelse, startups,entrepreneurs


Check out this advice for startups everywhere else from oDesk CEO Gary Swart


oDesk’s Gary Swart Has Advice for Startups Everywhere Else

Gary Swart, Sarah Lacy, Odesk, Southland

The Valley has done what the Valley is good at.

So said Sarah Lacy–native Memphian and founder of PandoDaily–during her Southland fireside chat with oDesk’s Gary Swart. This is great news for entrepreneurs everywhere else. While Valley companies have spent the last 30 years focused on tech, startups everywhere else think more about solving problems in every other industry. Families, healthcare, education, logistics, publishing. The list of industries ripe for disruption and innovation could go on. And, thanks to the tech created in Silicon Valley, those companies can build right where they are.

When asked if startups could legitimately stay out of the Valley, Swart encouraged entrepreneurs to take it slowly and really weigh the options. Depending on the company, moving to a tech hub could make sense. But, services like oDesk make it easier to hire workers from anywhere, and free tools like Skype and Google docs enhance collaboration. Gone are the days when people have to move across the country to work with one company. Now, according to Swart, “Work is not a place. Work is about finding the right people.”

And the perennial struggle to find investment outside Silicon Valley?

Paul Santinelli actually addressed that issue later in the day.

Stay put. Find great talent. Tackle a big problem. The money will follow.

Easier said than done, of course. Silicon Valley is a compact space, filled to the brim with entrepreneurs and capital. “Everywhere else,” on the other hand, is vast. It can be pretty difficult to find the best people, at just the right time, and an investor willing to take the risks associated with an early stage startup.

But, if–as Lacy says–the Valley is tech and millenial-focused and that market is saturated, there is huge opportunity out there. So, how do startups around the world make it happen?

Swart has some ideas:

  1. Don’t ride the rollercoaster. Entrepreneurship is full of extreme highs and extreme lows, often both within a minute’s time. In order to keep focused, entrepreneurs should stay even-keeled throughout the process.
  2. Ideas are great, but we all know ideas aren’t everything. Your big idea needs a big market and money, followed by great execution.
  3. So, what if you have all these things, but nothing seems to happen? External validation is important. Every idea has some naysayers, but if literally NO ONE is interested in what you’re building, it probably won’t ever sell.
  4. Always stretch yourself. Lacy said that early in her career, she purposely forced herself to “jump off cliffs” to keep herself uncomfortable. It’s the only way to keep your edge.
  5. Start as narrow as you can. Pick one thing and become the best at that one thing. After establishing expertise, then you can branch out into one or two other areas.

Lacy and Swart weren’t encouraging delusions. They both talked about how hard it is to be an entrepreneur, and any founder outside Silicon Valley can list the ways it’s especially difficult. But, it seems the tide is turning. Ecosystems around the world are thriving, and more companies are tackling big problems. Throw in some of the irrational optimism we entrepreneurs are known for, and it might just be possible to build the company of your dreams after all.

Here’s more Southland coverage at


Today Entrepreneurship Is A Mindset, oDesk Infographic Reveals!

Southland, infographic, startup,odesk,Gary Swart

Although some are suggesting that the worst is behind us in the current economy, the situation over the last 10 years sent more and more people into freelance and entrepreneurship. People found that they could no longer look for a job; they needed to create one.

That’s one of the things that’s driven the success of oDesk, a marketplace for just about anyone with any skill that can be done on a computer.

While many websites and companies devoted to remote working have an emphasis on development, design, and programming, oDesk is different. In fact, any startup anywhere could find the workforce they need via oDesk, right from their own hometown. Whether you’re looking for software developers, engineers, business development people, researchers, administrative handlers, or PR people, you’ll find them on oDesk.

Since 2005 oDesk has been one of the driving forces behind remote working.  Now millions of people have been connected to jobs across the street, or around the world through the power of oDesk.

As more and more people turn to freelancing and remote work, oDesk released this very interesting infographic that shows not only are they onto something, but freelancing, remote work, and entrepreneurship are rising at a lightning fast paced.

According to their research, today 90% of people think that entrepreneurship is a mindset rather than starting a company. With that in mind, oDesk has found that 72% of people still in “regular jobs” want to quit to be entirely independent. 61% have said they’re likely to quit within 2 years.  Freedom seems to be the driving force behind this trend.

Check out this very interesting infographic below, and if you’re looking for [fill in the blank] check out




Check out the welcome PandoDaily’s Sarah Lacy gave oDesk CEO Gary Swart at the Southland Conference.


Memphian Sarah Lacy Gives Away Big Omaha’s Secret At Tennessee’s Southland Conference

sarahgaryA refreshing side of Sarah Lacy returned to her native Tennessee on Wednesday morning to kick off the first Southland Conference. If you’ve seen Lacy on her best you know she can be a hard edged interviewer that commands respect in the room, after all with her storied career and climbing through Business Week, TechCrunch, authoring books and two children, she’s earned it.  But Wednesday morning her southern Tennessee charm returned when she welcomed her interviewee Gary Swart, CEO of Odesk for a fireside chat.

Before the interview though, Lacy wanted to hand a secret over to the organizers and attendees of the first ever Southland conference. Lacy talked abut Big Omaha, the centerpiece of Silicon Prairie News’ “Big Series” and a must attend conference for entrepreneurs everywhere. “Do you know how they get big names at Big Omaha” Lacy asked the audience. Then she proceeded to show everyone.

First off she made it clear as southerners and entrepreneurs we were going to “steal” what Big Omaha does. After that she showed off Jeff Slobotski’s (the organizer of Big Omaha and founder of SPN) secret.

It was a huge warm welcome that made each of the speakers, big and small, feel like the biggest person on earth. “Pretend Gary is Oprah and she just gave everyone a car” Lacy told the audience as she asked everyone to practice the big welcome.

Although Southland is in Nashville it’s designed to celebrate entrepreneurship throughout the south east and with that in mind Lacy made plenty of references to her Memphis upbringing during her talk with Swart. Lacy made the trek from Silicon Valley with her 8 week old baby in tow.

Here’s some video

Check out more of our Southland coverage here.