This Week in Startups Episode 13

This Week in Startups is a video podcast by Jason Calacanis and some people from Mahalo. I've been meaning to write something about it for a while. Jason has a competition where you can win $500 at the Apple store by writing a review which made me finally write about it - though everything written here is my honest opinion of the show.

The show is about entrepreneurship and it's host Jason Calacanis has a fair amount of experience in this area by founding the Silicon Alley reporter magazine and Weblogs Inc (which sold to AOL). which produces Engadget and various other titles. Jason himself makes the show what it is by providing insight into entrepreneurship.

Jason wants people to specifically review episode 13 rather than the series in general - so lets get onto that.

The show kicked off this time with the Ask Jason segment where someone was asking about hardware startups - Jason's basic response was that it's because of the established players but it can be done.

The news - was read by Andrew Warner from Mixergy (usually Lon Haris but he is on holiday), Jason provided insights as normal to the news and that was pretty good - however this week, as in several other weeks, the news mostly concerned tech not startups specifically - I think given how the long the show is - the news should be dropped unless it can focus more on startup news rather than tech news in general as it does currently.

Jason's guest this week was Matt Mickiewicz who co-founded sitepoint, 99 designs and is working on a new site flippa where you can buy and sell websites. Jason did a good job of getting some key information out of Matt about how he started in a startup that I could see a lot of viewers relating to.

Jason has a new segment of the show which is the Shark Tank segment in which entrepreneurs pitch their business ideas to Jason, this seemed to go quite well though it seemed that business was at quite a late stage already anyway and I think it would have fitted better with businesses at the idea stage.

This episode has quite a chatty style and Jason is more laid back than everyone else (maybe because he is the boss) however this naturally leads into quite a long show which was 2 hours 20 mins this week. There needs to be someone directing to keep it moving with a time limit otherwise I think that there will be a drop off in viewers. In particular I think the news and the homework segments could be dropped to save time - however with better timing it should be possible to get through the segments in under 2 hours anyway. The only reservation I have about this, is that the show's style may change if they have to keep going at a certain rate.

Jason tells us in this episode that he is trying to innovate in advertising using the show. In this show he says he will give $20 and a Mahalo pack (supposedly worth $50) to the first 50 people to signup with audible. Jason also talks about the sponsors and tells people to mention them on Twitter.

The current set of sponsors are the same since the start with only the addition of audible recently. I don't think the sponsors should be the same on every show (though I realise this is easier to organise) because you get pitched the same companies every episode. Hearing what a company is doing for the first time is interesting, even though it's a advert, but hearing it for the 13th time is not that interesting.

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