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Sam Odio sells Divvyshot to Facebook

A HUGE congratulations to my brother Sam Odio, who just yesterday sold his startup, Divvyshot, to Facebook.

Sam has been working hard on Divvyshot for the past 2 years. He was initially funded by Paul Graham's Y Combinator fund (a micro-fund approach that I consider to be a new, and better, model of VC funding). In fact, here's an early video he and his friend John put together when applying for Y Combinator (only a prototype of the actual service existed at that point).

Sam and his team will be moving over to run and grow Facebook Photos. The most amazing part of all this to me personally is that Sam is now going to be able to affect the way 400 million Facebook users interact with one of the most popular features in Facebook. Just amazing.

You can read the articles on Mashable and Techcrunch by clicking on the images:

Ideas Are Like Sperm

On The Best of Sett

I talk to entrepreneurs who have ideas, and very often they ask what they should do first.

I've had the conversation enough now that I'm going to write a blog on it to give a much more detailed answer than I can in a 5 minute convo or a quick email.

The first thing I'd say is congrats, you have an idea. Not to be too crass here, but ideas are like sperm. They're required in order to bring your startup to life, but an idea alone isn't worth much. In fact, my first big piece of feedback is that your idea is for all intents and purposes valueless. Unseasoned entrepreneurs want to protect their ideas and not tell anyone about them. What I always say is this: If you really believe your idea is so valuable, then go try to sell it to someone. See how much anyone will pay you for it. Let the market tell you how valuable your idea is. If you can get $1MM for your idea, then you've just won the startup lottery and saved yourself from the really hard part: Executing on that idea. I'd sell ideas all day long if I could, but I've never been able to sell a single one -- not even for 1 cent (literally).

So just like sperm, ideas are bountiful and required for life, but they don't accomplish much on their own, and in fact from this point onward in this post I'm going to substitute the word 'sperm' for 'idea' just to drive my point home. And just like only a few dozen sperm reach their destination from millions initially, that's how it goes with ideas as you start to execute on them.

The second thing I'd suggest is you (life)hack together a prototype of your sperm. This doesn't mean the prototype has to be software based. For example, when I started a tech-based real estate brokerage in 2003, part of my model was to use technology to be more efficient, allowing me to give rebates to home buyers. My entire business model was based on establishing strong SEO, building a lead-gen CRM, getting a data feed of the MLS homes database, and lots of other things that would take tons of dev work.

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