Balancing team passion and product-market fit

Entrepreneurs are often told to figure out what the market wants and to follow their passions. Unfortunately, these can be competing directions. Dave Kashen, founder of Quantum Leading, has his own bit of advice for startup founders — don’t settle for what the market wants if it doesn’t intersect with what you’re passionate about doing.

Four South Korean startups to watch

Korea’s future as a startup hub is still a work in progress but I see a lot of reasons to be optimistic about companies emerging from this country of 50 million people. Here are four start-ups that caught my attention at the BeLaunch conference last week.

Korean startups gear up for the spotlight

South Korea is building a start-up ecosystem, hoping to create some of the innovation that turned Silicon Valley into technology capital. The latest step is a two-day conference next week called beLaunch, which is equipping local entrepreneurs with important lessons and getting them to think big.

Can Europe crowdsource its way to startup success?

Europe’s digital commissioner Neelie Kroes has a mixed record of helping the continent’s web entrepreneurs. But now she’s opening up to questions from the floor, with a new initiative aimed at finding ways to get Brussels to do a better job for startups.

What’s love got to do with it? For startups, everything

After trying to become a social network, the team behind Fab.com pivoted a year ago toward their current model as a design site because it was something the founders were passionate about. It’s another reminder that passion matters and can be what determines success.

Startup entrepreneurs are ‘arrogant and psychopathic’

The startup world is littered with stories of bad behavior, arguments, bullying and trickery that few people would tolerate in normal life. But German researchers suggest this might not just be a coincidence — and that perhaps it’s crucial to a company’s success.

Lessons from Billy Chasen’s epic pivot to Turntable.fm

Billy Chasen, the co-founder of Turntable.fm, talked on Thursday night about his pivot away from his barcode-scanning startup Stickybits. It was a tough decision to pull the plug on a mediocre success, but it’s worked out for him. Here are some lessons from his big restart.

Europe’s accelerator bubble is ‘a double-edged sword’

GigaOM readers agree that encouraging European entrepreneurs is vitally important to the long-term health of local startups. But they have differing opinions about the sharp growth of accelerator programs and bootcamps across the continent: will startups end up being fed to the sharks?

Admob Founder’s Digital Gnome & Other Notable Startups at TC Disrupt

Former AdMob Omar Hamoui’s Churn Labs, his first venture after selling mobile ad company to Google for $750 million, was one of the early highlights for TechCrunch Disrupt’s Start-up Battlefield, a showcase for dozens of emerging start-ups. Here is Hamoui’s startup, plus three more.

Young, Experienced Co-Founders Are Key to Success

The key to success in startups is making sure you’re young, experienced and not the only founder. That’s the takeaway from a new survey being conducted by SV Angel of successful startups that have gone on to or are projected to have big exits.

Steve Case: Entrepreneurs Must Focus on Passion

I sat down with Case on Friday at the TiE Silicon Valley conference to discuss how he’s advocating for entrepreneur-friendly policies at a governmental level. Entrepreneurs, meanwhile, should focus on building companies they’re passionate about, rather than looking for a money-making “quick flip,” he said.

TechStars NYC Class Shines at Demo Day

TechStars, the pioneering start-up accelerator, just graduated its first New York class today, introducing a strong and polished class with a lot of promise. Here are some standouts from the class of 12, which introduced themselves at a demo day today.

Britain Woos Entrepreneurs With Its Own Startup Visa

It’s no secret that the political machine in Washington can be slow. The Startup Visa Act was first discussed in 2009, and in the meantime, Britain has managed to pass their own version, despite a change of government, heated debate, and necessary changes to immigration laws.

5 Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make When Getting Mentored

Mentorship is a critical catalyst for passage, transition and development as a pre-entrepreneur. But mentorship, like entrepreneurship, can break down in the nitty gritty details. Larry Chiang offers his advice in avoiding the mistakes many entrepreneurs make when they try to get mentored by a VC.

Accelerate Your Startup: Develop a Repeatable Sales Model

Different phases of a startup’s lifecycle require different approaches to spending. VC David Skok explains how startup CEOs need to manage their burn rate as they fine-tune their sales process and their sales team to prepare themselves for the next stage.

Accelerate Your Startup: Get the Right Product/Market Fit

The two most common mistakes startups make are spending too much money and not spending enough. VC David Skok, of Matrix Partners, explains how hard CEOs should press on the startup accelerator pedal when the company is trying to fit its product to the right market.

Can Austin Ignite the Fire of Entrepreneurship?

Austin is not a stellar city for startups seeking venture capital, but it’s a great place to start a business, and there are more and more resources devoted to making Austin a home for entrepreneurs like the city is a home for live music.

Founder Burnout and How to Avoid It.

Courtesy of Brad Feld’s blog, we found a terrific set of posts today on the topic of burnout, an affliction that nearly…