Great articles roundup: Steve Blank, Canadian startups, crowd funding, failure, biases, and advertising

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By Alexandra Reid

As a regular feature, we provide our readers with a roundup of some of the best articles we have read in the past week. On the podium this week are Forbes, Financial Post, iNova Capital, Inc., TechCrunch, MediaPost and Canadian Business.

Steve Blank’s most audacious guerilla marketing stunts

Author John Greathouse speaks with Steve Blank — professor, thought leader, author and leader within the Lean Startup Movement — to share his wily and creative feats as a creative marketing entrepreneur.

Why now is an ideal time for startups in Canada

To get some insight into the current small business landscape, author Erin Bury polls some Canadian entrepreneurs and investors and asks each of them one question: Why is right now a great time to start a small business in Canada?

Entrepreneurs tap into virtual world to fund startups

Courting “the crowd” for backing has become a popular means of getting a product to market, spurred in part by the success story of Pebble Technology, which raised more than US$10 million in May during a wild run on U.S. crowdfunding site Kickstarter. No longer must entrepreneurs rely solely on their ability to wrangle up a term sheet from a lone venture capitalist. Social networks — both online and offline — can bring them together with swarms of investors, whether it’s through crowdfunding, Internet-assisted angel investing or increasingly ubiquitous accelerator programs.

The rocky road of an entrepreneur’s journey

An inspirational and valuable video that all “quirky and curious” people should see.

5 steps to managing your startup’s hypergrowth

Growing fast? Here’s how to make sure your company’s culture and organization keep up.

90% of incubators and accelerators will fail and that’s just fine for America and the world

Peter Relan argues that 90 percent of incubators will fail. By “failing,” he means they don’t return (or don’t exceed) the money that was put into them. On what basis does he make his claim? Well, incubators are really startups, and the oft-cited rule of thumb is that nine out of 10 startups fail.

Marketers: Beware your biases

One of the primary jobs of a good marketer is to put themselves in someone else’s shoes. A basic tenet of marketing is to know your consumer well. Yet we human beings are innately wired to fail at this. We are burdened by heuristics and cognitive biases that, left unchecked, can lead us down wrong roads — sometimes at significant expense.

Sorry, but advertising hasn’t become a perfect science

“Advertising has reached the status of a science.” The idea that marketing can be automated and self-optimizing has been a corporate wet dream since before John Wanamaker famously complained about not knowing which half of his advertising budget he was wasting. Our continued faith in that dream has fuelled the development of the Internet and the advertising-subsidized businesses that thrive on it. But here’s the punchline: an ad man named Claude Hopkins wrote these words in 1923, when Silicon Valley was just desert. As it turns out, what Hopkins said wasn’t true then, still isn’t, and may never be.

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