Great articles roundup: VC, mentorship, neuroscience, media convergence, innovation, entrepreneurship and the ugly stepchild

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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 Fast Company, Entrepreneur, Forbes, David Meerman Scott, Harvard Business Review, Guardian and Wired.

Why most venture-backed companies fail

The current VC model is a play on probability. But this author says this “numbers game” theory, where some will win and some will lose, is not an acceptable approach, especially when fund managers’ fees can reach in the millions while investments may result in massive losses.

The future of mentorship in an age of entrepreneurs

If mentor-protege relationships have gone the way of the mainframe computer, where does that leave those of us who seek guidance?

5 mentors every entrepreneur should have

Mentors come from many different perspectives. An entrepreneur shares the five types of mentors she has had over the years, and the ones she thinks any entrepreneur can benefit from.

What can CMOs learn from neuroscience?

Recently, there has been a growing interest in the field of neuroscience as leading scholars and market research firms strive to understand consumer physiological brain responses in an attempt to go directly to the source of what is happening – the brain. This information is being used to enhance positioning, product design, communications, and overall marketing strategy.

What converging mainstream and social media means for marketing and PR

Too many people are still hung up with outdated artificial demarcations between “mainstream media” and “social media,” arguing that one is more legitimate. This leads to flawed marketing and PR strategic decisions. This is especially true of many (but not all) public relations agencies whose reps do their clients a disservice by focusing on one form of media over another. Meerman Scott says this is nonsense. The distinctions have nearly disappeared. You’ve got to eliminate your prejudice.

Conquering the enemies of innovation: silence and fear

What’s the biggest impediment to innovation within an organization? Fear. As early as 2004, research from Elizabeth Wolf Morrison and Frances J. Milliken for the Academy of Management Review and Stern Business pegged fear — and the resulting silence when employees operate within a culture of fear — as the biggest roadblock to innovation. A recent survey by the Robert Half Group confirms that in 2012, the problem remains. What makes employees afraid and what does this mean for innovation?

A new campus breed: the ‘reluctant entrepreneur

Wary of a hostile job market, and inspired by university entrepreneurship schemes, students are coming around to the idea of starting their own businesses.

Hardware, the ugly stepchild of venture capital, is having a glamour moment

The old saw in Silicon Valley is that venture capitalists won’t touch hardware investments. It’s not because they hate gadgets and machines. It’s that the cost to launch a hardware startup is much higher compared to the price to code a new piece of software. If you ask Jeremy Conrad, co-founder of hardware incubator Lemnos Labs, he’ll tell you that those notions are outdated.

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