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Great articles roundup: Internet governance, crappy startups, great products, iteration, market demand, women VCs and CMOs

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 The Globe and Mail, Read Write, Mark Evans, The Wall Street Journal, VentureBeat, Harvard Business Review, and Forbes.

Governing the web (and everything else)

The governance of the Internet ain’t broken, so don’t fix it, says Don Tapscott.

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Pitch perfect: Startups should focus on problems, not platforms

This is the ninth article in a continuing monthly series chronicling the growth path of Screach, a startup based in Newcastle upon Tyne in England’s North East. Screach is an interactive digital media platform that allows users to create real-time, two-way interactive experiences between a smart device (through the Screach app) and any content, on any screen or just within the mobile device itself. We invite your feedback.

By Alexandra Reid

Not everyone understands a platform. But everyone understands a problem.

That’s a hard lesson a lot of startup teams fail to grasp.

You’ve seen this pitch before — The technical cofounder goes on at length about the ins and outs of the wonderful new technology his team is bringing to the world. He explains what it is, what it does, and shows you all of its cool features. But when you look to your left and right, you see your fellow audience members’ eyes glazing over, and before you know it your mind begins wandering to dinner plans.

He was enthusiastic in his pitch, and it’s awesome technology, yet he failed to reach you.

Why?

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Giving your team ownership

This is the fifth article in a continuing monthly series chronicling the growth path of Screenreach Interactive, a startup based in Newcastle upon Tyne in England’s North East. Screenreach’s flagship product, Screach, is an interactive digital media platform that allows users to create real-time, two-way interactive experiences between a smart device (through the Screach app) and any content, on any screen or just within the mobile device itself. We invite your feedback.

By Francis Moran and Leo Valiquette

In our last post, we looked at how Screenreach Interactive is managing its beta testing process to prepare for the launch of a new version of Screach in the near future. We focused on the logistics of soliciting, encouraging, filtering and interpreting user feedback to fine tune and debug the new app.

But working toward a deadline and ensuring that all of the pieces fall into place is about much more than technical and logistical details. Perhaps the most important variable to manage is the human factor. Individuals from different parts of the organization, each with their own role and responsibilities, must work together collaboratively and appreciate the needs and priorities of their peers.

“We are fortunate to have a team that is more interested in achieving an ultimate common goal than focusing on their own interests,” said Screenreach CEO Paul Rawlings. “Decisions must be made based on what’s best for the product and the collective.”

In this post, we’ll look at how the beta testing process is coming along and how the Screenreach team has learned to keep everyone rowing in the same direction.

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Putting your assumptions to the test

This is the fourth article in a continuing monthly series chronicling the growth path of Screenreach Interactive, a startup based in Newcastle upon Tyne in England’s North East. Screenreach’s flagship product, Screach, is an interactive digital media platform that allows users to create real-time, two-way interactive experiences between a smart device (through the Screach app) and any content, on any screen or just within the mobile device itself. We invite your feedback.

By Francis Moran and Leo Valiquette

In our last post, we looked at Screenreach Interactive’s recent inroads in the radio and television industries, including its appearance on Popular U.K. television program The Gadget Show at Radio Festival, Europe’s top radio industry event, and its new “experience” for long-running U.K. current affairs program Dispatches.

But making a splash at major industry events and with high profile clients demands one thing – a compelling product. But a compelling product can’t be developed in a vacuum; it must address a clear market demand. As we have emphasized time and again on this blog, marketing and product development must work together from the get go. To quote guest commentator Ronald Weissman, “Great companies constantly test the market, for validation and feedback.”

The team at Screenreach has taken this to heart. With a new version of the Screach app expected to launch in February, every effort is being made to solicit input from beta testers and prospective users. In this post, we’ll look at how Screenreach approaches the beta testing process, what third-party tools it has found to make life easier and the lessons it continues to learn along the way.

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