The Elves Leave Middle Earth – Sodas Are No Longer Free

Steve Blank

Their business had just crossed cash flow breakeven, had grown past 50 employees, just raised a substantive follow-on round of financing and had recently hired a Chief Financial Officer.

Don't write a business plan

A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks

Tags: Essays finance planning strategy

Raising Money Using Customer Development

Steve Blank

Unfortunately in early stage startups the drive for financing hijacks the corporate DNA and becomes the raison d’etre of the company. Reply Richard Jordan , on November 5, 2009 at 3:36 pm Said: Steve, best article yet.

Are MBAs Necessary for Start-ups or VC?

Both Sides of the Table

I took a job in corporate finance as an intern my junior year at First Interstate Bank and I did system design on the side, as my main job was corporate planning. Ask if you could shadow different functions like marketing, finance or product management.

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VC Funding Season Ends Next Week

Both Sides of the Table

If you’re thinking about raising VC and have not yet started the process, you’ve probably already missed the boat for 2009. This is part of my series on Raising Venture Capital.

Founders and dysfunctional families « Steve Blank

Steve Blank

You literally have to take your vision of the opportunity and against all rational odds assemble financing, and a team to help you execute. Reply Jonathan Payne , on May 20, 2009 at 8:43 pm Said: fascinating. Jerry Ji , on May 18, 2009 at 10:02 am Said: I agree with Amy.

Startup Therapy: Ten questions to ask yourself every month

A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks

Need to have your arms around company finances but hate bookkeeping? In the last post I beat you to death about ditching your business plan but failed to provide an alternative.

The Great VC Ice Age is Thawing (for now) – Part 1 of 3

Both Sides of the Table

I would argue that the shut-down of September 2009 was equally severe yet there are signs that this “VC Ice Age” has begun to thaw. Bu when you start to worry that the world is ending (as it seemed it was in late 2008 / early 2009) you tend to get worried about large burn rates.

Hiring at a Startup? Know Thy Weaknesses

Both Sides of the Table

But if not in your co-founder make sure that you think through all of the functional roles in your company: sales, marketing, finance, product management, customer support, technology and think about which ones match your strengths and where you need to plug holes.

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The Big VC Thaw – Why The Market is Moving Again (part 2 of 3)

Both Sides of the Table

In my previous post, The VC Ice Age is Thawing (for now) I wrote about the reasons why the VC market came to a screeching halt in September 2008 and remained largely shut until at least April 2009.

Protect Your Parents from Avis Budget: Direct Marketing Scumbags

Both Sides of the Table

I have mostly taken over helping my dad with his finances. This has been a year where people got mad in mass at financial institutions.

Is it a Good Idea to Have Ads in Tweets?

Both Sides of the Table

Finance and a host of other wonderful services brought to you by their sponsors. Advertising has driven the majority of Internet innovation. My firm GRP Partners recently funded a young LA based company named Ad.Ly

First Round Funding Terms and Founder Vesting

Both Sides of the Table

I had multiple term sheets to do my Series A financing. This is part of my ongoing series “ Pitching a VC “ There’s a great meme developing this morning on the need to simplify funding terms and documents.

Rocket Science 4: The Press is Our Best Product

Steve Blank

Which at this stage of the company was marketing and financing. Reply steveblank , on July 13, 2009 at 9:52 pm Said: Dmitriy, I don’t advise or go near “freemium&# models. steve Knowtu » links for 2009-07-13 , on July 13, 2009 at 6:05 pm Said: [.]

Customer Development: Past, Present, Future

Steve Blank

Reply Joe , on November 23, 2009 at 4:39 pm Said: This is an awesome post and I really appreciate the availability of the slides as well as the video. For example, our company finances renewable energy installations (solar, fuel cell, etc.)

The Secret History of Silicon Valley 11: The Rise of “Risk Capital.

Steve Blank

Corporate Finance One of the ironies in Silicon Valley is that the two companies which gave birth to its entire semiconductor industry weren’t funded by venture capital. link] Reply Family Business Feuds; The Ideal Career Path : Floriday Properties , on October 27, 2009 at 1:50 pm Said: [.]

If I Told You I'd Have to Kill You: The Story Behind “The Secret.

Steve Blank

Martin , on March 23, 2009 at 5:10 pm Said: A beautiful example of consilience. Reply Christine , on July 23, 2009 at 11:51 am Said: and how, Mr. Martin. Patrick , on March 23, 2009 at 5:19 pm Said: Great story. We witness similar behavior in corporate finance.

Someone Stole My Startup Idea – Part 2: They Raised Money With My.

Steve Blank

Posted on December 7, 2009 by steveblank In my 21 years of startups, I had my ideas “stolen” twice. The initial hypothesis for Epiphany (from my much smarter partner Ben ) was that as departments in the enterprise (manufacturing, finance, customer support sales) became automated, the marketing department would eventually get its turn. Steve Blank -- , on December 7, 2009 at 6:06 am Said: [.] Reply Tim Inman , on December 7, 2009 at 7:04 am Said: Wow.

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Durant Versus Sloan – Part 1

Steve Blank

Sloan kept the corporate staff small and focused on policymaking, corporate finance and planning. How Fake Luxury Conquered The World: [link] Reply Twitter Trackbacks for Durant Versus Sloan – Part 1 « Steve Blank [] on , on October 1, 2009 at 3:33 pm Said: [.]

The Secret History of Silicon Valley 12: The Rise of “Risk Capital.

Steve Blank

The venture firm was funded by Laurance Rockefeller and Lazard Freres, but after some dispute lost to the sands of time, Rockefeller pulled his financing, and the firm was dissolved after the first fund. Reply reader , on October 30, 2009 at 7:00 am Said: Thanks for this great series.

Angel Funding Advice

Both Sides of the Table

I recently wrote a post on angel financing covering the topic of convertible notes but I realized I was thinking about the issue more from investor perspective and a very narrow topic of how to price the round. So if you’re casually reading and don’t really care about angel financing – abort now! This is part of my ongoing series Pitching a VC.

Vertical Markets 4: Putting it All Together « Steve Blank

Steve Blank

Seed and Follow-on Financing – How do your finance it? » 2 Responses Knowtu » links for 2009-06-09 , on June 9, 2009 at 6:04 pm Said: [.]

Ask and It Shall be Given « Steve Blank

Steve Blank

Entrepreneurs are fearless, persistent and uninhibited about asking – whether it’s asking to assemble a team, get financing, sell customers, etc. Reply | , on July 27, 2009 at 9:55 am Said: [.]

Retro: My Favorite Blog Post on Raising VC

Both Sides of the Table

We will hopefully close on a $2-3 million financing round at some point in January and I can get back to the full time work of running my business. On December 2nd, 2006 I wrote the blog post published later in this post when I was CEO of startup Koral about my experiences in pitching VCs. After my company was acquired by I was asked to stop blogging and they took over my blog as an asset in the sale of the company. My blog was wiped out.

5 Tips to Becoming a More Customer Centric Organization

Both Sides of the Table

Many people at a young startup are trying to manage their finances like the rest of their user base. Turn Your Organization Inside Out. This is part of my ongoing posts on Startup Advice. The world has changed much since I started my first company in 1999. As organizations we have become more open and I believe this is great for businesses and their customers. In the first 4 years of running BuildOnline we were an “Outside In&# organization.

The Customer Development Manifesto: Reasons for the Revolution.

Steve Blank

The first hint lies in its name; this is a product development model, not a marketing model, not a sales hiring model, not a customer acquisition model, not even a financing model (and we’ll also find that in most cases it’s even a poor model to use to develop a product.) Reply Greg Boutin , on August 31, 2009 at 12:33 pm Said: A very interesting contribution, Steve. 3 , on August 31, 2009 at 12:48 pm Said: [.] on September 25, 2009 at 9:43 am Said: [.]

Can You Trust Any vc's Under 40?

Steve Blank

Posted on September 14, 2009 by steveblank Over the last 30 years Wall Street’s appetite for technology stocks have changed radically – swinging between unbridled enthusiasm to believing they’re all toxic. 2009 – Back to The Future The bad news is that since the bubble most VC firms haven’t made a profit. Jon Reply Matt , on September 14, 2009 at 10:46 am Said: Steve, Great insight for us young entrepreneurs. on September 28, 2009 at 11:56 am Said: [.]

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Customer Development Manifesto: Market Type (part 4) « Steve Blank

Steve Blank

It tells the finance, marketing and sales teams nothing about how to uniquely market and sell in each type of startup, nor how to predict the resources needed for success. » 13 Responses Ken Chow , on September 10, 2009 at 9:23 am Said: Steve, Thanks for these posts; they are really helping me in getting our CEO to understand the importance of getting outside the building. KC Reply steveblank , on September 10, 2009 at 11:20 am Said: Ken, 1.

The Sharp End of the Stick « Steve Blank

Steve Blank

In other companies it may be that manufacturing or finance is the sharp end of the stick. In an IP licensing business, legal and finance are the sharp end of the stick. I’ve encountered finance organizations with budget processes designed to simplify their lives, but not the rest of the company’s. Reply hackrnews hacker , on May 4, 2009 at 8:29 am Said: Isn’t google a perfect example of a “going out of business&# strategy?

Vertical Markets 2: Customer/Market Risk versus Invention Risk.

Steve Blank

The implications for entrepreneurs is that each of these (market risk versus invention risk,) require radically different financing models, a different type of venture investor, different timing for hiring sales and marketing, etc. Reply steveblank , on May 29, 2009 at 8:58 pm Said: David, Technical differentiation is a business school checklist. steve BrianB , on May 30, 2009 at 4:14 am Said: Hi Steve, Thank you for this really great blog.

Negative Customer Acquisition Costs - Creative Startup Marketing Ideas - Eric David Greenspan


A day might include a discussion with a finance partner, an investor, a customer or a fusion partner. I’ve recently had a chance to reconnect with Eric David Greenspan ( LinkedIn , Twitter ) He’s the CEO of Make It Work a high quality, personal, high touch technology service provider for homes and small businesses. He’s done several startups and is a board member of the Technology Council of Southern California (which is where I met him originally).

How To Change The World - Startups and angels: Along the way to.

Tim Keane

Power of Angel Investing in Milwaukee » December 30, 2009. from a new social entrepreneurship Honors Symposium, “How To Change The World,” Fall, 2009 at Marquette University). Understand finance.  Never, ever “let Mikey do it.”  Know, yourself, how your venture is financed, what the alternatives are, and when you will know it is time to execute them. Understand finance. Startups and angels: Along the way to success.

Full Text of Keynote Remarks at Renewable Energy Finance Forum Conference

Pascal's View

I’ve posted the text of my prepared remarks integrated with the PowerPoint slides on the web and am proudly wearing my “wet blanket.”

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Why vanity metrics are dangerous

Startup Lessons Learned

Lessons Learned by Eric Ries Wednesday, December 23, 2009 Why vanity metrics are dangerous In a previous post, I defined two kinds of metrics: vanity metrics and actionable metrics. If you never have, you can create your own using Google Finance. If you never have, you can create your own using Google Finance. Towards a new entrepreneurship ▼ 2009 (88) ▼ December (4) Continuous deployment for mission-critical applica.

Making Sense of the Stock Market Drops in Relation to Venture Financing

Both Sides of the Table

It will make follow-on financings much harder and people will have to consider whether or not to do inside rounds. For anybody whose only been an entrepreneur (or VC) since 2009 it would be easy to think we’re not correlated.

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Lessons Learned: Validated learning about customers

Startup Lessons Learned

Lessons Learned by Eric Ries Tuesday, April 14, 2009 Validated learning about customers Would you rather have $30,000 or $1 million in revenues for your startup? April 14, 2009 3:09 PM Eric Santos said. April 14, 2009 4:03 PM Dave McClure said. thats SNL Jan 1976: [link] April 15, 2009 2:00 AM Matt Prados said. April 15, 2009 2:46 PM Alex Pyatetsky said. but few step back and really examine the underlying assumptions of startup finance.

My story and support for the Founders Visa

K9 Ventures

The credit for starting this fire goes to Paul Graham from Y Combinator , who wrote a great essay titled The Founders Visa in April 2009. This also eliminated the big risk for my potential investors that I wouldn’t be able to stay in the country, and so I was able to close the financing round for the company in November 1998. In the past few days there has been a lot of discussion on the topic of a Founders Visa.

Who Owns Web Analytics? A Framework For Critical Thinking.

Occam's Razor

Update: Please see Jim Novo's thought on value of Finance as an option for owning Web Analytics.]. It is rare for me to work with a organization where the root cause for their faith based decision making (rather than data driven) was not the org structure. It is almost never tools.

Google's Search Based Keyword Tool: Monetize The Long Tail of Search

Occam's Razor

Example, here, Apparel, Beauty & Personal Care, Sports & Fitness, Finance etc etc. Every once in a long while you come across a tool that just gives you goose bumps, you are instantly infatuated. The Search Based Keyword Tool (SbKT) was that for me.

Fear is the mind-killer

Startup Lessons Learned

Lessons Learned by Eric Ries Thursday, May 7, 2009 Fear is the mind-killer Fear is an emotion that slows teams down. with apologies to Frank Herbert ) Related articles by Zemanta Work in small batches ( Continuous deployment in 5 easy steps ( 2009 05 01 How To Build A Lean Startup Step By Step ( Continuous integration step-by-step ( Labels: continuous deployment 7comments: Anonymoussaid.

Cracking The Code: Apple Introduces Revolutionary New Laptop.

Cracking the Code

Wednesday, January 07, 2009. Happy New Year 2009 and thank you for your continued readership! ▼ 2009. (9). Yahoo Finance. Cracking The Code. Thoughts from a Venture Capitalist on Software, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Cloud Computing, Internet and more.

Disrupting Finance From Above: Wealthfront

In July of 2009, the UK instituted a new network known as Faster Payment Service with same day settlement to replace their equivalent of ACH. Many blame Dodd-Frank and the consolidation post 2009 for the loss of free checking.

Myth: Entrepreneurship Will Make You Rich

Startup Lessons Learned

Lessons Learned by Eric Ries Monday, October 19, 2009 Myth: Entrepreneurship Will Make You Rich I have a new guest post on GigaOm today, called Myth: Entrepreneurship Will Make You Rich. But lots of lawyers and finance kids in New York thought they had stable jobs that would make them rich. But lots of lawyers and finance kids in New York thought they had stable jobs that would make them rich.