Startup Blog: Startup Basics Recap from Interview

Taffy Williams

Monday, June 6, 2011 Startup Basics Recap from Interview Startup companies can be fun and fulfilling for many entrepreneurs. As an example, note the enthusiasm exhibited by a local business owner as highlighted in the Fox News in Charlotte, NC June 5, 2011 in a story covered by Renee LaSalle.

Need Money? A Few Links to Possible Investors

Taffy Williams

That said, a few articles list venture firms are: Top Venture Capital Firms of 2011 Based on Deal Activity (Q1 2011) , The Top 10 VC Firms, According To InvestorRank , Top 14 Venture Capital Firms. Other articles can be found in the Charlotte, NC- small business section of Examiner.com. It is clear that if you have a new startup, getting investors is essential. Some startups take smaller amounts of cash than others.

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Startup Lessons Learned

I have been getting emails and tweets all day from people upset that they cannot get into Startup Lessones Learned 2011 - either here in SF, where we're sold out, or in one of the more than 100 simulcast locations around the world, many of which are sold out, too.

Do You Have A Closed Mind or Are You Really Interested?

Taffy Williams

Other articles can be found in the Charlotte, NC- small business section of Examiner.com. Being anentrepreneur requires changing direction and activities regularly with the solepurpose of making things work. Thismeans trying to keep an open mind about how to get tasks accomplished. It is sometimes hard to remain open tosuggestions when you get too focused on how a project is to be completed.

The One Word Entrepreneurs Do Not Say

Taffy Williams

Other articles can befound in the Charlotte, NC- small business section of Examiner.com. Sometimeswords have multiple meanings depending on the spelling. They may sound the same, but are spelleddifferently. The word spoken of in thisarticle is not any of these. In fact lookit up, the meaning is not ambiguous and it is short. That said the word when heard by realentrepreneurs carries multiple meanings. To everyone else, it carries it true defined meaning.

Go Back and Make It Work

Taffy Williams

Other articles can be found in the Charlotte, NC- small business section of Examiner.com. I recentlysigned up for Quora and saw a question in the entrepreneur section asking whatthe single piece of advice I received that was the most important. My response was “ Go Back and Make It Work.” I will explain below. I was agraduate student working in the field of Biochemistry. As a graduate student, a major portion of theprogram was conducting novel research and making discoveries.

Is the Financing Really Done?

Taffy Williams

Other articles can be found in the Charlotte, NC- small business section of Examiner.com. The term-sheet was completed weeks ago. You and the new investors have just executed the final deal documents and a syndicate will be making an investment in your company. A closing date has been selected. You are soon to meet with your current investors to get the approvals you need in order to close. Life could not be better, right. Not so fast!

Supervising Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs

Taffy Williams

Other articles can befound in the Charlotte, NC- small business section of Examiner.com. Can youname all of the characters in Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs? They are Snow White, Dopey, Sneezy, Happy,Sleepy, Grumpy, Bashful, Doc and let’s not forget the Witch. We will forget the handsome prince becausethat is you the entrepreneur for now. This maysound odd, but they all worked for me in one capacity or another over the years;or, at least individuals with personalities that match!

What Kind of Person Are You?

Taffy Williams

Other articles can be found in the Charlotte, NC- small business section of Examiner.com. Starting acompany is tough enough without having your personality get in the way. Interactions and first impressions areessential. “ You never get a chance to make a first impression.” A recentdiscussion with a company prior to a presentation to a VC highlighted thisissue, as did the joke presented later. The company scheduled a first meeting and management considered it as aninformal discussion.

Clash of the Titans

Taffy Williams

Other articles can be found in the Charlotte, NC- small business section of Examiner.com. No, this not a story of ancient times, but a desire to create an awareness of how EGO can affect a wide array of events in your business. Several levels of effects (good & bad) can emerge if you are not careful to manage how your EGO shows up in the business dealings.

Dilution and Investment - An Answer You May Not Expect

Taffy Williams

Other articles can be found in the Charlotte, NC- small business section of Examiner.com. You may remember the Dot.Com bubble which burst around 2000-2001 timeframe. Prior to the burst, investment and valuations were out of control. It seemed that all anyone had to do was write a business plan to get money and high valuations. The stock market reflected the degree of excitement especially in technology.

Managing Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (part 2)

Taffy Williams

Other articles can befound in the Charlotte, NC- small business section of Examiner.com. There islittle doubt that you will have the opportunity to “ hone your managerial skills to a fine edge ” at some point in yourcareer. It just happens to be a fact oflife. You may even be an expert bynow. But what do you do when someone callsin the future to ask for a recommendation for one of your prior less thanstellar employees; try being a LIAR.

Are You Drinking Your Own Cool Aide

Taffy Williams

Other articles can befound in the Charlotte, NC- small business section of Examiner.com. One of theactivities of any entrepreneur is to make investor and partnering pitches. Quite often these are learning events as wellas sales activities. Your listeners willoften provide feedback and criticism which in turn is used to modify and improvethe presentation for the next group. Theprocess is iterative and likely takes place numerous times.

Startup Blog: I Did What?

Taffy Williams

Wednesday, July 6, 2011 I Did What? Other articles can be found in the Charlotte, NC- small business section of Examiner.com. Startup Blog Steps to consider to start and grow a company. Basics are provided to help entrepreneurs.

Startup Blog: You Have Just Been Told ?The Baby I UGLY?

Taffy Williams

Saturday, July 2, 2011 You Have Just Been Told “The Baby I UGLY&# Every entrepreneur spends extensive time and energy in developing the new company. Other articles can be found in the Charlotte, NC- small business section of Examiner.com.

Startup Blog: Got Money or Need Money? Doesn't Matter. Focus.

Taffy Williams

Thursday, June 16, 2011 Got Money or Need Money? Other articles can be found in the Charlotte, NC- small business section of Examiner.com. Startup Blog Steps to consider to start and grow a company. Basics are provided to help entrepreneurs.

One Day at a Time

Taffy Williams

Other articles can befound in the Charlotte, NC- small business section of Examiner.com. Each day Ireview what I am doing and trying to decide if it is working! The questioning is important because it ishard to improve if you have no clear vision of what needs to be better. Layering this questioning on top of any upsand downs one may have can make some days a real challenge. During the down days, it seems likeeverything is all wrong.

What You Can Learn from The Ritz-Carlton

Inc Startups

My wife and I had arranged to get away for a weekend to Charlotte, North Carolina to see one of Cirque du Solei’s latest shows. Given our limited choices of hotels we decided to splurge and stay at The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte.

Fix the Problem, Not the Blame!

Taffy Williams

Other articles can be found in the Charlotte, NC- small business section of Examiner.com. I have written about the fact thatbad things happen for all kinds of reasons. In fact, this is a common theme in personal endeavors and startups. You cannot control everything around youespecially your own Stupidity. It is easy to get help doing dumb things itcan be a joint effort. It is what youdo to resolve the situation that can make or break success of your startup.

Startup Blog: Prioritize!

Taffy Williams

Friday, July 22, 2011 Prioritize! Other articles can be found in the Charlotte, NC- small business section of Examiner.com. Startup Blog Steps to consider to start and grow a company. Basics are provided to help entrepreneurs.

Startup Blog: Need Investment? Increase the Chances by Beefing Up.

Taffy Williams

Tuesday, June 14, 2011 Need Investment? Other articles can be found in the Charlotte, NC- small business section of Examiner.com. Startup Blog Steps to consider to start and grow a company. Basics are provided to help entrepreneurs.

Right Place & Time, Diligence & Devotion, and Culture

Taffy Williams

Other articles can be found in the Charlotte, NC- small business section of Examiner.com. The book “ Outliers: The Story of Success ” by Malcolm Gladwell highlights several examples of how many people succeed while others seem to not fare so well. There are themes that recur over and over again like being in the right place at the right time, persistence, devotion in learning an area, and developing the right cultures.

Buy a Ticket

Taffy Williams

Other articles can be found in the Charlotte, NC- small business section of Examiner.com. This isnot an article about funding your startup using such risky capital as a lotteryticket. However, there are lessons onecan learn about winning the lottery. Thelottery is nothing more than legal state sponsored gambling. Many of the states have them and the peoplethat buy the tickets want their chance to strike it rich. Well most entrepreneurs want the same thingwith their startup.

Who Is That?

Taffy Williams

Other articles can be found in the Charlotte, NC- small business section of Examiner.com. Networkingis an essential part of building any startup. That is why I wrote 3 articles onnetworking for an online paper; 1) Networking , 2) Networking: Essential for Job Search & Startups ,and NetworkingCan Enhance Chances for Success in Your Startup. The need for developing the skills to networkand develop a great list of contacts requires practice for most people.

Just Because I Am a Hamster, Does Not Mean You Should Be!

Taffy Williams

Other articles can be found in the Charlotte, NC- small business section of Examiner.com. OK, Iadmit it. “I I am a Hamster.” I run on a wheel all day long but never seemto get where I want to be. Over manyyears of working in a company, I was always a workaholic spending all my wakinghours trying to achieve the goals that make a company successful. Then one day, things go my way and I achievedeverything I set out to do. Now, POOF, Iam working to be successful but with no real defined goal.

Did Simon and Garfunkel Sing About Your Startup?

Taffy Williams

Other articles can be found in the Charlotte, NC- small business section of Examiner.com. Simon and Garfunkel produced a songwith the lyrics starting “Slow down, you move too fast. You got to make the morning last.” You might not think this relates to astartup, but in some cases, it does. Itis important to execute in as an expedient manner in your startup. You have limited resources and potentialcompetition breathing down your neck.

Entrepreneurs’ Giveth & Entrepreneurs’ Taketh Away

Taffy Williams

Other articles can be found in the Charlotte, NC- small business section of Examiner.com. You work so hard. Everything you do is geared toward building the startup. Time, contacts, money, creativity / imagination, and energy go into your new creation. You give it your all. Most entrepreneurs may have experience in their field, but some lack the managerial experience to know what things work and what things don’t.

Startup Blog: Stuck? Mix it up a bit!

Taffy Williams

Sunday, June 12, 2011 Stuck? Other articles can be found in the Charlotte, NC- small business section of Examiner.com. Startup Blog Steps to consider to start and grow a company. Basics are provided to help entrepreneurs.

Get Over It and Move On!

Taffy Williams

Other articles can be found in the Charlotte, NC- small business section of Examiner.com. Have you evermade a mistake? If your answer is no, maybeyou are not human. Everyone has mademistakes and that they range in degrees of complexity. Mistakes occur even when following the bestadvice from the best people. What isimportant to startups is that you recognize the mistakes and quickly recoverand get back on track. One of theimpediments to getting back on track is EGO!

Don’t For Get You Have a TEAM

Taffy Williams

Other articles can befound in the Charlotte, NC- small business section of Examiner.com. Entrepreneurscreating a startup will eventually need to bring on key players to help. This covers the Board, Advisors, andStaff. Sometime, the entrepreneur worksfor months alone trying to get the business formed and running. During this time he/she has determined whatneeds to be done and may have been multitasking to accomplish everything.

Guest Post from HBS Professor: The Nuances of Marketplaces

the vc in me

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Startup Blog: Yep, You and Your Startup Are Topics in the Rumor Mill

Taffy Williams

Sunday, June 19, 2011 Yep, You and Your Startup Are Topics in the Rumor Mill Networking is extremely important to entrepreneurs because it helps to identify individuals that can help you and your company now and in the future. Startup Blog Steps to consider to start and grow a company.

Do Not Go Virtual Without a QB or Coach!

Taffy Williams

Other articles can be found in the Charlotte, NC- small business section of Examiner.com. Startupsusually began with a single entrepreneur or a few working together. One way to manage expenses and keep burn undercontrol is using a virtual or semi-virtual work force. This works great in many cases but requiresmore attention for the in-house management team. But sometimes, the in-house teamis just YOU! It ispossible to run a company and develop products with a check book and arolodex.

Is a Bird in the Hand Worth Two in the Bush?

Taffy Williams

Other articles can be found in the Charlotte, NC- small business section of Examiner.com. In arecent meeting, I asked company founders if they would take $10MM for theirtechnology and just walk away. Thequestion was a bit of a trick question. Any answer provided would be revealing valuable information about theteam. My intentions were to see if thefounders thought of the company as a life style company; i.e. a place to do the kind of work they wanted but not to makemoney for investors.

Democracy in a Startup? Only if You Want Super Committee Type Results

Taffy Williams

Other articles can be found in the Charlotte, NC- small business section of Examiner.com. I spentmore than 14 years of my life working for the Federal Government on a MilitaryBase. During that time, the institutionhad countless changes in organizational structure and frequent interactionswith political figures and military officers. I have watched politics over the years and continue am always amazed bythe partisan divide and lack of ability to come together on key issues.

Quit Complaining and Expand!

Taffy Williams

Other articles can be found in the Charlotte, NC- small business section of Examiner.com. Everyone has a sphere ofinfluence. This may start with immediatefamily, close friends, then school or work place associates. Those contacts have contacts too, stemmingfrom very close to distant contacts. Ifyou are on LinkedIn, you will often see a connection list showing that via your3 rd level contacts, there are limitless people you have influenceover.

Startup Blog: Who's the Boss?

Taffy Williams

Thursday, July 21, 2011 Who’s the Boss? Other articles can be found in the Charlotte, NC- small business section of Examiner.com. Startup Blog Steps to consider to start and grow a company. Basics are provided to help entrepreneurs.

What Have You Done for Me Today?

Taffy Williams

Other articles can be found in the Charlotte, NC- small business section of Examiner.com. Everyonehas a history, some may be more exciting, but everyone has one. Accomplishments in prior jobs provide somesense of ones abilities for getting things done in the future. Thus, a RESUME highlights thoseaccomplishments and future employers review then during a candidate search. This is why resumes tend to have the positivespin approach to cast a better image to those reading it.

This Weekend

Startup Lessons Learned

There are only a few tickets left to Startup Lessons Learned 2011 on Monday (May 23). The next couple of days are going to be amazing, as the Lean Startup community converges on San Francisco. I want to welcome all of you who are traveling to be here. Welcome to our fair city. If you haven't registered yet, please do. As a reminder, the first 200 people to show up will get one of the very first copies of the Lean Startup Book , a pre-publication printed galley.

Startup Blog: Take a Stand!

Taffy Williams

Wednesday, June 29, 2011 Take a Stand! Other articles can be found in the Charlotte, NC- small business section of Examiner.com. Startup Blog Steps to consider to start and grow a company. Basics are provided to help entrepreneurs.