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Bringing design thinking to early stage investment

The Equity Kicker

This graphic comes from a post on Venture Village about design thinking for startups but it should apply equally to investment companies.

Lessons Learned: Don't launch

Startup Lessons Learned

Lessons Learned by Eric Ries Friday, March 13, 2009 Dont launch Heres a common question I get from startups, especially in the early stages: when should we launch? This is the usual reason given for a marketing launch, but for most early stage startups, its a failure. My answer is almost always the same: dont. Dont scale.

Startup Blog: Presentation 101 ? Please do not do this!

Taffy Williams

I often have the opportunity to listen to first time entrepreneurs and early stage companies present their company. Who’s the Boss?

The Hard Raise

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

In the summer of 2003, Brad Burnham and I set out to raise a $100mm early stage venture capital fund. At that time (early 2000s), the big VCs in the bay area were kicking out FOIA obligated limited partners out of their funds. In the summer of 2003, Brad Burnham and I set out to raise a $100mm early stage venture capital fund.

How Investors Make Better Decisions: The Investment Readiness Level

Steve Blank

The Investment Readiness Level makes the stages of development for the business very tangible. Here’s John’s story. But the ‘ah-hah!’

How great VCs add value

The Equity Kicker

Because we are tightly focused on early stage ecommerce we have a lot of relevant learnings to share with our partners. And re 3.:

10 Startup Practices That Usually Lead To Disaster

Startup Professionals Musings

As an entrepreneur, you need to start early to implement the discipline and business practices that will lead to success. Marty Zwilling.

Digitisation, productivity growth and opportunity areas

The Equity Kicker

Secondly it gives a framework for thinking about our investment strategy. That’s 13.4% of the $17.4tn GDP recorded in the US last year.

10 Ways To Lose Your First Million As An Entrepreneur

Startup Professionals Musings

As an entrepreneur, you need to start early to implement the discipline and business practices that will lead to success. Marty Zwilling.

Equity Comp in Turnarounds and Consolidations

Ask The VC

The What & Why of Hiring a Great Startup COO

View from Seed

For most of my career, I’ve served startups and early-stage companies as an operating executive or advisor. Based on what criteria?

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How a Seed VC Approaches Pre-Product Startups

View from Seed

We have a bias towards very early stage investing for a bunch of reasons, but it’s not easy. The below article answers that question.

Why We Spend So Much Time On Policy Stuff

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

We make a lot of early stage investments and we work hard with those companies to help them succeed. That is a good example of what happens when networks and the data they produce reshape a market that has been operating in a traditional framework. And I write a lot here at AVC about the policy stuff we have been working on.

Taking Corporate VC: When It Makes Sense

View from Seed

All things being equal, seed and early stage startups are not usually well suited to take strategic investments.

Angel Funding Framework - some additional viewpoints


One of the big challenges is the lack of availability of early stage funding from angel investor groups. But in my opinion, the absence of a sound angel investment framework/structure relevant for Indian conditions might be the underlying problem. One, there has been a shift in investor mindset across venture stages.

10 ways you’ll probably f**k up your startup — Spook Studio — Medium

I recently developed a more human framework for early-stage startups to define their startup DNA and lay some foundations for a sustainable business.

Journeymen, Mavericks & Superstars: Understanding Salespeople at Startups

Both Sides of the Table

Very few of them are started, in my experience, by sales people and very few early stage companies really understand sales. Enough said.

How the Seed-Stage VC Trend Began, The Downsides of Unicorns & Much More

Both Sides of the Table

Some quick highlights include: The Role of a Seed Stage VC. It is, of course, a very recent phenomenon. But not many others. Startup Lessons

How to simplify complex decisions by cleaving the facts

A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks

Let’s also switch to a new example, to demonstrate the universal applicability of this framework. So we should probably do feature X.

Find Your Sweet Spot To Excel As An Entrepreneur

Startup Professionals Musings

In the difficult early stages of any business, it can also seem like you are leaving some things for others that should be in your pocket.

Lean Innovation Management – Making Corporate Innovation Work

Steve Blank

When combined with the business model canvas, the Three Horizons of Innovation provide a framework for corporate innovation. Here’s how. Oh no!

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3 Key Startup Questions

Journey of a Serial Entrepreneur

The early stages of business, are the most challenging of times, times that need to be overcome. Are you talking to the right people?

Working with Developers


Generally I say that developers should be doing significant developer level testing, but in early-stage startups, testing falls back on the founders.

Lead Developer to CTO at a Startup


This leads to a set of questions: What is the role of a CTO in the early stages of a company, and does that role change later on as both the company and that individual matures? I've previously addressed the role of a CTO in early-stages in my post Startup CTO or Developer. How will I know when the need has arisen?

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Lean Startup and Lean Analytics in the Enterprise

Instigator Blog

There’s still a lot to learn amongst early stage entrepreneurs, and a lot of discussion that’s needed around implementing Lean Startup, but attention has definitely shifted to applying the framework in large organizations. It’s clear that Lean Startup is shifting from startups to the enterprise. JFDI.

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Blowing up the Business Plan at U.C. Berkeley Haas Business School

Steve Blank

Over my career as a serial entrepreneur I observed that since the late 1990s, no early-stage Silicon Valley investor had used business plans to screen investments. Done informally as part of an accelerator, yes, but not with a framework based on a clear process and clear pedagogy. See the presentation here.). Today the U.C.

7 Ways To Future Proof Your Brand In 2016 And Beyond (And A Bonus)


Partly because they end up reinventing the wheel instead of investing in learning at an early stage. 90% of Startups fail. Sign up here.

Startup CTO or Developer


I’ve been having discussions with several people recently about the role of the CTO (Chief Technology Officer) in very early stage companies.

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It’s Time to Play Moneyball: The Investment Readiness Level

Steve Blank

A Lean Startup methodology offers entrepreneurs a framework to focus on what’s important: Business Model Discovery. We think we can do better.

4 Founders & Harvard MBAs on Finding Startup Traction & MBAs-as-Entrepreneurs

View from Seed

On Launching and Finding Early Traction. How did you find your first customers and hit important, early milestones? Tom Eisenmann.

How to think about cash vs. equity compensation

A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks

Here’s a simple framework for how to come up with those numbers. What about $Y/mo?&# So if that’s the same as P, we’re done.

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Full-Stack Analytics: The Next Wave of Opportunity in Big Data

Hazard Lights

On the panel, I was asked to discuss where we see investment opportunities in the Big Data landscape and this post will expand on my comments.

Free Startup Docs: How Much Equity Should Advisors Get?

For a growth stage company, in comparison, this level of engagement would earn an advisor 0.6 Startups. Mobile. Gadgets. Europe. Video. Venture.

Venture Innovation, or why the First Round Capital Entrepreneur's.

There is an amazing wealth of innovation around early stage venture financing, most of which developed in just the past few years. On top of this framework First Round announced last week that they have set up an "exchange fund" for founders of companies they have invested in. skip to main | skip to sidebar.

So What is The Right Level of Burn Rate for a Startup These Days?

Both Sides of the Table

This has led VC & entrepreneur bloggers alike to similar conclusions: start raising capital early and be careful about having too high of a burn rate because that lessens the amount of runway you have until you need more cash. You don’t even realize that the later-stage investor doesn’t support you any more. million.

Lens For Evaluating Startup Ideas

Force of Good: a blog by Lance Weatherby

During one Merrick explained a venture risk framework that most investors used even though they generally don''t talk about it. The framework included management risk , market risk , product risk , and funding risk. One of the things that I have been pondering lately is how I can evaluate startups and startup ideas more systemically.

SEC Adopts Final Crowdfunding Rules: Is It The Win Everyone Hoped For?

VC Deal Lawyer

I know that many people have held out hope that these new rules would help fill the ever-widening funding gap that exists between formation and scale, a gap that has grown over the years as a result of Series A money trending to later than early stage. Personally, I shrugged. – SEC Chair Mary Jo White. Why The Need for New Rules?

5 Decision-making Types: Which One Are You?

Fresh Inc.: The Staff Blog

New research from McKinsey offers insight into how to play up your strengths and compensate for weaknesses when you''re the one calling the shots.

Lessons From Training 1400+ People in Web API Design

Launch Any

In the early stages of API adoption, most APIs solve a specific problem and often begin as a bolt-on solution within an existing application.

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Lean is hard and (generally) good for you

Fred Destin

In the real world, most companies do too much development and spend too much money too early (usually to hit some pre-defined plan that is nothing more than a fantasy and / or is not where they need to go to succeed) and find themselves with an impossible task of raising money at uprounds around Series B. Don't confuse pivot and iteration.

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