Thu.Dec 27, 2012

Love in an Elevator (Perfecting Your Elevator Pitch)

Blogtrepreneur | Entrepreneur Blog

Heads up. Describe your business in under a minute. Was it convincing? Now shorten it to 30 seconds. Still effective? How about one sentence that sums up what sets you apart from your competition? Not so easy, is it?

How would you break down the process of raising an angel round of investment in 5-10 steps?


Understand your business. It sounds obvious, but the majority of entrepreneurs who pitch me have obviously never thought through many of the major issues surrounding their companies. You should know EVERYTHING about your business, product, customers and competition. You should know every metric regarding customer acquisition, conversion and retention. You should have a crystal clear understanding of your business model and your financials.

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Embracing the mess of 2012 to invite the grace of 2013

Escape From Cubicle Nation

What has this year been like for you? Most people have had a whole series of accomplishments. Everything from finishing a blog post to getting the kids fed, clothed, out the door and on time for school three days in a row to winning an award or making a bunch of money on a product launch.

3 Creative Ways to Grow Your Email List

Duct Tape Marketing

Thursday is guest post day here at Duct Tape Marketing and today’s guest is from DJ Waldow – Enjoy!

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8 Ways to Be Innovative (Even if You're Not)

Inc Startups

Can't be creative on demand? Not many people can. Fortunately, it's a skill you can improve. Trying to be innovative is, at least for most people, nearly impossible. Don't believe me? Try it. Right now. Think of something innovative. Come up with something new and different. I'll try it too.

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6 Ways Business Could Change in 2013

Inc Startups

At long last, the fax machine may finally die. Read on for more shifts next year that may change how you do business. Time to dust off the crystal ball and start looking to the future.

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Learn from my Customer Development…What Works, What Didn’t

Startup Noodle

Are you doing customer development right now? I want to learn from you! I’ve been working on Go Finish for a couple of months now. As with Lean startups, we are currently on the discovery stage. This means that we are trying to find what is the product we are [.]. General

Lean 12

Start-up Funding: Where to Start

Inc Startups

What's the best source of capital for your company? Every option comes with pros and cons, so weigh them carefully. My digital marketing company recently decided to start mentoring other start-ups.

Newsflash: Winning Is Everything


?. By Andrew Collins, Founder & CEO of Mailman Group?. Winning IS everything. That’s right. I’m not going to butter it up for you and say ‘having a go’ is enough, as that’s one of the biggest ‘cop outs’ anyone can accept.

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Filling That Social Media Job: 7 Ways to Get It Wrong

Inc Startups

Hiring someone to manage your company's social media? Don't make the same mistakes everyone else is making. These days, it seems like everyone's looking to hire someone to manage their company's social media presence. That kind of demand can lead to poor hiring decisions.

[Singapore][Event] Ideas.Inc 2013 Looks For New Aspiring Young Entrepreneurs


The Ideas Inc. Business Challenge , the annual business plan and startup competition that’s organized by Nanyang Technological University (NTU) , is back – and it’s bigger and better.

10 Guiding Principles for Start-ups

Inc Startups

To build the most successful small business in the world, it takes 10 key principles. Every small business owner wants to succeed. Why put your blood, sweat, and tears into launching a new venture, only to watch it fail? And yet, many of them do.

How The Press Calls Two Data Points “Analysis”

Nick O'Neill

I’ve read multiple articles today about how Facebook’s Snapchat competitor, Poke, is a flop. This news comes less than a week after the company launched the product. The application effectively debuted at #1 in the app store and has since dropped to around 50, just above Google Chrome (clearly a horrible position). To be honest, I don’t use Snapchat and I probably won’t wind up using Poke either.

Why New Year's Resolutions Don't Work

Inc Startups

Making warm and fuzzy promises to yourself doesn't work. Here's what does. Every year around this time you can find gazillions of articles about New Year’s resolutions and planning. They usually take one of five forms: 1.

Punt to Fred: Following Through

Fred has a great post on following through with your promises. The context is important to note as well--a ton of startups raised seed rounds from angels over the past 18 months. Some of them have or will raise a follow-on round from the angels; fewer will raise a formal venture round. And a lot will shut down because they didn't focus on revenue. Talked about it, thought about it, mapped out assumptions, but didn't hustle for customers.

Meet the Latest Start-up to Take on Space

Inc Startups

Golden Spike, a start-up founded by the former chief of NASA's space and earth science programs, has plans to reach the moon by 2020. A half-century ago, the Space Race was fought between nations. Today, that battle has a decidedly scrappier feel, with start-ups leading the charge.

Tough Love for Southwest Airlines

deal architect

I sent Gary Kelly and Herb Kelleher of Southwest the letter below on December 9. Within a week, I started getting calls from their reps. I finally caught up with Tim last week and notes from those conversation are in. Little to do with IT, but interesting

Dennis Crowley: 'Our First Instinct Was That We Broke Something'

Inc Startups

The Foursquare co-founder describes how he adjusted the app in response to the way people used it (differently than he expected

Two nations separated by a common language

deal architect

This time of the year brings even more memories of the UK. I met Margaret during a posting in London in 1989. We go back often and Margaret took Tommy to the London Olympics and to Cambridge and Oxford this. Globalization and Technology

Anxiety: How It Impacts Decisions

Inc Startups

Think anxiety heightens your senses and makes you cautious? Research out of Wharton and Harvard finds quite different results. Should you open a new location or invest in your existing premises? Is a new supplier the answer to your prayers or a potential money-suck?

How VCs Deploy Operating Talent To Build Better Startups

David Teten

Drew Hansen just posted a very interesting piece on Forbes on, “ How VCs Deploy Operating Talent To Build Better Startups ”.

4 Ways to Protect Your Assets From Your Great Ideas

Inc Startups

By all means, pour everything you have into that brilliant idea. But don't drain your assets. Whether you are in launch mode or a decade into running your venture, you know toe dipping won't cut it; entrepreneurial success requires diving into the deep end of the pool. You have to go large.

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Warm pork curry soba noodles…simply perfect. (at Cocoron.

Mark Birch

Warm pork curry soba noodles…simply perfect. (at at Cocoron Soba


Why Predicting Customer Behavior Is Problematic

Inc Startups

Using data to predict your customers' moves is a tricky art and science--and it's not for the uninitiated.

COVER FRIDAY: Nutshell performed by Ryan Adams - There are many.

Mark Birch

COVER FRIDAY: Nutshell performed by Ryan Adams - There are many great Alice in Chains songs that have been covered, but none seem to be performed as much as this tune off the Jar of Flies album. Why is that? Because despite the loneliness that the lyrics evoke, it is one of the most accessible songs out of the the entire AIC catalogue. I already posted the original as well as the version by Staind last year. It was time therefore to give the Ryan Adams version an airing.


How to Close the Big Sale

Inc Startups

When the numbers get big, the risk factor--for everyone--grows. As an entrepreneur, you have two big, important jobs. One is to create a killer offering your customers can’t live without. The other is to sell.

Measure Interest Before Building Products

Constantly Learning

Before you ever sell a product you should be marketing to everyone. Unlike traditional marketing, which includes branding, this is a different approach. You determine the interest of users before you ever try to sell your product. Joel Gasgoine of Buffer did this before launching Buffer. He setup some simple landing pages to test the idea. Once the pages were created he sent out a tweet to create some traffic.

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JJ Ramberg: 'Remember Everything You've Done Throughout the Year'

Inc Startups

Advice on how to wrap up the year from the host of MSNBC's Your Business and co-founder of

Hollow by Alice in Chains - This is a band that is both as.

Mark Birch

Hollow by Alice in Chains - This is a band that is both as revered as it is cursed. Revered in the sense that AIC stands as one of the greatest metal bands of the 90’s, in large due to the dynamic song writing duo of Jerry Cantrell and Layne Staley. Yet that also meant success rested heavily on that combustible combination of talent, and given Layne’s drug addiction, was not something that could be taken for granted. I have been on the fence with the post-Staley era.

Danny Meyer: How to Find Employees Who Go Beyond

Inc Startups

Don't ask candidates if they have integrity, says the founder of Shake Shack and Union Square Cafe. Do this instead

Links for a Lazy Day

Startup Houston

Consider this the calm before the storm. While you’re relaxing in the holiday afterglow, here are a few links to pass the time: David Brake (of Houston startup LRNGO) reflects on his journey as a startup CEO. Chris Schulz outlines next steps for the New Orleans startup community. hat tip Marc Nathan ). I wrote a piece about Rice Village on the January Advisors blog. Trey Bowles provides a nice recap of a recent Startup America event in Dallas. Not every story is a success story.

Scott Harrison: From Nightclub Promoter to Entrepreneur

Inc Startups

The charity: water founder talks about his troubled youth and how he started over

The “Hold Your Nose” theory of legal documentation


Investors sometimes join into investment rounds that have been pre-negotiated by others, receiving the paperwork already created by attorneys from that negotiation.

Do Entrepreneurs Destroy Businesses?

Inc Startups

Entrepreneurs are calculated risk takers, but do they have the right skills to manage a sustainable business? We were recently in a discussion with entrepreneurs who had all built growing businesses from the ground up.