March, 2017

The No Excuses Culture

Steve Blank

Getting ready for our next semester’s class, I asked my Teaching Assistant why I hadn’t seen the posters for our new class around campus. Hearing the litany of excuses that followed –“It was raining.” (The The posters go inside the building.) “We We still have time.” (We

Convertible and SAFE Notes

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

Angel/seed rounds used to be done via priced equity securities, either common or preferred. Then, starting about ten years ago, we started to see convertible debt being used in the angel and seed rounds. By 2010 this was the norm and Paul Graham tweeted this in Aug 2010: Convertible notes have won. Every investment so far in this YC batch (and there have been a lot) has been done on a convertible note. Paul Graham (@paulg) August 28, 2010. Which led me to write this blog post here on AVC.

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Kindred Spirits – Our Investment In Founder Collective

Feld Thoughts

The Big List Of Business Tools: 25 Apps And Resources You Should Be Using

YFS Magazine

Entrepreneurship is an adventure of creativity, self-education, and personal development—a passionate labor of love. Now imagine layering on power-ups. Grow Technology apps business tools productivity

6 Ways To Attract A Flock Of Angels To Your Venture

Startup Professionals Musings

Fundraising is brutal. Actually, according to Paul Graham of Y-Combinator fame, “Raising money is the second hardest part of starting a startup. The hardest part is making something people want.” More startups may fail for that reason, but a close second is the difficulty of raising money.

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Relationships Are 100/100, Not 50/50

Feld Thoughts

In a vox with my partner Seth recently, he said something that stuck with me. “Relationships are 100/100, not 50/50.” ” He was referring to a business dynamic between two people, but it applies to any relationship and any number of people. It’s a simple idea, but a great one. When I consider my relationship with Amy, it’s 100/100. Sure, we have plenty of conflicts, but we are both 100% all in on the relationship.

The Investment Memo

View from Seed

VC evaluation of seed-stage startups can seem arbitrary or imitative at times. Internally, the scarcity of tangible business metrics – product usage or revenue multiples for example – can make an investment decision feel daunting. Presented with various unknowns from any one pitch, VCs often lack an existing information infrastructure to examine in forming an opinion.

9 Keys To Measuring Your Social Media Campaign ROI

Startup Professionals Musings

If you are an entrepreneur these days, or trying to grow an existing business, everyone is telling you that you need to use social media. There are many ‘experts’ out there telling you how to do it, or even offering their services.

Why 2017 Should be a Great Year to Raise Venture Capital

Both Sides of the Table

Recently Upfront Ventures published its outlook for the technology startup world and venture capital overall titled it “ WTF Happened to Winter ?” The conclusion of our report was that winter did come, but it was mild and short.

Why Some Startups Win

Steve Blank

If you don’t know where you’re going, how will you know when you get there? I was having a second coffee with an ex student, now the head of a marketing inside a rapidly growing startup. His company had marched through customer discovery, learning about the customer problem, validated solutions and was now scaling sales and marketing. All good news. But he was getting uneasy that as his headcount was growing the productivity of his marketing department seemed to be rapidly declining.

The Growth Marketing Process: How to Shake Your Growth Hack Addiction

ConversionXL

Sean Ellis coined the term “growth hacking” way back in 2010. Since then, the term has taken on a life of its own.

The Magic of Dealing With Your Demons

Feld Thoughts

Jessi Hempel from Backchannel just wrote an amazing profile piece on my close friend Jerry Colonna. It’s titled This Man Makes Founders Cry. Medium estimates that it’s an 18 minute read and I assert that it’s worth every minute. I’ve known and worked with Jerry since 1996.

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5 varieties of remote working in companies

joel.is

I've recently found myself reflecting a lot on being a distributed team, and the nature of a company where the team works from remote locations to accomplish our work. Scaling remote working has been a challenge as the team has grown.

8 Reasons To Initiate A Startup In A Sluggish Economy

Startup Professionals Musings

According to CNN Money , the economy is still very sluggish, with only 1.6 percent growth in 2016.

Why the LP Outlook is Good for Venture and Startups in 2017–2020

Both Sides of the Table

Every year Upfront Ventures surveys Limited Partners (LPs) who are the main source of capital that invests in VC funds and thus the main source of capital that goes to startups to get an early-warning sense of the year ahead, leaving aside any Black Swans.

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Ask the Experts: Things I Wish I’d Known Before Starting a Business

Up and Running

While it’s generally good to be forward thinking and avoid dwelling on the past, most of us have made a few key, crucial mistakes that we’d reverse if we could. The same is true for small business owners. In every startup story, there is bound to be a wrong turn here or there.

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Artificial Intelligence: Implications On Marketing, Analytics, And You

Occam's Razor

A rare post today. It looks a little further out into the future than I normally tend to. It attempts to simplify a topic that has more than it’s share of coolness, confusion and complexity.

Immigration Fundraiser: For Here or To Go

Feld Thoughts

A little over a year ago I wrote a post about a documentary Amy and I were helping fund called For Here or To Go. The movie is about a set of Indian software developers in the US on H1-B visas.

4 Steps To Creating A Vision For Your Business

YoungUpstarts

by Rich Allen, author of “ The Ultimate Business Tune Up: A Simple Yet Powerful Business Model That Will Transform the Lives of Small Business Owners “ Running a business takes more than a day-by-day approach.

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7 Business Realities That You Don’t Learn In School

Startup Professionals Musings

When I started mentoring entrepreneurs and startups a few years ago, I anticipated that I would get mostly tough technical questions, but instead I more often hear things like “Where do I start?”

16 Entrepreneurs Share Their Favorite Inspirational Business Quote

Hearpreneur

Share André Gide wrote that,”Everything that needs to be said has already been said. But since no one was listening, everything must be said again.” Quotes are an important part of motivation, though many of them are repeats of another turn of phrase.

The Difference Between Cash and Profits

Up and Running

In my article, What You Really Need to Know About Cash Flow , I pointed out that most people think in terms of profits instead of cash. In this article, I wrote: Although cash is critical, people think in profits instead of cash. We all do.

Top 10 Tips To Take Your Brand From Good To Great

YFS Magazine

When you know the value of a brand, it’s easy to appreciate why taking your brand from good to great is a smart move. Start with these 10 tips. This article Top 10 Tips To Take Your Brand From Good To Great appeared first in YFS Magazine.

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When One Month Of Real Time Is Three Months of Company Time

Feld Thoughts

Most of us learned about dog years as children. Unfortunately, the adage that one human year = 7 dog years is not entirely correct, as dogs mature much faster than humans and the aging process depends on the size of the dogs. But the general idea works. Recently, I was in a board meeting at a company that had increased its revenue by a factor of four in 2016. We were discussing two things: (1) the 2017 budget and (2) all the things that broke in 2016 that we needed to fix in 2017.

The Humanity of Our AI Future

thebarefootvc

In 1991, as an undergrad, I wrote a paper on social cybernetics and its role in robotics. Out of curiosity, I just did a quick Google search on social cybernetics and found this article comparing and contrasting AI and the study of cybernetics.

5 People To Avoid In The Search For An Ideal Investor

Startup Professionals Musings

Every entrepreneur seeking funding loves the challenge of getting customers and investors excited, but dreads the thought of negotiating the terms of a deal with potential investors.

Secret To SaaS Success: Recognize That You're Not Selling Software

OnStartups

I've been working in the software industry for over 25 years. Pretty much my entire professional career (if you don't count that stint as a night clerk at Red Roof Inn). Back in the late 1900s, when you sold software, you sold software.

4 Things You Won’t Regret Spending Money on When Starting Your Business

Up and Running

When starting a business, the costs add up so fast that entrepreneurs are usually looking for ways to save money rather than increase costs. It’s no joke that the number of essential, necessary costs can be enough to make a new business owner’s head spin.

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10 Female Entrepreneurs Taking Over The World

YFS Magazine

Here's a look at 10 inspiring female entrepreneurs who are pioneers making moves and taking names every day of the week. Be inspired! People Success Profiles female entrepreneurs female entrepreneurship women entrepreneurs women in business

Through the Looking Glass

Feld Thoughts

He took his vorpal sword in hand: Long time the manxome foe he sought — So rested he by the Tumtum tree, And stood awhile in thought. – from Lewis Carroll, Jabberwocky.

How to create a successful corporate-startup collaboration

The Next Web

The idea that corporations and startups excel better together isn’t new. We all know innovation is key to sustained success, and one way to accelerate innovation is through collaboration. Three-quarters of startups that collaborated with corporations reported their experience to be highly beneficial.

5 Signals To Evaluate To Test The Value Of Your Brand

Startup Professionals Musings

Brands are people first. Customers are people too, so customers tend to take their relationship with a brand personally. Thus it’s not a surprise that people love their favorite smartphone brand, cringe when you mention their cable company, or even hate the mention of a particular bank.

A Designer’s Perspective on Working with Product Managers

The Product Guy

Guest Post by: David Pasztor. A product manager just stopped by the desk of the designer on a lazy Thursday afternoon. The designer showed him something, and they started discussing a new feature’s design loudly. The manager used wide gestures to show where he wanted to move certain elements.

How to Balance Cash Flow in a Seasonal Business

Up and Running

When you’re considering the importance of cash flow, it’s necessary to look at cash flow for a seasonal business.