October, 2016

Why Tim Cook is Steve Ballmer and Why He Still Has His Job at Apple

Steve Blank

What happens to a company when a visionary CEO is gone? Most often innovation dies and the company coasts for years on momentum and its brand. Rarely does it regain its former glory. Here’s why.

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Venture Capital is About Human Capital

Both Sides of the Table

Gregg Johnson, CEO of Invoca For the first 5 years or so after I became a VC I didn’t talk much about what I thought a VC should be excellent at since frankly I wasn’t sure. I was mostly doing my job and trying to figure out how to be better every day.

Trending Sources

Selling

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

I think selling is the hardest part of investing. Buying is, of course, critical to generating strong investment performance. Figuring out what to buy and when to buy it is what most people think of when they think of investing. But your returns will have as much to do with selling as buying. And buying is a fairly rational decision. Selling tends to be emotional. And that is why selling is the hardest part of investing.

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No wait, of course THAT is the single most important SaaS metric

A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks

The single most important SaaS metric is retention , because cancellations indicate lack of product/market fit, no matter the cause (price, features, severity of need, duration of need). If it cannot be fixed, it means the business is a failure even if other metrics are stellar.

Data is an Input and a Filter into the Product Development Process

Instigator Blog

Recently I spoke at CrunchConf in Budapest. It was a great experience. The conference is fantastic for people interested in data (e.g. data analysts, scientists, product managers, etc.) Having said that, I’m not a data scientist. I don’t spend the bulk of my time storing, organizing and sifting through data. I’m not smart enough for […]. Lean Analytics

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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. We had both been successful VCs in other firms and we had a thesis that the second wave of the Internet was upon us and that large networks were going to get built in this phase. The term “web 2.0” ” had not yet been coined and Facebook had not yet been started (LinkedIn was being built around this time). It took us a year and a half to raise that fund.

How Entrepreneurs Select And Nurture Top Performers

Startup Professionals Musings

Isn’t it amazing that some people you know always seem to be working hard, but never seem to get anything done? As an entrepreneur, you need to avoid partnering with these people, or hiring them into your startup. The challenge is to find people who get things done, as well as work hard.

How to Build A Massive Community on Instagram For Your Brand

Brandanew

When utilized in the most proper manner, a large community on Instagram for your brand can be a highly-effective visual advertising channel. Recent studies showcase that this platform can provide 25% more engagement with consumers when compared to other social media channels.

We Were Right – Just a Decade Early

Feld Thoughts

This is a line my friend Jerry Colonna uses when something like the AT&T – Time Warner deal occurs. As time passes, the line has shifted to “We were right – just fifteen years early.” ” Jerry was Fred Wilson ‘s partner at Flatiron Partners.

The 11 Bad Habits Killing Innovation in Your Company

Steve Blank

Alexander Osterwalder invented the Business Model Canvas , co-founded strategyzer.com and was the lead author of Business Model Generation which sold a million copies in 30 languages. Alexander and I often collaborate on new ideas for corporate innovation.

“You Don’t Look Like a Founder”

Instigator Blog

WTF does that even mean? It means: You’re not a young white guy. And it’s total b t. Heather Anne Carson, co-founder @ Repable recently posted this on Facebook: (She didn’t ask me to write this.) It’s not surprising that guys feel / think this way (but saying it out loud really demonstrates a whole […]. Entrepreneurship

NYC’s FinTech Innovation Lab

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

Applications are open for New York’s seventh annual FinTech Innovation Lab , a 12-week program that I have blogged about a bunch here on AVC. This proram is for early and growth stage companies that have developed cutting edge technology products targeted at financial services customers.

7 Accepted Startup Principles Violated By Steve Jobs

Startup Professionals Musings

Steve Jobs was a one-in-a-million entrepreneur who seemed to violate many conventional rules of starting a business and dealing with people, yet undeniably achieved great success.

How I Promise You One of the Most Meaningful Days of Your Life

Both Sides of the Table

I know the title “I promise you one of the most meaningful days of your life” sounds grandiose but I mean it and I hope you’ll read through to the end and choose to take one small, totally free action, that will change your life and likely those of others.

What Every Entrepreneur Should Know About HR And Startup Culture

YFS Magazine



It is enough of a struggle to grow a company. The last thing you need is to manage HR functions by pen and paper and/or face stiff government penalties if you get it wrong. Grow Human Capital company culture hiring employees HR human resources

There are 145 Entrepreneurship Courses at Stanford

Steve Blank

Stanford is an incubator with dorms. Download the full text file with links to the courses here. Filed under: Hacking For Defense , Hacking for Diplomacy , Lean LaunchPad , Teaching. Hacking For Defense Hacking for Diplomacy Lean LaunchPad Teaching

Speaking Gigs, Training, Discounts, Free Tickets and More

Instigator Blog

I don’t normally post about speaking engagements, conferences or training sessions that I’m conducting, but there are a bunch of upcoming events that I hope interest people. Along with that, I have discounts and free tickets to give away–so why not do it all at once?!?! Product Strategy for Designers I’m doing a 2-day […]. Business

Care and Feeding

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

Young companies are a bit like children. They require care and feeding. The feeding part comes naturally to investors. Because that is what we do. We invest capital into young companies in hope of generating large returns on those investments. The caring part comes harder to investors. At least it did to this investor. But as I enter my fourth decade in venture investing, it is the caring that keeps me going. Caring is exactly what it sounds like. Giving a s**t.

8 Steps In Securing A Bank Loan To Fund Your Startup

Startup Professionals Musings

A common question I get is “How do I get a bank loan to fund my startup?” The default answer is that it probably won’t happen, because most banks just don’t make bank loans to startups.

2016 Social Media Trends And Statistics That Were Crazy!

Brandanew

Social Media has become an essential part of everyone’s life, it is addictive! From business to personal communication it immerses us all. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat or Pinterest have opened a new gateway to express and connect.

LinkedIn Marketing: A Small Business Guide

Up and Running

If you’ve looked for a job in the past five years, you’ve probably made sure to spruce up your LinkedIn profile. But, LinkedIn isn’t just a social networking site for job seekers—it’s also a great marketing platform for businesses.

Mental Fitness

Feld Thoughts

After a 30 day hard reset (also known as sabbatical ) I felt like this was an important re-entry topic as I fling myself back into the fray. Several years ago I got tired of the phrase “Work Life Balance” (and its various permutations – Work/Life Balance and Work-Life Balance.) When Amy and I wrote Startup Life: Surviving and Thriving in a Relationship with an Entrepreneur we wrestled a lot with this notion, and the phrase.

What if there isn’t another 10x?

A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks

What if Dropbox is just an awesome file-sharing and backup service but not a universal key/value storage API? What if OpenTable is the perfect reservation system but nothing else? What if Yelp has ratings but can’t solve the logistics of food delivery?

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The 11 Bad Habits Killing Innovation in Your Company

Steve Blank

Alexander Osterwalder invented the Business Model Canvas , co-founded strategyzer.com and was the lead author of Business Model Generation which sold a million copies in 30 languages. Alexander and I often collaborate on new ideas for corporate innovation.

11 Ways To Start Pulling Customers To Your Solution

Startup Professionals Musings

Traditional marketing says you have to “push” your message out to customers, over and over again, to get you remembered. A more effective approach in today’s Internet and interactive culture is to use “pull” technology to bring customers and clients to your story.

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What Are App Coins?

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

Last week Coin Center published a primer on app coins. It is very good. I particularly like this part: Open platforms have proved difficult to create because it has been historically difficult to monetize them even if they become successful—by nature they are public goods.

Instagram Marketing: A Small Business Guide

Up and Running

Instagram is arguably growing as the most powerful social media platform around. By 2019, Instagram’s audience is projected to make up 55.8 percent of social network use in the United States.

Suicide, Cancer, and Community

Feld Thoughts

At the end of the day yesterday I gave a talk at the opening of Galvanize Boulder. After, during the Q&A, someone brought up depression and I went on a long ramble about my own struggles over the years, how I’ve grown and developed, how it has impacted me, and what I do today to work on my mental fitness.

6 Brands That’ve Created Business Value Via Niche Social Communities

Brandanew

We’ve time and again shared the importance of niche social communities in today’s digital world. Niche social communities work when they’re connected, engaged and generate consumer value.

There are 145 Entrepreneurship Courses at Stanford

Steve Blank

Stanford is an incubator with dorms. Download the full text file with links to the courses here. link]. Filed under: Hacking For Defense , Hacking for Diplomacy , Lean LaunchPad , Teaching. Hacking For Defense Hacking for Diplomacy Lean LaunchPad Teaching

Accelerate Your Startup With Help From An Incubator

Startup Professionals Musings

One of the reasons that now is the time to be an entrepreneur is the explosion of startup assistance organizations, usually called incubators or accelerators.

Digital Attribution's Ladder of Awesomeness: Nine Critical Steps

Occam's Razor

Culture is a stronger determinant of success with data than anything else. Including data. People + Process + Structure] > [Data + Technology]. It seems hard to believe. Yet, it is so fantastically true. At least for now. At least until AGI takes over. Why is this formula material?

3 Simple Ways to Make Your Business Appear More Professional

Up and Running

You’ve developed a solid and trusted business offline, but you’re not sure where to begin online. Social media pages, websites, business email, oh my! How do you create a professional and useful online resource hub for your offline small business?

Techstars in Kansas City

Feld Thoughts

Yesterday Techstars announced the launch of Techstars Kansas City. This is a city-based horizontal accelerator similar to the ones we have in Boulder, Boston, Seattle, Austin, New York City, London and Berlin. Applications open in January 2017 and the program will run in July 2017. I have a long history with Kansas City. I almost grew up in Kansas City, as the two cities my parents looked at when moving from Boston were Kansas City and Dallas (they chose Dallas.)