July, 2018

This 1 Piece of Advice Could Make Or Break Your Career

Steve Blank

There’s no handbook on how to evaluate and process “suggestions” and “advice” from a boss or a mentor. But how you choose to act on these recommendations can speed up your learning and make or break your career. Here’s what to keep in mind: I had a team of students working on an arcane customer problem. While they were quickly coming up to speed, I suggested that they talk to someone who I knew was an expert in the area and could help them learn much faster.

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Some Quick Things Every Founder Should Know

Both Sides of the Table

One thing that comes with being a venture capitalist is you see hundreds and hundreds of businesses. You get to have interesting conversations with founders and review business plans and then see how these businesses evolve over the years.

The Holographic Display Of The Future Is Here

Feld Thoughts

The holographic display of the future is here and you can have one on your desk for under $600. Ever since I saw Princess Leia appealing to Obi Wan that he was her only hope when I was 11, I’ve wanted a holographic display. Movies like Minority Report and Back to the Future II (do you remember the shark hologram that ate Marty ?) have consumed thousands of people’s lives over the past few decades.

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Why We Invested in The Nudge

View from Seed

Sometimes we just need little push to take action. A little motivation to make things happen. And having a plan already put together makes things just that much easier. Yep, sometimes all you need is just little a nudge. Enter just that, The Nudge. It’s a “planner friend in your pocket,” as the team calls it. A personal digital lifestyle advisor which sends SMS-based ideas about things to do (with a link to an detailed entire plan to make it easier to follow through).

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Investment Pace

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

We were hanging out with friends last night and one of them asked me how many investments I have made this year. I replied “one so far.” ” He said, “you are not very active.” ” and I replied “I do one to two deals a year and always have.” ” Which surprised him. I have been investing in early stage companies since the late 80s and over those thirty plus years, I have personally led investments in about sixty companies.

How Some Ventures Continually Stay Ahead Of The Crowd

Startup Professionals Musings

As a business advisor, I have long been surprised by the large number of industry stalwarts, including Blockbuster, Kodak, and General Motors, that have been dealt major setbacks, or even total failure, by upstart young companies, with a fraction of the resources or industry experience.

How to Write a One-Page Business Plan

Up and Running

If you’ve been putting off writing your business plan, you’re not alone. Writing a business plan can seem like a daunting task, and lots of entrepreneurs avoid it for this reason. But it doesn’t have to be. An easy way to start is with just one page.

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Cool Dogs and Crazy Cats

Feld Thoughts

Our longtime friend Lura Vernon wrote a really fun book last year titled Cool Dogs and Crazy Cats. It’s a coffee table book that is a combination of hilarious dog and cat haikus along with epic dog and cat photos. I’m a dog person.

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Gasoline Prices Soar


John Kemp from Reuters released a quality report today on the gasoline rise in America and national travel. In the US we have seen a shift to larger SUV style cars due to cheaper gas - in part. When gas surges customers trade in cars and buying habits transition to more fuel efficient cars.

Where Did You Go To School?

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

I read this post yesterday that says that 40% of VC investors went to either Stanford or Harvard. Frankly, I am not surprised. I’ve worked in this industry for over thirty years. It is full of Stanford and Harvard grads. I’ve got nothing against either school. They are wonderful education institutions and full of great people. We have Stanford and Harvard alums at USV so we are certainly a contributor to this statistic. But we don’t have 40% of our team from those two schools.

10 Reasons To Market Yourself More Than A Great Idea

Startup Professionals Musings

Too many entrepreneurs I know still believe that that their great idea will carry the startup, and they may even minimize their own value, especially if they have introvert tendencies. Yet most investors agree that the “idea” is worth nothing alone, and it’s the entrepreneur execution that counts.

13 Tips to Ensure Your Small Business Is Paid On Time and In Full

Up and Running

Making a big sale is exciting, especially for a new business. But getting paid late, spending time and money chasing overdue accounts, or worse yet, not getting paid at all, can destroy a business. If you sell B2B, chances are your customers are going to demand payment terms.

Tech marathoners: Bruce Rogow

deal architect

This continues a new series of interviews with tech executives who have seen the industry evolve over a minimum of two decades. They have helped analyze, envision, develop and take to market some of the most influential technology the world. Tech Marathoners series

Book: North: Finding My Way While Running the Appalachian Trail

Feld Thoughts

I’m a marathon runner, but not an ultrarunner. I’ve only done one ultra (the American River 50 miler) and the combination of the training, race, and recovery was too much for me. But I love the idea of ultras.

United Kingdom Economic Outlook July 2018


Outlook Remains Stable The economy appears to have regained some momentum in the second quarter following a weak first quarter, but growth is still mediocre at best.

CEO Roland Reznik Talks Doing Business In China

YFS Magazine

While many entrepreneurs are fearful of forging global partnerships, Reznik asserts that there are a few keys to success in China that often go overlooked. Grow Operations china global Global Business manufacturing sponsored

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Why Pitching Your Product Is Not Enough For Investors

Startup Professionals Musings

As an occasional angel investor, I always ask for a business pitch to get me in the mood. I’m still amazed at how many technical entrepreneurs don’t have a business pitch, and offer me their product pitch or product spec instead.

The 5 Signs of a Struggling Startup, and How to Reverse the Trend

Up and Running

Entrepreneurs are actually proven to be happier and healthier than employees who work for someone else. It is uniquely rewarding to own and grow a business. That said, there are plenty of obstacles in the way. This is why failures are so common.

On top of the CN Tower: Understanding how we process fear

Version One Ventures

Last week, Boris and I were in Toronto for our quarterly offsite. I suggested the CN Tower EdgeWalk as a good break from discussing all things Version One related.


How To Deal With Email After A Vacation

Feld Thoughts

As I’m already getting lots of out of office messages for people taking this week off, I thought I’d revisit an approach to how to deal with email after a vacation. In 2011, Josh Kopelman of First Round Capital came up with what, at the time, was what I thought was the best email vacation auto-responder in the history of email. Now, I have no idea if Josh invented this, but I’m going to give him credit for it. I evolved this in 2014 when I took a one-month sabbatical.

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The Power Of Belief


by Vijay Eswaran, founder of QI Group. When I was very young, my mother told me this folktale about a monk who lived on an island in the middle of a busy river. Frequent travellers across the river would stop to pay their respects in return for the monk’s blessings.

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5 Growth Hacks To Accelerate Your Startup

YFS Magazine

How do startups experience fast growth? If you are ready to accelerate startup growth without delay, consider these five tips. Grow Operations growth hacks growth strategy small business growth

8 Ways To Instill A Sense Of Purpose In Your Startup

Startup Professionals Musings

Starting a new venture and thriving in today’s economy is hard, but the best have figured out that customers and employees need to feel that you have a sense of purpose, to complement the company’s pursuit of profit. A higher purpose motivates people in a way that financial wins alone never will.

6 Tips for Mothers on Starting a Business

Up and Running

Starting a business can be an exciting and sometimes intimidating prospect, especially when you’re a mom. But more and more mothers are taking the plunge and pursuing their dreams of entrepreneurship. million women in the U.S.

28 Entrepreneurs Explain What They Love About Being An Entrepreneur


Being in love is great. Being in love with your business, when you’re an entrepreneur, is even better. Waking up each morning knowing you are getting to do exactly what you love is more than most people could ever say about any “job” they have had.

CEO Problems

Feld Thoughts

Recently, I was talking to a CEO of a company I’m on the board of. We were discussing a problem in the category of something new Is f *d up in my world every day. He gave me a great idea. He apparently plays a game with his young (I think around 10 years old) daughter. When they are sitting around in the evening, she occasionally says “Daddy, give me a CEO problem.” ” He does, she thinks about it a little, and then gives him a solution.

9 Skills Marketers Need in the Age of AI


The robots are taking over. They’re going to be better than us, and then steal our jobs, and eventually turn on us and conquer the world. That’s the kind of hyperbolic language you’re probably hearing everywhere today. But some of it is true.

Why I Chose Entrepreneurship Over A University Education

YFS Magazine

I have zero regrets. Here are some advantages you get to experience when you choose entrepreneurship over university education. Editor Picks Plan college entrepreneurship starting a business startup advice

7 Keys To Making People First And Winning In Business

Startup Professionals Musings

Just as national cultures influence and shape a country, so does the startup culture set by founder strategy drive the future of a new venture.

Cutting Small Business Costs Using DIY CNC With CraftLaser


Technology is constantly advancing, making things more accessible, smaller, and faster. With new advances in CNC technology and opensource software, in-house production is easier and more accessible than ever.

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19 Entrepreneurs Explain How They Came Up With Their Business Names


The idea of exactly what your business is going to usually come first. Secondly, most often, is giving a title to your idea. What exactly is going to be the name of your business? Some people turn to their childhood for inspiration or a beloved family pet.

A Major Breakdown In Our Collective Intelligence

Feld Thoughts

Yesterday’s post Relentlessly Turning Input Knobs To 0 generated a bunch of interesting private comments. It also generated a few public ones, including the link to the article What is the problem with social media? by Jordan Greenhall which was extraordinary. Jordan asserts that the problem with social media can be broken down into four foundation problems.

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There is Nothing Magical About 95% Statistical Significance


You are probably ending your A/B tests either too early or too late. The standard best practice in the conversion optimization industry is to wait until two conditions have been met before ending an A/B test. First, that a representative sample is obtained.

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3 Apps To Help You Focus And Get More Done

YFS Magazine

Once I found ways to consistently focus on my business I became a consistency queen. Here's how I get more done – in a short time. Back Office Grow mindfulness personal development productivity time management

7 Reasons To Not Give Up Too Soon On Your New Venture

Startup Professionals Musings

Most of the young entrepreneurs I know are classic proof of the old adage that people tend to overestimate what they can do in a short period, and underestimate what they can do over a long period.

3 Entrepreneurs That Built An Empire On Social Media


Social media can make dreams come true – really. There are entrepreneurs from across the world that have used social media to build their brand and sell products. It’s a bit of luck for some, hard work for all, and lots of persistence to make dreams come true.

8 Entrepreneurs Share Their Thoughts on the Future of Entrepreneurship


Every waking day, we are having tremendous changes in regulations and technology which greatly affects the way businesses operate. Some entrepreneurs will say the future is definitely bright but to others, some of these changes are meant to work against their expansion and business operations.