April, 2020

What’s Missing From Zoom Reminds Us What It Means to Be Human

Steve Blank

Over the last month billions of people have been unwilling participants in the largest unintentional social experiment ever run – testing how video conferencing replaced face-to-face communication. While we’ve discovered that in many cases it can, more importantly we’ve discovered that, regardless of bandwidth and video resolution, these apps are missing the cues humans use when they communicate.

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Announcing NextView’s Everyday Economy Accelerator

View from Seed

We at NextView Ventures are sensitive to the challenges which all startups face during these times brought upon us by the current Coronavirus crisis. As we have discussed elsewhere, the world of early stage investing is shifting from FOMO ( F ear O f M issing O ut) to FOLD (Fear Of Looking Dumb). Even though some of the most transformative tech companies are built during difficult economic periods, the aperture of VC funds tends to narrow during these times.

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10 Keys To Enabling Your Startup For Unicorn Growth

Startup Professionals Musings

Investors will tell you that they love to put money into startups that are scalable, and ready to become the next unicorn. But what does that really mean? Simply stated, it means that your business has the potential to multiply revenue with minimal incremental cost. Ready to scale is when you have a proven product and a proven business model, about to expand to new geographies and markets.

Workday continues its innovations in Analyst Summits

deal architect

A decade ago, Workday pioneered with its Technology Day format. I wrote back then "Few vendors have the guts to be open to such a smart and opinionated bunch as Workday was during its Technology Day yesterday. Like a marathon. Cloud Computing, SaaS

Building Healthy Innovation Ecosystems for Your Projects

Speaker: Nick Noreña, Innovation Coach and Advisor, Kromatic

In this webinar, Nick Noreña will walk through an Innovation Ecosystem Model that he and his team at Kromatic have developed to help investors, heads of product, teachers, and executives understand how they can best support innovation in their own ecosystem. He'll also go over metrics we can use to measure the health of our ecosystems as we build more resources for innovators.

5 Tips To Help You Lead And Experiment During COVID-19 


by Melanie Parish, MCC, author of “ The Experimental Leader: Be a New Kind of Boss to Cultivate an Organization of Innovators “. These are crazy times we are living in. As a leader, during COVID -9 (or any crisis) it can be hard to find your feet and to feel confident in your path. You may feel inadequate, unsure and out of your depth. That is to be expected. This is leadership like we have never seen before. So many businesses are closed or trying to find new ways of doing things.

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Thoughts For VC Backed Companies Considering SBA/PPP Loans

Feld Thoughts

My partner Seth Levine recently put up an extremely thoughtful post titled SBA PPP Loans Aren’t for Everyone. Go read it now – I’ll be here when you get back. Seth references two other posts to read and consider. The first is by Albert Wenger at USV titled VC Backed Startups and PPP: Do You Really Need It? The other is an OpEd for CNBC written by Seth and Elizabeth Macbride titled Stampede for emergency loans is crushing lenders, putting millions of small businesses at risk.

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More Trending

The Shift from FOMO to FOLD in Early Stage Investing

View from Seed

For the last several years, the early stage investing market was driven largely by the F ear O f M issing O ut, AKA FOMO. This led to a number of repercussions that most VC’s have lamented during this time, including higher prices, larger rounds, shoddy due diligence, and many companies raising large sums of venture capital that probably aren’t suited to VC funding.

10 Stumbling Blocks To Innovative Business Thinking

Startup Professionals Musings

Successful entrepreneurs are the ones who think the most creatively, not only in their initial product or service, but more importantly all through the stages of growth from startup to maturity. But even the best of them can easily slip into some bad decision habits that limit or hurt their business, due to natural human tendencies and the pressures of business challenges.

Resilience and leadership during crisis: A conversation with Alex Shootman, CEO of Workfront

deal architect

Alex Shootman, CEO of Workfront is one of my favorite tech execs because he is always positive - and that in an authentic way. I had enjoyed his book, Done Right (my review here) because he had so many examples. Leadership during Crisis

How To Turn A Great Idea Into An Action Plan


by Greg DeLine, president and CEO of DeLine Holdings. If you’re serious about becoming an entrepreneur, chances are good that you already have a killer idea in mind. You’ve probably gone further than just a basic concept — whether that means getting product details down or making plans for when you eventually make it a reality. You know your idea is more than just a pipe dream, and you’re ready to put it into action.

Please Wear a DIY Cloth Mask in Public

Feld Thoughts

The CDC finally issued guidance to Use of Cloth Face Coverings to Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19. If you go out in public, please wear a “Cloth Face Covering.” ” I’m using every ounce of energy that I have to avoid talking about the politics of any of this, Rather, I’m focusing on actionable things with clear reasoning for them. Before I explain why this is so important, here are two websites that clarify the types of face coverings I’m talking about.

In a Crisis – An Opportunity For A More Meaningful Life

Steve Blank

Sheltering in place during the Covid-19 pandemic, my coffees with current and ex-students (entrepreneurs, as well as employees early in their careers) have gone virtual. Pre-pandemic these coffees were usually about what startup to join or how to find product/market fit. Though in the last month, even through Zoom I could sense they were struggling with a much weightier problem. The common theme in these calls were that many of them were finding this crisis to be an existential wakeup call. “My

Hard Decisions Require Empathy

Both Sides of the Table

In the past two weeks we have entered perhaps to most surreal experience in any of our lives. I think intuitively many of us believe it may be a more lasting impact than just “60 days at home,” which is why we almost have a nervous laughter when we call (Zoom!) somebody we haven’t spoken to since before the crisis and acknowledge how bizarre we all feel right now.

6 Reasons Why More Is Not Better In Your Next Startup

Startup Professionals Musings

Many passionate entrepreneurs fight to add more features into their new products and services, assuming that more function will make the solution more appealing to more customers. In reality, more features will more likely make the product confusing and less usable to all. Focus is the art of limiting your scope to the key function that really matters for the majority of customers. YouTube did it with videos, Instagram did it with photos, and Amazon did it with books.

The New Normal: A conversation with Mike Laven, CEO, The Currency Cloud

deal architect

I have been doing video interviews with a number of CIOs, software executives and practitioners about acrobatics they have been seeing in various vertical sectors during the COVID-19 crisis and the "New normal" they can expect as the economy wakes. New Normal COVID-19 Vertical Markets (Banking, Retail etc

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Ideas For Rebalancing Your Marketing Campaign During This Current Pandemic  


by Lonny Kocina, CEO of Media Relations Agency and author of “ The CEO’s Guide to Marketing: The Book Every Marketer Should Read Before Their Boss Does “. When an unexpected event of national or global scale dramatically changes the marketing environment, such as what’s happening now with the coronavirus, how should marketers respond? How do you get your best salespeople in front of clients and prospects when events are cancelled, travel is restricted and most people are working from home?

How We are Investing Through The Covid Correction

View from Seed

In a period of uncertainty, the easiest thing to do as a VC is to be paralyzed by fear and do nothing. We can stay busy by expending time and effort supporting the existing portfolio, which is the right thing to do and a good use of time. But when it comes to new investments, the path of least resistance is to hang back and see how things play out. Wait and see. As I blogged about a few weeks ago, FOMO ( F ear O f M issing O ut) is replaced by FOLD (Fear Of Looking Dumb).

How To Keep Your Company Alive – Observe, Orient, Decide and Act

Steve Blank

This article previously appeared in the Harvard Business Review. It’s been updated with new information about the U.S. Paycheck Protection program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. What cashflow-negative companies must do to survive. We’re in uncharted territory with the Covid-19 pandemic. But it’s increasingly looking grim.

How to Make Sense of the PPP Loan Program for VC-Backed Startups

Both Sides of the Table

There is so much confusion and misinformation out there about the government sponsored “payroll protection plan” loans to companies that the heads of every small business CEO in the country must be spinning. We have been advising a lot of entrepreneurs so I thought I’d “open source” some of the advice I have been sharing. I am not claiming to be the world expert on this. But I have been in close contact with the NVCA, many of the major law firms and many of the major VC firms.

6 Habits to Become a More Empathetic Business Leader

Startup Professionals Musings

In my experience as a business and entrepreneur advisor over many years, I’m convinced that the days of the “ command and control ” business leader are gone. Your employees have higher expectations of you than just defining their job – they want inspiration, motivation, and purpose. They respond with trust and commitment if they sense empathy for their needs and feelings. A premier example of the “old-school” command-and-control leadership was Jack Welch in his leadership at GE.

The Most Transformative C-Level Exec: COVID-19

deal architect

I heard someone recently say we have seen more digital transformation in the last month than we had in the last decade. Matthew Price, CEO of Cloudflare summarized it nicely for Jim Cramer of CNBC "while the real heroes of


Retail 4.0 – Tips If Your Retail Business Is Struggling


It’s true that right now is a tough time to be in the retail industry. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, most of the United States is in a lockdown and many businesses have had to close. If you’re a retail company that gains the majority of your business from people walking into your storefront and walking out with your product, then this puts you into a tough spot. However, there is a bright light at the end of this tunnel.

How to Name Your Tech Startup


Starting a tech company is exciting, but there are dozens of factors you’ll need to consider if you want your startup to succeed. Much of your time brainstorming will be spent considering things like how to reduce costs, how to expand efficiently, and how to build the right team—but you’ll also need to consider the nature of your brand, including your business’s name. What’s in a Name?

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Economic Access for Mass Market Workers – What We Are Excited About

View from Seed

In one’s everyday life, “work” is certainly one of the most important activities that occupies up to half (if not more) of the available hours of a day. Your line of work not only impacts how you go about your working hours, it also shapes your identity and the choices available to other non-work aspects of your daily life. .

My Thoughts on the Current Market: on 20-Minute VC

Both Sides of the Table

Several years ago I made an appearance in a burgeoning new podcast called “20 Minute VC,” which by now needs no introduction. Harry was gracious enough to invite me back so this past week we recorded an episode discussing the current market environment. Please download the episode here , if for no other reason than to make Harry happy :) but I’ve also included some quick notes below including a few notes I didn’t share in the podcast (and vice versa by the way?—?if

10 Keys To Results With Social-Local-Mobile Marketing

Startup Professionals Musings

The world of marketing is changing faster than technology these days. Winning entrepreneurs have long since supplemented conventional print and video “push” marketing with digital online interactive “pull” marketing, and a while back added social-local-mobile ( SoLoMo ) to the mix. Mobile and global are driving all of these in innovative new ways to grow your business.

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The New Normal: A conversation with Dennis Hodges, CIO, Inteva Products

deal architect

I have been doing video interviews with a number of CIOs, software executives and practitioners about acrobatics they have been seeing in various vertical sectors during the COVID-19 crisis and the "New normal" they can expect as the economy wakes. Leadership during Crisis New Normal COVID-19

The Future Of Retail And America In The Post-COVID World


by Erik D. Rosenstrauch, Founder and CEO of FUEL Partnerships. In approaching the COVID-19 crisis from the marketer’s perspective, the question is how, not if, the world will change when the restrictions are lifted. My intuition relies on what marketers believe and researchers have proven – the repeated behavior learned during this several month crisis will form new consumer habits.

The Disorientation of Exiting Phase 1

Feld Thoughts

We are starting to exit phase 1 of the Covid Crisis in the United States. If you find the whole thing extremely disorienting, you have my empathy. In mid-April, I was getting used to the Stay at Home mode. I’d joke about how I was made for this and was never leaving my house again. Last weekend I took a digital sabbath and woke up feeling energized on Monday. By Wednesday there was talk everywhere about opening things back up in various parts of the country.

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Rob Stevens & Rob Go B2B GTM AMA Recap

View from Seed

Last week, Rob Go was joined by Rob Stevens for a virtual chat on running businesses during hard times. Stevens has held roles across verticals such as head of sales, marketing, product, and professional services at five startups over twenty years. He has experience in B2B, supply chain, robotics, SaaS, and IoT spaces. Currently, he is an advisor, board member and angel investor. He helps early-stage startups with sales, marketing, and general “go to market” topics.

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Launching A New Website? Top 5 Web Design Trends You Need To Know

YFS Magazine

Launching a new website? Here are five website design trends the 99designs community forecasts to dominate web design this year and beyond. Editor Picks Grow Marketing & Sales company website digital trends marketing web design web development

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5 Keys to Results in the Current Marketing Revolution

Startup Professionals Musings

Most small businesses I advise still rely on traditional advertising models, assuming they can create enough media “noise” to get customers attention and sway them. You don’t realize that person-to-person noise now dominates all channels through social media, effectively hiding business marketing messages. You now need a personal context in your marketing to get results. For example, the company GoPro makes cameras, yet now rarely ever talks about cameras in its marketing.

The New Normal: A conversation with Bill Berutti and Jerry Foster of Plex Systems

deal architect

I have been doing video interviews with a number of CIOs, software executives and practitioners about acrobatics they have been seeing in various vertical sectors during the COVID-19 crisis and the "New normal" they can expect as the economy wakes. Cloud Computing, SaaS New Normal COVID-19 Vertical Markets (Banking, Retail etc

Big Bounce Rate? Let’s Fix That.


There are numerous issues that you might need to contend with when you are running your business website. One of the problems that you can encounter quite early on is a high bounce rate. So what is this? A bounce rate describes the rate of users that leave your website after a short period. In other words, they don’t convert, they don’t buy and they may never return for that crucial future sale. There can be a lot of reasons for this and it’s important that you do solve the problem.

Leadership is Pulling Together, Not Tearing Apart

Feld Thoughts

Our Colorado governor, Jared Polis, displayed an amazing act of leadership in his response to what I consider a question posed in an extreme and divisive way yesterday. Colorado Gov. Jared Polis gets choked up when he's asked about people who have compared COVID-19 stay-home orders to Nazism. Polis is Colorado's first Jewish governor. pic.twitter.com/noJqbqVObZ — Next with Kyle Clark (@nexton9news) April 15, 2020.

NextView Partners Discuss the State of the Market In a Covid-19 World

View from Seed

Last week we held a virtual “Lunch and Learn” with Melody and Lee where they had a discussion about what they’re seeing in the market in a covid-19 world, made some predictions about where we are headed in the next couple of weeks to months, and took some questions about the state of VC funding. The session was recorded, and you can view it here: But below is the TLDR highlights of the discussion. . What is the VC funding environment like right now?