Sat.Nov 10, 2012 - Fri.Nov 16, 2012

How Well Do You Take A Punch?

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

I was talking to a friend who has been displaced because of Sandy. They are struggling to get back to their daily routine and it is hard living out of a suitcase without access to the things they rely on from day to day. I was talking to the CEO of a company whose business was negatively impacted by Sandy. They are struggling to get the business back to where it was before the hurricane. One is a personal thing. The other is a work thing. But they are the same thing.

6 Clues That You May Be Cool as an Entrepreneur


Google's Larry Page image via A while back, when a startup founder mentioned to me that he wasn’t sure he had the personality to be an entrepreneur, I realized how important that insight was.

Trending Sources

If it Didn’t Happen on Twitter it Didn’t Really Happen. Here’s Why

Both Sides of the Table

I wrote this post a long time ago. When I did it was a little too close to home for a company to have me publish it. Much time has passed. And I felt it was instructive still so I thought I would publish. I decided to water down some details to protect the innocent.

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The 7 key components of a perfect elevator pitch

Up and Running

Whether you are trying to raise money for your business or just want to perfect your business strategy, a solid elevator pitch is an essential tool for achieving your goals. An elevator pitch can be delivered either verbally, ideally in 60 seconds or less, or as a one-page overview of your business.

Video Of The Week: Founder Liquidity

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

I am surprised this video only has 483 views as of now. It's a talk I did with Chris Dixon eighteen months ago about founder liquidity. It's an interesting topic and worth a discussion here this morning. It's about six minutes long. Enjoy. Venture Capital and Technology

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More Trending

Teeny bit of traction — what next?

A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks

This is part of an ongoing startup advice series where I answer (anonymized!) questions from readers, like a written version of Smart Bear Live. To get your question answered , email me at asmartbear -at- shortmail -dot- com.

10 Key Metrics To Take a Startup to the Next Level

Startup Professionals Musings

Entrepreneurs have no trouble focusing on how to build a product, and the good ones know how to find and nurture those first critical customers. Many, however, don’t know how to take their small business to the next level.

All Markets Are Not Created Equal: 10 Factors To Consider When Evaluating Digital Marketplaces

Since Benchmark’s investment in Ebay 15 years ago, we have been fascinated by online marketplaces. Entrepreneurs accurately recognize that the connective tissue of the Internet provides an opportunity to link the players in a particular market, reducing friction in both the buying and selling experience.

Best Advice for a Start-up Entrepreneur?

Small Business Force

Whether I'm speaking, working with a current client or a prospective one, or just sitting on an airplane after I've told somebody what I do, invariably, I get THE QUESTION � "What's the best advice you can give a start-up entrepreneur?"

Electrify Your Readers with Bolts of Information and Blast Away Boredom!

Blogtrepreneur | Entrepreneur Blog

Have you ever read something really, really boring but struggled through it because you recognized the information was of high value? As students, we’ve all labored through massive, ancient textbooks, our eyes becoming heavier and heavier, our minds overflowing with dates and formulae.

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5 Entrepreneur Antidotes to Negativity in a Startup

Startup Professionals Musings

Throughout my career in small companies and large, I’ve always been appalled by the number of people who seem to complain all of the time. These people don’t seem to realize that they are hurting themselves, as well as other people’s productivity, and the company they are working for.

A new model for understanding the stages of a startup

The Startup Toolkit

The language we use for startup stages (discovery, validation, customer creation, company building) is abstract. The lines are blurry. And if jumping ahead of yourself is the #1 cause of startup death[1], that’s a problem.

E-commerce 2.0

Jeff Jordan

We at a16z could not possibly be more bullish on the prospects for e-commerce, and we believe growth is poised to accelerate. Part of the reason for this is due to competitive market dynamics. As I’ve blogged before , e-commerce players have substantial cost advantages over their physical competitors. They are massively more efficient in terms of real estate and labor costs in particular, and as a result hold a significant pricing advantage over physical retailers.

How Do I Expand When I Can’t Get Money From the Bank?

Blogtrepreneur | Entrepreneur Blog

It is all too common in 2012 that entrepreneurs and business owners have a great company that is making a profit in difficult economic times, and yet the traditional financial institutions reject an application for a loan.

7 Keys to Positioning Your Competitors to Investors

Startup Professionals Musings

Every entrepreneur should spend plenty of time thinking about competitors, and how they relate to your business, but you need to be very careful what you say out loud about them to your team, your investors, and your customers.

How to lose at meetings

The Startup Toolkit

Every meeting is either won or lost. There are no “good” meetings. You’ve lost the meeting when you leave with a compliment or a stalling tactic. The parody version is “Let’s talk again after Christmas… Don’t call me, I’ll call you[1].”

Customer Development in Japan: a History Lesson

Steve Blank

The Japanese edition of The Startup Owner’s Manual hit the bookstores in Japan this week. The book has been shepherded and edited by a great Japanese VC at Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Venture Capital, Takashi Tsutsumi, with help from Masato Iino.

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David Lee

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses. Henry Ford. Disruption happens when companies use technology to help customers “achieve what they already had been trying to do.” ” -Clayton Christensen.

7 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Asking For Money

Startup Professionals Musings

The first question most people seem to ask when contemplating a new startup is where they will get investor money. That’s certainly a valid question, but all the money in the world won’t make your business a success if you hate what you are doing, and you don’t have a plan to use it.

Every Entrepreneur Has Foundation Beliefs from Which They Operate?Most of Them Just Don't Realize It!

Small Business Force

How Do I Get In Touch With a VC?

Rob Go

I got this question on a panel last week, and coincidentally, I had a couple folks on Twitter tweet out the same question. Generically speaking, the question is “how do I get in touch with a potential investor about my company?” ” I don’t know for sure if this is true, but I have the impression that early stage VC’s as a whole have gotten more accessible than probably any time in the past.

The VC Shakeout: Are We There Yet?

Agile VC

[ This also appears as a guest post at PandoDaily ]. Over the weekend, I read Sarah Lacy’s PandoDaily article that the VC shakeout is taking too long. It’s rather thoughtful and definitely worth reading if you haven’t had a chance to yet. There are some obvious structural reasons why a shakeout in the venture capital industry takes a long time.

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Don’t Look For Investors for All the Wrong Reasons

Startup Professionals Musings

There is so much written these days about how to attract investors that most entrepreneurs “assume” they need funding, and don’t even consider a plan for “bootstrapping,” or self-financing their startup.

Early Seed Financing Terms Endure… Whether We Like It or Not

Genuine VC

Dharmesh Shah had a great post up last week about the lessons learned from raising a mezzanine round of financing. It’s really interesting, but perhaps only applicable to a more limited set of entrepreneurs. However, there was one gem of a small section in there with a more widely acceptable takeaway: “It turns out that the terms from your Series A are most often cut and pasted into your later round deals.

What Great Leaders Have That Good Leaders Don't

Inc Startups

The difference between good and great leadership can be expressed in a single word: loyalty. “My loyalty to Country and Team is beyond reproach.” ” --Navy SEAL Creed When you think of strong leaders, you probably think of people who are decisive, bold, confident, and fearless.

How To Discover Your Perfect Value Proposition

Duct Tape Marketing

This is part two of a three-part series on Finding Strategy. Each post includes a free template. So, I’ve been preaching this one pretty hard for a bunch of years and see no end in sight, because it’s just that important.

[Singapore] [Infographic] Top Childhood Dream Jobs: LinkedIn


When I was growing up, my childhood dream was to be a general. Yes, in the military, commanding soldiers in the fight against the enemy. My childhood hero was General George S. Patton, who once famously said, “No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country.

How to sell your startup


As a VC, I have a simple motive for investing: get out for way more than I paid. My fund only makes money when we sell our companies. So, it’s all about exits. You will often hear that the best companies are bought not sold. That’s b t. Do customers just show up and buy your product? Do key management hires just show up and ask for a job? Do investors just show up and offer to give you money?

The Real Cost of Bad Bosses

Inc Startups

Infographic: Crummy bosses aren't just a pain; they're bad for business. But how bad? We've found the stats--and it's not pretty

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7 Social Collaboration and Accountability Tools

Duct Tape Marketing

This post is one in a series of tips for making your small business run better and is sponsored by UPS. UPS is all about logistics — the logistics that makes your business run better and faster. One thing is for certain – it’s become much easier to work virtually these days.

Video and Yahoo

Mucker Lab

Sometimes, the quickest way to lose credibility is to tell people who are a lot smarter, accomplished and experienced than you are what they should be doing instead with their time. This is one of those times. But sometimes I just can’t help myself. Besides, I don’t have too much (credibility or fame or money)

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Why tech founders can’t hire in early salespeople

The Startup Toolkit

Spoiler: You can’t hire out sales because in the early days it’s about learning, not selling, and hired guns can’t bring back bad news. At their peak, Groupon sales reps made 1250 calls per week to close 4 sales[1]. Once Groupon knew the math of that equation, they could throw money at the problem and scale a sales team.

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5 Things Really Smart People Do

Inc Startups

Don't get in the way of your own learning. Here are five ways to step aside and continue to increase your smarts. Most people don't really think much about how they learn. Generally you assume learning comes naturally.

Spend Your Time Wisely: Conferences & Marriages

Babbling VC

It is not money that you need to be most careful of when running a start-up. It's time! No matter how much money you are able to raise (or how's-this-for-novel, earn) time is always working against you. Unfortunately, I recently made the mistake of wasting my own time. Don't misunderstand the term "wasting time" as being completely derogatory. Let me explain! I went to London to attend an event. Many people whom I know had mentioned that it was good and that they would be there again.