2018

Why Entrepreneurs Start Companies Rather Than Join Them

Steve Blank

If you asked me why I gravitated to startups rather than work in a large company I would have answered at various times: “I want to be my own boss.” “I I love risk.” “I I want flexible work hours.” “I I want to work on tough problems that matter.” “I I have a vision and want to see it through.” “I I saw a better opportunity and grabbed it. …”. It never crossed my mind that I gravitated to startups because I thought more of my abilities than the value a large company would put on them.

5 Misconceptions You Should Know About Before Launching Your Tech Startup

ReadWriteStart

With multibillion-dollar tech companies and growth startups making headlines left and right, it’s natural to want to get a piece of the action. Ant Financial, for example, recently closed a ridiculous Series C funding round of $14 billion — one of the largest VC funding rounds in history. The China-based fintech company pushed its value to $150 billion with the latest […]. The post 5 Misconceptions You Should Know About Before Launching Your Tech Startup appeared first on ReadWrite.

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Selling your business? Find the emotional buyer

Berkonomics

This is one of my favorite insights, since I lived this one in a positive exit from my computer business. Types of business buyers expanded. Most people will tell you that there are two kinds of eventual buyers for your business: financial and strategic. A financial buyer will analyze your numbers, past and forecast, to the n’th degree, and calculate the price based upon the result, after carefully comparing your numbers with those of others in the same and similar industries.

7 Must-Dos Before Starting a Company

Up and Running

There are so many things I wish I’d known before I started my first company. Hindsight’s 20/20, but I wish someone had sat me down before I wasted a lot of time and money on a company I wasn’t ready to start. While the project quickly fizzled out, it did give me some valuable insights into all the groundwork that needs to be done before getting started which helped me succeed in my second endeavor.

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.

Reasons Not To Make Decisions Today On Gut Instincts

Startup Professionals Musings

I still know some entrepreneurs who boast of simply following their gut instincts, rather than listen to anyone or any data, to make strategic decisions. We’ve all worked with autocratic leaders in large companies who seem to thrive in this mode. They all forget or ignore the high-profile failures that have resulted from some single-handed business decisions.

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What Top Performers at Startups and Large Organizations Have in Common…More Than You Would Think

Startup Lessons Learned

While doing research for his extraordinary new book, Great at Work , Morten Hansen studied more than 5,000 managers and employees in corporate America to identify the key practices that explain why some perform better than others. What he and his research team discovered is that seven key practices explain a whopping 66% of the difference in performance among people in the sample.

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Enterprise Software Platforms have underperformed

deal architect

My first exposure to a software “platform” was back in 1983 when McCormack and Dodge introduced Millennium and started to migrate all its modules to have the same look and feel, extensibility, queries and other features. I was part of. Cloud Computing, SaaS Enterprise Software (IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP

Listen To the Haters So You Can Prove Them Wrong

YoungUpstarts

by Judith Nowlin, Chief Growth Officer for Babyscripts. If I had a dime for every time someone told me “you can’t do this” on my entrepreneurial journey, I would be swimming in a pool of coins like Scrooge McDuck from DuckTales, my favorite after school cartoon from the late 80’s. I had every reason to listen to the naysayers. I never paid my dues at a corporate job. I didn’t register for a single business class in college. I had nothing to go on but a gut feeling that I was wired to do this.

Framework Benchmarks Round 16

TechEmpower

Now in its fifth year, the TechEmpower Framework Benchmarks project has another official round of results available. Round 16 is a real treat for anyone who likes big numbers. Not just in measured results per second (several metric crap tonne), but in number of tests measured (~1830), number of framework permutations tested (~464), number of languages included (26), and total execution time of the test suite (67 hours, or 241 billion microseconds to make that sound properly enormous).

Should you include a Series A investor in your seed round?

Version One Ventures

One of the most important decisions for a founder of an early stage company is deciding who should be on the cap table. We’ve written about doing your due diligence on investors and funds to make sure you find the right partners for the journey. Lately, we have seen more founders grappling with the question of whether to include a Series A investor in their seed round.

In Defense of Experiment Velocity

Grasshopper Herder

As corporate innovation gets more trendy, businesses are keen to put clear KPIs in place to measure the effectiveness of innovation teams and hold them accountable for making progress. There is a rush to replace traditional KPIs with more actionable metrics such as experiment velocity. The post In Defense of Experiment Velocity appeared first on GrasshopperHerder.com. Corporate Startup Teamwork & Leadership Experiment Design & Template Metrics & Innovation Accounting

How Minnesota Became the Land of 10,000 Startups

ReadWriteStart

Minnesota is no stranger to big business. It’s home to such names as Target, Best Buy, General Mills, and Ecolab — all of which have made their homes in Minnesota for generations and have become a source of pride. But a new industry — technology — is taking Minnesota by storm, boosting the local economy […]. The post How Minnesota Became the Land of 10,000 Startups appeared first on ReadWrite. Startups minnesota startups twin cities

Is the Lean Startup Dead?

Steve Blank

A version of this article first appeared in the Harvard Business Review. Reading the NY Times article “ Jeffrey Katzenberg Raises $1 Billion for Short-Form Video Venture, ” I realized it was time for a new startup heuristic: the amount of customer discovery and product-market fit you need to find is inversely proportional to the amount and availability of risk capital.

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The Willingness to Learn and the Pressure to Be Confident

This is going to be BIG.

Being a founder means showing confidence. It’s nearly impossible to fundraise, hire, or lead without it—but at the same time, founders don’t know everything. There are many things they’re going to be doing for the first time that are ridiculous to expect them to know how to do right off the bat. Just because you start a company doesn’t necessarily mean you’re automatically a good manager, a good recruiter, or good at PR.

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Keep A Real Job Until Your New Venture Shows Traction

Startup Professionals Musings

One of the big decisions every aspiring entrepreneur has to make is when to quit your current job to devote yourself fulltime to your new startup. Some of you are so committed to the new passion that you quit your day job early, and dedicate all your time and resources to the new venture. Others wait until the new business starts to generate revenue and profit before making the move. Which is right?

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Is Your SaaS Go-to-Market Strategy Tsunami-Proof?

ConversionXL

Right now, there is a tsunami that’s coming to wipe out thousands of SaaS companies. In this article, I’ll walk you through the three tidal waves coming ashore and show you how to avoid their potentially disastrous consequences. The Three Tidal Waves Coming for Your SaaS Business. Tidal Wave 1: Buyers now prefer to self-educate. This isn’t limited to the B2C space.

Designing the Ideal Board Meeting – Before the Meeting

VC Adventure

All good board meetings start well before the meeting itself, so let’s start there for this series on board meetings. Timing – how frequently should you meet? Most boards plan meetings a year at a time. That makes sense given busy schedules, but leads to the question of when and how often should a board meet. As a good rule of thumb, most startup boards meet quarterly (in fact, most boards of any kind meet about this frequently).

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Oracles streak of missed opportunities

deal architect

No, this does not have much to do with Oracle’s recent quarter. Nor is it about intrigue and gossip so many analysts use to compare Oracle to the Trumpian White House. It has more to do with two decades of. Enterprise Software (IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP

How Nils Grossberg Fueled His Mission Of Community Service Through Dagcoin

YoungUpstarts

Dagcoin is a new name in the cryptocurrency sector. Developed by the software company Dagcoin which is founded by Nils Grossberg , Dagcoin cryptocurrency is entirely based on Nils’ vision to serve the community. According to Nils Grossberg , cryptocurrency must not be considered merely as an investment option. Cryptocurrency is not something that you buy and hold, waiting for its price to rise and selling it thereafter.

Remind Me Why I Love You? (Why “In Person” is Everything)

Both Sides of the Table

You had an amazing meeting with an investor. Your product demo crushed. The dialog was great. They told you how much they loved your space. The meeting was only supposed to last 45 minutes but you ran 90. The assistant tried to end the meeting twice but was shoooshed away. You race back to the office to tell everybody how well it went and you wait for the follow-up call to have a partners’ meeting or talk about term sheets or at least dip into due diligence. One week. Two weeks. Oh, fork.

Techpreneur and Developer Behind World’s First AI-Powered Design Tool for Presentations

Hearpreneur

Artificial intelligence is a game changer and will continue to influence how we do things. San Francisco-based Beautiful.AI , a first-of-its-kind tool that applies artificial intelligence to automate the design process, has just released new product features to help SMBs create modern, clean and professionally designed slides in minutes. New features include: animation, audio, auto-advance, Easy come, easy go (back) and Revision History.

Strategy of Innovation vs. Innovation Strategy

Grasshopper Herder

Whether the companies are private or public, shareholders are demanding a vision for the future. How will these old, inflexible companies survive in industries facing. The post Strategy of Innovation vs. Innovation Strategy appeared first on GrasshopperHerder.com. Corporate Startup Innovation Ecosystem Lean Startup Innovation Innovation Accounting Metrics Strategy

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Scaling from maker to manager

Version One Ventures

A few weeks ago I shared some important leadership lessons from Stewart Butterfield , including investing in your own growth to make sure that the founder scales as fast as the company. Growing with your start-up can be a very tough undertaking for a founder. It requires reinventing yourself dramatically in very little time. When you start your company, you will be a “maker” for most of your days, wearing a thousand hats and tackling whatever needs to be tackled.

The Difference Between Innovators and Entrepreneurs

Steve Blank

I just received a thank-you note from a student who attended a fireside chat I held at the ranch. Something I said seemed to inspire her: “I always thought you needed to be innovative, original to be an entrepreneur. Now I have a different perception. Entrepreneurs are the ones that make things happen. That) takes focus, diligence, discipline, flexibility and perseverance. They can take an innovative idea and make it impactful.

The Moments that Define Investor and Founder Relationships

This is going to be BIG.

In almost every single investment I’ve ever made, I can think of a singular moment in my relationship with a founder that, no matter what came before or what might come after, defined our relationship. Often times, it came in a very vulnerable and down moment for the founder—perhaps they just lost out on a big opportunity, had someone from the team leave, or they’re running low on capital before sales have come around.

7 Tips To Test Your Idea As A Part-Time Entrepreneur

Startup Professionals Musings

Many experts will tell you that you can’t succeed as a part-time entrepreneur, as any good startup will require a 100 percent commitment of your time and energy. But not many of us have enough savings to live for a year or more without a salary, fund the startup, and still feed the family. Thus I often recommend that entrepreneurs keep their day job until the startup is producing revenue.

Framework Benchmarks Round 15

TechEmpower

What better day than Valentine's Day to renew one's vow to create high-performance web applications? Respecting the time of your users is a sure way to earn their love and loyalty. And the perfect start is selecting high-performance platforms and frameworks. Results from Round 15 of the Web Framework Benchmarks project are now available! Round 15 includes results from the physical hardware environment at Server Central.

An Interview with Author and Lean Startup Conference 2018 Speaker Giff Constable

Startup Lessons Learned

One of the speakers at this year’s Lean Startup Conference , which kicks off on November 14th in Las Vegas, is Giff Constable. Giff is a repeat entrepreneur whose companies include Neo, a product innovation consulting firm where he worked with organizations like the Mayo Clinic and Time, Inc. before it was acquired by Pivotal.

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AI in the enterprise: a reality check with John Sumser

deal architect

John Sumser, aka HR Examiner, has been focusing on "intelligent technology" including AI and machine learning as it morphs the HCM function. Trends in that function are a forerunner of what we will see across the enterprise. I recently caught. Analytics, Big Data Cloud Computing, SaaS

From Invoices To Customer Service: 5 Ways To Make Your Startup Look More Professional

YoungUpstarts

It’s easy to come up with an idea for a startup business. What’s not so easy is executing on this idea. And even after you get the business up and running, you’ll find that you have to continually prove yourself in the marketplace. And one of the biggest questions you’ll face is, how can you appear big and professional when you’re small and inexperienced? There’s nothing wrong with being small. In fact, there are a number of benefits that come with this distinction.

Why you should never have a data room — the most counter-intuitive fund-raising advice you’ll ever…

Both Sides of the Table

Why you should never have a data room?—?the the most counter-intuitive fund-raising advice you’ll ever get I’m about to offer you some fund-raising advice that flies directly in the face of what most conventional wisdom will tell you. If you stick through to the end I’m guessing I can persuade most of you. Let me start out with my premise: “Data rooms are where fund-raising processes go to die.” I have to back up and give you more context.

Five Strategies for Slaying the Data Puking Dragon.

Occam's Razor

If you bring sharp focus, you increase chances of attention being diverted to the right places. That in turn will drive smarter questions, which will elicit thoughtful answers from available data. The result will be data-influenced actions that result in a long-term strategic advantage. It all starts with sharp focus. Consider these three scenarios…. Your boss is waiting for you to present results on quarterly marketing performance, and you have 75 dense slides.

Reverse Mentoring: What Millennials Can Teach Executives and Senior Managers

Grasshopper Herder

Reverse mentoring involves the pairing of employees from different generations who can offer unique experiences and perspectives to their partner. The post Reverse Mentoring: What Millennials Can Teach Executives and Senior Managers appeared first on GrasshopperHerder.com. Corporate Startup Teamwork & Leadership Innovation Mentor

Why not share your liquidity success with those who got you there?

Berkonomics

So, you are close to selling your company, and counting the profits a bit early. Well, that’s human nature. Here’s a thought for you to recall later when and if the event happens. Remember those who got you there. And for tax reasons, remember them before the closing of the deal, so that you can do so by sharing a bit of your proceeds without paying personal income tax upon those amounts. Formal option plans for some.

How to Keep Your Job As Your Company Grows

Steve Blank

I know a change is going to come. If you’re an early employee at a startup, one day you will wake up to find that what you worked on 24/7 for the last year is no longer the most important thing – you’re no longer the most important employee, and process, meetings, paperwork and managers and bosses have shown up. Most painfully, you’ll learn that your role in the company has to change. I’ve seen these transitions as an investor, board member and CEO.

How repositioning a product allows you to 8x its price

A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks

Pricing is often more about positioning and perceived value than it is about cost-analysis and unconvincing ROI calculators. As a result, repositioning can allow you to charge many times more than you think. Here’s how. You’ve created a marketing tool called DoubleDown that doubles the cost-efficiency of AdWords campaigns.