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

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.

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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.

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.

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.

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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.

Designing the Ideal Board Meeting – The Board Meeting

VC Adventure

This is the 4th post in my Designing the Ideal Board Meetin g series. I hope this series so far has helped you think a bit differently about how you approach the lead-up to your board meetings.

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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.

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.

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.

Innovation at Speed – when you have 2 million employees

Steve Blank

Success no longer goes to the country that develops a new fighting technology first, but rather to the one that better integrates it and adapts its way of fighting… Our response will be to prioritize speed of delivery, continuous adaptation, and frequent modular upgrades.

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.

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.

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

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.

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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

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.

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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

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.

Do You Need a Business Plan? Scientific Research Says Yes

Up and Running

Should you spend some time developing a plan for your business, or just dive in and start, figuring things out as you go? There has been plenty of debate on this topic, but no one has pulled together the scientific evidence to determine if planning is worthwhile—until now.

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.

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.

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.

How to Improve Your Odds of Getting to Yes with a VC — “Land and Expand”

Both Sides of the Table

If you’ve read any of my ongoing series on fund raising from venture capitalist (episode 1?— ?controlling controlling your psychology ) you no doubt have heard me say that raising capital is a sales & marketing process.

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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8 Smart Tips To Soliciting Friends And Family Funding

Startup Professionals Musings

It’s great to start with a big dream as you contemplate a new business, but finding the money you need takes more than dreaming. As an advisor to young entrepreneurs, I find that many are a bit naïve about how the investment process really works.

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.

A Great Example of A Professor’s Involvement With A Startup Community

Feld Thoughts

I received a Silicon Flatirons email from Phil Weiser this morning in his role as Silicon Flatirons Founder and Executive Director. My partners and I, especially Jason Mendelson, have been very involved with Silicon Flatirons over the past decade. I have a chapter in Startup Communities that uses CU Boulder – and specifically Silicon Flatirons – as an example of a much better way than the traditional approach (circa 2012) for a university to engage with the startup community.

Tech Marathoners: Rob Enslin

deal architect

This continues a 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 has. Tech Marathoners series

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

How to Create a Successful Crowdfunding Video for Your Startup

Up and Running

Crowdfunding can be an effective way for startups and entrepreneurs to raise funds and to test the market for new ideas, but there are a few secrets to organizing a successful crowdfunding campaign that every business should know.

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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 Innovation Stack: How to make innovation programs deliver more than coffee cups

Steve Blank

Is your organization full of Hackathons, Shark Tanks, Incubators and other innovation programs, but none have changed the trajectory of your company/agency? Over the last few years Pete Newell and I have helped build innovation programs inside large companies, across the U.S.

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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How Many Investors Should You Talk to in a VC Fund Raise? And How Do You Prioritize?

Both Sides of the Table

This is part of a series of advice for founders who need to raise money from venture capitalists. The first in the series is “ Lemons Ripen Early ,” which also has a link to other posts.

Nobody Announces Their Seed Round Anymore and That’s a Mistake

View from Seed

Five years ago, as the mania around seed fundings was accelerating, Founders were very eager to announce their seed round to the world. It marks the beginning of the journey with hard work & the real business success to be accomplished ahead, but a milestone nonetheless.

7 Attributes Of People With An Entrepreneur Mindset

Startup Professionals Musings

As an angel investor and a mentor to aspiring entrepreneurs, I’m always disappointed to see founders who seem stressed out most of the time, and more annoyed than energized by the abundance of challenges they see in building their startup.