Is it Time for You to Earn or to Learn?

Both Sides of the Table

This is part of my Startup Advice series. I often have career discussions with entrepreneurs – both young and more mature – whether they should join company “X&# or not. I usually pull the old trick of answering a question with a question.

Your SOLUTION is Not My PROBLEM - Master of 500 Hats

500 Hats

QUICK !!! i'm a VC. you're an entrepreneur. we're in an elevator, and you've got 30 seconds. ok, if your pitch began with "we're building an X for Y", then guess what YOU FAIL. yeah, i know in an earlier presentation i said "we're X

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The Elves Leave Middle Earth – Sodas Are No Longer Free

Steve Blank

Sometimes financial decisions that are seemingly rational on their face can precipitate mass exodus of your best engineers. We Hired the CFO. Last week as a favor to a friend, I sat in on a board meeting of a fairly successful 3½ year-old startup.

Startup Therapy: Ten questions to ask yourself every month

A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks

In the last post I beat you to death about ditching your business plan but failed to provide an alternative.

12 Facts About Entrepreneurs That Will Likely Surprise You


I have a picture in my head of what the average entrepreneur is. like. I’d guess pretty young (think Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc.) living the. red beans and rice lifestyle and working 80+ hours a week and sleeping under. their desk. On some parts, I’m probably right — but on many, I’m flat-out.

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100+ Web Start-up Business Ideas

Steve Poland

With this recession and unemployment so high, there's likely a lot of people looking to start their own business. Hopefully one of these ideas of mine can provide some inspiration to just one of those people

Proof that speeding up websites improves online business.

Watching Websites

conversion rate and order value Do faster web pages mean better business? Definitely. We've seen hard evidence from major web operators like Shopzilla, Google, and Microsoft. But what about other websites? How big an impact does

The Best Cover Letter I Ever Received

David Silverman

In my last post I talked about how to make your résumé more likely to catch the attention of a hiring manager. As a follow up, I’d like to discuss cover letters. Here’s my basic philosophy on them: don’t bother. That’s because the cover letters I see usually fall into one of three categories: The recap: The résumé in prose form. It’s redundant, harder to read than the résumé, and provides no additional insight.

Most Startups Should be Deer Hunters

Both Sides of the Table

This post is part of my series “ Startup Lessons &#. Elephants, Deer and Rabbits – Some thoughts on start-up segmentation. Nearly all of the mistakes I made at my first company I fixed by the time of my second company.

Startup Metrics for Pirates: SeedCamp 2009 (Sept 2009, London.

500 Hats

Same old shit, just a different day (+ 1-2 new slides, not much tho): Startup Metrics for Pirates (SeedCamp, Sept 2009) View more documents from Dave McClure

The “Good” Student « Steve Blank

Steve Blank

I saw an article in the New York Times about Google's hiring practices that reminded me of the differences between great big successful technology companies and small scrappy startups. Marissa Mayer, Google on hiring. I love Google

Cracking The Code: Building Your SaaS Sales Compensation Plan

Cracking the Code

Building Your SaaS Sales Compensation Plan. Compensating the sales force is a difficult task and the key is usually to keep things simple, so that each sales rep knows what he needs to optimize to make more money at the

Don't write a business plan

A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks

"You need a business plan" is the mantra of MBA types. As they say , businesses don't plan to fail, they fail to plan! Who could argue with such a clever turn of phrase? Let's do some quotes: "Without a business plan, how will you know whether you can make a profit?" ( source ). "A

Minimum Viable Product: a guide

Startup Lessons Learned

One of the most important lean startup techniques is called the minimum viable product. Its power is matched only by the amount of confusion that it causes, because it's actually quite hard to do. It certainly took me many years to make

Building Startup Sales Teams: Tips For Founders


First off, just to be clear, I’ve never been a sales person. I’ve never even. played a sales person on TV. All the points below have been pulled from startup. sales teams that I think work pretty well (including the team at my marketing software startup). Building Startup Sales Teams.

Milestones to Startup Success

Startup Marketing Blog

Milestones to Startup Success. Update added to end of post. When your startup accepts outside money (such as venture capital), you are obligated to focus on maximizing long-term shareholder value. For most startups this is directly

» 100+ Web Start-up Business Ideas - By Steve Poland - web startup.

Steve Poland

100+ Web Start-up Business Ideas. By Steve Poland • April 29, 2009. With this recession and unemployment so high, there's likely a lot of people looking to start their own business. Hopefully one of these ideas of mine can provide some

Spencer Fry — What's A Non-Programmer To Do?

Spencer Fry


How to Write a Résumé That Doesn't Annoy People

David Silverman

A Google search for “résumé” results in over 178,000,000 hits, whereas “possum” nets only 5,340,000. Thus the documentation of work experience is 33 and 1/3 more popular than arboreal marsupials. But what does this really tell us? Not much, but neither does the average résumé that comes across my desk. Some excerpts: “Administered resolution of issues and implementation of ideas surfaced by individuals.”

What Makes an Entrepreneur? Four Letters: JFDI

Both Sides of the Table

This is part of my Startup Advice series. I had a picture in the office of my first company with the logo above and the capital letters JFDI. (In

How to Pitch a VC (aka Startup Viagra: How to Give a VC a Hard-On.

500 Hats

[UPDATED] video & slides from my talk at Presentation Camp SF: Dave McClure - How to Pitch a VC (aka Startup Viagra: How to Give a VC a Hard-On) from Chris Hutchins on Vimeo How to Pitch a VC (aka Startup Viagra: How to Give a VC a

Epitaph for an Entrepreneur « Steve Blank

Steve Blank

Raising our kids and being an entrepreneur wasn't easy. Being in a startup and having a successful relationship and family was very hard work. But entrepreneurs can be great spouses and parents. This post is not advice, nor is it

Missionary CEOs v. Mercenary CEOs

Thinking About Thinking

I have always had an affinity for a particular “type” of CEO. I never really bothered to try and define this “type” – I just knew it when I saw it. Until last year, in an MFG.com board meeting, Jeff Bezos articulated the framework that captured my sentiments better than I could myself.

Brand Measurement: Analytics & Metrics for Branding Campaigns

Occam's Razor

One of the ultimate excuses for not measuring impact of Marketing campaigns is: "Oh, that's just a branding campaign." " Admit it, you've heard it. I suspect you've even used it liberally!! : ).

Embrace technical debt

Startup Lessons Learned

Financial debt plays an important and positive role in our economy under normal conditions. Yet, especially in times like these, it's easy to rail against the badness of being in debt; it's a very human feeling. Remember Hamlet

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My story and support for the Founders Visa

K9 Ventures

In the past few days there has been a lot of discussion on the topic of a Founders Visa. The credit for starting this fire goes to Paul Graham from Y Combinator , who wrote a great essay titled The Founders Visa in April 2009. Brad Feld (Brad is an advisor to K9) from the Foundry Group was instrumental in keeping the flame alive by posting about it on his blog ( The Founders Visa Movement ) in September.

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Founders Make the Best Startup Marketing Leaders

Startup Marketing Blog

Founders Make the Best Startup Marketing Leaders. CEOs often ask for my advice on the ideal candidate profile to lead their ongoing customer growth efforts once we've completed the key steps to unlocking growth

Systematic Creativity: Four Templates for New Product Ideation, Innovation and Invention

Creative Distraction

Is brainstorming the best way to be creative? Doubt it.

First Co-Founders MeetUp: Lessons Learned

FairSoftware's Blog

70 people showed up at the Hacker Dojo in Mountain View for the first Co-Founders MeetUp. It was pretty clear that everyone enjoyed the event and was quite happy to have been part of the first of what is shaping to become a long series of co-founders meetups (in Silicon Valley and elsewhere). Basic Format. 10 founders had 3 minutes (and 3 slides) each to pitch their company and co-founder opening to the audience.

4 Tips for Writing Better Email

David Silverman

After all my posting about what makes for bad business writing , what is my advice for writing well? I’m glad you asked — because that’s the subject of the list below. Call to action. The number one thing that separates a memo, report, or PowerPoint from A Tale of Two Cities is a call to action. A novel is to be enjoyed.

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How to (re) Approach People (Advice on the Eve of LeWeb)

Both Sides of the Table

Business Etiquette Tips for dealing with VCs and Corporates at Conferences. This is part of my ongoing series with Startup Advice. With the LeWeb conference about to start in Paris I thought the timing of this post would be appropriate.

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Great Entrepreneurs are PASSIONATE about Customers & Products, NOT.

500 Hats

yeah, that's a super long-ass headline, i know. it's a personal soundbite from a Stanford BASES E-Challenge panel discussion i participated in earlier tonight over on campus. probably plenty of other people have said something similar

Relentless – The Difference Between Motion And Action

Steve Blank

Never mistake motion for action. Ernest Hemingway. One of an entrepreneur's greatest strengths is their relentless pursuit of a goal. But few realize how this differs from most of the population. Watching others try to solve problems

Burnham's Beat: 2008 Software M&A: Year in Review

Burnham's Beat

RSS/ATOM Feed Add This Feed To Bloglines Add to My Yahoo! Add to Netvibes. Subscribe Via Email. 2008 Public Internet M&A: Year In Review | Main | 2008 Software Stocks: An Oveview Plus The 10 Best and 10 Worst

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