The No Excuses Culture

Steve Blank

Getting ready for our next semester’s class, I asked my Teaching Assistant why I hadn’t seen the posters for our new class around campus. Hearing the litany of excuses that followed –“It was raining.” (The The posters go inside the building.) “We We still have time.” (We

7 Steps To Finding Investors Aligned With Your Values

Startup Professionals Musings

One of the most common complaints I hear from new business owners and startups is about the pain and difficulty raising capital. The “venture capital” model is the only option they know, where they feel they get no mercy, giving up equity and control.

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Plex evolves the Analyst Summit

deal architect

I get invited to a number of user conferences. I must admit I often feel I am intruding there on customer time with vendor executives. I much prefer smaller analyst summits and Plex has honed such summits to an art

Understanding What’s Going on in #LATech

Both Sides of the Table

Upfront Ventures was created 20 years ago as one of the original VC funds in Los Angeles. Back then only 15% of our dollars were invested locally whereas today 50% of our dollars are invested in LA.

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.

Introducing NextView III and Our Focus on the Everyday Economy

View from Seed

What will the future hold? It’s a question every VC asks themselves and the entrepreneurs they invest in. Some conclude that certain sectors or technologies — like AI, blockchain, VR — will define the next decade.

Why Meritocracy Doesn’t Work

Grasshopper Herder

The anti-diversity manifesto written by a mystery Googler has put a spotlight on diversity efforts in the tech industry. Anti-diversity proponents say that meritocracy justifies the lack of diversity in tech. But the real question is: Does meritocracy work?

More Trending

I hate MVPs. So do your customers. Make it SLC instead.

A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks

Product teams have been repeating the MVP (Minimum Viable Product) mantra for a decade now, without re-evaluating whether it’s the right way to maximize learning while pleasing the customer. Well, it’s not the best system. It’s selfish and it hurts customers.

Scott Dorsey’s Attributes of Great SaaS Leaders

Feld Thoughts

A few weeks ago I was in Atlanta for Techstars Atlanta Demo Day and the Venture Atlanta Conference. I had a great time and it’s fun to see the vibrancy of the Atlanta startup community. My brother Daniel came with me and we had dinner with our cousin Kenny, who lives in Atlanta, so we got some nice, quiet, emotionally intimate family time. My favorite keynote at Venture Atlanta was from Scott Dorsey.

Student Startups: How To Launch Your Business While In College


When we look at successful startups we often focus on how the company has been successful with their end products or services but we often ignore what the founders went through and did to be successful.

Summer is Not Here Yet, But Holiday Marketing Time Is!

Rembrandt Communications

Christmas starts in October. Are you ready for holiday marketing? It’s that time of year when you prepare for graduations, Father’s Day and upcoming vacations. But there is something else you need to think about now… Christmas. That’s right.

Don’t let process distract you from finding the strategy

Steve Blank

When you’re up to your neck in alligators, don’t forget the goal was to drain the swamp. I love teaching because I learn something new every class. This time it was, “Don’t let process distract you from finding the strategy.”.

6 Lessons From Navy SEALs For New Venture Founders

Startup Professionals Musings

You have to be extra tough mentally to start a new business venture.

Hurricane Oracle

deal architect

Three presentations really stood out during the Oracle Cloud analyst day in NYC this week.

What Happens When Startups Turn from Their Innovation Stage to Operational Excellence?

Both Sides of the Table

Nearly every successful tech startup I’ve observed over the past 20 years has gone through a similar growth pattern: Innovate, systematize then scale operations.

Home Is Where the Innovation Is

View from Seed

If a man from 1987 stepped into a time machine and emerged in 2017, he would find the modern world fantastically different in many ways. Mobile computing means that he has the world’s information and entertainment at his literal fingertips.

Diversity is an Innovation Metric

Grasshopper Herder

Diversity is a hot topic, but what is not often discussed is the fact that diverse teams are more innovative. Read more about why diversity is an innovation metric. The post Diversity is an Innovation Metric appeared first on GrasshopperHerder.com.

7 Highlights from Lean Startup Week

Startup Lessons Learned

Guest Post by Misti Yang, Writer for Lean Startup Co. Editor’s Note: We wrapped up the 2017 Lean Startup Week in San Francisco just a few weeks ago, and we’re excited to share with you some of the best lessons learned in entrepreneurship and corporate innovation.

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Brittleness comes from “One Thing”

A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks

We’re tired of hearing how small software companies usually fail. The data show that the two most common causes are: (1) Product isn’t useful to enough people, and (2) Problems with the team.

Global EIR and Silicon Valley Bank Funding Match

Feld Thoughts

Today Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) announced their support for Global EIR , a cause for which I care deeply. As you may know, over breakfast in 2015 Jeff Bussgang and I launched Global EIR with the hope of advancing the startup visa effort on a local and state level after it stalled in Congress.

"Santa Claus is Coming to Town" Parody


Funny. humor privacy surveillance


5 Ways To Become A Well-Rounded Entrepreneur

YFS Magazine

Here are a few ways you can become more well-rounded and gain the knowledge you need to succeed in business. without racking up student loan debt. Lead leadership personal development success success habits

How companies strangle innovation – and how you can get it right

Steve Blank

A shorter version of this post first appeared on the HBR blog. — I just watched a very smart company try to manage innovation by hiring a global consulting firm to offload engineering from “distractions.”

5 Public Speaking Opportunities To Make Your Company

Startup Professionals Musings

As a mentor for aspiring and early-stage entrepreneurs, I talk to a fair number who may have a great vision and a strong engineering background, but have a negative interest in the role of public speaking in business.

Predictions, Redactions

deal architect

At their annual Gartner Symposium event in Orlando today, Peter Sondergaard predicted "AI will be a net job creator starting in 2020" To that, Jason Hiner at TechRepublic snarkily commented “Gartner's research chief couldn't have opened the company's flagship conference.

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The Case For & Against Cryptocurrencies (for those tired of all the noise)

Both Sides of the Table

In more than a decade of writing about the Internet and tech-enabled businesses I’ve learned that mobs don’t do nuance well.

The Blockchain: Ending Data Hacks

View from Seed

Remember when we were scared to buy things online?

Iteration = Time to Learn, Not Time to Build

Grasshopper Herder

Burn rates are meaningless in isolation. Iteration time is a critical aspect of starting a new business and we've noted a few misconceptions. The post Iteration = Time to Learn, Not Time to Build appeared first on GrasshopperHerder.com.

Beyond VC: Funding Options for Early-Stage Startups


It’s that time of year when we’re all staring down the end of the December, wondering where the months have gone. This is also the time when a lot of entrepreneurs wrestle with their plans for the next year, asking themselves: Where should I bet big? Are the growth targets right? How am I going to pay for all these. Read more >. The post Beyond VC: Funding Options for Early-Stage Startups appeared first on The Gust Blog

Avoiding the trap of low-knowledge, high-confidence theories

A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks

We’ve all laughed at detailed renderings of constellations overlaying a paltry set of stars that are in fact quasi-random.

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Go For Culture Add, Not Culture Fit

Feld Thoughts

I’ve come to despise the phrase “culture fit.” ” I don’t remember when I first heard it, but it was many years ago. Over time, it became woven into the world of entrepreneurship, as companies used it as a primary frame of reference for hiring.

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Surprising Tricks For Powerful Public Speaking


by Paul Geiger, author of “ Better Business Speech: Techniques, Tricks, and Shortcuts for Public Speaking at Work “ Speaking in front of a group in any business setting, whether it’s a formal presentation, a meeting or on a conference call, requires not only that you have a well-prepared message, but that you deliver it clearly. Any number of glitches can sabotage your delivery. It’s critical to recognize and address them before you find yourself in the spotlight. People who have mastered public speaking exude an “executive presence.” This person isn’t just well groomed or highly intelligent. More than that, this is someone who conveys clear thinking and confident body language. Someone with executive presence can keep an audience rapt through a prolonged pause, and can effortlessly ride the wave created by the “energy of attention” – that surge of energy that hits when all eyes land expectantly on them. The best tricks for projecting executive presence and communicating with confidence involve both the mental and the physical aspects of public speaking. Yes, speaking is a full-body experience, even when you’re talking on the phone! In fact, research on the importance of gestures shows they help in conveying a message to your audience. When you align your body language with your spoken thoughts, you communicate with more authority and authenticity. To effectively connecting with your audience means that you first connect to your message and to your body’s language of persuasion. Use these tricks to give power to your public speaking: 1. Find your bumper sticker. Distilling your message down to a bold, powerful phrase helps give you a firm grasp of what you want to convey. It also clarifies to your audience your unique perspective on the material you’re presenting. This requires asking yourself, “Why is this information important to me, and why should it be important to my listener?”. Your bumper sticker isn’t an elevator pitch; that’s much too long. It’s a very short sentence or phrase that sums it all up. For example, for this article, my bumper sticker might be “Breathing and Bumper Stickers.” Stating your bumper sticker at the outset guarantees a very strong start because it reveals what you need to say right up front. You can return to your bumper sticker through your speech to ground your audience and keep yourself on track. 2. Keep to the three-idea limit. Once you have your bumper sticker, your explanation should consist of three main reasons why you feel the way you do about the subject. Three ideas in any one sitting is pretty much everyone’s limit. Also, keeping the message concise will project a sense of forward momentum and will allow your listeners to recognize that you are in charge. 3. Own your breathing. The positive perceptions that good, deliberate breathing can convey range from having forward momentum to relaxation, comfort and confidence. Most individuals mistakenly think that their minds are holding them back. In reality, they’re reacting to the sensations caused by inefficient breathing for speech. Breathing is the key to projecting and enhancing your voice. For example, take a deep breath, then speak the following phrase, emphasizing the word got. “You’ve got to be kidding!” The word feels like it’s coming from your core. It makes your voice sound “fueled” and more resonant. Deliberate breathing also reduces the fight-or-flight response in those first nervous moments of public speaking when you tend to use shallow breathing. 4. Integrate gestures. Using natural gestures when you speak helps connect your body and your breath. Integrating gestures will noticeably slow down your pace. They also help ground you in your delivery and convey a higher level of commitment to the words you’re speaking. If you only have one “go to” gesture, watch speakers on TED Talks or other speakers to build your arsenal. Break down a section of your presentation sentence by sentence and discipline yourself to not keep repeating a gesture. Being able to change your gestures is also the key to changing the intonation of your speech. 5. Practice makes perfect. Performers know that each performance hour is equal to about four practice hours. Remember: Memorization is not as important as preparation. When practicing, stand up and speak your presentation out loud in front of a mirror. This helps you in utilizing your breath, integrating your gestures and interjecting your bumper sticker phrase with punch. Synchronizing your message, your breathing and your gestures will allow you to nail it! Paul Geiger helps business people communicate clearly, overcome their fear of public speaking and promote themselves and their ideas with effective speech techniques. He is currently a Senior Associate Instructor at New York Speech Coaching in New York City. Paul is also an accomplished actor, voiceover artist and on camera host. He is the author of “ Better Business Speech: Techniques, Tricks, and Shortcuts for Public Speaking at Work “ Professionalisms communication skills Paul Geiger presentation skills public speaking

How To Turn Your Vision Into Reality

YFS Magazine

Remember, only you are responsible for your life and career and mapping out a path to success and happiness begins with a clear vision. Plan mission statement personal development starting a business vision

Tesla Lost $700 Million Last Year, So Why Is Tesla’s Valuation $60 Billion?

Steve Blank

Automobile manufacturers shipped 88 million cars in 2016. Tesla shipped 76,000. Yet Wall Street values Tesla higher than any other U.S. car manufacturer. What explains this more than 1,000 to 1 discrepancy in valuation? The future.

7 Rules for Providing Exceptional Customer Service

Startup Professionals Musings

Customer service has traditionally been a support function to respond to customer initiated requests, meaning someone waits for the phone to ring or for a website support request form.

Plex and the Fourth Industrial Revolution

deal architect

I first wrote about the Fourth Industrial Revolution in the 2013 book The Digital Enterprise. A collaboration with the CEO of Software AG, most of the examples profiled there were Germany based. At the same time, companies like GE were. Cloud Computing, SaaS Enterprise Software (other vendors

Why 2017 Should be a Great Year to Raise Venture Capital

Both Sides of the Table

Recently Upfront Ventures published its outlook for the technology startup world and venture capital overall titled it “ WTF Happened to Winter ?” The conclusion of our report was that winter did come, but it was mild and short.