2019

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Startup Stock Options – Why A Good Deal Has Gone Bad

Steve Blank

A version of this article first appeared in the Harvard Business Review. VC’s have just changed the ~50-year old social contract with startup employees. In doing so they may have removed one of the key incentives that made startups different from working in a large company. For most startup employee’s startup stock options are now a bad deal. Here’s why.

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3 Ways To Ensure Your Start-Up Takes Off

YoungUpstarts

We all know that starting a business is hard work, and growing it is even harder. Every step has to be thoroughly thought out, because if you miss even one, it could mean everything. New businesses are started all the time, but only a few of them last beyond five years. Now that the internet has fostered such an accessible and easy way for people to connect and run their own start-ups, competition has skyrocketed.

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Why Companies and Government Do “Innovation Theater” Instead of Actual Innovation

Steve Blank

This article previously appeared in the Harvard Business Review. The type of disruption most companies and government agencies are facing is a once-in-every-few-centuries event. Disruption today is more than just changes in technology, or channel, or competitors – it’s all of them, all at once. And these forces are completely reshaping both commerce and defense.

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10 Financing Alternatives For Your Next New Venture

Startup Professionals Musings

The “valley of death” is a common term in the startup world, referring to the difficulty of covering the negative cash flow in the early stages of a startup, before their new product or service is bringing in revenue from real customers. I often get asked about the real alternatives to bridge this valley, and there are some good ones I will outline here.

Finance 320
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Building Healthy Innovation Ecosystems for Your Projects

Speaker: Nick Noreña, Innovation Coach and Advisor, Kromatic

Every startup and innovation project exists within an ecosystem that either helps or hurts that project. As innovation managers, we need to keep a pulse of that ecosystem and make sure we're helping those innovation projects we're managing every step of the way. 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

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28 Entrepreneurs Explain How They Came Up With Their Business Names

Hearpreneur

The idea of exactly what your business is going to usually come first. Secondly, most often, is giving a title to your idea. What exactly is going to be the name of your business? Some people turn to their childhood for inspiration or a beloved family pet. It could be a made up word you dream of one night and feel it has the right ring to it. Even still there are some people who study foreign words for the perfect meaning behind their chosen business.

Naming 149
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The “Curse of Knowledge”: How Expertise Can Hurt Marketing

ConversionXL

Marketers are intimately familiar with their industry and product. But that familiarity isn’t always an advantage. Often, they unknowingly overwhelm or confuse the same visitors they seek to persuade (with long, jargon-filled product pages, for example). Your knowledge, in other words, can become a curse—a barrier that keeps you from communicating what customers care about in language they understand.

More Trending

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Lessons from a Diverse Venture Capital Portfolio

This is going to be BIG.

Brooklyn Bridge Ventures , the pre-seed and seed stage VC fund I run in NYC, has invested in 64 companies in the last six and a half years. Twenty-five of them have at least one female co-founder. Fifteen had co-founders over 40. Five have LGBTQ+ founders. Three teams have African-American founders. Three of the founding teams are married couples. All were backed based on the sole criteria that they had the potential to make my limited partners a lot of money.

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How Insurtech Startups Reinvented Insurance Companies

The Startup Magazine

It’s better to have it and not need it, rather than need it and get caught without it. Insurance is one of the oldest financial businesses, but it’s not what it used to be. Like other sectors such as banking and law firms, insurers are receiving a makeover. The traditional methods now include accuracy, personalization, and efficiency like never before.

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Learn from People, Not Classes

Reid Hoffman

CAMBRIDGE I / ALEJANDRO GUIJARRO. Over the past two decades the internet has reshaped our daily lives and the world of business—so it’s not surprising that it’s transforming how companies develop talent. The emergence of a “personal learning cloud” makes it convenient and affordable for people to access new ways to learn. And that’s a necessity: To keep pace with change and avoid disruption, business leaders must become what we call infinite learners—those who not only enjoy learning but feel a

Japan 78
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10 Basic Responsibilities of Board Members

Board Effect

All organizations are unique in their own right. Even so, every board of directors has some of the same basic fundamental responsibilities. Organizations may operate for profit or charity. They may be membership-based or non-membership based. Organizations may be new or long-standing. They may have a strong financial base or they may be a struggling start-up.

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10 Things to Consider About Your Website in 2019

Duct Tape Marketing

10 Things to Consider About Your Website in 2019 written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing. Marketing Podcast with John Jantsch on the 10 Things to Consider About Your Website in 2019. You’ve started a business and created your website. But that doesn’t mean your work here is done. Behaviors and trends change, your needs shift, and your website must continue to evolve so that it’s meeting your goals.

Design 78
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What’s the Deal with Seed Funds Waiting for Traction?

View from Seed

I sent a tweet out last week that elicited quite a few responses from both founders and investors: seed funds that don’t invest pre-traction =. — Rob Go (@robgo) November 4, 2019. I could hear the internet nodding in violent agreement. I thought I’d share a few additional thoughts on what may be driving this. First – there are a lot of seed investors out there that don’t actually want to invest in seed.

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Why The Government is Isn’t a Bigger Version of a Startup

Steve Blank

This article previously appeared in War On The Rocks. There was a time when much of U.S. academia was engaged in weapon systems research for the Defense Department and intelligence community. Some of the best and brightest wanted to work for defense contractors or corporate research and development labs. And the best startups spun out of Stanford were building components for weapon systems.

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10 Outside Staffing Quotes True Entrepreneurs Avoid

Startup Professionals Musings

These days, it is almost impossible to find a small business where everything is done at the home location, by full-time employees. We are in the age of outsourcing, by any of many popular names, including subcontracting, freelancing, and virtual assistants. These approaches allow your startup to grow more rapidly, save costs, but costly mistakes can lead to business failure.

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28 Entrepreneurs Share Their Tips and Tricks of Staying Motivated

Hearpreneur

When the going gets rough in business, you’ll need motivation to keep moving. Motivating yourself can be hard but practicing consistent habits such as reminding yourself of why you started can be a major boost. A network of friends and partners can also serve as a great assurance and reminder that you’re not walking. Here’s the various ways entrepreneurs and business owners stay motivated in business. #1- Celebrating the little wins.

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How to Estimate a “Net Value” for Your A/B Testing Program

ConversionXL

In my experience, I find that teams and organizations report many winning A/B tests with high uplifts, but somehow they don’t seem to bring those uplifts in reality. How come? Five types of A/B test “wins” can exaggerate discovered uplifts. I use the acronym “de FACTO”: F alse winners; A nti-winners; C hanging winners; T ricked winners; O verestimated winners.

.Net 133
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How To Take Your Handyman Career To The Next Level

YoungUpstarts

Being a handy-man offers a lot of mobility and freedom. You develop relationships with all your clients and become known in the neighborhood as someone trustworthy. Plus, you know how to fix everything in your own house. This is a huge benefit if you’re trying to do remodeling. No outside costs or discounted costs from co-workers who know parts of the craft that you don’t.

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Every Lie We Tell Incurs a Debt to the Truth

Feld Thoughts

I watched HBO’s Chernobyl the past few nights. I finished it last night, took a deep breath, and said out loud to myself, “that was spectacular.” One of the final quotes that stuck with me is the title of this post. The full quote is “Every lie we tell incurs a debt to the truth. Sooner or later that debt is paid.” Read it again. “Every lie we tell incurs a debt to the truth.

Russia 181
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8 Signs you can finally start your own business

The Startup Magazine

Most of us find it hard to keep up with workplace rules and regulations. We want to work our way, that is working flexibly and with complete control. The 2016 Deloitte Millennial Survey found that 63 percent of millennials want to move away from traditional employment and start their own business. Source: Unsplash. When you are young, it is easy to dream of being your own boss and going it alone.

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How might the streaming wars escalate?

VC Cafe

With its $135 billion market cap, Netflix has approximately 159 million subscribers globally and the best streaming tech. Today, content is king and Netflix has a big chunk of it (see our post on Entertainment as the new Oil ). But for the first time in 12 years, Netflix is also facing real competition. Disney+ successful debut with 10 million subscribers on day one showed the market that it’s possible to compete, if you have the content arsenal, and with the Disney catalog, Marvel, Star W

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The Importance of Diversity on Boards

Board Effect

For a long time, boardrooms were commonly jovial, affable places where board directors were like-minded and knew each other well. An agreeable atmosphere is certainly nice, but it can cause some unintentional problems. Where everyone usually agrees, everyone tends to continue to agree and the group becomes exceedingly insular. Tight-knit boards often feel like they have an obligation to go along with the CEO or the executive director for various reasons.

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The Benefits of Including Video on Your Website

Duct Tape Marketing

The Benefits of Including Video on Your Website written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing. Marketing Podcast with John Jantsch on Including Video on Your Website. Video has become a foundational element in marketing. Why is video so important? It’s how people want to consume content. They want the ability to listen without reading, to be hands-free, and to just have the content coming at them.

Video 77
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Seven years into Fund I: charting the return multiples

Version One Ventures

We raised our first fund in summer 2012. It was a $15m early-stage fund that we invested in 20 portfolio companies over the course of two and a half years. We’re now seven years in and the portfolio is maturing. I plotted the return multiples (as of June 30, 2019) for all 20 portfolio companies in the chart below. The return multiple for a company is calculated by dividing the current net asset value (unrealized and realized dollar amounts) by the invested capital in that company (often invested

Portfolio 167
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How to Stop Playing “Target Market Roulette”: A new addition to the Lean toolset

Steve Blank

Modern entrepreneurship began at the turn of this century with the observation that startups aren’t smaller versions of large companies – large companies at their core execute known business models, while startups search for scalable business models. Lean Methodology consists of three tools designed for entrepreneurs building new ventures: The Business Model Canvas – to write down all the hypotheses about a new business; Customer Development – a process for testing those hypotheses outside the b

Lean 334
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10 Ways Owners Often Jeopardize Their Business Growth

Startup Professionals Musings

When you are starting a new business, every resource is precious, including time, funding, and people. Yet we can all look back, after the fact, and realize that we could have been more memorable. Obviously you can’t go back for a do-over , but you can certainly learn from your mistakes as well as all our successes. Most challenges you have are not unique to your business.

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24 Entrepreneurs Explain What They Love About Being An Entrepreneur

Hearpreneur

Being in love is great. Being in love with your business, when you’re an entrepreneur, is even better. Waking up each morning knowing you are getting to do exactly what you love is more than most people could ever say about any “job” they have had. Although there are days when tossing in your hat seems like a viable option, remembering how much you love your “job” can quickly snap an entrepreneur out of that mentality.

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First Impressions Matter: Why Great Visual Design Is Essential

ConversionXL

People make snap judgments. It takes only 1/10th of a second to form a first impression about a person. Websites are no different. It takes about 50 milliseconds (ms) (that’s 0.05 seconds) for users to form an opinion about your website that determines whether they’ll stay or leave. This number comes from specific studies. In the first study, participants twice rated the visual appeal of web homepages presented for 500 ms each.

Design 132
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5 Traits Today’s Leaders Need To Revolutionize Their Management Style

YoungUpstarts

by Oleg Konovalov , author of “ Leaderology “ The rapid rate of change and innovation brought about by the digital age is putting many large corporations in peril as they realize they are in an “adapt-or-die” era. But for a business to change, its leadership must be willing to change as well, and that doesn’t always happen. Old strategies and approaches are not sufficient any more.

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Why Gross Profit Is More Important Than Revenue

Feld Thoughts

I’ve been thinking a lot about gross profit (and gross margin ) lately. Yeah, I know I can be riveting, but stay with me. When I was in Boston a while ago (it was very cold, so it must have been January), I had a wide-ranging conversation with Eric Paley. This was before the IPO Summer of 2019 when all conventional valuation metrics have entered the land of “suspension of disbelief” which is short-term good and long-term well-we-will-see-…-eventually.

Revenue 179
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The Truth About Investor Updates

Haystack

The topic of “investor updates” has been debated frequently. Most folks who are not close to early-stage startups and new company formation would be surprised to discover that a high number of companies, after receiving funding from individuals or institutions, do not send updates to their investors. Contrast that with a fund manager, who is often required to issue quarterly capital account statements usually paired with a cover note and updates on specific companies.

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Open Plan Offices Kill Productivity. Here’s What to Do Instead.

ReadWriteStart

For years, the business world lived under the false pretense that open plan offices were a killer idea. I myself even bought into the hype. At Netconcepts, the digital agency I founded (and sold in 2010), only the executives had offices with doors that closed. Open plan offices were a win-win for anyone looking to […]. The post Open Plan Offices Kill Productivity.

Product 167
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Here are the 5 hottest startups in Portugal

The Next Web

It might be everyone’s dream to move to Portugal. Beautiful beaches, amazing food, and weather. Its vibrant startup scene is now another reason to add to the list. Like in neighboring Spain, the country was hit hard with a headache-inducing unemployment rate that was concentrated primarily on Portugal’s youth. Instead of plunging the country into a deeper recession, this moment inspired an entrepreneurial zeitgeist that hurled Portugal headfirst into a technological renaissance.

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Important Changes to the Google My Business Tool

Duct Tape Marketing

Important Changes to the Google My Business Tool written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing. Marketing Podcast with John Jantsch on Important Changes to the Google My Business Tool. Do you know about the Google My Business tool ? Google has been playing around with the idea of a local directory for years, but it seems like they’ve really settled into Google My Business.

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Do distributed teams need new tools?

Version One Ventures

A question I have been pondering for some time now, especially since a lot of our portfolio companies are now distributed organizations …. This tweet sparked a lot of thoughtful reaction and discussion. Here’s where things have landed at the moment: . According to the responses, entrepreneurs running remote organizations seem pretty happy with the current software stack.

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The Evolution of Entrepreneurial Education and Corporate Innovation

Steve Blank

I was interviewed by Philip Bouchard , Executive Director of TrustedPeer Entrepreneurship Advisory , about how entrepreneurship education has changed, mission-driven entrepreneurship, and what we’ve learned about corporate innovation. Worth a read. Interview highlights: How is the way that universities teach entrepreneurship evolving? Lean LaunchPad class developed for Stanford.

Incubator 332
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8 Techniques For Shining A Light On Your Blind Spots

Startup Professionals Musings

Most of us have blind spots in our ability to build a business, due to lack of experience, too much ego, over-confidence, or unjustified faith in a subordinate. Only a few of the entrepreneurs I have worked with in a decade of consulting are smart and humble enough to recognize that they don’t know what they don’t know, and have an effective process for shining a light on their blind spots.