Category startups

The Stupidity of Entrepreneurs

I was hanging out tonight with a bright young man who said, “A great entrepreneur always bets on themselves.” Context: we were talking about hedging. I asked the question: what if founders could hedge themselves against other startups so that if your company failed, you still had a chance for upside? He disagreed. He felt… Continue reading

Startups: Don’t Wait to Build Exit Relationships

Paul Graham’s latest essay warns of losing time and focus to “corporate development” staffers out there sniffing for companies to buy. I agree with him on the corp dev side. But I wouldn’t want people to think that you should ignore potential buyers until “you want to sell your company right now.” It’s a question… Continue reading

Fighting Our Own Biases

In 2010, I became minorly Internet-known as an early adopter of lean startup. I blogged as I went. I made plenty of mistakes. One was not defending adequately against my own biases. I have a soft spot for entrepreneurs of any kind. That’s one of my big honking biases. Liz Crawford and I were working… Continue reading

Predicting Failure from Failure?

Shane Snow’s new book Smartcuts is is a master class in weaving anecdotes together to make a point in an interesting way. He’ll take A, add B, weave in C, to get you to D. I’ll write more on the highly enjoyable book later, but the tricky part is if one component in the mental… Continue reading

Startup Marketing Is Dead. Long Live Startup Marketing

Marketing has become a dirty word in some startup circles, with the name of the day now being “growth hacking.” And frustrations over traditional marketing’s failures to adapt to a new hyper-connected, hyper-communicative world are valid. But demand generation is as important as ever. Stewart Butterfield, the co-founder of Flickr and founder of Slack, understands… Continue reading

When do you hit the gas pedal?

“Unfortunately, the pendulum rarely swings halfway” — Eric Paley Eric Paley has a great post about founders hesitating to invest in growth, even when he thinks they should. Now, I’ve been in startups where either the CEO or the VCs tried to force growth too early, and had it backfire in a big way. Thus… Continue reading

Good founders can get capital anywhere?

“Good founders can get capital anywhere.” I like both Pando and Erin Griffith, but I have to call out that sentence from an article the other day. It is one of those easy phrases that people trot out, but experienced founders know better. *Famous* founders can get capital from many places. Not even anywhere. Good… Continue reading