Lessons Learned

What Makes a Great Consumer Startup Marketer?

We continue to hear the sentiment that it’s really tough to build a great consumer startup in Boston...

Fundraising Explained: Implementing Your Early-Stage Financing Needs

Understanding the general lingo surrounding startup fundraising is of fundamental importance to the entrepreneur both when considering a raise and speaking with business contacts

5 SaaS-ready revenue models you should know about

In addition to the many obvious reasons for pursuing a SaaS model over a perpetual or on-premises model, the variety of available revenue models provides an even more compelling rationale for an ISV.

Money Aside, Here’s How You Should Define Your Startup’s Value

Private valuations are often incomplete measurements of a company’s true value because they fail to consider a somewhat theoretical, intangible question: How badly do people want this company to exist?

Intelligent.ly: Creating a Culture of Learning

Talk to any founder around Boston and the number one item they say success hinges on is the team...

Winner Takes All?

The juxtaposition to what we are seeing today in the private capital markets in healthcare technology is striking

5 Common Mistakes to avoid during Investor Presentations

Making a great first impression is critical to traction when presenting to investors who have heard hundreds, if not thousands of qualified entrepreneurs pitch their companies.

The Benefits Of A SaaS Transformation (Both The Obvious And Non-Obvious)

And why all Applications Software Companies will soon be SaaS

 

Diary of a Kickstarter: Postmortem, Part II. In which I open the kimono. Again.

There’s a million Kickstarter success stories out there. I call it success porn. I wanted to write a post about one that didn’t make it. 

Corporate Or Startup: Where Should You Start Your Career?

Looking for a job after graduation? Should you go Corporate or Startup???

Diary of a Kickstarter: Post Mortem Part I. In which I open the kimono

Why Crowdfunding?

What is “Business Development”?

Confusion around the term “Business Development”

What Kinds of Jobs Are Recent Grads Actually Landing?

“This week, I read about 20 different job descriptions, applied to 15 of them, and I have no idea what I would actually be expected to do if I were to get any of those jobs.”

A Different Kind of Value

In the venture capital business we spend a great deal of time discussing company valuations. It’s an intellectual art, focused on business potential, the marketplace, the competitive landscape, and the entrepreneurs.

Introducing the "Definitive" Guide to Business Development and Partnerships

Demystifying the World of “Biz Dev”

What's a Good Job? How to Think About Your First Role

Finding your ideal first job can be tough. Really tough. Finding any job is hard. And while you certainly don't have to settle for any job, you shouldn't pass up good jobs because they're not ideal jobs.

How Zappos and Squarespace Survived Early Hiring Disasters

They may be two of the best places to work in tech now, but in the early days Zappos and Squarespace may have cost themselves millions by making two key hiring mistakes.

Can Pre-Seed Capital Hurt an Entrepreneur’s Chances to Raise Seed from VCs?

In the last year or so, the debate over the definitions of seed versus pre-seed capital (sometimes called genesis rounds) has exploded. 

Lessons Learned From Working At A Startup

I graduated from the Startup Institute in late December 2013. Since then, I got married, welcomed my first child into the world and finished my first full year of work at Vsnap.

“Fastest Turtle” — Healthcare Investing and the U.S. Economy…

Given the investment horizons for venture capitalists, we do not necessarily try to time public markets when making new investments...

Hardware by the Numbers (Part 3: Logistics + Marketing)

This is part 3 of a series on what building a scalable hardware business looks like.

Hardware by the Numbers (Part 2: Financing + Manufacturing)

This is part 2 of a series on what building a scalable hardware business looks like. Financing + Manufacturing.

Founder Leadership Models

There are a number of founder leadership models that can work well as a startup evolves. I have lived a few as an entrepreneur and worked with many as a board member.

Hitting the Road

About a year ago, Nancy and I were spending some time with Hardi Meybaum and his family.  Hardi is the founder of our portfolio company GrabCAD which was acquired recently by Stratsys.

Eeeek! Invasion of the Culture Snatchers

A CEO friend recently told me that he asked three people to leave his company over the last few months.  After they were terminated, there was a marked improvement in the overall morale and attitude of the other employees.

Leadership Key #1: Build and Develop an Incredible Team

A few years ago, in a moment of intense frustration, I wrote down six keys to effective leadership. I will spare you the detailed context to protect the guilty, but at the time I was desperate to communicate what effective leaders do.

Why Metrics Get Worse With Scale

Conventional wisdom suggests that the most important metrics for a startup - such as unit economics, cost of acquisition, lifetime value, churn rates - typically get better with time.

Atypical Startup Career Advice Learned from 4 Billion-Dollar Exits

Four of the companies I’ve worked for during my career have been acquired for over $1 billion dollars. Make no mistake, my contributions to these successes, particularly early in my career, were relatively minor, and I’ve had my share of failures, too. 

Millennials and Mission-Driven Start-ups

Why do we work? Over the past 25 years, entrepreneurship, creativity and mentorship have always guided me to strive for a meaningful impact on the world...

Startups Are A Contact Sport

It wasn’t long into my first startup that my mentor Andy van Dam offered those five words – “Startups are a Contact Sport”.