Lessons Learned

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.

Why You Should Welcome Dogs Into Your Workplace

It’s been known for decades that dogs can confer important health benefits on people in the workplace.

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”.

Mentors and Vintage Oars

I’ve been mingling with a large number of established company directors and startup mentors over the last few months.

Startup Office Space: How Do Growing Companies Tackle Real Estate Challenges

Company Culture is a major focus among young companies these days. A big piece of culture is the office...

6 Lessons from New Balance and Almighty on Creating Content with a Purpose

I recently had the opportunity to spend a day at the FutureM conference in Boston to hear Marketing innovators share their stories. One panel in particular stuck with me, and here’s a summary of lessons learned.

After Ringing the IPO Bell

Last week's successful IPO of e-commerce giant Wayfair (market cap $3B) and this week's impending IPO of Hubspot (if it prices in the range, market cap $600m) has many in the Boston tech community celebrating. 

Celebrate Experiences: Takeaways From Fresh Tilled Soil’s UX Fest

Yesterday Fresh Tilled Soil played host to over 200 people looking to “Celebrate Experiences” at their annual UX Fest, a one day conference celebrating the user experiences that change the way we work, live, and play. Here are some key takeaways...

Process Is King

Software development is often unpredictable. Changes in the infrastructure or libraries we depend on happen. Bugs come up. Milestones slip by. To be able to deal with all of those changes, we need a proper process in place that will help us deal with unforeseen problems and give us the confidence to upgrade any part of our system at any time.

How to Balance a Startup With Parenthood

A look at balancing parenthood with the demanding schedule of a startup. One of the common startup myths is that single 20-somethings are the most successful entrepreneurs and that they are the demographic that starts the most companies.