Think Like an Investor
Experts in product development will tell you to understand your user.
Some people are naturals at this, most have to learn. Raising money is
no different. Some people understand...
Minimize use of CxO titles at early company stages
I'm about 10 months into helping a bunch of startups through organizations like TechStars, MassChallenge,
and others. And I've seen an emerging trend among startups that I want...
Bonuses Are Toxic At Startups
Venture backed startups are incredibly ambitious. A startup team comes
together to try to create something highly improbable and well beyond
what can reasonably be expected...
Throwing a Fastball Down the Middle
Right after OMGPOP released DrawSomething to rave reviews (and
traction), I was catching up with my friend Nabeel Hyatt and chatted a
bit about the game’s meteoric...
Wondering What Colors To Choose For Your Brand? Take The Color Quiz!
Color theory is nothing new. If you paint a room yellow, supposedly it creates anxiety. Grays and blues are soothing, but also depressing, and red is alarming and urgent. When our...
Seed to A Round: The 5 mistakes that can crush your company
Some are calling it a start-up bubble. It’s filled with 23 yr old
bright shiny faces with big ideas to change the world. They are getting
funding and they are building...
Do I Lead or Manage?
If leaders are supposed to lead, and managers are supposed to manage,
then what do I do? The good news is that you don’t have to choose…do
both. Whether you...
Seven things to consider when launching your freemium product
It usually starts with someone's bright idea: "We need to disrupt this market…fast. How about we
just give away our product. It will go
It Doesn’t Matter Unless We Win
I had lunch recently with one of our portfolio CEOs, and he said
something that really caught my attention. I had just commented on how
well they were executing...
Apptopia - The Mobile App Marketplace & How They Raised $500K From Mark Cuban
Late in 2011, Eli Sapir and
Jonathan Kay realized that there was no viable (or profitable) endgame for app
creators, so they decided to start Apptopia, a
Invest In What Can't Be Bought
You are bound to hear the question dozens, maybe hundreds of times as a
founder. How are you going to compete with Company XYZ? Can you
differentiate from your...
What You Need to Know About SaaS Licenses
Whether you’re a founder thinking about using third party software for
your start-up, or thinking about how best to structure licenses to your
software, it’s important to...
How To Pitch a BIG Story
Early stage companies are often refining their stories or narratives.
It’s important for lots of reasons – inspiring team members,
recruiting, creating focus, getting...
Do You Have Startup Hunger?
There are two types of people in a start-up: those who have the hunger,
and those who don't. If you're working at a start-up and not sure if you
A 3 Step Plan to Get the Most from New Sales Hires (Part 2 of 2)
In Part 1 of my blog on building a 3-Step
Plan to Get the Most from New Sales Hires,
I discussed the tendency of high growth companies to act under pressure and
hire sales people...
Tips when moving from Seed to Series A
There has been a lot of buzz lately about startups being
"Orphaned" after a Seed round--a phenomenon that has been dubbed the
“Series A Crunch”...
A 3 Step Plan to Get the Most from New Sales Hires (Part 1 of 2)
always travels fast when a company is doing well, and growing quickly. The
flood of resumes can be overwhelming. No matter what roles you want to fill,
The Product Manager
My first job after business school was serving as a product manager for
an Internet commerce software company (Open Market, IPO'96). Back then,
we learned the...
Exit Strategy: 4 Reasons Tech Companies Get Acquired
Forecasting acquisitions in the technology world is an inexact science. And that’s putting it nicely. Occasionally they make sense, like when Amazon purchased Kiva Systems...
SaaS Metrics 2.0 – A Guide to Measuring and Improving what Matters
“If you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it” – Lord Kelvin. This article is a comprehensive and detailed look at the key metrics that are needed to understand and optimize...
Your Development Dilemma: Growth vs. Capital Efficiency
The dilemma has become quite acute these days since there’s been an
expansion of available capital from VCs to fund growth companies. The
more capital available, the more...
CEO: Does Your Team Have Control of the Ball?
Football, rugby, or any other sport organized around a finely-tuned playbook, requires players to understand roles and execute plays in both familiar or unplanned...
Very Basic Startup Marketing
I was spending some time with an MIT senior who is very involved with
the startup community and has spent some time working at venture funded
companies. We were...
Powering Through The Dip
Having read Seth Godin’s great little book, The Dip,
I’ve been thinking about how Dips really influence the arc of not just
individual career development but also that of start-up...
Pricing is a Process and How We Validated Our Technology By Pricing Gold
One of the biggest lessons we’ve learned within the world of pricing is
that even though your price remains the lever that has the highest
impact on your revenue, the subject is one...
Sell the Vision, Not the Progress
One of my favorite founders in Boston is Jason Jacobs of Runkeeper.
Every time I see Jason, I mention to him how impressed I am with what
I'm hearing about the progress of Runkeeper...
What Do You Suck At?
One of the truisms of entrepreneurial startups is the importance of
focus. Starting a company to compete against huge, well-capitalized
companies is daunting enough. So focus...
4 Startup CEO’s Motivational Moments For Any Occasion
As a typical startup founder I am often faced with difficult situations.
Well, “often” is probably an understatement. ”Always” is more like it.
As Steve Blank said in his Customer Development...
3 out of 4 Venture Backed Startups Fail….. Well, Not Really
This recent article from the Wall Street Journal
suggests that there is a “Venture Capital Secret: 3 out of 4 start-ups
fail”. Failure, however, is defined as not returning...
Spend More Time on Your Mission - The Money Will Follow
Time – and how you use it – is the most important consideration for a Founder. This is one of the most important lessons I’ve learned in my 20 years as an early...