INNOVATION BLOG

June 22, 2017

My goals for Part 2 of this series on managing startups with an investors’ mindset are;

  1. Provide insights about how creativity and vision that not subjugated to customer needs, will blind a startup to actual market truths and create startup risk.

  2. Make you wonder why I am using a ring-toss image for this series, the rings of which keep increasing fo...

June 9, 2017

https://www.slideshare.net/venturehacks/customer-development-methodology-presentation

If you read nothing else in my article beyond this presentation by Steve Blank, I will have felt like I accomplished something today. Steve Blank's Customer Development Process is a big idea. It will save you and your startup company. It will save your investors or compan...

June 6, 2017

Distinguishing between promise and value was another session in our VC’s seminar that I wish every entrepreneur and startup employee could attend. This seminar created a distinction, the lack of which I have experienced multiple times while advising and working in early stage companies. If you are starting from scratch, you and your team are full of promi...

June 3, 2017

I’m a movie buff and to distinguish what problem-solving means in a startup I’ll use a great example from the movie The Martian. I loved Matt Damon's character at the end of the story in class (on Earth), in which he says; “At some point everything is going to go south on you and you are going to say to yourself, okay this is how I am going to end. You ca...

May 27, 2017

The time value of money is at the heart of your startup and cash is your blood because it defines how long your startup has to live (if it is paying employees or paying for resources). This is especially true if you take investor’s money in equity financing. Investors always have other investment opportunities each with its own time-value - that is the va...

May 25, 2017

At one of the entrepreneurs conferences our venture capital firm provided for its portfolio companies, the lead venture partner distinguished “activity from results” and provided a guest speaker and session to make this clear for us. Given the long list of tasks required for startup success, there is even a longer list of sub-tasks beneath each of them th...

May 20, 2017

Established companies already have customers, product market-fit, brand recognition, revenue and market share which removes a lot of the financial, operating, market, product and technical risk. Startups must achieve all of these key milestones from a cold start. Their startup teams have to create something from absolutely nothing and there is a very long...

May 13, 2017

I’ve worked in 12 startups from new business units in Tier One companies, to early and later stage companies, to my own VC-backed company here in Silicon Valley plus I’ve advised quite a few more. A few common mistakes have shown up more than a few times across many of them. Key challenges that startup leadership face are fairly consistent across startups...

April 28, 2017

I am an ardent follower of the leadership style of the US Naval Academy which states "Superb organizations are engulfed by team spirit and united by common vision and action". USNA speaks of how to unleash the power of team spirit and how to maximize a team’s potential. It’s a tried and true leadership style worth learning about if you aspire to a career...

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