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George Deeb

George Deeb is a managing partner at Red Rocket Ventures, a Chicago-based startup consulting and fundraising firm with expertise in advising Internet-related businesses. More of George’s startup lessons can be read at “101 Startup Lessons — An Entrepreneur’s Handbook.”

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Advice - I have had the luxury of meeting over 500 startups at Red Rocket over the last 3 years. And, typically, most of them approach me at the same point in their startup development. They have just finished building their new product,...
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Advice - The other day I read an interesting book called “Entrepreneurial DNA” by Joe Abraham, the founder of BOSI Global, an operating partner to venture-backed and owner-operated companies. The book is based on Joe’s study of over...
The Basics of B2B Marketing
Advice - The Red Rocket Blog has detailed many how-to lessons about marketing for B2C companies, and driving sales teams and strategies for B2B companies, which you can re-read from the site index. And, as presented in the past, your B2B focus...
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Advice - Startups have so much work to do, that it is typically much better to hire a smart management team, and let them do their jobs in a hands-off kind of way.  That does not mean letting them run entirely unmanaged.  You should at least...
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Advice - In years past, companies of all shapes and sizes needed to offer a good employee benefits program, with which to attract the best candidates.  That was even true for early-stage startups, since that was one of the hooks to get...
Tech Development
Advice - Most startups get a great new idea, and their immediate instinct to start coding away on building that product with their very limited budgets.  They put on the hat of a consumer using their technology and do their best to build a...
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Advice - The age old question is whether or not good entrepreneurs are born that way, or whether such entrepreneurial skillsets can be learned.  Let’s try tackling the answer to this question, by defining which skillsets make for a good...
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Advice - When writing a business plan, it is critical to do research and set strategy across the following key topics:  (1) your industry/competition; (2) business/revenue model; (3)  sales/marketing plan; (4) management team; (5) cash...
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Advice - The other day I heard a great entrepreneurial panel discussion, including Mahendra Vora, the founder of Intelliseek (sold to Nielsen) and now a Cincinnati-based venture capitalist.  He was advising the entrepreneurs in the room to...
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Advice - Following up on Lesson #145, Issues to Consider Before Selling to Big Companies, I wanted to drill down deeper on earnouts and potential pitfalls to avoid, as earnouts rarely payout as expected. First of all, what is an...
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Advice - During my tenure at Red Rocket, I have had exposure to over 500 startups in the last few years.  I have seen really good startups and really bad ones.  Below is a summary of the recurring problems I have seen in the flawed startups,...
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Advice - Back in Lesson #106, we talked about the importance succession planning for all positions within your company, but in the event you don't have the right successor talent in house, you will need to recruit replacement talent for...
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Advice - Following  Lesson #112 on Startup Ideation, I started jotting down a few annoyances in my life that I wished were fixed.  If still thinking about what business to startup, I am hoping some of these ideas strike a similar...
afraid
Advice - The age-old debate about what fuels a startup's success is whether they are "driven to win" or have a "fear of failure".  In this lesson, we are going to try and resolve this question once and for all. I think both sides of...
corporate sales for startups
Advice - I was lucky enough to be involved with two startups that were both sold to $1BN revenue businesses: iExplore was sold to TUI Travel, and MediaRecall was sold to Deluxe. In both cases, the investors were excited to get an exit...
always be selling
Advice - The common fault in the thinking of many entrepreneurs is that revenues will only be driven by the sales team and the sales team alone.  They put a lot of energy into hiring the best salespeople they can afford, training them up on...

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