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Advice - Every startup lucky enough to get some traction gets to the point where it decides to hire some “regular employees” for sales, marketing and administrative tasks. Then the company is surprised to see productivity and creativity...
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Advice - You can’t make something from nothing all by yourself. Somewhere along the line, you might decide that you’re more powerful as part of a team. But when you’re hit with a flurry of inevitable, unpredictable events (your funding...
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Advice - It is extremely scary to start a new company. The risk of failure is high and the workload is intense, so it’s not a coincidence that few people start companies alone. However, many companies fail not because of their market,...
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Advice - In my more than 20 years as a serial entrepreneur and investor, I have seen a few common mistakes among startups and entrepreneurs. Here are some tips to fix those mistakes: Know What You Don’t Know When I visited New...
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Advice - Cardinal Sin #1: Delusions of Grandeur The worst kind of founder is one who thinks they are the second coming of Christ. NO, your company isn’t going to be worth billions. NO, your idea won’t change the world and feed the poor...
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Advice - Recently, I wrote about domain experience. While having domain experience is not the end all be all for launching a successful startup, it can give you an “unfair advantage," as Mark Suster put it, over those without such...
Prepare for an IPO
Advice - The first quarter of 2014 has experienced the largest number of IPOs in the past decade, compared to first-quarter data from previous years. With the JOBS Act in place and an improved economy, the accelerated pace is not expected to...
Ford CEO
Advice - One of the realities of being an entrepreneur is that you have to keep learning and changing to survive. Everyone on the startup team knows there is no buffer and no personal isolation from impact based on your job description that...
2048
Advice - If you gave a random person your product for the first time, do you think they will immediately become a loyal customer? Maybe not for most products but definitely for your product, right? Right. Creating demand for your product...
Exit
Advice - The last thing a new entrepreneur wants to think about regarding a new startup is how it will end, yet one of the first things a potential equity investor asks about is an exit strategy. The answer you give can make or break your...
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Advice - Let’s face it, consultants have a bad image. Businesses want experienced people who get their hands dirty, rather than experts who give presentations, make recommendations and disappear. Even consultants don’t like their job,...
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Advice - With the recent apparent successes of several startups in taking their company public (initial public offering) and raising billions of dollars, I’m hearing a groundswell of enthusiasm from new entrepreneurs to follow in their...
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Advice - There is an old saying that good lawyers run away from risk, while good businessmen run towards risk. Entrepreneurs see “no risk” as meaning “no reward.” In reality, all risks are not the same. Many risks can be managed or...
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Advice - One of the most common failures I see in startups is lack of focus. Unfocused entrepreneurs boast that their new technology will generate multiple disruptive products for consumers as well as enterprises around the world. Investors...
Conflicting Advice
Advice - I am a mentor for the Chicago chapter of Techstars, now in my fourth year. In the first month of the program, the member companies are immersed with mentorship from the 150 Techstars mentors who are part of the local program. And,...
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Advice - How should you go about the process when hiring sales reps? When it comes to hiring salespeople in startups, there is a lot of built up common knowledge: Do not hire salespeople until you are ready. Do not hire a VP of sales as...

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