It’s easy to get the impression, particularly when all you read about startups is a handful of publications representing a pocket (albeit a very vocal one) of the broader tech ecosystem, that the legal decisions startup entrepreneurs often face have all been standardized and templatized. But in truth, this is a façade. Extremely important, and […]
In my years of mentoring entrepreneurs, a problem I have seen too often is low self-esteem, and over-compensating through arrogance and ego. These entrepreneurs find it hard to respect customers or team members, and their ventures usually fail. As a team member, low self-esteem leads to low confidence, poor productivity, and no job satisfaction. Fortunately, […]
Many people told us it couldn’t be done: inventing, creating and shipping an award-winning product in seven months — especially with only $100,000 in initial funds. Despite the naysayers, we successfully developed a hardware product called SkyBell, a Wi-Fi enabled doorbell with a video camera that allows a homeowner to see who’s at their door from a smartphone — and […]
Investing in entrepreneurs and startups is a fun but different world from investing in conventional stocks, bonds, and commodities. First of all, it’s more of an investment in people than in a business, since the startup is usually an idea barely half-baked when they need your money. Secondly, the risk is very high, since as […]
As Founders, we tend to spend equity like it’s free — only to come to learn that equity is not only expensive now, it’s way more expensive later as the company grows. And we now hold less of it.
In my experience as an advisor to entrepreneurs, business startup founders most often point to a shortage of funds as the primary cause of their startup failure. Yet I often see evidence that points right back at the founder or business owner, attempting to maintain excessive power and influence over of the effort, leading to […]
An entrepreneur is literally “one who creates a new business.” The best new businesses are ones that have never been done before, so mastering creativity and recognizing creativity are key skills and mindsets. But how does one recognize and nurture creativity in a person or team? In researching this question, I reviewed a classic book […]
Both of our fund families focus on consumer products. Social Starts takes the angle of commerce and focuses on Digitally Native Brands based purely on their market characteristics. Joyance focuses on consumer goods derived from deep science with high emotional content. For us, Digitally Native Brands must deliver a generational opportunity to invest in a […]
Large corporations and conglomerates, the engines of growth and vitality in the twentieth century, have lost their edge and their image. They have proven themselves unable to innovate, and they have lost more jobs than they create. My friends who “grew up” with lifetime careers in General Motors, Exxon Mobil, or even IBM, are now […]
Nearly every startup deals with a “toxic employee.” And every minute we wait to address the issue, we create an even bigger organizational challenge that will be way too hard to tackle down the road.
As an introvert myself, I remember worrying that I could never be comfortable giving a sales pitch or networking to find clients. Yet I soon found that knowledge is power, and a little training and determination goes a long way toward removing the qualms. In fact, I’m now convinced that many extraverts rely too much […]