Not so long ago, training to meet the press and television reporters was a realm reserved for top business executives only. Now, even the earliest stage startup can rise to visibility or be forever lost by their first media spotlight, so it behooves us all to know the rules early. Most entrepreneurs I know admit […]
To be successful as an entrepreneur, you don’t have to be a fabulous person, but it helps. Some people, and some entrepreneurs have that something extra that you can’t quite put your finger on like Ryan Seacrest is searching for on American Idol. But the entrepreneurs that have it, including Elon Musk and Richard Branson, seem […]
It’s time for more entrepreneurs to reset their focus, and shift their thinking to completely different ways of doing things. Everyone talks about innovation, but the majority of business plans I see still reflect linear thinking.
By definition, a startup is a torrent of anxiety. We’re swan diving headlong into the abyss. We’re likely doing things we’ve never done before with products that have never existed before. So let’s just start off by admitting we’re all freaked out and it’s a big problem and we all need to figure this shit out.
Your marketing launch is the most important element of startup success these days, to get customer attention in this world of information overload. Yet it is the one element that too many entrepreneurs focus on only as an afterthought. Everyone assumes their product or service is so great that “word-of-mouth” will carry the day for […]
Salespeople are great at selling. They’re less great at all the things that surround the sales process — things like filling out spreadsheets, hunting down pricing and contract information, and figuring out how to use complex tools. Even the sellers who are great at these tasks are more useful to their organizations in the field or on […]
As a business advisor and technologist, I often think about the large array of opportunities for entrepreneurs as technology seems to be evolving faster and faster. Yet I still too often hear the question, “Can you give me a really sure-fire idea for starting my own business?” My standard answer is that ideas are a […]
I see more and more entrepreneurs who seem to have everything going for them – vision, motivation, passion, even a good business plan, product, and money, and yet they can’t close customers. Maybe it’s time to look harder at the mantra of a new breed of gurus and successful entrepreneurs, including Steve Blank and Eric Ries, called “nail […]
I recently met a business where the owner made 100% of her decisions based on how it impacts the immediate cash flow of the business. And I mean every decision! Whether it was hiring business professionals like accountants or lawyers that were advising the business. Or, making marketing decisions based on what drove revenues this […]
Don’t charge the hill until you are “ready.” This probably seems obvious to military types, but I see entrepreneurs violating this rule all the time. They approach key potential investors way too early, trying to talk their way up the hill, with no supporting business plan, and before they have a support team around them. […]
With Lyft’s and Uber’s recent IPOs and the pending IPOs of Silicon Valley unicorns like Airbnb, Pinterest, and Slack, the world shines a light on the mythical way in which Silicon Valley startups change the way we live and work. It’s storied founders, hard-driving teams, “asking forgiveness” as a business tactic, bottoms-up go-to-market, with San […]