CategoryAdvice

Better is Better

Newer is not better. Older is not better. Better is better. Just because something is old does not mean it is bad (or good). Just because something is new does not mean it is good (or bad). Evaluate each proposal on its own merits. – Unknown (internet)

When Kindergartners beat MBAs

@mattschnuk on Twitter shared an anecdote on teamwork. It’s a good story, but Matt’s conclusion is wrong in an interesting way The thread goes on to explain an experiment where team of kindergartners, CEOs, lawyers, and MBA students are challenged to build the tallest tower out of pasta, marshmallows, tape, and string, presumably in a reasonably short amount of time. The result is not...

Get Rich Slowly

Warren Buffett shares advice to investors every year. One big theme: Stop thinking that there’s a magical secret formula for making tons of money overnight. Or in short. get rich slowly. This is true not only for investors, but also for entrepreneurs. The world celebrates the overnight successes. Groupon. Facebook. Uber. AirBnB. Enron. The world keeps doing that, no matter how many times...

Why Foreign Aid Doesn’t Work… and What Does

The following video does a great job of quickly summarizing the typical problems with foreign aid… So… if that doesn’t work, what does? For-profit capitalism. That may sound backwards, but it truly does work, when implemented correctly. I’ve seen this first-hand, as this is what I do as my main job. I find overlooked entrepreneurs in Africa whose work alleviates hunger and...

Two weeks of coding can save you an hour of planning

I came across this quote online: “Two weeks of coding can save you an hour of planning” and not only laughed, but cried, as the same is even more true over on the business side of startups. If I had a nickel every time one of my entrepreneurs spent months on operations, bashing the company’s proverbial head against the wall trying to fill orders or gain customers, when a few...

Nike’s Principals

This isn’t how I run my businesses, but one mistake most first entrepreneurs make is to not spend any time thinking about the corporate culture of their company. Fail to plan that, and you end up with Dilbert or The Office, with employees who are there for the job, not to build the successful startup. Nike’s Principals Our business is changeWe’re on offense. All the time.Perfect...

Sequoia Capital’s simple, compelling pitch deck

I wrote a whole book walking entrepreneurs through the process of creating a simple, compelling pitch deck, and I’ve posted a slide-by-slide guide to the standard, 12-15 slide pitch. But there are other frameworks, and here is Sequoia Capitals, as posted by Alex Banks on Twitter. Slide-by-slide Slide 1 This is your first impression. Pick a great name. Spend a little money on a great logo...

Conference Software: Better not still not Great

It is conference season once again and the world is back to large face-to-face conferences. The one benefit from the pandemic is that the software for conferences is greatly improved, as the conference software companies were forced to re-think the online conference experience. The result is much better, but still far from great. Below is where it is failing and ideas on how the experience can be...

Primer: (Practically) Managing a Corporation

The previous posts in this series walk through what a corporation is, how it is structured, and how investors fit in. This post will add what all that looks like in practice. HistoryCorporate Structures Grants, debt, and equityDaily, monthly, … annual management(this post) Daily operations On a day-to-day basis the CEO, other managers, and staff run the business without any interference...

Primer: Debt and Equity

Part 1 of this Primer series talked about the history and limited liability of corporations. Part 2 dove into the corporate hierarchy. This post will dive into investment structures. HistoryCorporate Structures Grants, debt, and equity(this post)Daily, monthly, … annual management Grants All the young companies I meet want to raise money. I do a lot of work in Africa and thus do meet quite...

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