CategoryAdvice

From the investor side of the table

Most of the entrepreneurs I work with have yet to raise money from an Angel or investment fund (venture capital or debt or any formal institution). It is daunting to sit (face-to-face or online) across the table from an investor, as investors know more about the process of investing than entrepreneurs. Life on the investor side of the table isn’t as easy as entrepreneurs think. The...

Investors with no Money to Invest

It sounds like an oxymoron, but it is not uncommon for investors to interview entrepreneurs while at the same time those investors have no money to make investments. This is one reason some funds take months to make investments, as they themselves are fundraising while simultaneously screening and doing due diligence. The reality is that fundraising as time consuming and challenging for fund...

Startup Luck

In November 2010, Nick Brown happened to find himself at a Manchester conference attending a talk by popular British psychologist Richard Wiseman, who had written a book called The Luck Factor. “Basically, the way to be lucky is to just put yourself in situations where good things can happen,” Brown remembers, “because more good things will happen to you than bad on any given day, but nothing...

American companies that failed in China & Chinese companies that failed in the United States

This week in Visual Capitalist is an infographic on American companies that failed in China. Which made me wonder… what are the biggest Chinese companies and have any of them succeeded at expanding in the United States? So what are the biggest Chinese companies? There are two ways to answer that question. The Wikipedia answer, which includes the government-owned corporations like the power...

CAGR = RRI-1

Compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) is a very common metric when looking at how fast a startup is growing. Unfortunately neither Excel nor Google has a formula named CAGR. Instead, you need to use the RRI function. When you do this, there is one pitfall to avoid. There are three parameters to RRI. The first is the number of values. The second is the starting value. The third is the ending value...

Why Long-Term Thinking Wins

I teach the important skill of Seeing the Future to both entrepreneurs and investors, but before stumbling on this conversation, I had never before seen this framework of success in startups based on “the long term view”. By necessity, founders are rooted in the “here and now” mental framework required for launching a new startup. But great founders do something different at the same...

Running out of money (and how to stop it)

The biggest reason startups fail is that they run out of money. No money, no employees, no vendors, no way to serve customers, game over. Pretty obvious, but there are many different ways that startups can run out of money, and not all seem like failure: No customers The most obvious path to running out of money is lack of customers. This is the classic path we talk about a lot in...

Top blog posts for 2021

One, and only one of my blog posts is viewed every day. Seven days per week. I’ve never figured out why. It’s viewed more than the home page, by almost a factor of two. Here are my most popular blog posts in 2021, as measured by page views. #1 – Selling the first telephoneHow do you sell one telephone, as one telephone alone has no value. #2 – How many entrepreneurs are...

End of Year Clean Ups (a.k.a. too many Google Contacts)

I’ve been on Gmail since it launched back in 2004 and thanks to Google automatically collecting email addresses into Google Contacts, I have over 8,000 contacts in that service. Trouble is, 8,000 entries in my iPhone’s Address Book makes it next to unusable, as very few people I ever email show up. I searched the internet for a tool that would clean up by Google Contacts, deleting all...

Startups have leaky pipes

I’ve been teaching first time entrepreneurs about the importance of accounting and financial management for the last decade, and frustrated that whole time that most don’t grok the importance until they hit a financial crisis in their own startup. So let’s try something new… and talk about leaky pipes. The model/analogy to think about is a building, with a water tank on...

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