CategoryAdvice

Two weeks of coding can save you an hour of planning

Clock

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

Nike logo

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

Attention and time

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

Conference software

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

House of Morgan

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

House of Morgan

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...

Primer: Corporate Structures

House of Morgan

Part 1 of this Primer series talked about the history and limited liability of corporations. This post will dive into the structure of a corporation. HistoryCorporate Structures (this post)Grants, debt, and equityDaily, monthly, … annual management Shares and shareholders Corporations have owners. For a typical corporation, these are the “shareholders” (sometimes called...

Primer: Corporations

House of Morgan

First time entrepreneurs are often the CEO of a corporation, but nonetheless don’t know exactly what a corporation actually is, nor how a corporation works with employees, management, directors, and investors. This series of posts will walk through those details. Not as a lawyer, as I am neither a lawyer nor have ever taken a class at a law school (not counting the one I guest lecture I...

Shortening the loop

Spiral

Building a successful business is a series of lessons. Many fail. Enough succeed. What I’ve learned from doing this process for three decades is that the quicker you learn the lessons, the easier the path to success. And by lessons, I don’t mean the big lessons that the world throws at entrepreneurs, but the little lessons that you set out to learn yourself, as you hypothesize on how...

Pitching isn’t about the slides, it’s about the story

Telling a great story

I thought it would be enough to write a book about the startup pitch. I was wrong. I thought maybe that was too many rules, too many details, simplify it down to a slide-by-slide guide. Far more often than not, wrong again. What is missing from the vast majority of the pitches shared with me is the story. Pitches are supposed to tell a story. A nice, simple, logical story of a business. What...

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