Strategy

Why BP Should Embrace The Fake BP Twitter Account

[credit provider=”Twitter”] With 5,000 barrels of oil being leaked into the Gulf of Mexico every day, we have a disaster on our hands. We’re watching our waters being contaminated, our coastline destroyed and BP has the daunting responsibility of finding a way to cap it and clean it up. They, […]
Why BP Should Embrace The Fake BP Twitter Account
Strategy

How To Create A Winning Product Process

This is my second post in my product leadership series. Today I’m chatting with Ben Foster, VP product at Opower. For those who don’t know the company, Opower is a fast growing energy efficiency software company that helps utilities motivate consumers to reduce energy usage. Ben is an excellent product leader with […]
How To Create A Winning Product Process
Strategy

The Fat Vs. Lean Startup Debate

Ben Horowitz and I debated Fat Vs Lean on stage at TechCrunch Disrupt yesterday morning. At the end, Erick Schonfeld asked for a show of hands and there was overwhelming support for my argument in favour of lean.
The Fat Vs. Lean Startup Debate
Strategy

Too Much Experience? You’re Fired

Ben Horowitz’s recent article about the futility of trying to predict whether a start up executive can scale (it’s both counterproductive and demoralizing) was completely right.
Too Much Experience? You’re Fired
Strategy

What You Can Learn From Listening To Your Customers

[preserve] [/preserve]   The “Voice of the Customer” series is supported by Toyota. [credit provider=” ky_olsen via Flickr” url=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/ky_olsen/3133347219/”] You built your business for your customers.Shouldn’t you find out what they think about you?
What You Can Learn From Listening To Your Customers
Strategy

How To Make Your Website A Daily Destination

[credit provider=”uros velickovic via Flickr” url=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/urosvelickovic/3624769121/”] From Entrepreneur:Every small business loves the exposure, empathy and sense of community that having a website that’s a daily destination for consumers can generate.
How To Make Your Website A Daily Destination
Strategy

MBA Mondays: Budgeting In A Growing Company

[credit provider=”jurvetson via Flickr” url=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/jurvetson/4397463426/”] I failed to post a MBA Mondays post last Monday. Sorry about that. I had something else on my mind when I woke up, wrote about that, and didn’t realise that it was Monday and I was supposed to do an MBA Mondays post until […]
MBA Mondays: Budgeting In A Growing Company
Strategy

Why Bridge Loans Are Usually A Bad Deal For Both Entrepreneurs And VCs

Often when startups who have raised venture capital need another round of financing they will turn to their existing investors to give them money before raising from outsiders.  This happens when the company has been making steady progress but hasn’t built enough “proof” to raise its next round of financing […]
Why Bridge Loans Are Usually A Bad Deal For Both Entrepreneurs And VCs
Strategy

The Yin And Yang Of Product And Engineering

[credit provider=”frankenstoen via Flickr” url=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/frankenstoen/3532018983/”] For a tech company, product and engineering are the heart and soul of the business. When I do a quick mental query of headcount across our entire portfolio of ~30 companies, I think at least 50% and maybe as much as 60% of the entire […]
The Yin And Yang Of Product And Engineering
Strategy

15 More Books Every Entrepreneur Must Read

[credit provider=” dottorpeni via Flickr” url=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/dottorpeni/2935271689/”] In the spirit of good old summer reading lists, we thought we’d follow up on our original entrepreneurial book list, and give you some new selections to enjoy this summer.We consulted a few entrepreneurs, execs, and VCs for their recommendations of books that anyone […]
15 More Books Every Entrepreneur Must Read
Strategy

How To recognise Your Competition

[credit provider=”US Army”] You would think it’s easy to spot competition out there. If you’re BMW, there’s Mercedes. If you’re AT&T, there’s Sprint. If you’re Facebook, there’s Yahoo (uh nope, sorry, bad joke)…..you get my point. All too often though I am surprised to see how often early-stage companies poorly […]
How To recognise Your Competition
Strategy

VCs Pivot, Too… Some Thoughts On Startup Hiring

Imagine if the biggest companies in the world had to increase their workforce by 25% month over month.  It would be a monumental task that could spell the death of them if extreme care wasn’t taken to maintain the highest level of quality in their talent pool.  Even if that […]
VCs Pivot, Too… Some Thoughts On Startup Hiring
Strategy

Why You Should Invest More In Your Tech Support Team

[credit provider=”Cordey via Flickr” url=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/flygraphix/4246485041/”] You probably think of “tech support” as the bottom of the food chain. “Shit flows downhill” and all that. After all: Tech support deals with insane customers. Tech support answers the phone; a job even salesmen don’t want. Tech support keeps angry customers at bay […]
Why You Should Invest More In Your Tech Support Team
Strategy

Just Say “No” To Stupid Meetings

As a startup entrepreneur you’ll have many demands for your time.  Especially if you start to have a degree of success or build a high public profile.  Everyone will want you to speak at conferences.  Service providers will want to get to know you.  Potential employees want to “get together.” […]
Just Say “No” To Stupid Meetings
Strategy

Here’s What Huge Brands Have Learned From Twitter

[credit provider=”JOE MARINARO via Flickr” url=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/m500/3574481140/”] When Twitter came on the scene nearly four years ago, no one knew if the service would ever go mainstream.Now, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a major consumer company that doesn’t have an active Twitter presence.
Here’s What Huge Brands Have Learned From Twitter
Strategy

The Importance Of “Editing” Your Customers

“Almost everything you see in Twitter today was invented by our users,” its creator, Jack Dorsey, said in this video (found via his investor, Fred Wilson). RT, #, @, & $ were conventions created by users that were then—sometimes reluctantly—embraced by Twitter, to Twitter’s benefit. Dorsey said it is the […]
The Importance Of “Editing” Your Customers
Strategy

Actually, Tech Startups Need Professional PR Support Now More Than Ever

[credit provider=”The Associated Press”] Blippy’s recent #EpicFail involving the release of four users’ credit card numbers via a Google search caused quite a stir within not only the tech media, but also the mainstream press, as people started to question how supposedly secure social networking services, such as Blippy, Foursquare, […]
Actually, Tech Startups Need Professional PR Support Now More Than Ever
Strategy

Facebook’s Biggest Issue Is Its Serious Bait-And-Switch

[credit provider=”Ludovic Toinel” url=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/prospere/2927938192/sizes/l/”] Oh dear, Facebook. We need to talk. Because, as my mother would say, I take massive issue with what you’ve been up to.There’s been so much going on lately with Facebook that it’s both impossible to keep up and impossible to miss. And I’ve tried to […]
Facebook’s Biggest Issue Is Its Serious Bait-And-Switch
Strategy

10 Things Every CEO Should Know About Design

[credit provider=” gothick_matt via Flickr” url=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/matt_gibson/394461484/”] Jason Putorti, Founder of elegant.ly and Former Lead Designer of mint.com, has created a gorgeous presentation pointing out 10 things every CEO should know about design.Great design can revolutionise your business — just take a look at Apple.
10 Things Every CEO Should Know About Design
Strategy

Pitch The Benefits, Not The Features

[credit provider=”DieselDemon via Flickr” url=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/4298600063/”] Kickstarting your marketing: The big news today is that four NYU students raised over $100k for a project to challenge Facebook (fuelled by geek rage about Facebook’s new privacy changes) on Kickstarter with a project called Diaspora. To me the big take away isn’t this particular project, but […]
Pitch The Benefits, Not The Features
Strategy

Great Leaders Are Respected, Not Loved

[credit provider=”deneyterrio” url=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/deneyterrio/2323729121/”] I’ve been thinking a lot about what it takes to be a great leader and seem to be having this conversation a lot lately about Facebook, Yahoo!, Zynga and others.  I wrote several of the characteristics when I did the Top 10 (11) Attributes of an Entrepreneur. […]
Great Leaders Are Respected, Not Loved
Strategy

What Street Vendors Can Teach Us About Bootstrapping And Entrepreneurship

[credit provider=”JimReeves via Flickr” url=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/joezach/310028210″] Note: This article was originally published on OPEN Forum.Some people are born wealthy enough to take the massive risk which funding a new business entails. Others get seed money from brilliant pitches, luck or connections.
What Street Vendors Can Teach Us About Bootstrapping And Entrepreneurship
Strategy

The Innovative New Recruiting Metric You Should Look Into

[credit provider=” Memotions via Flickr” url=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/memotions/259656126/”] Recruiting ideal employees is one of the best things you can do to contribute to the success and competitive well being of your company.So as President of a business that specialises in helping companies find the “right fit” for key, professional-level job vacancies, I […]
The Innovative New Recruiting Metric You Should Look Into
Strategy

The Whole System Of Email Is Toxic

I haven’t written a blog post in a week.  I traveled for a couple of days for work and decided to get some sleep on those days rather than staying up into the wee hours as I often do when I travel.  I closed one deal (I’ll talk about that […]
The Whole System Of Email Is Toxic
Strategy

To Create A Truly “Agile” Board, You Have To Call Your Investors To Action Between Meetings

[credit provider=”recursion_see_recu rsion via Flickr” url=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/hawksanddoves/244517659/”] I recently wrote an article on how to respond to board members between meetings.  I basically took some time on a weekend and just hacked out what was on my mind.  Two people whom I respect (Nivi Babak and Brad Feld)  added commentary that made […]
To Create A Truly “Agile” Board, You Have To Call Your Investors To Action Between Meetings
Strategy

From Hopes And Dreams To The Real Thing

Companies start out as hopes and dreams and stay there for at least a little while. Even after the product has been launched and users are jumping aboard, the company is still in hopes and dreams mode.
From Hopes And Dreams To The Real Thing
Strategy

The Big Companies Of The Future Will All Be Shape-Shifters

[credit provider=”LawPrieR via Flickr” url=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/lawprier/4428634479/”] It is in the classic words of Gloria Gaynor’s song, “I will survive”, corporations will “learn how to get along…”A great deal of my community has given up on large organisations, stating that the “true” innovation is now happening at start-ups. What that story misses […]
The Big Companies Of The Future Will All Be Shape-Shifters
Strategy

How To maximise Your Social Networking Time

[credit provider=”JOE MARINARO via Flickr” url=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/m500/3574481140/”] From Entrepreneur:People have a tendency to get online at random times and start clicking away. Then something mysterious happens to the space-time continuum, and all of a sudden two hours goes and they have nothing to show for it.
How To maximise Your Social Networking Time
Strategy

How To Hire A Hacker In NYC

Hiring is hard.  So is dating.  When you’re talking hiring for startups, the two are actually pretty similar—because joining a super early stage startup is essentially like getting married.  You’re building a young team with a small amount of money.  Chances are neither of you has done this before—you’re making […]
How To Hire A Hacker In NYC
Strategy

How VCs Value Early-Stage Companies

Valuations in venture-backed companies seem to be a mystery to most. Even in the past 18 months, when it was close to impossible to raise money, we’ve seen valuations in early stage companies that caused a lot of head scratching (Square, Foursquare, Groupon, etc).
How VCs Value Early-Stage Companies
Strategy

MBA Mondays: Budgeting In A Small Early Stage Company

Today and for the next two weeks, we are going to talk about budgeting on MBA Mondays. Since the budgeting process works differently in companies of various sizes, we are going to focus on three company sizes; 10 people, 75 people, and 150 people. Today we will talk about the […]
MBA Mondays: Budgeting In A Small Early Stage Company
Strategy

Sorry Kids, First Time Entrepreneurs Don’t Usually Get Funding

[credit provider=”.A.A. via Flickr” url=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/sloth_rider/1356349570/”] “I thought getting funded would be as simple as pitching my idea to a smart VC and getting a check based on the magnitude of the idea.” Two different first time entrepreneurs in their early twenties both made some version of this comment to me in […]
Sorry Kids, First Time Entrepreneurs Don’t Usually Get Funding
Strategy

The Market Plunge

Yesterday the stock market dropped almost 1,000 points intraday before rebounding late in the day. Does this matter to the world of entrepreneurship and startups? Yes and No.
The Market Plunge
Strategy

4 Ways To Support Your Female Gen Y Employees

[credit provider=”scarleth white on flickr”] In a post for Forbes, Selena Rezvani describes her concern over the fact that Gen Y women are at high risk of being overlooked for leadership positions.Although highly ambitious and educated, “this group is the least likely to fit the typical CEO mould, especially compared […]
4 Ways To Support Your Female Gen Y Employees
Strategy

Don’t Be Afraid To Give Your VCs Assignments

Over the weekend, Mark Suster wrote a great post titled How To Communicate with your Investors between Board Meetings.  Mark continues to just tear it up with great advice for entrepreneurs.  However, he left out one thing from the post – which is one of my favourite pieces of advice […]
Don’t Be Afraid To Give Your VCs Assignments
Strategy

The Power Of The Rising Social (Media) Class

[credit provider=”iStockphoto”] Last week, the mainstream social media world seemed shocked to read the latest statistics which demonstrated the power of Black and Latino presence and behaviour patterns across social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. In case you were under a rock and missed it: “Social Media Today” reported that […]
The Power Of The Rising Social (Media) Class