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Most Startups Should be Deer Hunters

Both Sides of the Table

Some companies / products are designed for large organizations from day 1. Have a product for online backups? Learn from my mistakes.

Is it Time for You to Earn or to Learn?

Both Sides of the Table

This is part of my Startup Advice series. That’s Ok.  They raised $5 million in their B round.  125,000. So let’s go CRAZY!  Not bad.

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What Makes an Entrepreneur? Four Letters: JFDI

Both Sides of the Table

We had every chart every invented by man (or McKinsey) showing failure rates of our product, mean-times-to-repair, detailed sales forecast charts, etc. 

Most Common Early Start-up Mistakes

Both Sides of the Table

Moonlight Responsibly - If you are still employed please be very careful not to use your company’s resources to produce your product and please do not work on your next idea during business hours.  It’s hard enough to build a successful company. Build prototypes and/or product. Here are some lessons to avoid common traps.

3 Sales Tips for Startups – Creating a Burning Platform

Both Sides of the Table

When you qualify a customer, if the customer has shown interest in your product but isn’t ready to buy then they get sent over to marketing. 

Tips 78

What Makes an Entrepreneur? (1/11) – Tenacity

Both Sides of the Table

If you haven’t spent time over there you should. So what skills does it take to be a successful entrepreneur?  Excite, Ask Jeeves and Lycos? 

Are Business Plans Still Necessary?

Both Sides of the Table

People mistook extra doses of Ajax for a successful product. Don’t know how much you can charge for your product?  craze.  wares. 

Start-ups are all Naked in the Mirror

Both Sides of the Table

Our product releases took longer to ship than we had hoped. Our competitors seemed to be flawless.  We kept reading about their customer wins, their product releases and their biz dev deals. Don’t obsess with product releases of competitors or biz dev deals.  In the scheme of things they come and go. We were hot. SHIT!!!

Who Should you Hire at a Startup?

Both Sides of the Table

One such meeting that he set up was with the CIO of the largest consumer products company in Europe.  You’re stressed. Your solution?

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WTF is Traction? A 6-Step Relationship Guide to VC

Both Sides of the Table

Traction can simply mean showing that you’re making progress with customers, product development, channel partners, initial revenue as a proof point, attracting well-known angel investors, winning industry awards / recognition.  It is code word for “I’m not ready to invest for whatever reason … I need more proof.&#.

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Should Your Startup Have an Advisory Board?

Both Sides of the Table

Time to start thinking about how to make it more productive.  This is part of my ongoing series Startup Advice.  Not enough time. 

Startup Metrics


Startup Metrics for Pirates (SeedCamp, Sept 2009) View more documents from Dave McClure. You only build what you need to prove that model.

Are MBAs Necessary for Start-ups or VC?

Both Sides of the Table

Ask if you could shadow different functions like marketing, finance or product management. MBA fine, but not required. So back to MBAs. 

How to Deal with Skeletons in your Closet

Both Sides of the Table

company has just filed suit against you for product patent infringement (obviously more serious). She loves a man with a great sense of humor. 

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Bank Robber or ATM Operator?


Bank Robber will ask questions that are focused on your products, customers, and the potential size of your adVenture’s overall opportunity. This is a reposting of a ‘classic’ popular post. Fortune 500 CEO once told me that I was a Bank Robber. Initially, I was offended. However, once he explained what he meant, I was flattered.

Product Management for Startups in Los Angeles – Steve Gilison


Steve Gilison worked as a market researcher and product manager at a startup where my company, TechEmpower , did the software / web development.

What Makes an Entrepreneur (2/10) – Street Smarts

Both Sides of the Table

They spot opportunities that aren’t being met and the design products to meet these needs. Two quick stories from just yesterday.

Startup Founders Should Flip Burgers

Both Sides of the Table

This can often happen when there is a good product built but no real customer adoption yet.  This is part of my ongoing series Startup Advice. 

Product Manager Entrepreneur Mark Geller


He has a really interesting background as a product manager and now an entrepreneur. Tell me a bit about your background. In L.A. In L.A.,

Don’t drink your own Kool-Aid (surviving TC50)

Both Sides of the Table

Off to the races.  We started building 4 products so that our end-to-end, supply-chain services would be complete (MVP? Yours. million A round.

Should Founders Be Allowed to Take Money off the Table?

Both Sides of the Table

The company did well in 2006 as we delivered a phenomenal product that got much industry acclaim at conferences and with initial customers. This is part of my ongoing series “ Start Up Advice &# but I’d really like to call this post, “VC Advice.&#. Only then are you truly aligned. Let me start with a couple of stories.

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Sales Kids With Grit – Web 2.0 Paper Routes


Understandably, the pricing has to be excessive to provide sufficient margin for the product’s producer and an adequate incentive for the non-profit organization. Yet when a child attempts to sell such mis-priced items, the experience is often discouraging, due to the poor cost / value equation associated with such fundraising products.

Do your kids Google Poo?

Eric Greenspan

Products like Net Nanny and SpectorPro can block or monitor your children’s access to the Internet. This seams harmless right?

What Makes an Entrepreneur (4/11) – Resiliency

Both Sides of the Table

You’ve got to see your product weaknesses and plug them.  If you haven’t spent time over there you should. Not lose your cool.

Angel Funding Advice

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Product :  You should build a product or a prototype.  I’m a software guy so I’m sure there are cases where building isn’t feasible. You cannot be just a biz dev type, salesperson, marketing genius or whatever and divorce yourself from product. Great companies are built by having great products. How: 1.

Developing a Marketing Communications Strategy

Cliff Allen on Marketing

The marketing communications function (commonly called "marcom") has many communications tools available. Selecting effective marketing programs.

Do you need a Powerpoint deck for a VC meeting?

Both Sides of the Table

But admittedly I like some orientation about the market before I see the product. photo courtesy of Atlanta Braves. DO NOT drone on endlessly.

Deal with Your Elephant in the Room

Both Sides of the Table

This is part of my series on Raising Venture Capital. Your A round investors are not stepping up. - You raised $1.5 Issue off the table. 

MyLife Snags Siegel As Chief Product Officer


Los Angeles-based people search engine has snagged technologist Ian Siegel as the firm's new Chief Product Officer, the firm said today.

5 Tips to Becoming a More Customer Centric Organization

Both Sides of the Table

They communicated this to product management who looked at all of the internal requirements we had generated (e.g. and product management worked with me to decide what to build & when. They taped people using existing products.  And you’ll design a better product as a result. 3. Back then it seemed foreign. 

Video Games Industry 2009

SoCal Tech Calendar

Thursday, February 26, 2009 -- Video Games Industry 2009. The question is not whether there is an opportunity in the video game space; rather, the issue is which one to choose. This Panel of gaming media, operational and development experts will share their views on the industry's evolution. See [link] (more

BIOCOM's 2009 DeviceFest

SoCal Tech Calendar

Thursday, May 7, 2009 -- BIOCOM's 2009 DeviceFest promises to provide thought provoking panel discussions and case studies focusing on Inspiring Innovation, Overcoming Adversity and What's Next? However, bringing life saving products to patients expeditiously remains a great challenge for medical device companies. See [link].

Want more Twitter followers?

Eric Greenspan

My actual results from using this product. With a few clicks, you will be adding hundreds of new Twitter followers fast.

The Best VC Meetings are Debates not Sales

Both Sides of the Table

People are much more likely to buy into you as a person and us as a firm when they’ve been involved in a discussion with you about their problems, your solutions, who else has been using your product, etc. There is one classic mistake that I see across both types of meetings – “the tell & sell&#  presentation.

Hiring at a Startup? Know Thy Weaknesses

Both Sides of the Table

For me 3+ is usually a non starter. OK, so I know that some of you already have 3 co-founders and I’ve met many of you.  You’ll be fine. 

MedApps: Making Healthcare Simple

Tech Zulu Event

What they have created is a dedicated device that requires no interaction on the patients' part making it totally automatic. 

Fast Follower III – First Mover Disadvantage


Thus, it often pays to develop points of differentiation which are not based on product features. This is part III of a three part series. Click here for Part I and Part II. John Fitch was first. He spent the majority of his adult life fruitlessly attempting to capitalize on the novelty and uniqueness of his invention. Fitch To Fulton.

Pour And Stir I – In Pursuit Of The Ideal Business Model


Some of the market and product attributes which lend themselves to the P&S business model include: No Inventory – Inventory sucks. Companies like RingRevenue offer advertisers the ability to track calls like clicks and thus extend the P&S model to a broader array of products and services. *. free weekly Infochachkie articles!

Top 57 Online Startups Meets Technology Meets Product Posts for November 2010


I continue to collect great content that is the intersection of startups, products, online and technology. So let’s be very specific: let’s assume your dream job is product manager at Google, working on the Analytics product. love to find great products and services made by entrepreneurs who are trying to change the world.

Video Games Industry 2009: New Opportunities

SoCal Tech Calendar

Thursday, February 26, 2009 -- "Video Games Industry 2009: New Opportunities" TCOSC. The question is not whether there is an opportunity in the video game space; rather, the issue is which one to choose. This Panel of gaming media, operational and development experts will share their views on the industry's evolution. See [link] (mor