Most Common Early Start-up Mistakes

Both Sides of the Table

This is part of my ongoing series “ Start-up Lessons. &# If you want to subscribe to my RSS feed please click here or to get my blog by email click here. I often talk with entrepreneurs who are kicking around their next idea. Imagine you pour 5 years of your life into your next gig and it starts to become successful. When I hear entrepreneurs say that they’re kicking around ideas with friends I ask, “have you legally registered a company?&#

Austin Start-up MailLift Joins 500 Startups

Tech Zulu Event

I met fellow hustler Brian Curliss about 2 years ago at a Startup Weekend event that I was covering. It came as no surprise whatsoever when I found out that his new company MailLift was called up to the big leagues to join the 500 Startups accelerator.

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Wearable World Labs Partners With Technicolor to Accelerate Wearable Tech & IOT Start­ups

Tech Zulu Event

This partnership will bring one of the most influential media companies together with today’s most promising emerging startups in the Wearable Technology and Internet of Things (IOT) space.

REVIEW | Un-Realistic TV: “Start-ups: Silicon Valley”

Tech Zulu Event

The final episode of Bravo’s Start-ups: Silicon Valley aired recently, wrapping up an 8-episode run of what could be considered the most bizarre depiction of entrepreneurs and start-ups to date. Who are these entrepreneurs anyway?

How to Work with Lawyers at a Startup

Both Sides of the Table

I recently read a post over on VentureHacks titled, “ Top Ten Reasons Entrepreneurs Hate Lawyers &# written by Scott Walker (who blogs on legal issues for entrepreneurs ). Many people start companies arse backwards. And I ask them to tell me in advance if it bubbles up.

Why Teenagers Make Great Entrepreneurs


What is the ideal age to start a company? Entrepreneurs and venture capitalists have weighed in from time to time and their answers tend to fall into two camps. Today’s teens have grown up with the Internet. Entrepreneurship education is a great start.

Should Millennial Entrepreneurs Skip College?


Should millennial entrepreneurs go to college? Given the stellar startup careers of non-college graduates like Zuckerberg, Ellison, Disney, Gates, Jobs, Branson and Dell, the answer to this question might surprise you. Follow my startup-oriented Twitter feed here: @johngreathouse.

10 Startup Lessons Entrepreneurs Can Learn From Superheroes


As part of UC Santa Barbara’s Distinguished Lecture Series, Jason Nazar, Co-Founder and CEO of Docstoc , recently shared ten lessons that emerging entrepreneurs can learn from superheroes. Superheroes Never Give Up. Just like a superhero’s mission, startups are exhausting and demanding.

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

Both Sides of the Table

This is part of my new series on what makes an entrepreneur successful. I originally posted it on VentureHacks , one of my favorite websites for entrepreneurs. I wanted to also post the series here to have it as a resource on my blog for future entrepreneurs who stop by.

Startups: What are your odds for success?


Starting a company is HARD – in so many ways. I read several years ago, that the average startup restaurant lasts only about a year. Restaurant startups would not top my list. We have years of real data to call upon: data that impacts both investors and entrepreneurs.

The Fallacy of Channels: Startups Beware

Both Sides of the Table

This is part of my ongoing series on startup advice but also filed under my sales & marketing posts. No advice I give will ever apply to 100% of companies, 100% of startups or even 100% of tech startups. So Should I Avoid Channels at all Costs When I’m a Startup?

A Serial Entrepreneur’s Guide To Uncovering Awesome Startup Ideas


His talk was especially intriguing, as he attended UCSB, but dropped out to start a clothing design company. As I note in Spilling The Beans , the basic ideas upon which startups are founded are worth nothing. This is a lead up into an executive summary. Entrepreneur Video

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Why Entrepreneurs Hate (Most) MBAs


Someone on Quora recently asked me to answer the following question: Why Do Digital Entrepreneurs Hate MBAs? Tech entrepreneurs' consternation with MBAs does not rise to the level of loathing. Startups Need Execution, Not Administration.

22 Los Angeles Startups You Need to Watch Out For


While the Bay Area hold the title of most prolific startup ecosystem , there’s no denying that California is a veritable gold mine of entrepreneurial talent. Los Angeles, for one, is not only brimming with innovative ideas, it’s also home to a wide range of unique startups that are solving the problems of the world. This is evident from the fact that they are owned and run by EY’s Entrepreneur of the Year award finalists in the Greater Los Angeles area.

Don’t be a Grin Fucker

Both Sides of the Table

I grew up in the US but lived in England for so long I can never remember from which country my slang comes. But then I started to see it happening internally. So we (and by we I mean “they&# ) at Accenture decided to come up with our own bull shit. All startups are hard.

Why Millennial Entrepreneurs Should Never Watch Shark Tank Alone


The reality television show Shark Tank makes for entertaining content but many of its underlying messages are potentially detrimental to tech entrepreneurs. Thus, emerging entrepreneurs should parse fact from fantasy by watching the show with an experienced business pro.

One Book Every Entrepreneur Should Own

Both Sides of the Table

He teamed up with his wife, Amy Batchelor , to write about about the impact that entrepreneurship has on relationships and what to do about it. It’s called Startup Life and you can order it here. It was a huge personal leap of faith for them to open up so much.

Understanding Your True Character as an Entrepreneur

Both Sides of the Table

He is a man who began his journey in this lifetime with a rough start, stumbled and fell quite a few times before ultimately transforming himself into a quiet compassionate force of nature. Startup Lessons Why do we do all that we do? Is it for the money? The recognition?

3 Sales Tips for Startups – Creating a Burning Platform

Both Sides of the Table

This is part of my ongoing series Startup Advice. Many entrepreneurs who start technology companies are product people, technologists or savvy business people who worked previously for a larger company. Most start-up entrepreneurs have little or no sales experience.

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How Do VCs Choose Their Investors (and should entrepreneurs care?)

Both Sides of the Table

I recently read a blog post by Beezer Clarkson, Managing Director of Sapphire Ventures about why entrepreneurs should care about from whom their VC funds raise their capital. How much money will they reserve from their fund for future investments in your startup?

How to (re) Approach People (Advice on the Eve of LeWeb)

Both Sides of the Table

This is part of my ongoing series with Startup Advice. With the LeWeb conference about to start in Paris I thought the timing of this post would be appropriate. But don’t assume that I have a Minority Report like machine that can invisibly and instantly gin up my memory.

How to Not Suck at a Group Presentation

Both Sides of the Table

Francisco Dao came up with the idea of letting 10 companies that weren’t selected for Twiistup to do a presentation the night before to a group of people and let the audience pick one company to win the final slot at Twiistup. Stories have starts, middles and ends.

When Hiring Entrepreneurs, Ignore Their Resumes


Note: This is the third installment in the Startup Team Building series. As made clear in Optimistically Pessimistic , most entrepreneurs’ experiences are not linear. Many emerging entrepreneurs have fractured, seemingly random careers. once your startup exceeds 100-employees).

You Can’t Teach People To Be Entrepreneurs, But Entrepreneurs Can Be Taught


Despite the fact that I teach entrepreneurship at UC Santa Barbara , I do not believe that entrepreneurs are created in classrooms. Instead of trying to teach students to be an entrepreneur, I expose my entrepreneurial students to tools that will help them solve real-world problems.

Entrepreneurs Who Relish Being Wrong Usually Win


During my 15-years as a startup executive, I relished being proven wrong. Effective entrepreneurs reject dogmatism and embrace doubt. Startups survive by constantly making small mistakes and correcting them quickly. Follow my startup-oriented Twitter feed here: @johngreathouse.

The Power of “In Person” – Why Distributed Teams are Less Effective

Both Sides of the Table

In the era of Skype, web conferencing tools and collaboration software conventional wisdom says that distributed startup teams can be just as effective as those that are in person. There reality is that a certain magic that happens when you’re in person is critical in a startup.

People Management: Startup Teams Should Dip but not Skip

Both Sides of the Table

We all like to think of startups as “non hierarchic&# organizations and to some extent that should be true. I see two common mistakes in companies (not just in startups, in fact). Let information flow up but direct your staff and execute through hierarchy.

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The Danger of Crocodile Sales

Both Sides of the Table

This is part of my series on Startup Advice. I love working with Aussies because their outlook on life seems very similar to what I grew up with in California. I probably will jump in with a few questions about their industry and start a discussion.

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Who Should you Hire at a Startup?

Both Sides of the Table

This is part of my ongoing posts on Startup Advice. There are people who tell startups that they should hire the most senior people that they can find. Bringing in a senior person who’s “done it all before&# is often a mistake in a startup.

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How To Snag Lunch With A High-Profile Entrepreneur


I recently received an email from a former student in which he described how he was able to secure a lunch meeting with a high-profile entrepreneur who is operating multiple ventures in parallel. After I commented on his speech, we started a short conversation.

The Entrepreneurial Spirit: Are Entrepreneurs Born Or Made?

Tech Zulu Event

We have just lived through the greatest era of fake entrepreneurs. People believed that raising several millions of dollars for a business meant that they were a successful entrepreneur. As the economy gets tighter, these businesses will start to disappear.

Should Your Startup Have an Advisory Board?

Both Sides of the Table

This is part of my ongoing series Startup Advice. Many startup companies hire advisory boards. It’s mostly done by first-time entrepreneurs who want to persuade (bribe?) If you plan to set one up – no problem. So you set up advisory meetings.

Why Startup Entrepreneurs Need to Communicate More Like George Bush Than Al Gore

Both Sides of the Table

I use George Bush vs. Al Gore as allegory and I’ve been using it with entrepreneurs for years to sink in a simple point about how to communicate with the market. Most Silicon Valley tech entrepreneurs I know are more like Al Gore. Entrepreneur Advice