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. Imagine you pour 5 years of your life into your next gig and it starts to become successful. Many times the answer is ‘no.&# The problem is that you’re opening yourself up to a claim by one of these people that you somehow stole their ideas. Starting with 25% is even harder.

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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Start-ups are all Naked in the Mirror

Both Sides of the Table

This is part of my ongoing series Startup Lessons. I started my first company in 1999 in London at the height of the dot com craze. It didn’t add up to me. Bad morale is the enemy of any company let alone a start up.&#. Because I had started reaching out to competitor CEO’s. Good PR can help slow down your competitors initiatives as they naively try to follow you. They then start to think sinister thoughts.

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.

LawKick: A Modern Way To Find Legal Help


But, how do you start? The old way was difficult, time consuming, and often expensive; referrals, calling up lawyers, going through initial consultations. We spoke with Michael Chasin, the company''s co-founder, about the startup. So you''re up and running with transactions?

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How to Work with Lawyers at a Startup

Both Sides of the Table

If you’re a startup and you don’t have a close relationship with a few law firms you’re really missing one of the most important relationships that any entrepreneur can have. Many people start companies arse backwards.

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?

Want to Know the Difference Between a CTO and a VP Engineering?

Both Sides of the Table

I recently did a post for startups on understanding sales people. A few people have asked me to try and define the perfect startup organization chart. But I do have more insight into understanding your startup team. Let’s start with the basics.

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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.

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. If you plan to set one up – no problem. come out of the gate strong and never let up) then you might get some attention. So you set up advisory meetings.

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 Not Suck at a Group Presentation

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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.

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.

The best advice startups will never follow


Email readers, continue here…] Don’t take money, especially start-up loans, from unsophisticated investors. I was a co-lender and assumed the chairmanship of a young startup where the entrepreneur’s cousin also loaned money under the same terms.

Momstamp Looks To Connect Mothers, Help With Referrals


A new, Los Angeles-based startup, MomStamp , recently said it has launched, to help mother connect with their extended network and better get referrals from "friends of friends" to local service providers. momstamp referral mother friend refer startup friends facebook

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

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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.

With Helix’s Help, Lose It Adds Genetic Insights to Weight Loss App


Does your genetic code contain information that can help you lose weight? LoseIt Massachusetts General Hospital MGH Mobile National Geographic obesity Sema4 Sequencing Software startups Tech Vinome Weight Loss Wellness xperience

Are MBAs Necessary for Start-ups or VC?

Both Sides of the Table

This is part of my ongoing series called “ Start-up Lessons.&#. I came across this blog post about getting a computer science degree as the best degree for getting into venture capital or working at a VC-backed start up. Like Chris Dixon I grew up programing.

Colony Logic: Helping The Enterprise Overcome Legacy Systems


It''s not often that startups come out of the gate, backed by a private equity investor. Ultimately, we also offer up all the analytics to help them make better decisions for their business.

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The One Key Person That Will Help You Improve Sales

Both Sides of the Table

No product sells itself no matter what startup companies like to think. Not everybody who is nice or helpful to you is your “champion.” In order for somebody with IA to be your champion he has to be actively helping you through the sales process. Startup Advice

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After 20 years: Updating the Berkus Method of valuation


There is a universal truth: fewer than one in a thousand start-ups meet or exceed their projected revenues in the periods planned. I should have done more about this subtle interpretation when first seeing this, and will attempt to make up for that now. Well, it had to happen.

Arborbridge Helps International Students With Test Prep


Hoping to help foreign students better prepare themselves to get into U.S. colleges, a new, Santa Monica startup, ArborBridge , has recently begun to ramp up its online tutoring service for the standardized SAT and ACT tests. Arborbridge, founded by Tim Urban and Andrew Finn, connects those foreign students with one-on-one, live online SAT and ACT test preparation help from tutors.

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Tips to Help you Think About Sales at Your Startup

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It’s the lifeblood of any organization and yet most startups don’t have any sales DNA on their teams. It’s important enough that I dedicate a tab on my blog to startup sales & marketing. 24:00 Selling a startup today. Startup AdviceSales.

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Staff Ranker: Helping Hospitality Businesses Better Manage Workers


However, Redondo Beach-based StaffRanker ( has rolled out a system to help those companies better manage what is a notoriously difficult segment of the labor market, which has a lot of turnover and which just doesn''t match existing, corporate performance management systems.

Running More Effective Board Meetings at Startups

Both Sides of the Table

We started with our financial statements. So I changed things up and became much happier with my results. But they were in a slide and people asked you questions so it ended up chewing up 30 minutes. Harder to do that when you have an 8am start.

How Is Helping To Power The Branchless Banking Revolution


One of the startups looking to help power the "branchless banking revolution" is Los Angeles-based The startup--which offers up a wide range of branded, Visa cards--is one of a growing number of finance related technology startups in Southern California.

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Paul Kim | Alpha Trainer, Fitness, & LA Tech

Tech Zulu Event

Paul Kim may be able to help you with that. We caught up with Paul to see his views on LA tech, fitness, and his Alpha Trainer app. TechZulu: Since you are stationed up in North California, What is the tech scene like in LA for you? So how did Alpha Trainer all start?

Good Judgment Comes with Experience, But Experience Comes from Bad Judgment

Both Sides of the Table

This is part of my Startup Advice series of posts. but whoever is responsible I just want to help spread it. I’m fond of saying that I F’d up everything as a first time entrepreneur. I believe that it helped me succeed in my second company.

How Amavitae Wants To Help Youth Find A Career They'll Love


To help fix that, the startup has created a mobile app to guide people through their strengths, interests, key skills, and more to guide them along the way to a career they'll love. Deborah Ramo: Amavitae, which means "love life" in Latin, is a mobile-first platform to help the emerging workforce find a career that they will love and have a natural aptitude for, and to help them understand what careers are growing and will be around in the future. How did this start?

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Noramay Cadena, Make In LA: Accelerating Hardware Startups


One of the big advantages of starting up a new company in the region in recent years has been a large number of startup accelerators, who have been driving a lot of the new startups in the area. Do you make an investment in those startups?

Startup Helps Blind With iPhone App


Not satisfied with creating just another mobile application for the iPhone platform, Santa Monica-based startup, IPPLEX , this week introduced an application to help the visually impaired or blind.

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2015 LA Investor Startup Forecast

Tech Zulu Event

TechZulu is excited to invite you to the 2015 Startup and Entrepreneur Forecast taking place Thursday, January 29 from 7 p.m. Our line-up of panelists include many of Southern California’s top VCs, Angels and Startup Accelerators.