10 Reasons Not To Write A Business Plan First

Startup Professionals Musings

Here is my edited summary of their ten principles, which I like and may convince you that you don’t need a business plan at all, or at the very least will help you write a better one later: A new venture is a means, not an end.

The Danger of Crocodile Sales

Both Sides of the Table

I’d like to talk about Crocodile Salesmen in 3 scenarios: 1) when YOU are selling (or someone on your team), 2) when you are trying to recruit a sales person. But how to apply “listening&# in a sales meeting? Beware of Crocodile Sales. They are seldom productive.

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Improving Sales: The Excuse Departement is Closed

Both Sides of the Table

Most technology startups seem to be funded by product people or business people. Specifically what is often not in the DNA of founders are sales skills. The result is a lack of knowledge of the process and of sales people themselves. Sales people: Are motivated by cash.

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How Startups Can Figure Out Sales: Amos Schwartzfarb, TechStars


Our interview today is with Amos Schwartzfarb , the author of Sell More Faster: The Ultimate Sales Playbook for Start-Ups , which comes out tomorrow, Wednesday. We caught up with Amos to learn about his new book, and to gain some tips for startup entrepreneurs on how to figure out when you're actually ready to scale your sales team. I was a sales person at HotJobs, but after we went public I helped open up an office in Los Angeles, and lived in Los Angeles for eight years.

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The Biggest Reason Most Sales Campaigns Don’t Close

Both Sides of the Table

Every sales organization with more than a handful of reps or that is across multiple offices or time zones would benefit from having a sales methodology. I’ve been writing a series on a simple methodology that we used at my first enterprise software company.

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Scaling Sales: Arming & Aiming – Objection Handling

Both Sides of the Table

This is part of a series on sales & marketing. I previously covered how early phase sales teams should be “evangelical&# and consultative in nature. Some objections are real and they end up becoming changes to your product, your service plan or your pricing / bundling.

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Identifying Pain in the First Step in a Sales Process – Here’s How

Both Sides of the Table

In my first enterprise software company we developed a methodology for sales that we called PUCCKA. Having a methodology instead of just going on random sales visits helped force a bit of rigor and honesty amongst team members about how well or not we thought we were doing.

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Why Email May Be Draining Your Company’s Productivity

Both Sides of the Table

That great productivity drain that we somehow all buy into. So I ask you – if you’re being reactive to somebody else’s emails are you really being as productive in your company as you could be? You’re writing a freaking blog post! Sales. Email.

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Turning Thoughts into Productivity | The Fetchnotes Story

Tech Zulu Event

Turn on your phone and look at the productivity folder. Something to write your notes, another to set reminders, and one that does both. You’ll be more productive within three weeks time. We discuss productivity, emails, communication, and the dynamics of the team.

Venture capitalists ‘like and subscribe’ to influencers

TechCrunch LA

Last month, the product launched with $1.2 Creators and influencers like Bernstein are forging a path from content creator to full-fledged business, with multiple revenue streams via podcasts, licensing deals, branded merchandise and even software products. “A

Entrepreneurs Confuse Product and Business Plans

Startup Professionals Musings

Why is it that most of the business plans I see are really product plans? I define a product plan as a detailed description of your product or service, with a bit of business thrown in at the end. It’s definitely positive to have a product plan.

Investors Know A Product Doesn’t Make a Business

Startup Professionals Musings

Why is it that most of the business plans I see are really product plans? I define a product plan as a detailed description of your product or service, with a bit of business thrown in at the end. It’s definitely positive to have a product plan.

Don’t Assume Product Plans are Better Business Plans

Startup Professionals Musings

Why is it that most of the business plans I see are really product plans? I define a product plan as a detailed description of your product or service, with a bit of business thrown in at the end. It’s definitely positive to have a product plan.

Entrepreneurs Can Thrive on Services or Products

Startup Professionals Musings

You don’t need to invent an innovative product to be a real entrepreneur. They are not the generalists required for new product startups. Writing specialists.

Some Thoughts about Selling at Startups

Both Sides of the Table

Jeff (also an HBS alum) co-teaches the LTV course with Professor Eisenmann about a student of theirs who had written a blog post about sales taking on some of my previous assertions. My list of excuses includes: product, pricing, competition and lack of sales support.

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10 Marketing Lessons for Early-Stage Tech Startups

Both Sides of the Table

Because market is such a broad topic, I’m restricting these lessons to PR marketing (as opposed SEO, SEM, product marketing, etc.). My general rule is that it’s good to be stealth in the early days while you’re building your product and testing your market.

When Should You Allow Exclusivity in Deals?

Both Sides of the Table

I must admit I discuss this very frequently with portfolio companies but hadn’t thought to write about it. No carrier in their right mind wanted to cede control of the software but Apple was willing to offer its products exclusive through one carrier in exchange for not having any carrier software on the device. Sales Tech Market Analysis

Think about Performance Before Building a Web Application


We’ve heard this from startup founders, product managers, development team leads, CTOs, and others who see their product gaining traction, but simultaneously see performance falling off a cliff. User experience is suffering and it’s the worst possible time with the product taking off.

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6 Tips for Building Relationships with Journalists

Both Sides of the Table

File this under both Startup Adivce and Sales & Marketing Advice. Here’s my thoughts on improving your relationships with journalists and as a by-product improving the coverage that they afford you: 1. Don’t put in the time to getting coverage until your product rocks.

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Interview with Sunil Rajaraman, Scripped


to the business of script writing, and is looking to combine a free online tool for writing scripts with matching those scripts with content producers. Zak had an idea for a screen writing magazine, and was trying to make it as a screenwriter, and found out there was a lack of good resources for people trying to scrap and get to the top. Using this content model, we've made two sales. Are you targeting Hollywood and existing script writing software?

Los Angeles-based ‘deep tech’ investment firm Riot Ventures is raising a $75M fund

TechCrunch LA

The firm has largely flown under the radar, but it has been investing in startups applying innovations in automation, artificial intelligence, computer vision, computational biology, material sciences and robotics to industrial products and processes for the past two years. “We actively recruit for our portfolio companies which enables us to meet a large swath of highly technical people,” the firm writes in its pitch deck.

My story: Fail locally, one customer at a time.


I was fortunate that I could write software and doubly fortunate that my despair at working for ‘the Man’ – and feeling compelled to strike out on my own – coincided with the dawn of the personal computer era. By Frank Peters.

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Transportation Weekly: Uber’s spending habits, Tesla Model Y, scooters and AVs in Austin

TechCrunch LA

Harris writes: “The figures, dating back to 2016, paint a picture of a company desperate to meet over-ambitious autonomy targets and one that is willing to spend freely, even recklessly, to get there.

What Did I Learn From the First VC Check I Ever Wrote?

Both Sides of the Table

I had just left Salesforce.com where I was VP, Products, after they had acquired my second startup. We not only have our Series A funds that can write $500k?—?$15 As I tell our LPs, “if I’m not making you slightly uncomfortable when I’m writing my first check I’m not doing my job.

TechZulu Is Looking For New Blood | Apply For Editorial, Biz Dev and More

Tech Zulu Event

Tech Reporters: These individuals will write and edit informative and practical articles on a range of topics including Startups/Entrepreneurs, Gadgets, Mobile Tech, Tech in Entertainment, Gaming, Apps & Software, productivity, and cover breaking tech news.

Above all, consider the corporate gate keeper.


Looking for an entrance into a VC, an angel group, a bank, a CxO for a sales opportunity, or any other entity? Every sales person with a bit of street history will resonate with this question.

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How Many Investors Should You Talk to in a VC Fund Raise? And How Do You Prioritize?

Both Sides of the Table

The most important advice I could give you before you set out in fund raising mode is to understand that fund-raising a sales & marketing process and needs to be managed. Somehow many first-time founders equate “sales” with something that is beneath them.

10 Entrepreneur Tips Dodge Million-Dollar Mistakes

Startup Professionals Musings

Ryan Blair, a serial entrepreneur who admits to his share of million dollar mistakes, as well as some multi-million dollar successes, sums these up nicely in his book “ Nothing to Lose, Everything to Gain :” Don’t make wildly optimistic sales forecasts.

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From Startup Newsletter To Best Selling Book: How This Entrepreneur Pulled It Off


Upon graduation from Wharton, John and Kyle launched a startup based upon a simple, pedestrian product: a computer mouse shaped like the head of a golf driver. Putting their expensive educations to good use, they aptly named their novelty product a "MouseDriver".

Can you finance your company with grants?


I am chairman of a company that, as I write this, is twelve years old and has not yet taken a dollar of outside investment. Grant writing takes skill and immense amounts of time. First, here’s a link to my recent TEDx talk, “Smiling at success; laughing at failure.”

How I Got the Monkey Off My Back – Today Was a Good Day

Both Sides of the Table

As a result I didn’t write my first venture capital check until March 2009 – exactly 5 years ago. I divided success into the phases of venture capital and 18 months into writing my first check here was my view (details on each in the link above).

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To Sell Anything You Need to Know What Makes You Unique

Both Sides of the Table

In my first enterprise software company we developed a methodology for sales that we called PUCCKA , which I wrote about previously. Having a good sales methodology can help you ensure your company runs more disciplined campaigns and focuses scarce resources on your best opportunities.

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Why Successful People Focus on the Bottom End of the Funnel

Both Sides of the Table

Sales people (and website customer acquisition folks) all think in terms of funnels and yet non-sales professionals seldom do. It doesn’t matter if it’s recruiting, business development, shipping product, writing blog posts, networking … it’s all the same.

Remind Me Why I Love You? (Why “In Person” is Everything)

Both Sides of the Table

Your product demo crushed. Frankly, it’s the life of ANY executives with whom you want to sell product, do a business development deal with, execute M&A, a journalist you want to write about your company?—?anybody. I always tell people that fund raising is a sales process.

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How to Prepare for a Board Meeting to Make Sure you Crush It

Both Sides of the Table

If you buy into the argument that a strong board can actually help you then this post will lay out how to help you have more productive meetings by preparing properly in advance. You can write this as a narrative in 3–5 key bullet points.

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The Silent Benefits of PR

Both Sides of the Table

When you’re an early-stage business every dollar matters and because many startup teams these days are very product & technology centric they often miscalculate the importance of PR. but didn’t convert to sales.

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Why You’re Not Getting the Most out of Your Board

Both Sides of the Table

Every time I think to write a post about this I figure the most recent board meeting I’ve attended will think it’s about them so I don’t bother. So I’m going to write a series of board meetings posts unrelated to anybody or maybe an amalgamation of them all.

What I’ve Learned About Venture Funding

Both Sides of the Table

We’ve had just one market since then and it could confuse one into thinking: every deal finds downstream investors, every company good or bad finds a home, you know anything at all about brazil, india, china or even saas sales, ecommerce or analytics (you know all these in a bull market).

White-label it: Make it ‘YOU’ inside.


Sometimes this is called a white label strategy, because your customers offer your product as their own product, writing in their brand name on the blank label in your underlying offering. This one wants to supply product comparison mechanisms for online merchants.

Why Startups Need to Blog (and what to talk about …)

Both Sides of the Table

But should you actually write one if you’re a startup, an industry figure (lawyer, banker) or VC? This is a post to help you figure out why you should write and what you should talk about. They became both a thought leader in the space as well as a beautifully designed product.

Should Startups Care About Profitability?

Both Sides of the Table

The most obvious way to explain this is with sales people. If you hire 6 senior sales reps in January at $120,000 / year salary then you’ve taken on an extra $60,000 per month in costs yet these sales people might not close new business 6 months.

6 Marketing Tips To Attract Customers To Your Rollout

Startup Professionals Musings

Everyone assumes their product or service is so great that “word-of-mouth” will carry the day for them. Even great products need great marketing “content” to fuel the ascent of their online message. If you want to connect with customers, put aside your writing formalities.

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Why Your Startup Doesn’t Need a COO

Both Sides of the Table

So I know I’m getting myself into a bit of trouble by writing this. They will often run all of the daily reports into them covering off for finance, sales, marketing, biz dev & HR. Many times they also pick up product and tech, too. But I ran product management.

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