Q: I am in the process of forming a scientific advisory board for my startup in the healthcare / facility management space and I would welcome any insights or suggestions.
There are a lot of misconceptions about finding early adopters of a new product or technology. It’s a question that comes up often in early market exploration: this post is a summary of my experience and current best thinking.
Some quick answers to common questions about how to protect your intellectual property (IP) and when to incorporate.
Here are some questions to ask yourself before you start negotiating a complex business relationship: for example a software license, SaaS subscription, or a reseller or OEM relationship. Entire books are written on negotiation, I am trying to highlight some questions that can get overlooked.
Sean Murphy will moderate a panel of three experienced startup attorneys on November 29 for a Silicon Valley Cofounder Academy event at Hacker Dojo on “Cofounder Legal Challenges and Solutions.”
Entrepreneurs need to invent their future: this requires a cycle of discovery, invention, growth, and renewal.
It’s important to understand who your customer is and what their critical business needs are. Helping customers is only possible once you have identified who you are truly serving (who will pay you) and which of their needs or problems you can help them address.
Offering expert consulting means developing a specialization and focus that enable you to execute with distinction. The phrases “finding the niche for your product” and “product market fit” are essentially equivalent. A key definition of a market is that members reference each other’s buy decisions and therefore building up a set of references lowers your next prospect’s perception of the risks in your product or service (not just will it work or will you do what you say you can do but are you going to offer them significant value.
The customer determines the details that matter in assessing the quality of your product. Here is a true story where this was brought home to me.
Painful cofounder experiences are more common than happy ones, and especially so when the parties don’t know each well to begin with and the business startup fails. Here is a real email exchange that explores some ways to minimize the risks.
Many entrepreneurs who are naturally optimistic make a serious mistake in discouraging pessimistic thinking instead of putting it to good use. The clever utilization of constructive pessimism is one of the keys to success.
Some thoughts on the half-fast entrepreneur with half-vast experience. Any resemblance to the author or the reader is purely coincidental.
The targets that founders set for a startup, and the metrics they choose to measure their progress toward these targets, are key decisions in the definition of the business. The wrong targets–in particular selecting only targets that are easily achievable–will not only postpone difficult choices that will bring clarity but may doom a team from the beginning if they don’t adjust and aim for outcomes that create a sustainable and growing business.
A startups social capital, the network of relationships that the founders have with friends, former co-workers and associates, and friends of friends represent a key resource for the team. It’s possible to activate this network to help you solve a variety of problems–e.g. finding a cofounder, finding early employees, finding contractors, finding early customers, finding investors, finding advisors–but you can normally only activate for one purpose at a time.
To make effective use of your advisory board you have to provide them written material in advance that offers context on your situation and the questions you want to explore with them.
Tequity advises software and technology companies on how to get the best valuation from strategic buyers with a good cultural fit in an acquisition.
Our Office Hours for Startups program offers a no cost no obligation conversation around challenges founders wrestle in any of five startup stages: Idea to Formation, Open for Business, Early Customers, Finding Your Niche, and Scaling Up.
A panel of four entrepreneurs will address the practical considerations for evaluating and joining a startup as a co-founder or early employee at a Wednesday, August 17 event at the Silicon Valley Cofounder Academy.