David Cain has many thoughtful and carefully observed posts on his blog “Raptitude: Getting Better at Being Human.” Here are excerpts from three posts that offer practical advice for entrepreneurs.
15 years after the 9-11-2001 attack on New York that left some 3,000 Americans dead and 4 years after the 9-11-2012 attack on a US diplomatic mission in Benghazi left four dead including a US ambassador it’s time for a look back. As to what difference this may make, George Santayana advises “those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
I am delighted that Taimur Alavi and the team at IVALA are joining forces with VIN the Veterinary Information Network. They have bootstrapped a significant amount of progress and I think VIN will provide the resources to accelerate not only the development of innovative applications and their reputation for excellence will encourage the spread of IVALA’s technology into veterinary practice.
More details from today’s announcement:
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.
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Some models I like for change management in organizations. Startup entrepreneurs frequently have to navigate the challenges managing change as a part of the sales process. Intrapreneurs should find this list useful as well. I welcome any suggestions for additions, refinements, or improvements.
A niche software supplier provides expertise and functionality that individual firms in an industry would find more expensive to develop on their own. Managing the feature content and evolution of the feature set requires that a reasonable fraction (for example at least 30-40%) of the customer base needs the feature so that they feel they are getting their money’s worth out of a monthly or annual software subscription. Here is a checklist that one of our customers, DataCare, uses to evaluate new feature requests.
Getting the best out of your team starts with careful listening and observation. This is especially true for a startup or a product team where you to want leverage input from a variety of experts around the table.
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.
An interview with Ben Yoskovitz on his recently launched Highline BETA, a new Toronto “startup co-creation company” that works with large companies to identify areas of opportunity, recruit founders, provide pre-seed capital, and co-create new startups.
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.
In “Pale Grey for Guilt,” John D. MacDonald suggests that we are born onto a sandbar in the river of time and die when we lose our footing and float with the current downstream.
Some excerpts from insightful remarks by Dr. Jessica Richman in “Citizen Science and Mapping the Microbiome” that I use as points of departure for additional commentary on open source models for collaboration.
Edited remarks from a presentation at the Silicon Valley Society for Competitive Analysis on Tue-May-24 on “Extracting Insights From A Competitor’s Software Demo.”
This article explores the specific experiences of an entrepreneur (who uses the pseudonym “Hard Drive,” a nickname he earned early in his career for his tenacity and decisiveness) and lessons learned bootstrapping a high-tech software as a service business in the social media space. His sustained efforts enabled him to raise $40,000 in angel funding, pull together a team of part-time contributors working for equity, establish three pilot customers and present to 11 venture capital firms. All of this was accomplished while the founder and CEO held regular, full-time employment at a Fortune 500 high tech firm.
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.