Are you recruiting for the right attributes?

If you are recruiting staff for simply domain knowledge and experience you can check their resume, their references, and their knowledge via interviewing. But is domain knowledge all you need to check for? From what I’ve seen over years of recruiting domain knowledge, whether it’s programming, marketing, sales or finance is necessary but not sufficient, … Continue reading “Are you recruiting for the right attributes?”

The most important perq you can provide – and it’s free!

Bill Gates was recently quoted about the best perquisite you can provide your employees: The competition to hire the best will increase in the years ahead. Companies that give extra flexibility to their employees will have the edge in this area. So what exactly does he mean by flexibility? For one thing, where the employee or team … Continue reading “The most important perq you can provide – and it’s free!”

Why colleges and universities are great markets

  I almost always advise my mentees to start their ventures by tightly focusing on a specific market niche, dominating that niche, and then and only then, expanding to other market segments. I often cite Facebook’s go-to-market strategy as the best and most successful examples of this. As most people know, Facebook was born in … Continue reading “Why colleges and universities are great markets”

What do you look for in job candidates?

One of the primary job of any leader is providing the requisite resources to achieve the specific goals that evince the venture’s mission. Typically those resources are capital and people, though of course in biotech and other fields it might be equipment and laboratories as well. Regardless of the market a founder is targeting recruiting … Continue reading “What do you look for in job candidates?”

Options for enterprise business models & pricing

Amongst the most common questions I get as a mentor are “What should my business model  be?” and “How do I price my product?” B2B business models have been changing over the decades I’ve been in the technology business. In the very early days I remember the many struggles over how to deal with enterprises: … Continue reading “Options for enterprise business models & pricing”

How to save time at meetings – management by exception

Everyone hates meetings, and for good reason. They interrupt workflow (meetings are usually called by middle managers, not individual contributors like programmers or graphic artists who need to concentrate for extended periods of time) and bore most of the people, most of the time. The problem is that many companies have regularly scheduled status meetings. … Continue reading “How to save time at meetings – management by exception”

The startup investment timeline

One issue that continues to surprise me in meetings with founders is their expectations about how long it takes to raise capital. I recently met with a couple of founders who thought they could raise angel capital in a month! I thought it would be helpful to put together a typical timeline for raising capital … Continue reading “The startup investment timeline”

Government issues get added to post about startups

A while ago I added government regulations to the four areas both founders and investors now need to examine in order to judge if a startup is investor-ready (team, market, product being the other three). So I was interested to read the sub-title of the article on Why a Mentor is as Important as … Continue reading “Government issues get added to post about startups”

How do you keep an important team member happy?

  The typical corporate response to this question is simple: give them more money, give them more power, give them more perqs! But in the startup world we do things differently and this can give us a sustainable advantage over traditional companies.  We often lack the cash to give employees more money – founders themselves … Continue reading “How do you keep an important team member happy?”

What do VCs look for in startups?

There is a lot of advice on how to develop an investor presentation, I have plenty myself on this blog. But looking at an investment not from your perspective as a founder but rather from the perspective of a VC can yield some useful insights. Dr. Jitendra K. Das, Director of the FORE school of … Continue reading “What do VCs look for in startups?”