Thoughts on startups by investors that
fund them & entrepreneurs that run them

Viewing all posts by Tim Berry

user Tim Berry

Tim is the founder of Palo Alto Software and bplans.com, the co-founder of Borland International, and the official business planning coach at Entrepreneur.com. He has been called the "Obi-wan Kenobe of business planning" and "The Father of Business Planning." He is a serial author of books and software on business planning.

How We Do the Due Diligence for Our Angel Investment Group

Bill Payne had an excellent post here a few weeks ago, Raising Your Hand as Due Diligence Lead for Angel Groups, which starts with a this:

Through Rob Wiltbank’s ground-breaking study in 2007, angels in groups learned that collective due diligence on new deals really pays off.  The 538 angels included in this study enjoyed 2.6X returns over the life of

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Why Sweat Equity Often Stinks

Posted by on March 6th, 2013

Somebody asked for standard boilerplate for sweat equity via the ask-me page on my website.

I am looking for a contract template which states an agreement for services in exchange for equity. I was hoping that you would have a template that you can share.

That’s not going to happen. Fundamental sweat equity is beautiful, blisteringly clear, and real. It needs

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Big Obvious Failure is Better Than Long Slow Lack of Success

Steve Blank has a good post today called Failure and Redemption, which he introduces with this:

We give abundant advice to founders about how to make startups succeed yet we offer few models about dealing with failure. So here’s mine.

Steve’s experience was Rocket Science Games, which raised $35 million and a cover story in Wired Magazine before failing. He writes about

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What? Avoiding Undue Diligence? Seriously?

I suspect this is one of those provocative posts that gets misquoted, misaligned and misunderstood, and definitely not to be taken at face value. Still, read  Avoiding Undue Diligence: My Strange Approach To Angel Investing, in which Dharmesh Shah argues against due diligence in angel investment.

The Startups Weekend Phenomenon and Angel Investors

Actual, fundable, serious startups in a single weekend? No. Real? Great learning experience? And worth doing? Yes.

Last Sunday night I judged nine pitches from nine groups that started from scratch just two days before, late Friday afternoon. They had some good ideas, good pictures, a prototype or two, some good video … and an entertaining event.

I’m posting

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Is the Startups Buzz Dimming?

Is the bloom off of the startups rose? Two days ago the New York Times published this story about investors getting pickier.

I think the NYTimes’ headline is slightly off from the story’s content. It’s not that much about a rocky recent past; it’s more about money being too easy in the recent past, and now, as a natural result,

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The Experience vs. Education Curve in Startups

Years ago I came across the idea that in entrepreneurship, education and experience contribute to likelihood of success roughly like you see in the chart here. The underlying assumption is that a lot of education makes up for very little experience, and vice-versa. And this is in the context of startups, investment, and entrepreneurship.

I’ve drawn it here MBA style,

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On Why We’re Pivoting from Mobile-first to Web-first

Consider this (emphasis is mine):

Ads are the Internet’s tax on users who want free apps and websites. Allmost all free apps and services have ads. Ad-supported companies are akin to the government in the sense that they are both really good at finding ways to charge you without it seemingly coming out of your pocket. Many people’s taxes are

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Users Guide to Startup Advisors

What’s an advisor to a startup deal? Technically, advisor is one of those bucket terms that means anything and everything, depending on context. Those names and faces and backgrounds that turn up in pitches and business plans might be deep and important relationships, somebody with options or equity who is going to be helping for the long term; or meaningless

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Founders Learn One Day at a Time Like Everybody Else

I like this a lot. The executive summary:

Dropbox Co-Founder Drew Houston believes false mythologies about tech company founders do a disservice to aspiring entrepreneurs. While many people think all tech founders start with world conquering visions, says Houston, the reality is that founders learn one day at a time just like everyone else.

This less-than-two-minute video comes from Stanford’s

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