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

Blog Archives

Copywrong: Brilliant, Disruptive, Illegal Business Plans

Entrepreneurs tend to focus on opportunity rather than risk, and rightly so.  As Steve Blank has written, at its core, a startup is an organization formed to search for a repeatable and scalable business model.  In the lexicon of the lean startup movement, once “product-market fit” has been achieved, the focus shifts to scale and execution as the startup matures

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No, I will not sign your non-disclosure agreement.

Entrepreneurs are often surprised when investors refuse to sign non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) or confidentiality agreement when offered an opportunity to read the entrepreneurs’ new business plans.  After all, every new startup features secret ideas, partnerships, intellectual property and/or technology.

5 Ways A Business Plan is a Promise, not a Product

One of the questions I hear most frequently is how to find consultants to help with developing a business plan for investors. Often it seems as if people are thinking that the right prose and formatting could make the difference between investor interest or lack of it.

Who’s The Real Competition?

Perhaps the most misunderstood topic in the world of startup investing is the question of who the competition is and isn’t.  And angels get this wrong just as often as entrepreneurs do.

Of course, we’re all familiar with the inevitable pitch slide on the topic, which features some sort of grid or circle image with – how fortunate! – a

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Social Media is a Boon to Startups Who Do It Right

If your startup can’t be bothered with social media, or has no plan to take advantage of it, then you are definitely at risk these days. But simply jumping in is not enough. Before you start spending money and time being a user, you need to understand how it can help you and your business. Using it randomly or incorrectly

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Good Business Writing is Not a Mark Twain Novel

In the world of business, you only get one chance for a great first impression. The stakes are high – you are asking an investor for money, a customer for an order, or another executive for a partnership. Badly written letters, long rambling or emotional emails, or an obvious lack of spell checking will brand you as a poor business

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