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

Category Archives: When Startups Fail

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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10 Sure Ways to Get Your Plan Trashed by Investors

After struggling to create your business plan for months, every entrepreneur likes to think that their document is inspirational and will reach someone who is smart enough to see the brilliance of the idea, intuitive enough to recognize their business acumen, and enthusiastic enough to offer the money required to make it happen.

Every serious investor, on the other hand,

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5 Dysfunctions That Make Your Startup Unfundable

Every investor I know can tell you at least one story about a great startup team that failed, even though it was well-funded and staffed with qualified and smart people. The reason almost always given is that the team didn’t work well together (dysfunctional). What does that really mean?

In my experience, genuine teamwork is hard to find, and even

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The Great Crowdfunding Train Wreck of 2013

The verb “to disrupt” in all its forms is rightly popular in the startup world.  To many entrepreneurs, few things are as personally satisfying (or as lucrative) as disrupting an entrenched, complacent, monopolistic, inefficient or stagnant market in ways that often empower consumers and producers alike.  Consumer Internet and mobile technology businesses continue to be rife with opportunities for disruption.

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Veering Off the Beaten Path Into Murky Legal Waters

Path, a high-profile San Francisco social media startup, ignited a firestorm this week with the revelation that its mobile application uploads users’ entire iPhone address books to the company’s servers without their knowledge or permission.  The practice, discovered by Singapore developer Arun Thampi, provoked outrage within the user community and was broadly condemned by the tech business press.  Jon Mitchell at ReadWriteWeb wrote

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