It’s not uncommon for Founders to have all of their net worth tied up in their company without a real dollar to show for it. Our startup might be worth millions on paper, but is there a way to turn it into real money?
Trying to be a business leader by instilling fear in your employees and partners is never a good approach, but it is particularly devastating in a startup. Yet I see this approach used all too often by new entrepreneurs, most of whom are not natural tyrants, but who are fighting to mask their own internal fears and insecurities about starting a business.
Most entrepreneurs are quick to assert to potential investors that their product or solution will kill the competition, but unfortunately, your opinion alone is not enough to convince most experienced investors. They want quantifiable facts and figures on how your offering compares to recognized key players in your domain, and quotes from recognized third-party experts […]
Some entrepreneurs forget that talking is not communicating. Fortunately, these skills can be learned, and the barriers to communication can be overcome one by one.
I’m still surprised to see so many situations where things that should be easy are painful to customers and lead to customers hating your business. How could any rational employee or executive fail to do his or her job, not realize there is a problem, or not care enough to even try to do the right thing?
If your startup doesn’t have a customer profile yet, it’s time to stop, rewind, and get on it. Here’s how.
A refrain I often hear from technology entrepreneurs to investors is that their product or solution is so innovative that it will cause a “paradigm shift” in the industry. Their assumption is that customers and investors will be wowed by this into buying, ignoring the evidence that large-scale change takes a long time, most often fails, and scares away customers and investors alike.
I’ve always wondered why an inordinate number of successful businesses today were started by people born outside the U.S., including Sergey Brin (Russia) at Google, Elon Musk (South Africa) at Tesla, John W. Nordstrom (Sweden), and Pierre Omidyar (France) at Ebay. It seems like these emigrants would be least likely to succeed, with all their extra challenges.
Using accurate data is critical, and getting that is not always easy. And, if you don’t have accurate data, you may be making the wrong business decisions that could end up hurting your business, when you thought you were helping it. Allow me to explain.
Marketing is everything these days. You can have the best technology, but if customers don’t know you exist, or they don’t know how your technology solves a real problem for them, your startup will fail. Yet I see many technology entrepreneurs that focus on the basics of marketing too little and too late.