Maxed Out Mentor

There are a handful of startup world terms that I can’t stand. Sometimes that’s because the terms are confusing. Other times because they’re downright unhelpful. Other times it’s just because I’m preternaturally cantankerous. I’m not sure into which one of those my experience with the word “mentor” falls. To rethink these old issues, start with […]

Continue Reading »

What I Learned Running Startup Programs on Three Continents over Five Years

Five years, multiple program formats, 100+ companies, tens of millions in funding, lots of customers, exits, all across three continents… This past July marked five years I’ve “formally” led startup programs. Here’s a synopsis of those five years and an intro to what I learned along the way. Read more here…

Continue Reading »

Should Startups Work on Global Problems? Is the Pope Catholic?

Pope Francis drives an old Ford Focus. He wears cheap orthopedic shoes. He took the bulletproof glass off the famous popemobile, saying it was better to be close to the people and take his chances. He never moved into the official Papal quarters in the Vatican and instead lives in a small apartment. The pontiff, […]

Continue Reading »

Five Skills for Feasibility

Five Skills for Feasibility

I taught the Feasibility Analysis class at USC for three semesters and this semester am taking a break from it. Instead, I’ll focus on my new growth hacking class and running the USC Incubator. So it was with some surprise that a colleague asked me to speak to his graduate class on feasibility analysis. It […]

Continue Reading »

A college level class in growth hacking?

In a few days I’m teaching the first class in Growth Hacking at USC. I created this class because no matter what you feel about the “Growth Hacker” term, I find the role to be sought after by graduating students and the skill set to be appreciated by businesses. As far as I know, this is the […]

Continue Reading »

The Disposable Startup

I wrote this post a while ago, but am posting it here for the first time. The Disposable Startup.

Continue Reading »

Hey Hong Kong Startups — You Know That List? It Doesn’t Matter

Two years ago today I said goodbye to friends and colleagues, got on a plane and left Hong Kong. I had spent just a year in Hong Kong focused on working with the growing number of startups there by running AcceleratorHK and an earlier program called Startup Bootcamp. When I gave a farewell talk at […]

Continue Reading »

Investment Thesis for a University Incubator

Recently I was hired by USC, specifically USC’s Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at the Marshall School of Business, to build a USC Incubator program, open to any USC student or alum. As I started to survey needs of potential participants, I wrote an investment thesis. You might ask why have an investment thesis for a university program […]

Continue Reading »

USC Incubator Description

Working with early-stage founders has been my focus for the past three years. After running a startup in New York, I started holding a roundtable series that grew into a bootcamp and then a funded accelerator program in Hong Kong. I’ve advised or had as clients that are startups from early-stage revenue to millions of […]

Continue Reading »

Judging the Judges

In the startup world, there are many occasions in which startups are judged and few (if any) occasions when the judges themselves are judged. I want to quote my friend and startup advisor Kevin Dewalt, who in a recent blog post wrote “We don’t need to be judges – the customers are the only judge that matters.” […]

Continue Reading »