You can’t sing about that yet

I remember seeing an older singer, whose life was a drama worthy of a movie, tell a younger singer struggling with a song “you’re not old enough to sing that yet.” Think about this… Have you tried to build something and seen it go nowhere? Been delighted when people tell you your idea is cool? […]

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Why I don’t write about startup news

When I was in college I used to spend 2 hours a day reading newspapers. I’d start with the NY Times, go to the Wall Street Journal, maybe pick up the Financial Times, El Mundo, South China Morning Post, or for kicks People’s Daily. Few of those news stories meant anything lasting to me. I […]

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What startups can learn from the May 21 Judgment Day group (the greatest startup marketing campaign I’ve ever seen)

(And they did it during NYC TechCrunch Disrupt, too!)   The greatest marketing stunt I ever saw came from a fundamentalist religious group called Family Radio. I knew about these guys over a year before Judgment Day (received a flier from a convert) but I was amazed at how much awareness they eventually got for […]

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How to be worth your 0%

I was contacted to be a mentor for a graduating student who wanted to work at a startup, something I was happy to do. But the first question he asked me when we met was “What percentage equity should I get? Because I don’t want to get screwed.” I almost ended the meeting right then. […]

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The questions you ask determine the answers you get

I recently participated in a brainstorming group to help a friend generate ideas for her startup. First of all, it was a lot of fun. My friend had the session led by a creative brainstorming trainer, organized it very well and I think got a lot out of it. I’m looking forward to seeing what […]

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Secrecy and Startups

The word “stealth” used to be commonly heard in startup circles. Ten years ago. Today you’re more likely to be scoffed at for saying you’re a stealth startup and not openly discussing your work. As many have said, it’s not likely that someone you meet will want to drop everything they’re doing and copy your […]

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Old startups never die, they just fade away

OK, sometimes they die. But there’s a lot more fading away.   The startup world is like an iceberg — you only see the small bit that pops above the surface. The big ones that made it, that got major press, the ones you signed up for, the ones you really used, that you know […]

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Why startup events are bad for you

Any given day in NYC (where I live), there are 10 – 20 startup related events. If you didn’t want to talk to any non-startup people each day, you could probably do all of your socializing at startup events, too. It’s natural for people who spend most of their waking hours working on a startup […]

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No bubble in methodology

Remember what happened after the dotcom bubble? People ran away from anything startup related. B2B and B2C became Back to Banking and Back to Consulting. Companies that survived removed the “.com” that they had added to their official business names. But did we learn anything from passing through that bubble? Maybe we learned how not […]

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My four favorite arguments for why customer development is stupid

Every once in a while someone tells me that they’re intentionally not doing any customer development. Here’s a list of the reasons I’ve gotten for this. – “This is so cool, how could anyone not want this?” Actual words a startup said to me about their product. Even when they identified a niche that would […]

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