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Don’t Confuse Optimism with Business Potential

Overheard: I love your optimism. What I don’t like is the complete lack of experience that’s causing it. Ideally, a business pitch is exciting because the business potential is exciting. Optimism ought to be a combination of potential market, product-market fit, scalability, defensibility, and management experience. Better yet, early sales, initial growth rates, proof of concept […]
Tim Berry
Tim Berry , Founder , Palo Alto Software
6 Dec 2011

Investors Fund Solutions Rather Than Technology

Too many entrepreneurs develop a new product without regard for market demand, then build an entire strategy based on creating a need, rather than acting on an existing market need. Investors characterize this approach as a “solution looking for a problem.” These don’t get funded. The best startups find a way to drive the market with […]
Martin Zwilling
Martin Zwilling , Founder and CEO , Startup Professionals
5 Dec 2011

The Care and Feeding of Advisory Boards

Sure, you want investors.  But sometimes the outsiders most capable of helping your business are those who invest time, not money.  And I don’t mean because they lend a credible name to an investor pitch: way too many entrepreneurs look at names on Advisory Board as just a way to expedite a raise.  If that’s all […]
Bob Rice
Bob Rice , MANAGING PARTNER , Tangent Capital
3 Dec 2011

Do It Right The First Time: Avoiding “Janitorial” Legal Work

What is a startup really?  When meeting with early stage entrepreneurs for the first time, after reviewing a demo or hearing their pitch, I often ask them to articulate what they’re most focused on building.  In most cases, the answers are (1) an outstanding product or technology; (2) a successful growth business built around that […]
Antone Johnson
Antone Johnson , Founding Principal , Bottom Line Law Group
1 Dec 2011

Startup Capital: Feast or Famine?

For years there has been a pervasive opinion across the entrepreneurial landscape that the US has a shortage of capital required to startup and grow new ventures. It is suggested that companies cannot find the cash necessary to start new and exciting ventures. Furthermore during this economic downturn, we’ve heard a crescendo of voices lamenting […]
Bill Payne
Bill Payne , Angel Investor , Frontier Angel Fund
1 Dec 2011
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