Early Stage

48 articles in category Early Stage

This blog is devoted to startups, but sometimes the best decision one can make is NOT to attempt a startup. Allow me to list some of the necessary and sufficient conditions that make it possible for you as a founder to have a chance at …

Read more →

Sometimes I find really good startup concepts hidden behind the curtains of sloppy presentations. Not that every deck or one-pager requires professional graphic design, but a modicum of consistency in a clearly branded layout is a nice start. Grammar and structure need always to …

Read more →

There have been millions of words written and probably millions of classes taught on how to pitch a startup idea. But, with each new batch of presentations I see, it is obvious that we have no universal standard of excellence. Every crop requires coaching, …

Read more →

The net takeaway of a recent seminar I attended was that if you are an angel investor in a company that doesn’t subsequently land a VC round, your chances of earning a return are mighty small. This was a very carefully examined topic with …

Read more →

I hope you missed me last week. I was at the GA Tech Foundation summer board meeting at the beach, enjoying friends, great news, and a wealth of interesting content, not to mention a bit of sunny recreation. I’ve been going to this gathering …

Read more →

In a week of dreadful news about celebrity suicides, another obit caught my attention. I invite you to read the NYT story about Charlotte Fox, 61, a highly accomplished mountain climber. Among her many achievements, she was the first American woman to scale three summits …

Read more →

That is the most dreaded question one can get from an investor immediately after you have made your pitch. I am in possession this week of a stack of pitches and executive summaries that leave that very question unanswered. If Jim Hackett, CEO of Ford …

Read more →

As my regular readers know, I am a student of military history for lessons on leadership and decision making. This week I read Steve Coll’s Directorate S, a lengthy book on the US involvement in the Afghan wars since 9/11. With multiple viewpoints in the …

Read more →

This spring has taken me from very large gatherings like those at SXSW to a variety of board meetings and seminars with a couple of dozen in attendance. At any scale, it’s important to get those right. As a startup founder, you can find …

Read more →