Come with me to Doha this October (all expenses paid)

Back in 2017, I worked with the Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP) to run week-long program for entrepreneurs to visit Doha, look for great technologies to commercialize, and walk away with as much as $500K in seed funding from the Qatar Technology Venture Fund to launch a new startup. Things went so well, we’re doing it … Continue reading Come with me to Doha this October (all expenses paid)

Entrepreneurs who slack off after raising money aren’t entrepreneurs

Paul Smith recently wrote about the phenomenon of entrepreneurs who slack off after raising their seed round: “Here’s what I see three quarters of startups doing immediately after they raise a seed round:  After months of working 60 hour weeks (and the rest, usually) to launch and demonstrate early growth to convince investors they’re worth … Continue reading Entrepreneurs who slack off after raising money aren’t entrepreneurs

The Odds Are Always Against Startups

Y Combinator CEO Sam Altman just released a fascinating set of statistics about the firm. The numbers are pretty stunning; Y Combinator’s 940 companies are now worth more than $65 billion.  That’s an astonishing mean value of $69 million…and recall, that Y Combinator buys into those startups at a sub-$1 million valuation.  Now that’s a … Continue reading The Odds Are Always Against Startups

The Ultimate Startup Success Plan (based on 10 years of data)

First Round Capital, the first and foremost of the “micro” VC funds, recently released a retrospective set of lessons learned based on 10 years of investing data.  It’s an incredible trove of data, some of which I love, some of which makes me feel uneasy.  But since I always believe in working with the world … Continue reading The Ultimate Startup Success Plan (based on 10 years of data)

The Only 4 Reasons Investors Say “Yes”

Alex Schiff is a great guy and the creator of one of my favorite products, Fetchnotes.  I met him when he was raising money for Fetchnotes (in the end, I decided not to invest because while I loved the simplicity of the product, I concluded that there weren’t enough self-organizing people like me to represent … Continue reading The Only 4 Reasons Investors Say “Yes”

The Dangerous Conflation of Money and Self-Worth

One of the big dangers that entrepreneurs (and everyone else) face in Silicon Valley is the temptation to conflate money and self-worth.  I was reminded of this by an entrepreneur that I’m coaching, who has been dealing with the whipsaw effect of fluctuating net worth and income. Making money and/or getting a big payday through … Continue reading The Dangerous Conflation of Money and Self-Worth

What Entrepreneurs and Leaders Can Learn From Happy Marriages

As a happily married man, I can confirm what the latest research indicates: The secret to a happy marriage is kindness and generosity. When I was a kid, I was mystified by altruism; I couldn’t understand why my parents would always let me have the best share.  At the time, I just figured that they … Continue reading What Entrepreneurs and Leaders Can Learn From Happy Marriages

Drivetime Consulting: Amr Shady

I just completed my first Drivetime Consulting engagement yesterday.  Amr Shady reached out to me via email yesterday afternoon, and we set up a call for my drive home last night. The call was exactly what I was hoping for; Amr is a successful entrepreneur and all-around interesting guy, and he wanted my feedback on … Continue reading Drivetime Consulting: Amr Shady

Gaming The System Doesn’t Work, And Everyone Has Worries

One of the exciting things about Paul Graham handing over the reins of Y Combinator to Sam Altman is the fact that it gives Paul more time to write. Paul has long been one of my writing inspirations, and his concise yet conversational style has always struck me a near-perfect fit for his topics. I’m … Continue reading Gaming The System Doesn’t Work, And Everyone Has Worries

The Manic Side of Entrepreneurship

One of my long-term projects is to write a book about the psychology of entrepreneurship.  One of the issues I want to write about is what I call the manic side of entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs are innately optimistic; otherwise, they wouldn’t jump into a field of endeavor that has a 90%+ failure rate.  I can assure … Continue reading The Manic Side of Entrepreneurship