So You’re Shutting Down Your Startup And You’re Scared…

I ran across Startups Anonymous, and a post entitled, “We’re Shutting Down and I’m Scared” caught my eye: http://bit.ly/1gc2r95 For better or worse, I’ve either been through or participated in shutting many companies down, so I thought it would be fun and potentially useful to provide my blow-by-blow advice: *** After over two years, backing … Continue reading So You’re Shutting Down Your Startup And You’re Scared…

Bravo to Mark Suster for Speaking Up For Older Entrepreneurs

It is well known that I have a man-crush on Mark Suster.  His focus on pragmatic realism dovetails neatly with my own interests, and when he takes a stand, I never feel like he’s doing it for effect. So my man-love leaped to new highs when I read a recent post of his where he … Continue reading Bravo to Mark Suster for Speaking Up For Older Entrepreneurs

Fear of Failure > Promise of Success

Anyone who has been following applied psychology in the past decade has heard of loss aversion–specifically, people react more strongly to the loss of $100 than the gain of $100.  This asymmetry is best expressed in the old startup adage (which predates loss aversion research), “Sell painkillers, not vitamins.” In my own professional career, I … Continue reading Fear of Failure > Promise of Success

Learn to savor your mistakes

Mistakes an an inevitable part of the startup process.  You can’t set out to do something that’s never been done before, and expect to get everything right.  (For that matter, you can’t set out to do something that’s often been done before, and expect to get everything right!) The key to success lies in how … Continue reading Learn to savor your mistakes

Why most startups have to fail, and why that’s a good thing

Some people think I’m a pessimist for pointing out the long odds against any particular startup succeeding.  It’s not fun to hear that even venture-backed startups have a 90% chance of failure. But startup failure isn’t just reality; it’s also a necessity…and even a benefit. 1) The number of companies getting started far exceeds the … Continue reading Why most startups have to fail, and why that’s a good thing

Sometimes, your startup can’t overcome “Original Sin”

I was touched recently by the sad tale of a failing entrepreneur I found on Hacker News.  Here is his cry for help: http://pastebin.com/1S4cD666 “I believe in our product, but I don’t believe in our business model.   When asked by friends doing “normal” jobs what it’s like running a startup (my first one, mind … Continue reading Sometimes, your startup can’t overcome “Original Sin”

Why I hate acquihires (unless I’m doing the selling)

The always insightful Mark Suster recently tackled the subject of acquihires–the practice of large companies buying small startups simply to acquire their people.  Mark lays out an excellent argument for why the acquiring companies are actually losing out when they make acquihires: http://bit.ly/10Cn0WP “You have been at Google, Salesforce.com, Yahoo! for years. You have worked … Continue reading Why I hate acquihires (unless I’m doing the selling)

Passion Turns Failure Into Success (Lessons from 11 years of Blogging)

A couple of weeks ago, I ran across this post from Jason Cohen. In it, Jason uses a series of excellent graphs to demonstrate one of the uncomfortable facts about entrepreneurship:Success feels like failure until it feels like success. Here’s how Jason put it: “What was going on during those first six months? Was the … Continue reading Passion Turns Failure Into Success (Lessons from 11 years of Blogging)