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A Chat with Unforeseen Startup Warrior Nick Frost


  

…when I started StartupList, I didn’t know where it would lead or even that I was actually creating a startup. It was just a project I was working on to learn more about startups and how to build a website. It evolved into something I never could’ve imagined at the time.

There is no better way to hear the story of how Nick Frost came to champion startups than to hear it straight from his mouth. Startups Live was incredibly fortunate to have such an opportunity.

Often this collection of Founders turns over nitty gritty details of building startups, examining a particular question or aspect of the work. This talk does some of the same, but it also brings the role of fortune into the field of play – not luck, or the unexpecte...



Article

Renovating Your Startup Office: Creating a Google Space on a MySpace Budget


  

Years ago, I was having ice cream with my wife on a hot summer night and I overheard a group of 16-year-olds talking about how one of them went to work with his dad. I remember him saying:

“I went to his office and it was so boring. Everything was bright lights and pale colors. If I had to be in an office all day I’d make it just like my bedroom and enjoy hanging out there.”

I distinctly remember looking at my wife and saying, “That kid has it figured out. I spend 14 hours a day in a room I don’t want to be in with a job that I love.” I vowed one day to change that.

That was ten years ago. It apparently took a really long time for me to act on this one, but I finally did, and I have to say the kid knew ...



Article

How Do I Get People to Take Me Seriously?


  

Getting taken seriously as a Founder is real work.

It's not some entitlement that's handed to us when we've achieved some career milestone. No matter who we are, we all have to fight for our ability to get taken seriously.

Why do I need to work so hard, shouldn't people reserve judgment?

That would be fantastic, but the world just doesn't work that way. Especially among Founders whose credibility is tested on so many fronts — from acquiring customers, to pitching investors to hiring staff.

Our ability to establish our credibility early and often is critical to our success from the moment we found the company.

How can I change the way I present myself in a room?

Believe it or not, body language sends huge signals.

A well-presented Founder ...



Article

Good Enough Never Is (Or Is It?)


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One of the sayings I hear from talented managers in product development is, “good enough never is.” It’s inspirational, always calling the team to try harder and do better. It works to undermine excuses for poor or shoddy work. And, most importantly, it helps team members develop the courage to stand up for these values in stressful situations. Especially in teams that are managing by objectives (or OKRs), the pressure to deliver is intense. Under such pressure, the temptation to cut corners, to quit prematurely, or to hand off shoddy work to another department is overwhelming. It requires courage to stand up and say: “this work is simply not good enough. Sure, we could get away with it, but that’s not how we work.” Good m...



Article

The Next Big Thing Isn’t BDaaS – It’s How You Use It


  

At one time, only the corporate elite could afford to collect and crunch millions of data points to optimize their businesses. But with the advent of big data as a service, companies of all sizes now have the chance to take part in the big data revolution.

Although the need for data isn’t new, the amount of information and the type of intelligence it can provide looks starkly different than it did even a few years ago. In fact, the same amount of data influx that was achieved over the past 50 years is now achieved every two days.

If you’re serious about data, you need a way to store, manage, and analyze millions of numbers that will point your business in the right direction. As your company expands, your data stockpile will also grow expon...



Article

Why You’d Make A Terrible Angel Investor


  

I started angel investing almost by accident, which sounds strange to say. Who “accidentally” invests tens of thousands of dollars into highly speculative ventures? Well, I did.

A friend introduced me to Clayton Christopher who was raising money for his new liquor company Deep Eddy. Their first product, a sweet tea vodka, was amazing and he was an experienced entrepreneur, so I went in.

Investing was an exciting, interesting process. Then the company took off, and I got to tell everyone I know that I invested in that new vodka that everyone in Austin was drinking. Winning is the ultimate intoxicant, and from there, I was hooked.

I started investing in companies left and right. I became a huge cheerleader for angel investing. I w...



Article

Your 10-Step Guide to Website Maintenance


  

Your website is like a car: if you fail to get routine oil changes, the vehicle’s performance will continue to drop until the engine stalls. Don’t let this happen to your website after all the hard work you’ve invested in getting it up and running. You, your web developer and your hosting company should follow the website maintenance checklist below.

  1. Thoroughly review and test the entire website (annually or after any updates). Set aside time to methodically and thoroughly review all pages of the website. You may find broken links, features that don’t work or areas that can use improvement. Pay special attention to overall user experience, load time, missing or outdated content, missing page titles or meta tags (content descriptions), inco...


Article

How to Create a Successful Advisory Board For Your Company


  

With today’s fast-paced, ever-evolving and competitive market, a lot of companies decide to create a board of advisers that can give them fresh ideas and recommendations to keep up with today’s world.

For small companies, creating a well-run advisory board can give them an edge over their rivals. An advisory board that is composed of experienced people can help a company increase sales and flourish in their chosen industry. Seems pretty straightforward, right? But not a lot of companies do this or, if they do, do it right.

The Basics: What is an Advisory Board?

An advisory board is a group of consultants who provide advice and give support to the management of a company. They have no authority or power to arbitrate in corporate matters. The...



Article

Dreaming in Technicolor


  

It’s hard to decide who has changed the most in the last 12 years: Thrillist or its co-founder and CEO Ben Lerer.

Back in 2004, Thrillist was frequently described as the male equivalent of DailyCandy, a female oriented email newsletter that sold for $125 million only to be killed by Comcast. To be clear, that is still one of the largest content exits in the Web era, and it inspired plenty of envy at the time. Many expected Thrillist to be flip-bait as well.

Fast forward to today and Thrillist has raised more venture capital than that DailyCandy acquisition– much of it during a $100 million mega round announced last year. That deal rolled up Thrillist and three other media platforms into one company called Group Nine, and Discovery inv...



Article

5 Tips for Landing Corporate Sponsorship with Roberto Candelaria


  

Business strategist and consultant Roberto Candelaria has been in the business for years, and is a pro when it comes to sponsorship. Roberto has experience working with big brands like BMW, DELL, Disney, Hilton, State Farm, Wells Fargo, and Zappos. He sat down to talk us through the ‘RELAT’ model – his top tips for landing a corporate sponsorship for your startup.

Represent

Know who you are as a company and what your mission and values are. Strive to work with companies that share a similar vision and will compliment your company rather than turn it into something it’s not.

Establish

Determine what you want to have sponsored, and plan out your timelines. Look at this as creating your business plan for what the sponsorship will look like. Th...



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