Recessions breed incredible opportunities for startups, if only us Founders knew where to look and how to leverage them.
At its core, a recession distracts everyone all at once, meaning only a select few will have the fortitude and foresight to find advantages. What we need to do during these times is step back and look at the overall picture to understand not just what's happening to us, but what's also happening to everyone else.
This is where the opportunity begins.
It's really hard for anyone to stay focused on growth when the walls are closing in around us. That's why most of our competition will be circling the wagons and staying completely fixated on internal struggles and survival. This is a gol...
What if we defined success by what we DON'T have to do anymore?
What if we didn't have to work with people we don't like? What if we never had to miss dinner with our kids? What if we never had to think twice about taking a vacation?
Does this sound like startup Shangri-la? I thought so, too, until 8 years ago. I decided to build Startups.com based on everything I never wanted to do again.
It fundamentally changed my life.
It turns out that making a list of things we don't want to ever do is actually much easier than a list of things we are trying to accomplish.
That's because saying "no" is more immediate. We can say, "I'll take more vacations when I'm really rich" (the "someday" paradox), or we can say,...
Would you rather make $200K with a shitty quality of life or $100K with an awesome quality of life?
In the startup world we all seem to understand that $200K is better than $100K, but we do a really lousy job of qualifying that difference based on what actually matters — our quality of life.
When we step back for a second, we may come to find out that "compensation" in strictly monetary terms, is a broken metric. We're all really trying to translate those dollar signs into how it will impact our quality of life.
So why don't we just start with what improves our quality of life and then figure out where money comes in?
Years ago at Startups.com, we instituted a work from home policy. At the time we were all sti...
8 years ago I decided that whatever startup I was going to launch would be the last startup I ever did.
I made this decision after launching 8 startups and realizing that creating a company as a "means to an end" was a shitty way for me to live.
I found myself in this constant cycle of being wildly preoccupied by "the next thing." Raising money for my startup was a means to a quicker exit. Killing myself meant I could finish this chapter faster, more successfully.
I had endless justifications for compromising my life because I could always "make it up later."
This time around I decided to change it up.
I asked myself, "What if I picked what I wanted to do for the rest of my life NOW?" So instead of maki...
Getting equity back from an existing stakeholder isn't easy — but it is possible.
It's a situation that very few Founders have ever been through before, so no one really knows how to go about it. Let's talk a bit about how the situation develops and what we can do to get some of that precious equity back into our coffers.
More than anything, equity isn't just a stock issuance. It's a promise that at some future point that stock will be worth cash money — maybe.
When we think about pulling the equity back, we have to think in terms of how to redeem that promise of payment in some capacity. It's not just a matter of "taking it away" per se, it's a matter of trading the terms of the initial agreement ...
Every Founder feels like their startup must be the one company that is a total shit show compared to how those other startups must be running.
We believe that if we can just get past this next set of challenges, things will finally be smooth sailing.
What we don't realize, especially if we've never done this before, is that the problems never really go away. It's just a never-ending "whack-a-mole" game with different problems.
When we're small and scrappy, our problems are all about survival. How are we going to meet payroll? How are we going to land that one early investor?
They feel weighty and life-threatening — and to be fair, they are. But those formative years are stressful in the wa...
The investor pitch. It's feared. It's desired. It's terrifying.
But don't worry: We've got you covered. Here's everything you need to know about that all-important investor pitch.
Invisu.me Co-Founder and CEO Donna Griffit is a master pitcher who has helped countless founders distill their pitch down to exactly what they need — and nothing they don’t. She had the opportunity to sit in on a private pitching event where a delegation of startups had the opportunity give a five minute pitch and receive direct feedback from a group of top-tier Silicon Valley VC’s. (So top tier that she can’t even say who was there but, trust us, you will want to memorize this section before your next pitch.)
Here’s what ...
Somehow the startup world has convinced people to work for "free" on a regular basis, with the theoretical benefit of some big payout on equity later.
The truth is, those bets rarely work and once the pixie dust of the new startup wears off, what's left is a bunch of frustrated employees who can't pay their bills.
Although we have little to no money to pay today, we should always try to incorporate some level of cash compensation, even if it's incredibly small, to help offset the cost of life that our team is going to inevitably face.
When our team is more focused on going broke than contributing, we're not really doing anyone a favor!
Compensation doesn't have to be "all or nothing."
Just because someone mak...
“When we first launched things were going gangbusters. But since then, things have kind of flat-lined. The business seems stalled. What do we do from here?"
Part of the challenge with running a startup is that we simply don't have any history of whether past performance was the future of our business or "just a really good quarter.”
For this reason, it's hard to tell whether we're really stalled until enough time has gone by that we can see the writing on the wall.
We imagine a "successful startup" always has a stout growth trend that runs "up and to the right" on every chart. But that's actually not really true.
Yes, there are some standout companies that smash records, but most companies grow slowly over a long ...
I’m going to let you in on a little secret. I’m not that smart, and yet I’m a pretty good online marketer. I am actually probably one of the better ones out there.
So, how’s that possible? Well, you don’t have to be smart to be the best marketer. Instead, you need to be creative, execute well, and continue to learn from others.
Here’s the process I used to become a great marketer, and here is how you can follow in my footsteps:
When I first started out in the world of online marketing, I didn’t know anything about it. I didn’t know how to edit HTML; I thought MSN was a bigger search engine than Google; and I had no idea where to start.
But the one thing I did know is that there are marketers out there who are a...