Imagine what would happen if we spent as much time trying to teach kids to become entrepreneurs as we did trying to get them to prepare for the SATs?
Let's remember that a disproportionate amount of our academic focus is around a series of standardized tests designed in an era where homogenizing the workforce was our number one goal (side note: it worked).
Now our goal is the polar opposite: differentiating our workforce. The only way our kids will succeed is if they can stand apart from others and chart their own course.
That's the essence of entrepreneurship, and it's something we can absolutely teach.
Kids are natural entrepreneurs.
They possess the most powerful skill any of us can have...
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 ...
App development is not a straightforward process, despite how much "process" developers add to the equation. There are basically 3 things that are never working in our favor:
First, the idea is in our head, not in the developers head, so the translation is a huge, time consuming challenge.
Second, we're building an app that has never existed before, so we don't actually know how people are going to use it or what features are required.
And last, we're assuming that our developer is capable of completing a working app. All of these are giant issues that should give us pause (and keep our cash in the bank for a minute!).
We have to think about building an app in stages — not the whole enchilada all at once. To do that, w...
Funding doesn't make a lot of sense to first time Founders. In our minds, we think, "Hey, investors want to make money, so if my startup can make money, who cares how big it gets?"
Unfortunately, that thinking overlooks one big fact: that for every one investor check out there, there are hundreds of startups competing for it.
In order to understand how investors look at one deal versus another, we first have to understand how investors look at deals in the first place.
There's no absolute rule here, but investor behavior generally follows a consistent trend. Most "professional" investors (people who invest consistently) gravitate toward investments that can yield an exponential return, such as an IPO.
When it comes to building a startup, you are who you hire. Not only do the people you bring onto your team determine the direction and destiny of your product; they also shape what it will be like to come to work every day. So as you get started on the process of “who” your startup is going to be, we want to make sure you’re thinking about something major: team diversity.
Team diversity refers to differences between members of startup team. Those differences can include demographic differences (like age, race, sex, ethnicity), personality (extrovert, introvert, and differing Myers-Briggs types) and functional (as in skill sets, like engineering, design, copywriting, and marketing).
When we think a...
The myth of the "stolen startup idea" somehow continues to live on, despite an insane lack of proof to the contrary. The thinking goes that if someone else hears our idea, they will simply take it and create a billion dollar business from it.
On paper (and in movies) that can happen. In reality, it's basically a Sasquatch myth.
Just having an "idea" for something accounts for nothing. Great companies aren't built because someone had an idea for something that no one else thought of — we all have novel ideas.
Great companies are built through an insane amount of dedication and execution that (rarely) leads to a big outcome.
By the way, plenty of people had the idea for a social network — and built them — before Facebook was ever "stolen."...
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...
Building a startup that drives our lifestyle choices is incredibly hard, no matter what that care-free Founder's Instagram might suggest.
In order to make our startups work around our lifestyle, we have to make a deliberate choice to bend the fabric of reality to meet our demands.
It's crazy hard. But it can actually be done.
The foundation for having a startup that supports our dream lifestyles is making really strong commitments to those lifestyle choices. For example, if we're parents and we want to make sure we never miss our kid's soccer game, we have to publicly make that commitment and stick to it.
Sometimes just announcing those commitments is a great way to get the ball rolling. When we launched...
While the term “product-market fit” gets thrown around a lot in the startup world, it’s not always very well understood. In fact, we can’t even agree on who created it! Some people say that the concept of product-market fit was first developed and named by entrepreneur and investor Andy Rachleff. Others give credit to famed investor Marc Andreessen, who at the very least popularized term product-market fit when he wrote about in a 2007 blog post. He said, “Product-market fit means being in a good market with a product that can satisfy that market.”
In other words: You could have an amazing, sophisticated, well-thought out idea — and people just don’t get it. (Think: That first focus group for Pied Piper on HBO’s ...
Think of big companies like the Death Star.
On the outset, it's a planet killer. But its weakness, (other than a really questionably-architected ventilation system), is that it moves at a glacial pace.
I spent 10 years running a digital agency working with these Fortune 500 giants like BMW, Best Buy and Eli Lilly.
What we don't see on the outside is how impossible it is for these companies to move internally and how we can use that lack of mobility to our advantage versus worrying about our home planet of Alderaan getting blown up.
The first thing we need to know about big companies is that their culture is almost always faced entirely inward.
That means their staff, unlike ours, spends more time co...