The Top 17 Articles of 2017

It's been an amazing year here at! Make sure you've read our top startup articles of 2017 before the calendar turns over to 2018.

December 15th, 2017   |    By: Steph Newton    |    Tags: Strategy

Truly, it has been a busy and productive year! Here at, we will be taking it easy, spending time with our families and drinking way too much ‘nog until the New Year.

While we are on this short hiatus — lets take a stroll down memory lane and review the top 17 articles that we published in 2017.

Read them all at once, or portion them out like a kid trying to make Christmas candy last until Easter. Either way — we won’t judge. Enjoy!

1. How to Write a Business Plan For Investors (That They Will Love)

A good business plan should do more than explain what your company does, how you earn money and what you want to do. It should also tell a persuasive story and illustrate the many ways that your company and product are Grade-A Awesome. Take a quick peek at this guide and craft your best business plan yet.

2. An Unbelievable Journey

Airbnb absolutely should have died long before it got close to Y-Combinator. Why they didn’t is a story of $40,000 in maxed out credit cards, dozens of rejections, a lost cell signal that almost tanked the company, burned fingers, a high fiber diet of “Cap’n McCains,” and everyone thinking they were nuts. One thing’s for sure — no matter how screwed your startup may seem… The early days of Airbnb were even worse.

3. Finding the Energy to Work on Your Side Hustle

Building a business is hard. Doing it in your small bursts of free time while you’re working a full time job is even harder. It’s not easy, but you can do it. And it can be extremely worth it.

4. The Seven Culture Mistakes That Startups Make

If you want to be in business forever, you need to build a culture that sustains the business. Paula Cizek, Chief Knowledge Officer of NOBL shares the seven culture mistakes that startups make.

5. SEO for Beginners: The Complete Guide

New to SEO? Our SEO for beginners guide offers a step-by-step overview to understanding how Search Engine Optimization (SEO) works, how to grow traffic, rank well on Google and other search engines, and get more online revenue.

6. How Long Will It Take To Have a Successful Startup?

Launching a startup can happen in a blink of an eye. But, it takes time to turn it into a bonafide business. You should expect to spend four years just to get moving in the right direction, and between seven and 10 years to make your startup the success you dreamed it would be. Check out these and other insights into how long it should take to have a successful startup.

7. How to Create an Eye-Catching Pitch Deck

A pitch deck is one of the most important tools to get a new venture off the ground. It can feel like an impossible task — especially if you lack design skills or are low on funds. However, this guide demonstrates a detailed and reliable process to create a successful pitch deck without having to outsource the work. Remain in control of your project and influence investors to get on-board. Shall we get started?

8. The Emotional Cost Of Being A Startup Founder

Running out of emotional capital? You’re not alone. We don’t do a great job of talking about the most important cost of starting a company – our mental and emotional well-being. Every bit of startup life chips away at our lives as a constant grind. It’s a journey few of us truly appreciate until we are too far into it. It’s time to start having a more open conversation about what it really costs on an emotional level to be a startup Founder.

9.  The $70M Dog Sitter

When starting a business, find a market that has unmet needs — so you aren’t creating one from scratch. Instead, you focus on changing consumer behavior and on educating the market on why your service is better. In Aaron Hirschhorn’s case, people don’t like dog kennels and, in many cases, leaving their dogs with friends and family. Find out how Hirschhorn overcame those dislikes to become the $70M dog sitter.

10. Billion Dollar Baby

“I’m not going to be coy and say, ‘Selling for a certain amount of money is not awesome.’ It’s great. Let’s all admit it. It’s awesome. At the same time, it’s not what gets you up in the morning,” Kevin Systrom, founder of Instagram, says. So what does get him up in the morning? Keep reading to find out.

11. Getting Your Idea Going: How to Validate a Business Idea the Right Way

It’s all about that early validation. The good news it doesn’t take too long and it’s generally free. Validating your business idea isn’t a dark art. It’s literally asking people whether they would use or buy what you’d make. But, the challenge is this: How exactly do you go about doing that? There are really only a few parameters to consider before you can start to understand if you’ve struck gold—or, if your idea is just another piece of rubble.

12. The Reality of Working for a Startup | It Isn’t All Ping Pong Tables and Free Snacks

Think working for a startup is going to be all ping-pong tables and beer at lunch? Think again. Sorry to break it to ya, but the reality of working at a startup is a bit more… complicated. While it can be incredibly rewarding, it has its downsides. We sat down with several startup founders and employees to hear what working at a startup is really like.

13. How To Get Angel Investor Agreements Using Win-Win Deal Structures

Like doing any deal, getting good angel investment deal structures is all about creating a win-win situation. Once you get an angel investor interested in your deal and agree on basic terms, you will need to discuss the best way to structure the investment. This is a critical juncture in every startup’s evolution, as the provisions you agree on here will be carried with you for the life of the angel investment deal.

14. The 7 Things To Stop Doing For Your Company

Being in the office together isn’t the same as actively helping your team grow. Having a keg, or snacks, or dogs, or games, or a lunch area do not equal company culture. Each of these things add to your efforts — but people need you to lead. It’s how successful companies get through the hard times, the periods of crazy growth, and everything else in between. That said, not everything is helpful and not everything is useful. If you want to build an indestructible team, you shouldn’t do these seven things.

15. The Emotionally Fit Founder, Part Two: Traits of Emotionally Fit Leader

Like any fitness regimen, emotional fitness is an ongoing commitment. Those willing to invest in themselves will see huge payoffs down the line. See how you stack up – and where you can improve – by reviewing the 7 Traits of Emotionally Fit Founders.

16. Scaling Your Startup … With Soul

The Co-Founders of SoulCycle share how they took their business plan scrawled out on a napkin and scaled it into a spinning phenomenon that is sweeping the nation — one stationary bike at a time.

17. Have You Done A Customer Journey Map For Your Startup Yet?

Customer Journey Maps are seriously magical. When you systematize your customer experience with a customer journey map, you can turn customer delight into a bonafide process that you can repeat again and again. Don’t know where to start? No worries — we gotchu.

About the Author

Steph Newton

Steph Newton is the Content Manager at When not geeking out over small businesses and tech startups, you can find her golfing, gardening or devouring the most recent book she picked up at her local library. Follow her on Twitter: @thisisstefi

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