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Top 9 Easy Career Hacks That Most People Don’t Do

I agree with Brad Feld: Most people flake.  If you’re not a flake, you are far more likely be trusted, promoted, and funded.  If you execute on the steps below, you’re well on your way to being a top quartile performer.I gave a presentation to Womensphere a few months ago on the most valuable [...continue reading]

Venture Capital Superheroes

CB Insights just included ffVC in 13 Micro VCs We’re Watching, along with a (highly inaccurate) superhero graphic.  CB Insights has become a very influential data source in the industry.  In fact, I recently had dinner with a well-known VC who said that he was surprised to see the CB Insights [...continue reading]

A Checklist For Writing Code

Ever since I studied Total Quality Management in college, I’ve been a bit obsessed with documenting processes.  I was particularly influenced by Dr. Atul Gawande’s “Checklist Manifesto”, which underlined for me the value of collecting, documenting, analyzing, and continually re-optimizing best [...continue reading]

How ff Venture Capital Works With Universities And Students

I meet with a lot of people from the academic world, so I thought it would be helpful to summarize how ff Venture Capital works with universities.  Our main goals are: to understand the cutting edge of new disciplines; meet potential founders/employees; and also to help the broader technology [...continue reading]

How to Create Competitive Market Maps With MarketMap.me

At least ¼ of the investment proposals I get have a "market map" of some sort: a graphic analysis of the competitive landscape.  I think competitive analysis is critical.  Any useful startups is trying to perform some useful job for a client, and you have to understand what people are currently [...continue reading]

Ten Experiments To Test Your New Business Hypothesis

You know that a new idea has gained dominance when it becomes practically a cliché.  That is what I’ve seen happen with the “Lean Startup” philosophy of viewing your startup as a scientific experiment in search of a business model.  This started as a new idea, then became popularized, and now people [...continue reading]

Feedback Is A Gift; Should You Ask For It?

It’s rare to find someone who is insightful about you and your business ... and rarer to find someone confident enough in their relationship with you to give you honest feedback.  I treasure these people, and have paid a coach to do this for me personally.When you’re meeting with your board, I [...continue reading]

Please Don’t Pitch A Venture Capitalist Without This Checklist

I’m surprised at how many funding pitches I get which lack some of the basic information which investors require before funding.  I think this stems from two causes:1) Lack of basic knowledge of the information investors require.  But I would hope that a reasonably competent founder could easily [...continue reading]

The Best Movies About Real Business, Not Hollywood’s Idea of Business

Eric Ries likes to asks audiences who has seen a movie about a startup.  Normally everyone has seen “The Social Network”. But, quoting a recent profile:“Perhaps Ries’ most important message was that the same democratization of entrepreneurship has been tied to a glorification of the profession. [...continue reading]

Raise Capital With The Skin You’re In: Blunt Truth from Don Charlton, Founder, JazzHR

How do you raise capital for your company when you’re not in the traditional social circles of the money people?  In particular, the VC industry is 76% white male and overwhelmingly straight; what if you do not fit into that bucket?I’m speaking on a panel this afternoon on fundraising for [...continue reading]

Design Your Company Culture Like The World’s Largest Hedge Fund

Ray Dalio, Founder of Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest hedge fund, is a man after my own heart.  A few years ago he publicly set down his core Principles for living, managing, and investing.  Bridgewater uses these codified rules for recruiting, training, and most important, managing the [...continue reading]

How To Pitch An Entrepreneur And Persuade Her To Take Your Cash

With the rise of a trillion-dollar crowdfunding market, angel investors bundling their investment offerings, and family offices doing more direct investments, venture capitalists are no longer the only available source for entrepreneurs seeking funding.Now that anyone can benefit from the global [...continue reading]

How to Get World Class Experts to Support Your Company

As the former CEO of a professional expert network, I’m a firm believer in the value of speedy access to relevant experts.  I was excited to see that GLG (formerly Gerson Lehrman Group), the industry leader, is now offering a professional network service geared to the needs of the startup community: [...continue reading]

You Are Leaving Money On The Table: The Secrets Of Pricing

Oscar Wilde said that a cynic is a “a man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.” A startup CEO should know both.One of the most powerful levers a CEO has to impact profitability is pricing. Typically, a 1% price increase has more than twice the impact on profit of a 1% [...continue reading]