CEO Syllabus

I’ve collected below some of my more popular essays on how to launch and grow a company.

Evaluate the environment and what experiments you will run.

– The next great entrepreneurial opportunity: How to identify market white space (Video)

– How to identify macro technology trends

Build and assess your Minimum Viable Product.

– Ten experiments to test your new business hypothesis

– What geographies will you leverage and focus on?  See Why venture capitalists are investing in international startups.

Build your financial model.

– Best practices in building financial models

– Template financial model

– Valuing startup employee options

Assemble the team.

– Should you co-found a company with your friend? And how do you split the equity?

– Are you hiring a cultural fit? Do you actually want to?

– Recruiting hacks: How to woo and win the high performers (VIDEO)

– What is your culture?  See Design your company culture like the world’s largest hedge fund.

– Ready to join a new management team? Here’s how to do your due diligence first

Look for free capital

– Please don’t pitch a venture capitalist without this checklist

– How tech startups can get money and support from the Fortune 500

– Free government money for your early-stage company

– Free money for your impact tech startup

Optimize capital structure.

– What type of capital should you raise, and from who? (Traditional equity venture capital and private equity; Revenue-based investing VC; Venture debt; Merchant cash advances/factoring; Small Business Association Loans; crowdfunding; other)

– Should you raise traditional VC or Revenue-Based Investing VC?
– Revenue-Based Investing: A new option for founders who care about control  (Part 1 of 5 from my Techcrunch series)

Raise capital.

– Shaking the money tree: Social media and other tools for raising capital (VIDEO)

– The Virtual Handshake: Opening Doors and Closing Deals Online

– An Investor’s (or CEO’s) Personal Social Media Tech Stack: In the future, everyone will be famous for 15 followers

– Face-to-face meetings are important, but written collateral is mandatory for closing the deal

The investment committee rejected you; what does that actually mean?

Choose your investors.

– To evaluate the right investor, see Beyond the money: Best practices of VCs in helping early-stage companies create value


– How to make sales as easy as online dating


– Should you spend VC funding on a domain name?

– How to create buzz around your company

– Free publicity for your company

– What content should you promote where?

Manage the company.

– How to run your company based on metrics: what, why, how, who, and when

– Here’s how to use agile budgeting to manage your cash…not old-school waterfall budgeting

– Reinventing the Office: How to Lose Fat and Increase Productivity at Work

– Are you really being friendly to your employees with families…or is it just talk?

Work with investors.

– How to choose an investment banker…or replicate one

– How to manage your board meetings

Shut down

Your startup is dying — now what?