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Beyond the Pitch

Articles That Caught Our Eyes

As we were doing a bit of beginning-of-the-year housekeeping, several articles caught our eyes.  Here are a few that we found interesting.

One thing about entrepreneurship, there are lessons to be learned everywhere!

leancanvas_heroTip #1: Prove out your concept before building a business around it. Many entrepreneurs think their idea is ready for prime time well before it really is. Learn how to prove out your business case before building a product or company around it.  Leverage resources like the Lean Canvas 1 Page Business Model template to get you started. Once you have confidence in your model, seek out more in-depth resources like TechColumbus’ Concept Academy to validate your model with customers before you go to market.

Tip #2: Building a great engineering culture in a technology startup takes lots of management attention, a little finesse, and a willingness to fire the jerks. In this First Round CTO Summit talk, Joe Stump, co-founder of multiple startups gives straight talk about what managing engineers is like herding cats. Read an interpretation of Joe’s talk or watch the complete video.

Tip #3: Learn from the successes…and failures of those that have succeeded. Study the fastest growing firms and find out what they did right – and wrong. Here are some good ones: Ten Things I Learned Researching Ten of the World’s Fastest Growing Startups, 11 Lessons I Learned at Startups that Keep Me Up at Night, and The Top 20 Reasons Startups Fail from CB Insights. By the way, CB Insights publishes a great newsletter.

ACAlogoforWebRGBTip #4: Learn to think from an investor’s perspective, especially angel investors. Angel investors are the primary source of seed and concept investment capital. They are looking for much more than the next great technology. If you want to raise capital from angels, look at your business the way they do. The director of the Angel Capital Association, Marianne Hudson, has said the upcoming months could be some of the most important ever for angel investing. Check out her recent article in Forbes, 2015: The Year for Angel Innovation, Growth, and Returns?

Tip #5: Pay attention to experts who pay attention to industry trends. Barry Moltz has helped entrepreneurs and small businesses improve their sales and marketing with simple and strategic steps for the last 20 years. He’s participated in our Expert Speaker series and specializes in helping entrepreneurs of every stripe get unstuck. Read Barry’s thoughts on trends affecting small businesses. “Future Trends”: http://smallbiztrends.com/2015/01/2015-small-business-trends.html.

And one last tip. There are lots of great books on entrepreneurship out there. Most of us are always reading something, and we all have our favorites. One of ours is The Art of the Start, by Guy Kawasaki. If you haven’t read it, you should. If you have read it, it’s well worth a second read.

Okay, one more tip. If you have a great entrepreneurial idea, contact us. We have experts with expertise and great advice. We want to talk with you.

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