Who has more fun: VCs or entrepreneurs?

I was asked a question on Quora today, about whether it is better to be a venture capitalist or an entrepreneur. The first assumption behind this question is that you have a choice: there are literally thousands more entrepreneurs (if you count all small businesses) than there are venture capitalists. And some people, e.g., graduates of top business schools, former management consultants and investment bankers can have the choice. I […]

A CEO’s job description

I had the pleasure of a car ride last night with a top Silicon Valley tech founder. He has gone through the process of hiring a CEO for his business a few times, and was shocked at how few of the candidates (many brought to him by a top head-hunting firm) understood what the job of the CEO was. So what is the job of a CEO? The description is […]

The secret of success: monthly reports

Having been an entrepreneur for 15 years, it’s obvious to me how important ‘reporting’ is, i.e., how important it is to update and engage your network. It isn’t obvious to everyone. I realised in reading a blog post shared in today’s Startup Digest reading list that it’s not obvious for everyone. So, let me add to the points made in the blog, and tell you: who you should share with, […]

A surefire way to identify competitors

I recently reviewed the executive summary of a company I have been mentoring through IncMind (yes, we have a coaching/mentoring package). The first part of their executive summary has improved dramatically since we started: now I’m convinced and excited by reading it. Then I came to the ‘competitors’ section. His answer was ‘we don’t have any competitors, really we don’t’. I’ve posted in the past on how this is not […]

Motivation for struggling entrepreneurs

Most entrepreneurship experts will tell you that a key success factor is persistence. The entrepreneurial life has ups and downs. One day you sign a new partnership; the next you lose a contract that you have been working on for three months (both have happened to me in the past 30 days). You’re excited one day and depressed the next. In fact, almost any entrepreneur will be able to tell […]

Entrepreneurship and Love

What do Valentine’s day and entrepreneurship have in common? Neither of them can succeed without the support of your spouse or romantic partner. If you’re a single entrepreneur, in some ways life is very easy. You can become monomaniacal, work crazy hours, and have the business occupy most of your waking, and dreaming, hours. Nothing distracts you from achieving your results. I know what this is like: I was single […]

Investor management secrets

Our last post explained why 70-80% of venture capitalists are harmful to their investees, as inspired by the quote from Vinod Khosla. The question now is: what can you do about it? How do you make sure you have a powerful, supportive relationship with VCs … or more importantly with any investor? Our answer here is inspired by Bilal Zuberi, a venture capitalist who wrote a rebuttal to Vinod, where […]

Founder divorce is predictable

During the holiday, I caught up with an entrepreneur about to go through a founder divorce. I haven’t talked with him for a year (when he thankfully took my advice to put vesting in). As I heard details of his story, my attitude changed from ‘it’s a shame you’re breaking up’ to ‘of course you’re breaking up, you could see this coming a mile away’. Discerning readers may point out […]

The 4 Ways Teams Fail

(As originally printed in Techvibes) For many investors the most important factor in their investment decision is the team. They’ve seen more businesses fail for team reasons than for any other reason. Here’s the four ways that teams fail (part of the 10 ways that businesses fail), and therefore, the things that investors are looking for in the team itself. 

Your future self thanks you

I am the founder and designer of IncMind, a web and mobile platform to help entrepreneurs manage information. Many people wonder why entrepreneurs need to manage information. Don’t they have enough other things to do? We do. That’s precisely why we need an information management tool. As entrepreneurs, we need information for two audiences: our future selves (today’s post) and everyone else.