Awesome video from Vinod Khosla at Startup Grind

Feb 12, 2014 | No Comments

I watch tons of videos, few as good as this, some really great analogies and thoughts across the board. Take the time to watch this…it’s worth it.

Fundraising: Just when I thought it had all been said…

Aug 8, 2013 | No Comments

I have to say that I really love Paul Graham’s concise and direct writing style and content. I read it all, always, it’s gold!

However having been around for a long time its not that often I read something on an a well worn topic that I go “wow” what a great way to look at this…well he has done it again.

He has just updated the complex topic of fund raising for startups with a fantastic new article that really gets the the heart of the matter of investor sentiment and what often makes them invest – “confidence” of the founders – or as as Paul says “formidable founders”.

Read more here:

http://www.paulgraham.com/convince.html

The excellent book “Venture Deals” advice: Be smart, get a stable of experienced mentors

Mar 26, 2012 | No Comments

The excellent book “Venture Deals” by Brad Feld, Jason Mendelson gives a ton of great advice, one nugget you should know is smart Entrepreneurs, even experienced ones like me, get a stable of experienced mentors.

Here’s their specific advice:

These mentors can be hugely useful in any financing, especially if they know the VCs involved.

We like to refer to these folks as mentors instead of advisers since the word adviser often implies that there is some sort of fee agreement with the company. It’s unusual for a company, especially an early stage one, to have a fee arrangement with an adviser around a financing.

Nonetheless, there are advisers who prey on entrepreneurs by showing up, offering to help raise money, and then asking for compensation by taking a cut of the deal. There are even some bold advisers who ask for a retainer relationship to help out. We encourage early stage entrepreneurs to stay away from these advisers.

In contrast, mentors help the entrepreneurs, especially early stage ones, because someone once helped them. Many mentors end up being early angel investors in companies or get a small equity grant for serving on the board of directors or board of advisers, but they rarely ask for anything up front.

While having mentors is never required, we strongly encourage entrepreneurs to find them, work with them, and build long-term relationships with them.

The benefits are enormous and often surprising. Most great mentors we know do it because they enjoy it. When this is the motivation, you often see some great relationships develop. The Entrepreneur’s Perspective Mentors are great.

There’s no reason not to give someone a small success fee if they truly help you raise money (random email introductions to a VC they met once at a cocktail party don’t count). Sometimes it will make sense to compensate mentors with options as long as you have some control over the vesting of the options based on your satisfaction with the mentor’s performance as an ongoing adviser.

Some of Steve Jobs Rules of Success: "Dream Bigger"

Mar 18, 2012 | No Comments

Carmine Gallo of Entrepreneur Magazine posted an interesting article, here is a summary of what she thought of Steve’s key success factors:

1. Do what you love. Jobs once said, "People with passion can change the
world for the better." Asked about the advice he would offer would-be
entrepreneurs, he said, "I’d get a job as a busboy or something until I
figured out what I was really passionate about." That’s how much it meant to
him. Passion is everything.

2. Put a dent in the universe. Jobs believed in the power of vision. He once
asked then-Pepsi President, John Sculley, "Do you want to spend your life
selling sugar water or do you want to change the world?" Don’t lose sight of
the big vision.

3. Make connections. Jobs once said creativity is connecting things. He
meant that people with a broad set of life experiences can often see things
that others miss. He took calligraphy classes that didn’t have any practical
use in his life — until he built the Macintosh. Jobs traveled to India and
Asia. He studied design and hospitality. Don’t live in a bubble. Connect
ideas from different fields.

4. Say no to 1,000 things. Jobs was as proud of what Apple chose not to do
as he was of what Apple did. When he returned in Apple in 1997, he took a
company with 350 products and reduced them to 10 products in a two-year
period. Why? So he could put the "A-Team" on each product. What are you
saying "no" to?   

5. Create insanely different experiences. Jobs also sought innovation in the
customer-service experience. When he first came up with the concept for the
Apple Stores, he said they would be different because instead of just moving
boxes, the stores would enrich lives. Everything about the experience you
have when you walk into an Apple store is intended to enrich your life and
to create an emotional connection between you and the Apple brand. What are
you doing to enrich the lives of your customers?

6. Master the message. You can have the greatest idea in the world, but if
you can’t communicate your ideas, it doesn’t matter. Jobs was the world’s
greatest corporate storyteller. Instead of simply delivering a presentation
like most people do, he informed, he educated, he inspired and he
entertained, all in one presentation.

7. Sell dreams, not products. Jobs captured our imagination because he
really understood his customer. He knew that tablets would not capture our
imaginations if they were too complicated. The result? One button on the
front of an iPad. It’s so simple, a 2-year-old can use it. Your customers
don’t care about your product. They care about themselves, their hopes,
their ambitions. Jobs taught us that if you help your customers reach their
dreams, you’ll win them over.

There’s one story that I think sums up Jobs’ career at Apple. An executive
who had the job of reinventing the Disney Store once called up Jobs and
asked for advice. His counsel? DREAM BIGGER. I think that’s the best advice
he could leave us with. See genius in your craziness, believe in yourself,
believe in your vision, and be constantly prepared to defend those ideas.

Are you an Entrepreneur? – Session 2 Slides

Mar 6, 2012 | No Comments

Thanks for coming to the workshop: Are you an Entrepreneur?, below are the slides for the first session in pdf format.

I look forward to seeing you at another Workshop or event and wish you all the best with your entrepreneurial or new career plans.

- Workshop session 2 PowerPoint slides

Jon Gillespie-Brown

P.S. If you want to do me a favor (contribution) please donate to the Grameen Foundation via purchase of the book, OR if you have done that please rate the book on Amazon.

http://www.tobeanentrepreneur.com/blog/buy/

If you are an Amazon US customer go here to buy or rate the book:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1841128031/

Rating is very important as it helps raise awareness of the book and more people buy!

P. P.S. Please comment below on what you thought of the workshop?

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