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Humans tend to subconsciously distort information and sculpt it to fit their existing beliefs. Confronting one’s own cognitive biases is critical when starting a company.

Most startups begin with an idea and then follow a series of winding steps including user research, design, launching an MVP — all on a quest to find product-market fit. Each of these steps can produce a ton of feedback; UX data, surveys, engagement info, etc and it can come from a diverse set of people — customers, employees, investors, even family and friends. The difficulty comes when deciding what to do with all this…


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“Bootstrapping vs Raising Capital” are the binary terms that many people view the continuum of fundraising options. In my many years of experience, this is a gross misunderstanding of what lies ahead for new founders. Money doesn’t usually fall from the pockets of the well informed investor like rain in a storm. A more likely title should be “you are going to be bootstrapping because most people won’t give you a lot of money for a long time.”. Not quite as appealing of a title? …


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The problem with this world is that too many people are full of shit (or water depending on the proper idiom in your neck of the woods). It has probably been this way forever, but I wasn’t around until a few years before Teddy Ruxpin hit the scene so I couldn’t tell you what it was like before that. Since the beginning of my time as an amateur social observer in the early 90s (so starting when I was 6), this is as exciting a time as I can remember for the bullshit ecosystem. Why? Because the world continues to…


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I love reading books about startups and business. I thought I’d share some good ones I’ve read in the past year or two with a quick blurb about why you might like them if you are looking for something new and interesting or are in a rut. This list got kind of long as I was writing it. I really enjoyed all of them so I would have felt guilty leaving any out.

The Outsiders by William Thorndike

This tells the story of eight different CEOs at large companies and provides insight into their decision making process. I personally like…


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One of the most frustrating elements of working in a team with multiple stakeholders who have various priorities (ie sales, marketing, finance, engineering, etc) is that it’s easy to lose sight of what drives a digital business forward. Most industries in 2020 are extremely competitive and the days where you can skate by with a crappy product and good marketing are behind us. The next generation of digital marketing is going to be driven more by great product experiences and organic growth than by paid media. …


NOTE: How you approach these steps can vary quite a bit based on how your company is performing, the market you are in and your personal network.

I can speak to my experience selling a company that I bootstrapped quickly to a few million dollars of annual revenue in the mobile programmatic advertising space.

1. Talk to some bankers. At almost every revenue level and company sector, there are people who specialize in this process. Keep in mind that talking to bankers, doesn’t mean that you need to use them. They can provide insightful information and also signal that you…


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I read an article last week in The Athletic about Washington State football coach Mike Leach. He has been really successful as a coach and has consistently produced high flying offensive teams with quarterbacks posting impressive statistics. He is also known as a very eccentric character. The article interviewed many of his former quarterbacks and players to get insights into his tactics and his generally uncommon behavior.

I found it to be super insightful. His advice and strategy for quarterbacks? “Throw the ball to the fucking open guy”. It’s not such a simple thing to actually do, but the goal…


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3D Printer, image: unsplash.com

About 6 months ago, for whatever reason, I really wanted to learn more about 3D printing. Probably some sort of ⅓ life crisis (if I live to be 102) and the feeling that technology is flying forward like a rocket ship and I am being left in the dust.

I had watched a number of YouTube videos and read a bunch of articles, but I still wasn’t satisfied with understanding how it worked or how I could make practical use of the technology. I hope this short article can help you understand the basic “how” and “why” of 3D printing.


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Image: freepik.com

There are many different approaches taken to both vetting and valuing an early stage startup company (with high growth aspirations). I wanted to share a few of them to give you a picture of what that VC you are hoping to talk to might be thinking about. Hopefully this will help you empathize with their perspective and understand what might be going through their mind when considering your company.

VETTING:

Typically, an investor (or investment firm) will have some thesis or lens through which they view the world of investments available to them.

This is often a function of their…


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Image: Freepik

I am not an early stage VC but recently had a chance to mentor a large number of startups 1-on-1 in a very condensed period of time. All of the startups I worked with had a live product and some level of traction. The experience left me with a much more visceral understanding of how hard it is to pick investments at this stage and actually be helpful to early stage teams.

I was slightly apprehensive when I was first asked to mentor all of these startups in such a short time period because I wondered “what the hell do…

Charlie Lambropoulos

All things startup and technology. Founder of https://www.scrumlaunch.com— A product development studio for high growth startups and leading brands.

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