Leading the Growing Business

Professor Eric Flamholtz says new leadership is needed as start-ups mature.

Y Combinator President Sam Altman Is Dreaming Big

The Silicon Valley startup factory that birthed Airbnb and Dropbox has grown even more ambitious under its new leader.

The Inside Story Behind the Unlikely Rise of Airbnb

In 2007 Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia were broke and looking to raise money to make their rent in San Francisco. They decided to rent out air mattresses in their apartment to attendees of a conference because all the hotels were booked. They called their service “Air Bed and Breakfast.” In a few years, this small experiment would create the hotel industry disruptor Airbnb. The … [ Read more ]

Bret Taylor

Building a better mousetrap isn’t enough to set you apart. In fact, incumbent competitors have a number of advantages that could kill your startup, including entrenched distribution channels and consumer familiarity. Start to dethrone incumbents by making users a little uncomfortable; to make “better” matter — and users care. In many ways, your quietest, most steadfast competitor is indifference. The bottom line is you have … [ Read more ]

Five Things I will Do Different for My Next Startup

Appcelerator was not my first startup and certainly I hope not the last. We learned a ton from it and we made a lot of great decisions and certainly a share of bad ones — like all startups.

Here’s some of things I’d like to do different for my next startup and hopefully some lessons learned that you might find helpful. (Obviously, each startup is different so this … [ Read more ]

David Heinemeier Hansson

In the abstract, economic sense, a 30% chance of making $3M is as good as a 3% chance of making $30M is as good as a 0.3% chance at making $300M. But in the concrete sense, you generally have to make your pick: Which coupon is the one for you?

The strategies employed to pursue the 30% for $3M are often in direct opposition to the … [ Read more ]

David Heinemeier Hansson

People who make lots of little bets on many potential unicorns have christened themselves angels. Angels? Really? You’ve plucked your self-serving moniker from the parables of a religion that specifically and explicitly had its head honcho throw the money men out of the temple and proclaim a rich man less likely to make it into heaven than a camel through a needle’s eye. Okay then!

[…]

Angels … [ Read more ]

Snag the Best Advisors for Your Startup, from Best-selling Authors to Fortune 500 CEOs

Amy Chang, who ran product for Google Analytics before founding data-driven networking startup Accompany in 2013, counts dozens of luminaries among her advisors — including best selling authors like Chip Heath and Nir Eyal. Fielding this type of expertise seems like a nearly impossible feat, but her only secret is this: She spent years figuring out how to methodically build her network — and is … [ Read more ]

How We Raised a $7 Million Series A from Foundry Group — our Top Choice VC

Ultimately, fundraising success requires:

fundraising execution + a compelling story/vision + evidence of traction + sheer determination + good fortune (luck)

This article focuses on the first of these five variables: fundraising execution. Below I lay out a 7 step framework to guide you through your fundraising process, and share some lessons learned having now successfully raised money for three separate ventures (and made plenty of mistakes … [ Read more ]

Jeff Haynie

The one thing you want as a founder of a startup are options. You’re going to die much much faster because you ran out of options. Options are really what it’s all about. Options give you a chance to control your own destiny. When the times get tough, if you have options, you can use them. Without optionality, you’re screwed.

Jeff Haynie

It is frankly very, very difficult to scale fast. At a startup, it’s close to impossible. You need a lot of things that are inherently a mismatch at a startup to make scaling fast work. […] How do you hire 50 people in the next two quarters when you’re only 40 people today? Those existing customers and existing roadmap? Forget it. You’ll turn 110% of … [ Read more ]

Keeping On the Blade: How Successful Startup Founders Persist To Discover Hockey Stick Growth

Coverage of the supposedly meteoric revenue growth of a number of Silicon Valley startups has fueled unrealistic notions: what a good idea looks like; how fast a founder should expect to be able to attract investment capital; and how quickly, even with a really great idea, growth will take off. If we use unicorns as a guide for our own startups, it appears that success … [ Read more ]

The 30 Best Pieces of Advice for Entrepreneurs in 2015

The Review is now over two years old and home to dozens of stories that have resonated and made a difference. In 2015 alone, we added nearly 100 new articles, full of granular how-to’s for designers, product managers, marketers, recruiters, sales leaders, executives and many more. What follows is a list of the 30 most impactful, change-making pieces of advice drawn from everything we published … [ Read more ]

The 30 Best Pieces of Advice for Entrepreneurs in 2016

The Review reflects on the extraordinary people they’ve interviewed and long-form articles they’ve published over the last year.

A Broken Place: The Spectacular Failure Of The Startup That Was Going To Change The World

With almost $1 billion in funding and ambitions to replace petroleum-based cars with a network of cheap electrics, Shai Agassi’s Better Place was remarkable even by the standards of world-changing startups. So was its epic failure. A 21st-century cautionary tale.

Seed Fundraising — How to Get a Meeting

The first part of fundraising is getting the meeting and 90% of startups fail at this point. Here’s how to make sure you get meetings with the right investors.

Lessons Scaling from 10 to 20 People

Ten person startups (or smaller) often have a lot of generalists. Everyone does a little of everything, which is what can make startups exciting. When you grow past 10 people to 15 or 20, that structure starts to break down. All of a sudden the generalists in slash positions will move from two part-time jobs to two full-time jobs and will stop being effective. The … [ Read more ]

The How-to Guide for Corporate Venturing

Businesses are breaking out of the old too-big-to-fail mindset to face disruptive technologies head on. Disruption’s survivors are learning how to benefit from new modes of engagement with potential competitors and tomorrow’s startups. Call it corporate venturing. In this paper, the co-authors outline a menu of options for established businesses looking to embrace startups in their drive to achieve profitable growth.

16 Definitions on the Economics of VC

Scott Kupor of Andreessen Horowitz attempts to clear some of the opacity of how the VC industry works, by defining some basic terms, beginning with a bit of history.