Five reasons why startups fail

No one likes to talk about it, but the odds of success for startups are pretty slim. In order to move the needle in your favor, you first need to understand where the potential minefields are. Avoid these five startup killers, or do your best to have controls in place to mitigate them.

Read more

The path to success: four ways to maximize your product development process

So you’re ready to start developing a new product or service idea? That’s great, but how can you ensure that you actually will achieve the outcome you’re hoping for? Here are four key steps that will help guide you in developing a process that will maximize your chances for success.

Read more

Reality check: Is your startup ready to launch its new product or service?

The launch of something new is one of the most thrilling moments for entrepreneurs and future-focused companies. A new product or service introduction can dramatically change a company—and the marketplace. But before you risk investing significant time and effort developing a new product or service, you need to step back and take a hard look at your company’s strengths and resources.

Here are four things to consider before committing to developing a new product or service.

Read more

Bootstrapping your way to success: how to make it ‘til you make it

When you're just beginning to build your startup, funding options are limited. Traditional banks won’t talk to you. VCs want to see traction and angels want to see a great MVP. Revenue-based financing isn’t an option yet, because you don’t have revenue. And on the off chance that you could get investors interested at this early stage, you’d have to give up a large chunk of equity for the financing you seek—a lot larger than you would need to when your company is larger and more financially secure.

So what are your options? The best thing you can do is bootstrap it for as long as you can. When you bootstrap your way to success, your company isn’t hampered by loan obligations as it grows, and you haven’t given up control to investors.

Here are 4 things to keep in mind as you bootstrap your way to success.

Read more

How the lower cost of innovation changed everything

Over the past decade, starting up a tech business has gotten much cheaper. Servers and other hardware are now available on a SaaS basis, allowing you to pay as you go for what you need. Thanks to the increased availability of APIs and SDKs, you don’t have to code everything from scratch, allowing you to speed up your development cycles. New tools and communities are making it easier to launch businesses collaboratively.

The cost of bringing a product to market has dropped 90%, and the speed to do so has increased the same amount. As a result, there are more startups than ever—and they’re launching products at an increasingly fast pace.

This dramatic change in the startup landscape has profound implication for entrepreneurs trying to enter the market. Here are three key things you need to know to thrive in this new world.

Read more

Why company culture lies at the crux of success for startups

Seasoned entrepreneurs who've experienced the ups and downs of working at a startup know how critically important it is to create a culture that solidifies and connects the team. It's what inspires people to do their best work.

When you’re fundraising, the quality of your team is an important consideration for investors. They want to make sure that the founder’s team can work well together and have the skills and experience to succeed in the marketplace. Here are three tips for shaping a culture that ensures your dream team is equipped to reach its goals—and won’t fall apart during times of crisis.

Read more

What we learned from Concur's Rajeev Singh at 9Mile Labs Demo Day

Last Thursday, more than 500 people from the start-up community gathered in Washington State Convention Center downtown Seattle. They were there to watch nine entrepreneurs present their great ideas. These nine founders represented companies that graduated from the 4 month-long accelerator program at 9Mile Lab. 9Mile Lab focuses on cloud and software start-ups in the B2B space.  Here are the highlights of the demo day.

Read more

8 principles from Salesforce on how to become a successful enterprise app company

We wanted to share with you some great insights from the folks at Salesforce on what it takes to build a successful enterprise app company. We work with many Salesforce ISVs as well as other enterprise app companies and these 8 principles match closely to paths traveled by the most successful companies we've funded. Not to steal their thunder—because you should definitely take the 10 minutes to look through the e-book—but here's how some of the key insights from Salesforce relate to raising capital.

Read more

Top 5 Mistakes You Should Avoid When Starting a Business

Neil Patel came out with a great article in Greek Wire. He grew up around many entrepreneurs, so he knows some good pointers for starting a business. In his article he tells us about many mistakes to avoid when you are starting your own business.

Read more

Lighter weekend reading

In the course of a week, I probably end up with between 40-50 articles I want to read but don't, so by the time I get to the weekend, I pull up my ReadItLater list, and try to sift through the good stuff. I thought I'd help save you some time while still making sure you see some prime articles from the past week.  I'm calling it your "lighter" weekend reading. Clever, huh???

Read more