Competitive Differentiation

One of the more exciting, and challenging, aspects of being an entrepreneur in a new, fast-growth market is the constant stream of changing competitors. New markets are very different from established markets in that they typically innovate faster and have lower barriers to entry (the technology doesn’t have to be as fully baked to be…

Doing vs Talking

One of the most striking features of an entrepreneur is that he/she is the doer type instead of the talker type. You know what I mean — the person who is always getting things done and loves diving in and taking on projects. I think there’s a tendency, and this is partly driven by society,…

Part-Time Entrepreneurs

I’ve heard the same question many times asking “can I start a venture part-time, on the side?” My advice is always the same: you can, but of the hundreds of entrepreneurs I’ve talked to, only one was successful (defined as built a multi-million dollar revenue company) doing the business part-time for the first few years.…

Internal vs Outsourced Software Development

One of the core challenges with building a web-based company is developing the software. Naturally, there are many debates between developing the software with an internal engineering team vs outsourcing the development to a firm, onshore or offshore. Let’s look at a few issues to consider: Is the product central to the company’s success or…

Market Opportunity or Management Team

At lunch today I was talking with an entrepreneur who was lamenting that the company he was recently with has disjointed, inefficient technology powering their web services. He also talked about management turnover at the C-level as well as board of directors. I then casually asked how the company was doing financially and he said it…

3 Year Life Plan

One of the topics discussed at a recent EO University was centered around building a three year life plan incorporating the three main categories of professional, personal, and family. Generally, the idea is to identify where you want to be and what habits need to be employed to achieve it. Let’s look at some examples:…

When to Help Entrepreneurs

I’ve had a chance to work with entrepreneurs at all different stages of their idea and business. Whether it is an idea that popped into an entrepreneurs head the night before, or it’s already a million dollar company, I’ve found that there’s so much excitement and passion that makes it fun to help out. Recently…

New Venture Time to Profitability

In talking with first-time entrepreneurs I consistently find they optimistically believe they’ll hit profitability six months after launching their product. In my experience, with a couple different ventures, I’ve found that profitability comes a full two years after starting the venture. Let’s look at the timeline I’ve experienced two times before: Six months building the…