Valuing a Business

Last night EO Atlanta had an event on positioning a business for sale including how to value it. Typically a business that is bought by an acquirer actively browsing is worth more than when a company shops itself around to other companies. Let’s look at a few more factors in valuing a business: Concentration of…

Venture-Backed Zombie Startups

There’s a term used to describe startups that have raised money from venture capitalists (VCs), been around for several years, built sustainable businesses, but don’t have the hockey stick growth necessary to raise more money or provide a venture quality return: zombies. Zombie startups are actually more prevalent than you might think and represent one…

The Best Exit Strategy is to Not Have One

Much of the tech startup media is obsessed with big exits, which make for fun-to-read stories. In a blog post today Jason Cohen writes about his new WordPress startup and provides a good answer as to his exit strategy in the comments: Success for me is defined as: Creating a company that generates at least $30k/month in…

How to Help When it is Time to Shut Down a Startup

At least once a quarter I meet with an entrepreneur that is at the end of their ropes and should shutdown their startup. Giving up is hard. During these meetings the entrepreneur is seeking help, chronicling the many different things they’ve tried, talking about when they’ll run out of money, and doing everything but coming…

Ask the Right API Questions

In yesterday’s post on saying ‘no’ to most opportunities, I mentioned that API integrations, assuming no custom work, are fine. An API, or Application Programming Interface, is a way for two software programs to communicate with each other in an automated manner. The challenge with most startups is that they don’t have a robust API.…

Startups Should Say No to Most Opportunities

The great thing about startups, especially ones in small, fast growing markets, is that there’s no shortage of opportunities. One area that often comes up is larger, more established companies reaching out to talk about technical partnerships with startups in more cutting edge, complementary spaces. The bigger companies have a core competency that’s working, a…

Control What You Can Control

Entrepreneurs are a fickle bunch. Many, like myself, can be control freaks at times and drive people crazy. In the same light, the company, product, etc are a reflection of your vision and goals. In Andre Agassi’s autobiography one of the recurring themes is his coach reminding him control what you can control. Entrepreneurs need…

Weekly Tactical Meetings

As part of our meeting rhythm, which is a hybrid of Patrick Lencioni and Rockefeller Habits, we have weekly tactical meetings. These are similar to staff meetings but are comprised of the management team and have a very defined process. The meetings typically last 30 – 45 minutes, but can be as short at 15…