Common Mistakes for First-Time Product Managers

One of the co-founders of a startup should take ownership of the product management role. Product management encompasses everything from customer discovery, feature planning, roadmaps, QA, strategy, wireframes, documentation, and more. After building several commercial products personally, as well as helping other startups, I’ve seen a number of mistakes first-time product managers make repeatedly. Here are…

Junk Bonds for Startups

After reading Michael Lewis’ latest book, The Big Short, this weekend it got me thinking more about junk bonds. Michael Lewis referenced his first book, Liar’s Poker, which chronicles the rise of the junk bond industry at Solomon Brothers, several times in the new book. Ted Turner’s autobiography, Call me Ted, talks about how junk bonds were…

What’s your Net Promoter Score?

Several years ago a friend of mine gave me the book The Ultimate Question as a colleague of his at Bain had written it. After reading the book we immediately started to implement it as part of our quarterly client check-in calls. The Ultimate Question, according to the book’s author Fred Reichheld, is as follows:…

Defining a Great Corporate Culture

Several times now I’ve said that a great corporate culture is the only sustainable competitive advantage. How do you define a great corporate culture? Here’s how we define and measure our culture to determine if we are doing a good job: We measure ourselves against the core foundation of good work, good people, and good…

So Much to Give Thanks For

Entrepreneurs are typically half-glass-full types of people and I’m no exception. I have much to be thankful for and Thanksgiving is a great time to reflect. One of the best parts of being an entrepreneur is that there are so many opportunities everywhere you look. I’ve mentioned most of these before but it is important…

What to Look for in a Web Marketer

As you might have guessed I’m a huge fan of web marketing. There’s so much opportunity online between search engine optimization, pay per click ads, lead nurturing, webinars, social media, etc. The challenge, naturally, is that the competition and complexity is fierce. Finding a good web marketer is hard. Here’s what I look for in…

Startups and a Board of Advisors

Several EO Accelerator participants (accelerants) have asked me this year about setting up a board of advisors. In addition, the board of advisors topic was brought up again a couple days ago in my post What Should I Write About? I view advisors, both formal and informal, as very important even though I’ve employed informal…

Startups and a Bank Line of Credit

One of the goals of the most recent quantitative easing strategy (QE2) is to replace investment assets in banks, like T-Bills that make interest, with cash that doesn’t make interest. With cash on hand that isn’t income producing, banks are more likely to loan the money to businesses or consumers, as well as increase the…