Escape Velocity for Startups

Hockey stick growth curves are a desirable path for startups. The idea is that growth is slow and steady, much like the base of a hockey stick, and then at some point it really starts to take off, much like the long part of a hockey stick. There’s another concept, escape velocity, that isn’t talked about as…

The Value Multiplier to Raise VC Money is 5

Recently I was meeting with an entrepreneur who’s out raising a Series A round from VCs. He’s already raised an angel round, built an almost complete version one of the product, and has a handful of customers. Personally, his goal is to build a large successful company, on someone else’s dime, and then do it…

Always Over-Communicate in Startups

Have you ever worked on a project and felt like there wasn’t enough communication? Now, have 100 projects going on around you with a small group of people — that’s how it is in a startup. If there wasn’t enough communication with one project imagine how it is with 100 simultaneously. You should always over-communicate…

Being the Pretty Startup at the Party

The startup community is great because it’s both tight-nit and inviting. Every year a handful of startups break out of the noise and become the pretty startup at the party with heaps of attention pilled on. It’s an amazing feeling to be recognized, especially after all the hard work necessary to get things off the…

A Startup’s Purpose

In the book Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us by Daniel Pink he talks about the three most important areas necessary to maximize success with knowledge workers: autonomy, mastery, and purpose. Autonomy and mastery are straightforward to promote in a startup whereas purpose is more complicated. Sure, the purpose might be to create great XZY…

ExactTarget in the 8x Revenue Club

ExactTarget had a very successful IPO last week pricing above it’s expected range and then promptly gaining 32% in value the first day. ExactTarget is one of the most impressive SaaS companies due to their strong corporate culture (Orange Culture), growth rate north of 40% at scale, and headquarters in Indianapolis (outside the Silicon Valley…

Corporate Culture Book

An idea we borrowed from Zappos several years ago is a corporate culture book. The book is a physical manifestation of our culture that sits prominently in our lobby on an ornate wood pedestal. In the book we’ve documented the history of things like Free Food Friday, inside jokes, and other aspects of the business…