Startup Business

The NFT Explosion: Fortune, Fad, or the Future?

by Captain Hoff

For those of you who don’t already know, an NFT is a non-fungible token on the blockchain. Unlike cryptocurrency, NFTs are non-fungible, meaning each one is unique. In other words, they are crypto collectibles. They’re similar to trading cards, stamps, and other tangible collectibles, only they are purely digital.

What I Look for When Investing in Tech Startups

I look for startups that have some sort of proof they can show me that their visionary ideas are rooted in reality. I want to see that they’ve actually spoken with their customers and understand their needs. I like data that illustrates the pent up demand for their product even before it officially launches. I want them to explain to me…

Read full article…

Beam Me Up – The Story of a Robotics Startup’s Demise

Although the market is growing, making robots is hard. In Silicon Valley, venture capitalists like to say software is easy, hardware is hard, and robots are the hardest of all. This is because they require so many different disciplines to build, from mastering the complexities of hardware and movement to develop sophisticated AI. Most startups don’t have the resources or expertise to take on all of these once. Even more challenging than building the robots is building a viable business. Robotics isn’t like software. It’s a costly and difficult business to scale.

Best San Francisco & Silicon Valley Coworking Spaces, Including SOMAcentral, RocketSpace, Parisoma, NextSpace, CitizenSpace and more!

Below is a pretty comprehensive list of San Francisco and Silicon Valley coworking spaces:

  • Founders Space || Website • Locations all around the world.

  • Spaces || Website • (844) 677-2237 • 95 Third St., 2nd floor, San Francisco California

  • Citizen Space SF (SOMA) || Website • (415) 501-9155 • 425 Second Street, Suite 100, San Francisco, 94107

  • Colearn Space (SOMA) || Website • (831) 295-1482 • 425 Second Street, Suite 101, San Francisco, 94107

    Management Advice: Do Nice Guys Finish Last?

    My friend has a startup, and he hired someone to help him boost sales. When we talked a year ago, he told me that his sales guy wasn’t closing deals.

    I told him that it was probably time to let the person go. But my friend is such a nice guy that he gave the guy a second chance, then a third chance, and even a fourth chance.

    Why is 996 a Really Bad Idea?

    I do lots of business in China, and I can tell you, most Chinese work 996, which means from 9 am to 9 pm six days a week. Many employees are compelled to work 997. And people in the tech industry often work even longer hours. Mike Moritz, the famous VC from Sequoia Capital, said US workers should do the same, but I totally disagree.

    Why Startups Fail: Lessons Learned from Juicero’s Implosion

    The startup Juicero proved this. In 2016, they launched a high-tech juicing machine. It was a marvel of engineering, complete with a camera to scan QR codes on packs of juice and an internet connection to verify if each pack had expired or not. The company’s founder, Doug Evans, compared himself to Steve Jobs and touted that his juice press wielded four tons of force.

    8 Things VCs Won’t Tell You

    VCs never like to say…

    1. “I can’t remember what you do.”

    Always give the VCs a quick refresher when you meet them.

    2. “I don’t get your product.”

    Always check to make sure the VCs understood what you said.

    3. “I’ve seen this before.”

    Always ask the VCs if they’ve seen similar products.

    4. “Let me introduce you to more investors.”

    Always ask if the VCs can make any introductions. You may be surprised.

    Motivational Tips for Salespeople

    Here are my motivational tips:

    1) Tell your sales team not to sell. Their job should be to educate, inform and help customers. Customers will love them, and they will love their jobs.

    2) It’s not how many leads you generate that counts. It’s the quality of the leads.

    3) A great salesperson cares about their customers, not their commission, and will always do what’s best for the customers.

    4) Show the customer the value, and the customer will buy.

    Employee Advice

    Here’s some advice for employees who want to get ahead.

    1. What could someone 2-3 levels below you do to earn your respect?

    Ask the right questions in a meeting, and you’ll earn my respect. Lots of people want to show off how much they know, but few people listen, think and inquire. Those are the truly valuable people.

    2. What could someone 2-3 levels below you do to get time on your calendar?

    STARTUP ADVICE:  Fortune Favors the Brave

    The one thing every entrepreneur must be is bold. You cannot hesitate. You cannot give in to your fears. You must drive yourself forward, relentlessly, no matter what the cost. Even if it means risking everything for which you have worked so hard.  Even if it means losing your company and reputation. You must stretch yourself and seize the day. That is only way dreamers can make reality conform to their will.

    Killer Stress

    Stress is a killer for entrepreneurs. If you are feeling stress, a good strategy is to think deeply about the cause. Then make a list of actions you can take to address the underlying issues. What can you do to solve the problem.

    If there is nothing you can do, you need to train yourself to stop thinking about it. You should have a list of things that make you truly happy in your life, and whenever you feel stressed, sit back and think of those things. It actually works.

    STARTUP LESSON: Video Talks


    STARTUP LESSON: I find myself creating a lot of videos for partners overseas. This is one where I’m talking to investors in Shanghai. I’ve done videos for conferences, signing ceremonies, startup pitches, and even weddings.

    Making a video can take a lot of time, so I’ve optimized the process. I do every video in a single take, so there’s no editing. I also try to use a background that looks professional. Lighting is key. If you’re stuck in a hotel room, stand in front of the window, angel the camera upwards so the bed doesn’t show, and move your face close to the camera.

    STARTUP LESSON: Eat Less, Do More!

    I love eating, and I eat way too much. It’s a freaking miracle I don’t weigh 300 pounds. But I’ve learned that the less I eat, the more energy I have. When I cut my food consumption in half, I have double the energy.

    I just need to start doing this on a regular basis.

    STARTUP LESSON: Video Talks

    Solaris 02

    I find myself creating a lot of videos for partners overseas. This is one where I’m talking to investors in Shanghai. I’ve done videos for conferences, signing ceremonies, startup pitches, and even weddings.

    Making a video can take a lot of time, so I’ve optimized the process. I do every video in a single take, so there’s no editing. I also try to use a background that looks professional.

    STARTUP LESSON: The Dirty Dozen

    I have the DIRTY DOZEN rule for startups. When it comes to businesses development only YES one out of 12 times. The other 11 opportunities are most likely a waste of your precious time and resources.

    STARTUP LESSON: Unbelievable Ideas

    Great startups are often based on an idea that most people refuse to believe is possible at the time it appears. Take these examples:

    Twitch: Millions of people will tune in to watch other people play video games online.

    SpaceX: It’s possible for a founding team without significant space or rocket experience to build a company that makes manned space flights better than NASA or any other government on the planet.

    STARTUP LESSON: Startup Stress

    The key to performing at your highest level is to not put yourself under pressure. Stress undermines your ability to make smart decisions and manage effectively. To reduce stress, don’t worry about the outcome. Just focus on what needs to be done and try to take pleasure in everything that happens along the way. That’s my secret.

    STARTUP LESSON: What’s Your Valuation?

    What’s your valuation? The only way to know is to find out the valuation of similar startups. To do this, ask friendly VCs and advisors who have access to lots of deals and know the funding market. You can also reach out to other startup founders. And you can use an investor account to access valuations on and similar sites.

    STARTUP LESSON: Break Your Business

    Don’t try to prove your business model works. Instead try to prove it doesn’t work. Think of everything you can do to show your startup can never become a big business. If you succeed, celebrate and try something new. You just saved yourself a lot of time and money.