Startup Business

STARTUP LESSON: When Disaster Strikes 

Whenever something doesn’t go right for me, which happens quite often, I ask myself,  “Will I even remember this a year from now? And if I do, will I care?” The answer is almost always no. This allows me to let go of all the stress and return to feeling content. 

STARTUP LESSON: When to Quit? 

I met with a dynamic startup founder yesterday. She has been working to build a 3-way marketplace. Two of the parties love her product, but the third is reluctant to engage.

She has been struggling for a year and a half to get the third party to participate on the platform, but it’s been difficult. I told her to stop trying so hard. If one of the parties in your market place doesn’t love what you’re offering, you’ll never convince them otherwise.

STARTUP LESSON: Revenue Streams 

If you’re an early stage startup with 5 revenue streams, I probably won’t invest because what it tells me is that none of your revenue streams is strong enough to build a billion-dollar business. Most great startups begin with one primary revenue stream that is powerful enough to take the company to IPO. Think of Facebook with advertising or Airbnb with rentals or Amazon with online shopping. They all have one dominant revenue stream. If you need multiple revenue streams to succeed, your  business is probably broken.

STARTUP LESSON: Differentiation 

Your product needs to offer a fundamentally different core value to the customer than anything else on the market. Otherwise you’re just following–not leading. Leaders dominate. Followers fade away.

STARTUP LESSON: Best of Breed 

​Always invest in the best of breed. It’s a winner-take-all world. The top startups in each market dominate. If a startup is aiming to be 3rd, 4th or 5th in their market, they are DOA (dead on arrival). Smart capital,  customers, and economies of scale always favor the market leader. Everyone else will struggle to survive.

STARTUP LESSON: The Path Less Traveled 

Take a different path than everyone else, even if it takes longer and the journey is more difficult. That’s the only way to discover something new.

STARTUP LESSON: Don’t Forget to Have Fun 

Always have fun and make new friends wherever you go! If you can’t enjoy the ride, there’s no point going.

In every city I travel to, I always make time to have some fun. For example, last week when I visited Wuhan, I reached out to my network and asked them to introduce me to some random locals–people I didn’t know.

I went out to dinner each night with new people, made new friends, biked all over Forest University, ate crayfish, and did business.

STARTUP LESSON: Company Culture

Every startup must have a culture. Culture isn’t about having a Ping Pong table, free food or hip furniture.

It’s about having a belief that everyone shares–a belief that guides your company. What do you believe your business is all about? What’s your mission–beyond making money? Why does your company mean something to people?

That’s culture. Now go create it!

The 5 Biggest Mistakes New Startup Founders Make

Brian Stumbaugh

Brian Stumbaugh

The lists of startup mistakes are mighty, ubiquitous, and frustratingly long. Across the internet you’ll find gurus barking at you about the 30 Deadly Mistakes here or 18 Things You Should Never Do! there, to the degree you might be scared away from launching, growing, or taking risks.

By no means am I here to halt your horses or thwart invention. Get out there and fight the good fight, that’s what you’re here for. Yet there are some egregious mistakes you should especially avoid if you want this stellar idea of yours to get off the ground.

U.S. Technology Funding — What’s Going On?

Accelerators & Incubators

  • Y Combinator
  • Founders Space
  • Techstars
  • 500startups
  • DreamIT Ventures
  • Startupbootcamp
  • Seedcamp
  • The Alchemist Accelerator
  • AngelPad
  • Boost VC
  • Nxtp.labs
  • Betaspring
  • AlphaLab
  • Imagine K12
  • Flashpoint
  • Eleven Startup Accelerator
  • RockHealth
  • Le Camping
  • Wayra
  • The Brandery
  • Upwest Labs
  • Capital Innovators
  • Rockstart Accelerator
  • Blueprint Health
  • FounderFuel
  • StartEngine
  • Bethnal Green Ventures
  • LaunchpadLA
  • Amplify.LA
  • Chinaccelerator

5 Amazing Business Books Which Give Priceless Advice for Business Leaders

Every year there are many new business books which find their way to the market. Whilst all offer advice and will assist in running a successful business there are a few which stand out more than all the others. There advice will truly help you drive your business forward; the best five are as follows:

  1. How to Win Friends and Influence People

How Entrepreneurs Manager their Time by Dru Babcock

Advice for Avoiding Common Startup Mistakes

Mistakes tend to happen for even the most seasoned startup veterans. Maybe you scaled too quickly, mistimed your product launch, or perhaps you just hired the wrong person. Whatever the reason, mistakes often provide a humbling opportunity for reflection and personal growth, and most importantly, give you an idea of what not to do going forward. At the end of the day however, there are some mistakes that can easily be avoided by listening to the advice of others.

Lean Startup in Action

Recommended Startup Books

Below are some incredible books recommended for entrepreneurs…

Our Picks:

SHEER MADNESS: Slinging It – The Art of the Pitch

by Jim Burnett, founder of

“To pitch here is to live. People pitch their kids into good schools, pitch others on houses they can’t afford, and when they’re caught in the arms of the wrong person, pitch unlikely explanations. Hospitals pitch birthing centers, daycares pitch love, high schools pitch success, car dealers pitch luxury, counselors self-esteem, masseuses happy endings, cemeteries eternal rest. It’s endless, the pitching – endless, exhilarating, soul-sucking, and as unrelenting as death.”

Jess Walter, Beautiful Ruins

Failing Fast

by Howard Edelman, co-founder of BUILD

Several years ago I had decided to start my first medical device company. For the first year, I was slogging it alone in my garage building and testing prototypes and struggling to prove a concept.  Given the stage of the project, it made the most sense to be on my own for time. I knew the project needed to be managed and executed this way until a certain amount of risk was removed. After that, maybe then the project would become something more. I thought I would be able to attract more capital and the right team members after I achieved certain goals.

Is It a Smart Idea to Join a Startup Incubator?

Mike Ryan discusses the value of joining a business incubator.

Don’t be another jack Out of the Box

Jack jumps out from his box and shouts out loud ‘I don’t want to live in here anymore, I want to build my own Big Box’. Jack thought he didn’t want to be just another Jack who lived in someone else’s box – he wanted to be different. He had the passion and he thought in his mind, “What more does one need to build his own big box, besides the passion to build one”.