Ten Tips to Manage Growth

Recently, I was asked by the Washington Business Journal to provide my ten best hints on managing growth in an emerging business.  You can find that article here.  I believe that the challenge of growing a business past the start up phase is actually much harder than appreciated.  But, there is much less in the startup media about these issues.  Actually, what happens after "acceleration" is more important and much more littered with failure.  With that in mind, here are my ten keys to … [Read more...]

The Future Is Messy and We Aren’t Even Close to Ready

As I have read the various articles and blogs about Google Glass over the last few weeks, it has led me to marvel at how completely people are missing the point.  Whether it’s arguing that Google Glass won’t be attractive to consumers, or it’s Congress worrying about privacy, it just strikes me as a side show.  Kind of like arguing while Nero played the violin about his choice of bow resin, song choice or quality of the performance. It’s not just in connection with Google Glass.  … [Read more...]

A VC’s Opinion: Yes You Should Get an Education

It seems some days that getting an education is portrayed as the pursuit of mugs and fools.  I have lost count of the articles and blogs I read, and the talking heads I hear, spouting nonsense about the folly of pursuing a college education or an advanced degree like an MBA.  It is a large and recurring theme in startup land – the argument that real entrepreneurs don’t need an education, or that an education (or an MBA) is just an impediment to the inherent greatness and creativity of the … [Read more...]

Morality, Capitalism and Empathy

Earlier in the week I did a panel discussion on “empathy in business” with a great group of co-panelists: Angel Cabrera, President of George Mason University, Bill Drayton, CEO and Founder of Ashoka Innovators for the Public, Carly Fiorina, formerly CEO of HP and currently CEO of Carly Fiorina Enterprises, and Julie Rogers, President and CEO of the Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation.  It was a very interesting conversation, and one that showed pretty clearly that as you triangulated on … [Read more...]

The Capital Market Line — the Dark Matter of the Startup Universe

A few days ago I read a story about Survey Monkey’s recent venture financing. The article pointed out, with a somewhat surprised tone, that Hedge funds were financing expansion stage startups as an alternative to venture funds when a tech startup was seeking an expansion round.  The article reminded me of the many that have been written about the “Series A funding void,” where the decline in the number of venture capital funds is creating a severe mismatch between entrepreneurial startups … [Read more...]