Soup for the Startup Soul

Your source of execution and lifestyle advice for founders and executives.

Game Changers vs. Players

In The Imitation Game, Benedict Cumberbatch plays Alan Turing in his quest to break the Enigma encoding machine used by the Nazis in World War II. About seven minutes into the movie, Turing arrives for a job interview at Bletchley Park with Commander Denniston from the British Royal Navy. Because of his quirkiness, Turing fails to convince the Commander of his qualifications, his vision or his plan. About nine minutes into the movie, the Commander decides to end the job interview,...

Continue Reading...

Motorcycles vs. Jumbo Jets

execution talent Jun 22, 2020

I’m a speed junkie. When I was young, I used to watch A. J. Foyt battle Richard Petty in NASCAR. Since I didn’t own a fast car, the best I could do was take my bicycle off road and imagine I was a motocross racer. As I’ve aged, I’ve migrated from NASCAR to Rally racing and from motocross to MotoGP.

MotoGP racers are crazy. They ride machines capable of heart-stopping acceleration and dare to brake at the last possible second before entering a turn. And in each turn,...

Continue Reading...

YADM - Yet Another Dilution Model

Any programmer or Linux gear head should recognize the “Yet Another …” family of tools and frameworks. Stephen C. Johnson is credited with creating the first Yet Another tool when he created YACC – Yet Another Compiler-Compiler. Some currently popular Yet Another tools or frameworks include:

  • YAML: Yet Another Markup Language (later rebranded as YAML Ain’t Markup Language) – a data serialization language usually used to capture...
Continue Reading...

Not Your Baby

life and wellness Apr 14, 2020

Founders are a rare breed. They are driven by a vision of what can be to take risks. Founders often invest years of blood, sweat and tears to build and grow their startup. Given the amount of energy, effort, and sacrifice required, it’s not surprising that many founders consider their startup their baby. Some founders use this metaphor casually. Others use it quite literally. In light of the huge commitment required by a startup, founders have to be careful to maintain perspective and...

Continue Reading...

Keys to the Term Sheet

Early-stage founders spend a large portion of their time raising capital to fuel their startup’s continued growth. Receiving a term sheet from an investor represents a key milestone in the fundraising journey. First-time founders often scramble at the last minute to educate themselves on the concepts and terms found in a typical term sheet. There are many web resources that provide insight into the definitions of concepts captured in the term sheet. However, in addition to learning the...

Continue Reading...

The Teachable Student

execution talent Feb 05, 2020

 

A few years back, one of my friends in the venture community suggested that I connect with a young startup. He felt I would be a good candidate to advise the startup in their journey. I proceeded to meet with the founders and got an overview of their company and their plan. I asked several questions, probing for more insight where I saw potential areas of need. Every question I asked was met with a confident response. Never mind that the content in the response was lacking. I tried to...

Continue Reading...

Cheap Advice is Cheap

execution talent Jan 14, 2020

Back in 2001 when I was a first-time CEO, I struggled to grow the company to beyond a certain point. We had a good product that filled a very important market need, so the company quickly grew to over a hundred customers. But as we grew, we struggled to consistently provide the quality that led the market and fueled our rapid growth. We often handed large responsibilities to our employees that stretched them beyond their experience. Sometimes they excelled, other times they crashed and...

Continue Reading...

Startup Life

Startups are hard. Startups are rewarding. Startups suck the lifeblood out of you. Startups energize teams to overachieve. Startups expose your weaknesses. Startups develop your strengths. Startups periodically take a pound of flesh and a pint of blood. Startups provide deep gratification from doing your best and seeing something grow.

The right role at the right startup can be more educational than an MBA. Not all startups expect you to sacrifice your firstborn child to the gods of success....

Continue Reading...
Close

50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.