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Lean Business Planning

Get what you want from your business

Lean business planning simple but powerful way to get what you want from your business. Get focused, grow faster, and adjust to change. A lean business plan is an easy and practical way to align strategy, tactics, milestones, assumptions, and essential cash flow without the fuss of a full business plan.

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Understanding Uncertainty is Vital to an Entrepreneur

Pop quiz: what relationship factor is the single most common trait in the successful entrepreneur? My answer: understanding uncertainty. Living with uncertainty Why? First let me say that I’m not sure. Second, that I might change my mind tomorrow. (Irony intended.) Third, that I know there are seemingly endless lists of traits of the entrepreneur, and...

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Startup Vision: Paradox of Consistency vs. Opportunity

The world is full of paradox, like this one. Here’s research on startup vision that shows “The tech landscape is lush with entrepreneurs whose success blossomed only after the founders had modified or even abandoned their original vision.” That makes sense when you see examples and details. But wait – what about the idea that the...

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10 Most Common High Tech Business Plan Fails

I was asked about high-tech business plan fails on Quora recently. So this isn’t about lean plans for all business owners, but just the business plans submitted for angel investment and business plan competitions. I read about 100 of those business plans per year. So here’s my list of high-tech business plan fails: Naive profits. Drives...

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How to Raise Money and Succeed Long Term (Video)

Jess Lee (Partner at Sequoia Capital) and Aaron Harris (Partner at YC) discuss raising money as an early stage company, and how to think about the fundraising process. Ali Rowghani (CEO of YC Continuity, previously CFO, COO @ Twitter, CFO @ Pixar) shares his thoughts on how to be a great leader and succeed long-term....

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Good Data Debunking Popular Startup Myths

Contrary to popular startup myths and misunderstanding, tech founders aren’t mainly younger than 30. They are generally well educated, not dropouts. They tend to start up where they are, instead of moving to Silicon Valley or other tech hubs. Here’s a summary of data published by the Kauffman Foundation: We observed that, like immigrant tech founders, U.S.-born...

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Why Do We Need Financial Forecasts?

Business owners and managers do financial forecasting to enhance  management. Anticipate essential flows of money to manage them better. Forecasting is a necessary first step towards managing plan vs. actual results, which means course corrections. It’s like steering a business. A Quick Example Consider this simple illustration: You can’t identify changes in flow if you don’t...

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Take Real Steps to Fight Sexism in Tech

Harassment in the workplace. Sexism. Genderism. Bigotry and prejudice. Brogramming. Not just everywhere, but also in high tech, which – you’d think – should have been advanced past that backwardness. Silicon Valley too. Blue city, blue industry, in a blue state. If you’ve been off the grid for a while, read this from the New...

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Infographic: 12 Visual Principles For Everyday Design

Design is essential and affects so much of our work. But design is also expensive. And the tech world, social media, the web, and business are full of designs we do ourselves. Profile pages, presentations, for example. Turning to designers is a luxury that takes time and money. And I care about quality too, so this...

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What Happened to Mainstream Journalist Ethics?

Question: Where are journalist ethics these days when we need them as much as ever?  My answer: Real journalists are trying as hard as ever. The tradition of journalist ethics is strong inside the profession among those who are still operating as reporters of news. News values, the goal of objectivity, the need for facts...

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Do You Believe the Legendary Startup Failure Statistics. I Don’t.

This recent piece on startup failure statistics caught me eye on Twitter first, and I followed the links to discover Startups: Conventional Wisdom Says 90% Fail. Data Says Otherwise. | Fortune.com. Here’s a direct quote from author Erin Griffith: “I recently found myself carelessly repeating a statistic that I’d heard dozens of times in private conversations...

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Forget Business Networking. It’s a Hoax

Forget business networking. “Networking” as a business activity is a hoax. Business relationships that you build as business assets are meaningless. As soon as you use this vocabulary, it’s self serving, superficial, and ineffective. The people being used as assets know it, and are not fooled by it. So “Business Networking” doesn’t work. Friendship vs....

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