I am a fan of having a formal board right after the company raises seed financing. I’ve seen how helpful the boards are and how lost and disadvantaged the founders can often be without the board. To put it simply, a good early-stage board helps the CEO identify key future milestones, and helps achieve them. […]


We are delighted to introduce 15 Startups that are finishing our Summer 2016 Program today. As with our previous classes, this was a diverse group of founders solving a wide range of problems. In addition to 6 teams from NYC we had teams from Rochester, Atlanta, San Francisco, two teams from Philadelphia, a team from UK, […]


When founders get connected to investors, they are often asked to send the deck ahead of the meeting. We’ve written here why sending the decks, especially before the first meeting, is generally not a good idea. Startup founders cannot be defined by their decks. The main issue with a pitch deck is that it is […]


Last week we wrote about questions that investors ask founders during investor meetings. This week we are turning the tables and talking about questions that founders need to ask investors. Most founders spend little time asking investors questions, and that’s too bad. First of all, good investors love it when you ask them questions, because it […]

Closeup of businessman holding Questions sign towards you, vintage effect toned image.

We’ve written a lot here about fundraising and how it is a complicated, and at times, confusing process. To fundraise effectively you need to prepare and have a strategy, understand different types of investors, understand how much to raise, and create a solid investor pipeline. We have also talked about a fundraising deck, and how to go about putting one together. […]


I am a big fan of A16Z podcasts, and they just released a terrific episode on Network Effect. Network effect is an important, and somewhat confusing topic. The reason network effect is important is that the businesses with a true network effect are highly defensible, have strong retention and engagement, exhibit characteristics of a monopoly, and tend to last for […]


Time is one of the things we unfortunately can’t get more of. As the amount of information we have to deal with is accelerating, our time seems to be shrinking. Here are 12 ways for giving back, and being respectful of, other people’s time: 1. Schedule shorter calls and meetings We have written here before […]


Every single company depends on software, and startups are no exception. Software has gone from being critical to every business, to BEING the business. Software creation is an art, a craft, and a process. Building and shipping software is a marathon that lasts the entire lifetime of the company. To ship software effectively you need to establish cadence, […]


I was recently chatting with one of the Techstars founders and found myself asking her, “What is the API for your business?” This may sound like an odd question, but it actually is not. Every single startup, and every single business has an interface that it offers to the world. Some of these interfaces are super […]


Early on, after Facebook launched its Feed feature, the product team at Facebook was trying to understand how to engage and retain users. What the product team noticed is that IF a user got to 10 or more friends in 14 days, there was very high likelihood of this user sticking around for a while. The team […]


One of the worst things that can happen to a CEO of an early-stage company is to be in the state of perpetual fundraising. Here is how you can tell that it may be happening to you: You have been fundraising for a while You are fundraising and running the business at the same time You don’t […]


Last year when I turned 43 I wrote an introspective post, and I thought this year I would do the same. Here are some things that I have learned, re-learned, and generally had on my mind as this year comes to a close. This is a long read, and there is no TLDR; – sorry. 1. Balance […]


I rarely post product reviews on this blog, but today I am going to make an exception. Sailo (Techstars ’15) makes it easy to rent a boat. Today they rolled out a visual calculator that helps people decide when it makes sense to rent a boat vs. to buy it. This project has been going on […]