Why Startups ARE For Everyone, part 1

freedom

"Startups aren't for everyone." I've written this considerably in this blog. (very prominently here) We've also heard it uttered by every other entrepreneur, it seems, right? "Entrepreneur you say? Well, ho ho ho! You have to have a unique skill set: a combination of cast-iron will, uber-magnetic charisma, the ability to laugh in fear's face, and space-age technical skills. Oh, and you need to be stupendously lucky." (I guess in a way, talk like this validates what we've done and makes us feel good about ourselves a bit) Lately, however, I'm starting to feel differently. I think startups are for everyone.  Before you hurl tomatoes at me (especially existing entrepreneurs :), … [Read more...]

The Software Guru tells the Real Story: On Startups, Bankruptcy, and Attitude (Part 1 of the Joey Gurango Series)

I remember texting Peter right after my interview with Joey Gurango, which was just days before Startups Unplugged. In my text, I asked Peter about what he thought about posting an uncut version of Joey's interview on JGL. The reason for my suggestion was that after my interview with Joey, I was completely taken aback by the incredible knowledge that he was sharing with me; even though I wasn't a techie, Joey's stories resonated with me and schooled the heck out of me. Everything Joey shared with me just seemed so important, so I wanted to post everything that he said. While I must admit, I've omitted some parts of the conversation to be practical, this is still a very raw version of what … [Read more...]

9 Startup Myths Part 3 of 3

bigger-isn-t-better-lg

This is part 3 of a 3 part series. You can find part 1 here, and part 2 here. 7) Bigger is better Last year we were up to around 15-16 people. This year, while we've lessened our headcount to around 10-11 people,  we're set to double last year's revenue level. Guess which situation I'm happier with? Early on, it was always an assumption of mine that the successful companies are the bigger companies - bigger headcount, bigger operations. So expansion was one thing I was conscious about. I also remember the saying that you MAKE room for an A-player in your firm even if there's isn't exactly an urgent opening. This was until I experienced needing to fight to meet payroll. This … [Read more...]

9 Startup Myths Part 2 of 3

Yup, it's for dummies.

(The following post is the second of a 3 part series. You can find part one over here) 4) Business Plans Are Important What 4 years of college business teaching hammered in me was that I needed to create a business plan for my startup. I needed to put everything in writing and project my financials - on a short-term, medium term, and longterm basis. So during our first foray, we spent several days crafting an 80+ page business plan, crammed with a boatload of projections and analysis. We had a five-year sales forecast with assumptions on pricing, costs, and market. We had complete projected financial statements across those five years. It was a nice plan. It was something you could … [Read more...]

9 Startup Myths Part 1 of 3

Nope, you don't need it.

For the next three days, I'll be talking about 3 assumptions I discovered were completely wrong as I went through the startup process: 1) You need a ton of money to start Back in 2005, we were rejected by 2-3 investors before we said, "The heck with it, let's just pool our own money and start." My initial cash-out as an owner was P30,000.00. Far cry from the hundreds of thousands we thought we needed. It turns out it was enough. Nowadays, you could start firms with even less, as the cost barriers continue to fall. Last Thursday, I had a productive brainstorming session with an old friend of mine who was in the printing/publishing business. I suggested, "Why don't you try … [Read more...]

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