The Pros and Cons of Investing via an Angel Syndicate / SPV

Investing in startups is an outlier sport. You’re either average – which generally means below the public markets – or you’re extraordinary. You either invest in the great companies that make up 95% of venture returns, or you don’t. The problem is, to get into the very best companies – the Googles, the Airbnbs, the...

Positioning Your Startup to Conquer Your Archenemy: The Ultimate Branding Exercise

I was recently advising a client in an incredibly competitive industry – think hundreds of millions raised, huge players in every major market, multi-billion dollar valuations… Suffice it to say, it’s a pretty crowded space they’re trying to break into. To make matters worse, they weren’t all that differentiated… their USP was weak. Which was...

Understanding the Economics of Venture Capital

If you are reading this blog, you know that venture capital is a power law game. Venture investors invest in ten companies hoping one returns the losses of the other nine many times over.  And they have to because so many startups and small businesses fail. But to really understand the implications and motivations of...

The “Asshole Test” Hack to Win at Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is one of my favorite promotional strategies. Nothing beats a tried and true recommendation from someone you know, like and respect. And that’s what influencers are – at least the ones that don’t whore themselves out to the highest bidder and flaunt any and every product on Instagram… The truth about influencer marketing...

The 89 Business Terms Every Startup Founder and CEO Should Know

Starting a business can be incredibly overwhelming. There’s so much to do, so much to learn and every day seems to hold new challenges that you and you alone need to solve in order to survive. It’s a steep learning curve.That is why I put together this glossary of the most common business terms and...

Does Your Startup Need a Business Plan?

Short answer: No. You can stop reading this article now and get back to work building your business. Doing anything else (especially like stopping to create a business plan) is purely wasting your time. In all seriousness though, why is the question of a business plan still so prevalent amongst founders? Why is it that...

From Founder to CEO: Going from Zero to One to 100

There are two types of leaders: those who thrive through war and hardship (like Winston Churchill and Abraham Lincoln) and those that excel during peace & prosperity (Angela Merkel and Margaret Thatcher). And generally, there is almost no overlap between the two, which makes sense. The thing is, this dichotomy doesn’t only apply to politics...