How to (not) fail

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Advice, Zeitgeist

So, pretty clearly — the first step to succeeding is not failing. You fail when you go bankrupt, when the money runs out, when the teams are all laid off, and when the time and passion you pour into what you’re doing fall away. CBInsights took a poll of “war stories” and considered how companies […]


Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Zeitgeist

VentureWell is a college-focused startup incubator, founded by the Lemelson foundation and focused on getting student startups off the group. They run a grant program, similar to Columbia’s Ignition grants, that awards $5,000 in mentorship and $20,000 in cash to promising teams. Just like Ignition grants, this would make it possible for the right team […]

HBR on what angels are after

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Advice, Zeitgeist

People. The right team, in the right place, can do anything. As a seed stage investment, angels are not over-analytical about traction or building out the product — the goal is to underscore that the right team is behind a plausible product. This HBR piece underscores this in more detail, and is worth the read!

Customer interviews

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Advice, Zeitgeist

In light of the tack we’re taking, I’d like to change the flow here for a little, and focus on how to do the customer interviews we’re aggressively following though with. Here’s a perspectove by Jason Evanish, and here’s Kissmetric’s list of tools to consider when doing approaches. Let’s see how these fit into the […]


Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Advice, Zeitgeist

After finding a business model that drives profit with every transaction (remember Jerry Neumann’s talk?), it’s time to scale. Scaling is more straightforward operationally, but each decision carries more weight: you’re not looking to find a secret sauce or proof a product, but are looking at expanding and filling the market using some established approaches. […]