When do I need a business model?

When this question was first posed to me, my immediate response would have been “At the very beginning.” However, upon a little reflection I realized that the answer needs to be a little more nuanced and is not nearly as self-evident as I reckoned. I’d still say  you should have a likely business model in…

Discretion – a skill founders and CEOs need in spades

And if there are real issues at play that need to be brought up to your partners, it should not be done in a flippant comment or regrettable aside that can be misconstrued or worse. It can be presented with some distance and perspective that you’d have gained in discussing it with a non-stakeholder first. This alone is a good reason to seek out a mentor or advisor, but almost any friend, who’s not involved in your business and has no axe to grind will do.

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10 books every entrepreneur should read

A question “What books should Indian entrepreneurs read” on Quora set me thinking. The good news is that Indian entrepreneurs should read, for most part books that entrepreneurs anywhere would do well to read. The trick is picking the 10 or fewer, that would make reading (or starting) seem not so daunting and that you’d…

Who’s pain are you trying to address?

In the last two months of 2010, I participated in a number of meetings with founders of startups – as an adviser, reviewer or investor. Interestingly in nearly every one of these meetings the same questions kept coming up. In particular four different companies  –  two nascent startups and a couple in their early tweens…

Who else is inside your entrepreneurial head?

Image by Kanpeki Yume via Flickr Seth Godin recently wrote a post titled “Is this noise inside my head bothering you? ” about the many voices that operate inside our head. Seth characterized the voices in roles varying from an artist to a zombie. Terri Lonier, author of the Working Solo newsletter, added a time…

Can startups afford work-life balance?

Is work-life balance an oxymoron for startups? Many people would suggest – Jack Welch comes to mind – that you are either successful or have work-life balance – and he wasn’t even talking about a startup!. So does this mean as a cash-strapped, competitor-chasing, crew-challenged startup you have no option but to give up your…