Questions

3 Steps to Becoming a Better Communicator

“What is this person trying to tell me?” Haven’t you found yourself wondering this in more than one situation?  In my experience, the single most critical skill that leaders in general and startup founders in particular need is that of being a good communicator. While most of us find it easy to talk  and some…

4 Selling Lessons That Weight Loss Taught Me

After years of planning to lose weight and get in shape (sound familiar?), in 2014 I finally got my act together. Sure, a mild diabetes scare and being termed obese in that clinical way only doctors can helped me finally get off my duff. Over a six month period, I dropped about 20 kg (nearly…

Photo Credit: Conrad Kuiper CC

Measure first and other lessons from a friend

“Why don’t you tell me what you know about placement in EDA?” The questions started easily enough. My interviewer, Brent Gregory was this lanky gentleman with a very easy air about him. His soft voice and pleasant manner belied the incisiveness with which the questions came. Within five minutes, maybe sooner, he’d established the limits…

Ramayana

Be Empathetic – Lessons from my dad

My father was a great teller of tales. However, neither he nor I realized this for much of his life.  If I had asked my father tell me a story — which I’ve don’t recall ever doing — he’d have likely said, “I don’t tell stories.” However, he did. And darn good ones at that.…

Photo Marsel Minga

What is marketing’s role in a business?

Marketing is probably one of the most misunderstood of functions – particularly in startups. Product development or even sales seem easy enough to understand but the average entrepreneur struggles with marketing. One of the reasons for this is our common confusion of activities (what does marketing do) and outcomes (what should marketing accomplish). The emergence…

Money

How much money do you want?

“I remember the first time I closed a big deal – was for about 50,000 bucks. That evening, I went out and got myself a fancy watch – that probably cost me half as much,” my friend Murali recounted. He’d been invited to talk to a group of young entrepreneurs, who were looking for mentors.…

Entrepreneurs & Mental Health

This last week, Brad Feld, a managing director at Foundry Group in Boulder, Colorado – shared a video (below) he’s made for an upcoming event about Entrepreneurship & Mental Health. Brad as an entrepreneur who went on to become a VC belongs to the small group of VCs (including Fred Wilson, Mark Suster) who are both…

interview-panel

Negotiating well in groups

The entire company, probably little over 50 people, was in the room. It was the 9th of December 2005 and we’d gathered to discuss the news that we were seriously considering an offer to sell the company. Nearly twenty people in the room had been with us more than five years – through two major pay…

The gender wage gap is not misleading

For example, it’s true that not as many women choose to become mathematicians versus, say, high school math teachers. But is this really an independently made choice that young women take? Or is it socialized choice? As the father of two girls, I’m always interested in what we as society and the communities we are part…