A version of this article previously appeared on Forbes. Venture Capital is a game of pattern matching. Whenever a VC assesses a potential investment opportunity, they attempt to match the entrepreneur(s), their solution, and intended markets with a pattern they have previously encountered.
A version of this article previously appeared on Forbes. It just happened again. A well-intentioned colleague introduced me to a stranger via email, without first confirming with me that the intro was welcomed. Such "blind"matchmaking is more often than not a waste of everyone’s time: the person making the introduction, the person being introduced and me. Don’t get me wrong. Despite my occasional ranting, (see The Worst Networking Call Ever), I like people and I enjoy making new connections. When I am not complaining, I strive to be a mensch and I pride myself in helping as many people as my time and talents allow. As such, it is especially frustrating when I have to spend my limited time apologizing to a stranger as to why I am unable to offer them meaningful assistance after they were introduced to me without my consent.
A version of this article previously appeared on Forbes. As part, of UC Santa Barbara’s Distinguished Lecture Series, Eucalyptus Systems' CEO, Marten Mickos shared his insights and advice regarding what it takes to be a serially successful entrepreneur. Marten has enjoyed a celebrated entrepreneurial career. As an early executive at MySQL, he helped build the company into the world's most used open source database. MySQL was eventually acquired by Sun Microsystems for $1 billion.
This article originally appeared on Forbes HERE If you have your eyes and ears open, you can discover sales lessons in unexpected places, including the cable TV show, Say Yes To The Dress. I do not consume much TV content, other than cable news. However, my wife is a major fan of fashion oriented "reality" TV shows, including Say Yes To The Dress (Say Yes). In my ongoing quest to be a wonderful husband, I have watched some of these shows with my lovely bride (sorry, I draw the line at Project Runway).
Greetings loyal readers. 2011 was the year of the video interview, in which I spoke with the likes of Guy Kawasaki, Len Short, Brad Feld, Naval Ravikant and Steve Blank. In 2012,I added video from my UC Santa Barbara speakers, including Mark Templeon, CEO of Citrix; Kerri Pollard, President of Commission Junction; and Marten Mickos, CEO of Eucalyptus.
This article originally appeared on Forbes HERE Kerri Pollard, President of Commission Junction shared her entrepreneurial insights as part of UC Santa Barbara’s Distinguished Lecture Series. Like most powerful business principles, Kerri's secret for building and maintaining a healthy and innovative corporate culture is no secret - instill a humble conviction in your team.
This article originally appeared on Forbes HERE As part of UC Santa Barbara’s Distinguished Lecture Series, Citrix's CEO, Mark Templeton shared his advice regarding building and maintaining a healthy and innovative corporate culture. Mark framed his comments around the culture he built at Citrix, which has been augmented (and complicated) by the significant number of acquisitions the company executed during the past decade.
This article previously appeared in Forbes. It is that time of year again - annual planning season. Dynamic, growing startups consistently identify more ideas and opportunities than they have the time or resources to pursue, including: entering into potential partnerships, developing new products and accessing emerging markets. During my many years as an entrepreneur, I developed the Impact Matrix to help me prioritize such significant, long-term initiatives. I now use the Impact Matrix as a venture capital investor to help our portfolio companies objectively evaluate which initiatives they should pursue in the near-term, which they should re-considered in the future and which should be dismissed entirely.
This article previously appeared in Forbes. I recently spoke with Michael Bleigh, Co-Founder and CEO of Divshot. I reached out to Michael after their surprising day at the top of Hacker News during early September. The innocuous post, which was simply titled "Divshot" generated over 110 comments and was awarded nearly 200 points by Hacker News' notoriously jaded readers.
This article previously appeared in Forbes. If Steve Blank and Eric Reis, two of the Founding Fathers of the Lean Startup Movement formed a band, they would produce music like the Kingsmen's Louie, Louie. The song is akin to a lean startup's minimally viable product (MVP). In less than an hour and at the cost of $50, the Kingsmen created an international hit and established garage rock as a mainstream musical genre.