A version of this article previously appeared in The Wall Street Journal. The money you pay your intellectual property (IP) lawyer should be judiciously spent. However, the potential costs associated with an IP mishap can be catastrophic. An invalidated patent or one deemed to infringe the rights of another party can devastate a startup. As such, save money buying used office furniture, not by selecting an inexpensive IP lawyer who lacks the appropriate level of experience in your technical domain.
A version of this article previously appeared on Forbes. Note: This is part II of a series exploring the power of mentorships. Access part I HERE. Mentor relationships are not immune to the laws of human interactions. They require judicious and consistent nurturing to be sustained. Without active management on the part of the protégé, the meetings with their mentor will become less frequent and less impactful, ultimately accelerating the end of the relationship. In my exchanges with my friend and mentor, Bob Wood, we engage in a number of activities which keep our time together both fun and productive. These endeavors have arisen organically, as we have identified our shared interests. However, rather than leave your mentor relationship to chance, you should proactively initiate activities that will strengthen your communications with your mentor.
A version of this article previously appeared on Forbes. Tracy DiNunzio, Founder and CEO of Tradesy, recently shared her insights regarding the best approach for entrepreneurs to address competition. Tracy's frank, pragmatic and somewhat controversial comments were presented as part of UC Santa Barbara's Distinguished Lecture Series. (Note: I am an investor in Tradesy via Rincon Venture Partners.)
A version of this article previously appeared on The Wall Street Journal. The empirical evidence highlights the lack of women and minority founders in the startup world. A 2012 Dow Jones' report entitled Women At The Wheel encompassed 15-years of data on venture-backed startups. During the period studied, only "1.3% of privately held companies had a female founder, 6.5% have a female CEO, and 20% had one or more female C-level executives." In a similar vein, a 2012 study by the Kauffman Foundation noted that women account for only 10% of all the founders of high-tech startups.
A version of this article previously appeared in The Wall Street Journal. How much should Founders pay themselves and their senior team? During a company's early stages, before it has achieved profitability, the answer is, "as little as possible." Dave Pink, in this popular video, makes it clear that money only modestly motivates knowledge workers. Once people are paid enough to cover their basic necessities, money is "taken off the table" and is no longer very motivational. Thus, Founders should pay themselves and their senior team just enough to make money a non-issue.
A version of this article previously appeared in Forbes. Adeo Ressi is a serial entrepreneur turned investor and entrepreneur advocate. Adeo Co-Founded the entrepreneur-friendly website The Funded and he is the Founder and CEO of The Founder Institute, whose goal is to create and foster local startup ecosystems across the globe.
A version of this article previously appeared on Forbes. Despite what you might think, you are never too old to benefit from the helpful guidance of a mentor. At 51 years old, I am proof that even someone with decades of entrepreneurial success (and failure) can become more effective personally and professionally with the assistance of someone who has already walked their path.
A version of this article previously appeared on Forbes. Brian Coryat, Founder and CEO of Local Market Launch and former Founder and CEO of ValueClick (NASDAQ: VCLK) recently winged his talk at UC Santa Barbara's Distinguished Lecture Series. Despite winging it, his talk was both informative and delightful. He shared a number of witty entrepreneurial insights, including: "Startups are like high school. Both are fun, but mostly in hindsight. Talk to a high school kid, they're not having that much fun." (Note: I am an investor in Brian's current startup via Rincon Venture Partners.)
James Clear, is a prolific and engaging blogger whose work can be found at JamesClear.com. An entrepreneur, weightlifter and travel photographer, James offers his readers advice and insights that help them become better leaders, with an emphasis on improving one's health in the process. I recently caught up with James to discuss his wellness philosophy. Along the way, we explored some of his most engaging metaphors, including the Lion Tamer's Stool.
A version of this article previously appeared on Forbes. I am writing this article while sitting on a rooftop deck, overlooking the ocean in Baja, Mexico. The warm sea breeze and chilled beers are no doubt influencing my thinking, but sometimes it takes a change in latitude to gain a change in attitude (sorry Mr. Buffet, I couldn't resist). My uber-relaxed state of mind aside, I have always believed that the key to personal and professional success is to select a locale that will facilitate your lifestyle and hobbies. Thus, the "best" place for you to start your company is the community you want to live in. Period. The days of entrepreneurs having to move to New York, LA or Silicon Valley to ensure their startup's success are long over. Don't believe the hype. Sound like crazy advice? Maybe, but it's exactly what my wife and I did over twenty years ago.