A version of this article previously appeared on Forbes. Popular and prolific and blogger James Clear recently shared with me why Richard Branson started Virgin Airlines. Not surprisingly, a beautiful, young girl played a prominent role in encouraging Richard to "screw it, just do it." An entrepreneur, weightlifter and travel photographer, James' work can be found at JamesClear.com, where he offers entrepreneurs leadership advice and insights. A recurring theme in his writing is the importance of one's health to personal and professional success.
A version of this article previously appeared in The Wall Street Journal. The good news for entrepreneurs is that there have never been more office space options for early stage companies. The bad news is that it is often difficult to determine which of these alternatives is ideal, since the definition of "ideal" changes as your venture matures.
A version of this article previously appeared on Inc. Mankind has long recognized the power of scarcity- we want more of what we are denied or find difficult to obtain. Societies have come up with homilies that highlight the power of this remote bias, such as, "The grass is always greener on the other side of the hill" and "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush." Yet, despite the widespread acceptance of this psychological tendency, a number of Rincon's startups still assign a premium to remote resources, usually with respect to hiring senior startup executives.
A version of this article previously appeared on Forbes. Pilot agreements are provisional contracts under which companies can assess the veracity of a potential, long-term relationship. Startups often pursue such arrangements, hoping it will reduce the friction normally encountered during the negotiation process and lead to revenue more quickly. Ironically, the result is often just the opposite. By their very nature, Pilot agreements implicitly assume both parties are testing a relationship's efficacy. The “go / no go” structure of such contracts effectively allows big companies to defer their ultimate decision of whether or not they want to work with the startup until after the Pilot is completed. For this reason, startups who perform Pilots have failed the Business Development Idiot Test.
A version of this article previously appeared on Forbes. The six words, which I believe encompass the key characteristics of a successful, serial entrepreneur, are: Fervent, Wily, Selfless, Optimistically Pessimistic and Self-aware. At first glance, it may appear that a number of commonly assumed attributes are missing from my list. For instance, Alan Hall cataloged 27 entrepreneurial traits in THIS Forbes article. However, I believe that the personality characteristics identified by Mr. Hall are subsumed by the six words that comprise my list.
A version of this article previously appeared on Forbes. Don Charlton’s heroic journey began with him growing up on government assistance and culminated in his founding The Resumator, one of America's fastest growing startups. Don's perseverance and chronically positive attitude is inspiring. The Resumator's intuitive recruiting and applicant tracking solution has been used by over 12,000 companies, which have processed more than 4 million resumes and filled 36,000 jobs. The company’s clients include: Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, Hootsuite, Klout, Posterous, Bitly and Mashable. You can hear Don tell his story in the following excerpt from his recent talk at UC Santa Barbara. Note: I am a Board Member and an investor in The Resumator via Rincon Venture Partners.
Is One Line Enough? A version of this article previously appeared on PandoDaily. In 1908, American baseball pitcher Addie Joss threw 74 pitches and completed the most efficient perfect game ever recorded (i.e., no hits, no errors, no runs). To put this accomplishment into perspective, there have only been 23 perfect games recorded in major league baseball during the past 133 years, during which nearly 400,000 games have been played. Thus, perfect games account for .0058% of all games played. The efficiency of Mr. Joss' performance is further underscored by the fact that the typical game involves approximately 150 pitches, more than twice the number thrown by Mr. Joss. When seeking the perfect pitch, in baseball and in the startup world, less is a lot more. Entrepreneurs seeking funding should emulate Addie's efficient and focused pursuit of perfection.
A version of this article previously appeared in The Wall Street Journal. A startup's marketing launch strategy should resemble an inverse funnel. As the launch proceeds, the degree of influence of the parties exposed to your solution should commensurately grow. This approach allows your venture to "fail in the small" and make course corrections before spending significant marketing resources. It also facilitates determining your proper product and market fit before your startup is under a white-hot media spotlight.
A version of this article previously appeared in Inc. A Wantrepreneur is a well-intentioned person who wants to be an entrepreneur. They enjoy discussing their startup ideas and revel in the positive social status afforded entrepreneurs. Unfortunately, they lack the skills, personality and risk profile to successfully start and operate a business. Not surprisingly, wantrepreneurs enjoy operating in perpetual stealth mode.
A version of this article previously appeared in Forbes. VidCon's format facilitates a number of opportunities for fans to connect and interact with their YouTube idols. For the uninitiated, VidCon is a mashup between the Consumer Electronics Show and E! Entertainment. Inspired by ComicCon, VidCon is an annual convention centered around the online video community. Not surprisingly, it is heavily sponsored by video overlord YouTube. I covered the show's opening day festivities HERE. The conference was created in 2010 by Hank and John Green, when they hosted approximately 1,400 fans and industry insiders. The 2013 event drew over 11,000 people and was sold out months ago. In addition, over 6,000 people were put on a waiting list, in case some of the confirmed attendees bailed at the last minute.