Author: Gordon Daugherty

Consider Everything

Consider Everything Short of a “Yes” a “No”

I recently heard Dr. Robert Wiltbank from Willamette University use this analogy and loved it so much I had to share it with others.  Entrepreneurs are, by nature, very optimistic. …

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Why Use a GPS When a Compass Will Do

Why Use a GPS When a Compass Will Do?

I guess the corollary to this could be “don’t use a compass when the precision of a GPS is needed”.  In fact, the main point is to use the best…

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tracking progress

A Simple Back-of-Napkin Assessment of Company Progress

I don’t have anything against a traditional SWOT analysis but recently found myself helping a couple of startups figure out how they are progressing against their business plan and vision. …

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Shakespeare – Cowards, Valiants & Death

"Cowards die many times before their deaths; the valiant never taste of death but once.  Of all the wonders that I yet have heard it seems to me most strange...

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closing an investor

Getting to Closure with an Interested Investor

Some investors seemingly take forever to make a decision. But if you think about it, if they can stretch out the timeline for their evaluation and initial due diligence, they…

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startup fundraising

Having Trouble Raising Money?

Fundraising is rarely easy and is usually a far underestimated undertaking by entrepreneurs that haven’t done it before.  In the fundraising section of this blog, I describe ways of approaching…

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acquisition exit

Don’t Accidentally Kill Your Future Acquisition Exit

Too many startups discover they’ve got an acquisition-blocking or acquisition-inhibiting issue after a price tag has already been agreed with the acquirer.  It comes out during due diligence and the…

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co-founder conflict

Avoiding Co-Founder Conflict

It’s unbelievable how many startups get into trouble not because they aren’t finding product-market fit or because their customer acquisition model is inefficient but rather because the co-founders have some…

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sales commission compensation

5 Golden Rules of Sales Compensation

Unlock the potential of your startup’s sales team with effective sales compensation plans. In this comprehensive guide, discover the 5 golden rules that startup founders need to know to create…

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sales commission plan mistakes

Is Your Sales Incentive Plan Driving Bad Behavior?

We sometimes refer to quota-carrying sales reps as “coin-operated”, but it’s not actually an insult.  Charlie Munger, longtime vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, is quoted as saying “Show me the…

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Bobby Knight – Will to Win

“Everyone has a will to win.  What’s far more important is having the will to PREPARE to win.” – Bobby Knight

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marketing content

Improving the Quality of Your Marketing Content

When it comes to marketing in the digital era, content is king. You need content for your website, inbound landing pages, social channels, advertising campaigns, email outreach campaigns, shows and…

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startup metrics

You Never Know What Operational Metrics You’ll Need – So Instrument Everything

It happens over and over and over again.  A company has a successful growth spurt and is ready to ratchet up to the next level.  They are sitting around a…

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startup fundraising

Stuck at 75% of Your Fundraising Goal – Now What?

Here’s the scenario. After securing your first investors and then having a flurry of activity over a couple of months (see related article titled “The Domino Effect of Fundraising”), you…

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Inbound Marketing Explained (Infographic)

You’ll hear phrases like inbound marketing, digital marketing and Internet marketing used somewhat interchangeably.  What is all this newfangled stuff?  Prospects commonly take themselves through 60% or more of the…

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Applying Lean Startup Principles to Your Sales Model

Certain startups can only guess what type of sales model they will end up with once their ready-for-primetime product is released. We are now conditioned to use the Lean Startup…

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Is Your Website Enabling Sales?

Regardless of your sales model, your website should be a key asset when it comes to enabling sales. It is commonly reported that prospects these days take themselves through 60%…

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Unknown – Story About an Opportunist

Many years ago, a large American shoe manufacturer sent two sales reps out to different parts of the Australian outback to see if they could drum up some business among…

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The domino effect of fundraising

The Domino Effect of Fundraising

Fundraising can seem like herding cats. You get some initial momentum, potentially from a pitching event, and have a bunch of conversations but can’t seem to get the funding commitments…

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Mark Twain – Fatherhood

“When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around.  But when I got to be 21, I was…

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aspirin versus vitamin

Vitamin or Aspirin – Which are You Offering?

I don’t know who came up with this analogy but I’d love to thank them, because it’s a great way to think about your offering and its value proposition. Is…

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selling your company

Are You Selling Your Company or is Someone Buying It?

If you find yourself in the position of considering a sale of the company, the significance of the distinction between selling your company and someone buying your company is HUGE….

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bonus round ceo

Is Your Co-Founder Already in the Bonus Round?

A collection of startup co-founders come into their new venture with a wide range of prior experience and success under their belt. It’s easy to imagine the various benefits of…

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Voltaire – Ideas of the Time

“Every man is the creature of the age in which he lives.  Very few are able to raise themselves above the ideas of the time.” – Voltaire (1700’s)

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business development

Disguising PR as Strategic Business Development

I love what a well-run business development function can do for a startup. But I also have a lot of pet peeves with it, having run the function for multiple…

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so what rule

The “So What” Rule

I use this rule all the time when advising startups and early stage companies.  It has all sorts of sales, marketing and fundraising application, regardless of your company’s stage.  I…

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George Patton – Success

“Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom” – General George Patton

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demo day pitch

Why Participate in a Pitching Event?

Pitching events (often called “demo days”) are prevalent these days.  There’s possibly even too many of them for active startup regions, which results in fatigue on the part of investors…

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startup principles beliefs

Founding Principles – Do You Have Them?

As you’re getting started with your new company, possibly the last thing on your mind will be defining the principles you want to run your company by for years to…

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Steve Jobs – Focus

“People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on.  But that’s not what it means at all.  It means saying no to the hundred other good…

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Welcome to my website.  I have a lot to talk about and a lot to share.  I have "zigged and zagged" throughout my career, spending time as an individual contributor and...

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