Category: The Team

startup hiring - Hiring Executives First

Hiring Executives First

Somewhere along the way, you and your co-founders will be faced with the need to hire your first employees.  Regardless of how much funding you have for salaries (versus equity…

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startup advisors - Corporate Execs Advise Startups

When Corporate Execs Advise Startups

I regularly get introduced to a career corporate execs that has an interest in mentoring or advising startups. Oftentimes, it is because the executive recently retired or is planning to…

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You're Fired (Terminated)

How to Part Ways with a Co-Founder

It royally sucks when a founding team reaches a point where they decide they can no longer work together, especially if many months or longer of hard work has already…

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entrepreneur personas and personalities

The 8 Personas of Successful Entrepreneurs – Which Are You?

Successful emergency room doctors must be highly intelligent and calm under pressure.  Successful  triathletes must to be goal-oriented and driven.  Successful songwriters must be creative.  What about entrepreneurs?  Entrepreneurship is…

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hiring first sales rep

Hiring Your First Sales Professional

You built your MVP, got it launched to the delight of some paying customers and just raised some seed funding to move to the next phase of your company’s evolution. …

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startup CTO title

The Dilemma of the Startup CTO Title

You see it all the time.  A young, invincible hacker-hustler duo join together as startup co-founders to pursue a dream of becoming the next Google or Facebook.  The hustler takes the CEO…

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startup compensation

Founder & Early Employee Compensation When You’re Cash Poor

In the earliest days of a startup venture, there are no published compensation rates or even good studies to use as guidance.  That’s because each company and founder situation is…

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choosing a startup advisor

Selecting an Advisor

The title of this article suggests you’ve already decided that you need an advisor.  But spend time with your co-founders discussing this to make sure you agree it is something…

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startup advisor compensation

Compensating an Advisor

How much equity should you give to compensate an advisor?  Should the shares carry any special provisions like anti-dilution or change-of-control acceleration?  What about giving the advisor cash compensation?  Tough…

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advisor value

Maximizing Value From Your Advisor

Startups commonly give 0.5% equity or more to attract an experienced advisor (see related article titled “Compensating an Advisor”).  Sometimes after a few months they find themselves wondering if they…

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startup marketing

Why Isn’t a Marketing Professional One of Your First 10 Employees?

If you’ve seen my bio or LinkedIn profile, you’ll know I’ve served three stints as a CMO and roughly half of my professional career has been spent in a marketing…

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business development

More BD Resources = More Chaos

I’m a firm believer that business development activities should be focused and with a stated purpose/objective and expected return.  But what most companies do is hire one or more BD…

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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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bonus round ceo

Is Your Potential Co-Founder Already in the Bonus Round?

For years I’ve helped friends and former business colleagues with their job search.  If I find out they are thinking about working for a startup or early stage company, I…

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