Friday, April 14, 2017

6 Ways to Build a Happy Startup Culture the Scrappy Way

Company culture can make or break an organization, and a common misconception is that it’s expensive to foster. Building culture should be viewed as a practice, not an expenditure.

As a startup founder, I’m no stranger to doing things the “scrappy” way and through a combination of the best parts of my previous corporate cultures with trial and error. I was first exposed to the benefits of a happy corporate culture during my time at PeopleSoft (which has been deservedly honored as one of the best places to work in America numerous times). Prior to this I had worked at two other large corporations and I simply assumed happy culture didn’t exist.
Founders are the ones who set the stage, as culture usually mirrors their beliefs. Because of that, it’s important to set the values and tone right at the beginning. Here are some of the tips and tricks that have worked for me along the way:

Monday, March 20, 2017

10 Key Questions to Determine Whether Your Dream Is a Business

Business dreams are fun, but they don’t change the world or make you any money if you can’t turn them into a reality. Many aspiring entrepreneurs are stuck in the idea stage, and only a few have the discipline and the insight to move on to the execution phase. There is no magic formula for building a good business, but I’ve seen enough successful ventures to pick out some common elements.

In fact, as an angel investor, I find that many of the questions in the due-diligence process give me real insight into the maturity of a startup. I offer these same questions to you as a self-assessment of your own progress and ability to transform your idea into a business:

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

4 Ways to Smoothly Transition From the Startup to the Scale-Up Phase

After numerous pivots, sleepless nights and fights with founders, you’ve survived the chaos and crushing ambiguity of startup life. Your idea is now a growing business, and you’re finally getting money for what you’re selling after toiling for months or even years. Now you have to worry about getting your company to scale, and what you’ve relied on until this point -- hustle -- doesn’t seem to work as well anymore.

In Marshall Goldsmith’s words, “what got you here, won’t get you there.”