What’s the Difference Between Angel Investor and VC?

by Tim Berry

I see this confusion a lot: People use the terms “venture capital,” “venture capitalist,” and “VC” to apply to any outsider investing in a startup. However, it’s really useful to draw some distinctions in this area, between three important classifications: venture capital, angel investors, and anybody else.  Venture capital means big-money investment managed by professional... Read More »

Crowdfunding is Being Oversold

by Tim Berry

I think so-called “crowdfunding” is being oversold. Many people seem to think it’s going to mean a lot new investment money for U.S. startups. I don’t think so. Not yet. Maybe never.  Crowdfunding, unfortunately, has become one of those bucket terms, that mean different things to different people. I use the term for ease of restrictions... Read More »

Q&A: I Need a Loan to Fill Orders

by Tim Berry

This is another question I received via the ask-me form on my website: I have master service agreements with [omitted for confidentiality] in the midwest.  I am also working on an agreement with a company in South America.  I have a great reputation with upper management and they want to use my services.  The only... Read More »

Quiz: Can a Business Fail While Profitable?

by Tim Berry

I’ve posted here before on the problem of survivor bias and how hard it is to identify causes of business failure. Where do you find the people who failed? Do they tell you the truth? Do they even know.  In Are These Three Critical Threats Weeks Away From Sinking Your Business? on tweakyourbiz.com, post author Janine Gilmour... Read More »

Restaurants, Bootstrapping, Good Stories, and Divine Intervention

by Tim Berry

This is a great look at one example of a successful restaurant business. Jonathan Fields calls it “bootstrapping with a bit of divine intervention.” That story is about four minutes in. The whole interview is interesting, and a good background look for anybody curious about the restaurant business, particularly one successful restaurant business, not stylized... Read More »

3 Incredibly Common Credibility Killers in Business Plan Numbers

by Tim Berry

Business plans are about business decisions. When I read them — and I read hundreds of them every Spring — I’m looking for the concrete specifics, like dates and deadlines and tasks and milestones, that point towards execution. But part of that is reasonable, credible projections. And I am way too familiar, way more than... Read More »

Quick Funny Disruptive Game Changing Paradigm Shift Video

by Tim Berry

In my post here yesterday I questioned the value of the phrases “game changing” and “disruptive” for what every startup promises investors and few really offer. Right after posting I caught Sramana Mitra’s fun video cartoon here, a quick riff on the similar phrase “paradigm shift.” Aside from the fun video, I’ve mentioned Sramana before... Read More »

Is There a Tech Bubble? We’ll Know If It Pops

by Tim Berry

Earlier today I posted disruption vs. revenue and the tech bubble on the gust.com blog. I’m suggesting in that post that some special-case web-based startups have to choose between disruption or revenue, because they can’t have both. That may or may not be true, but I’ve been guilty of suggesting it is to a couple... Read More »

The Paradox of Profits

by Tim Berry

We take it for granted. One of the main goals of a business is making a profit. Right? Maybe not. Answer this question: What makes a business more valuable? Is it profits, or growth? Or future prospects? And then this question: Don’t you have a straight trade-off between profits and growth? Assume you have money... Read More »

Can’t Get Funded? Maybe There Are Better Ways

by Tim Berry

Today I joined Ian Sigalow, Jim Estill, and Mike Edelhart on a free webinar titled “Revolution in Venture Funding.” If you’re interested, here is the link to the permanent archive: http://myventurepad.com/93875/audio-archive-revolution-venture-funding. The sizzle in this one is the idea of crowd funding: specifically, there’s a bill in congress that would loosen up restrictions on small-time... Read More »