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What Business to Start? Look in the Mirror. Depends on You.

by Tim Berry

I’ve always said that what business is right for you depends not on the market, or what’s hot, but on who you are. So look in the mirror. I get a steady flow of questions about what business to start, and I see them almost every day on Quora.com, my favorite question-answer platform. With this... Read More »

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10 Good Reasons Not to Seek Investors For Your Startup

by Tim Berry

Sure, maybe you need the money. Maybe that’s what your business plan says. But seriously: Do you really want to have investors involved in your dream startup? I’ve said it before: bootstrapping is underrated. I get frequent emails from people asking how they can get investment for their new startup, and I’ve admitted to being... Read More »

Plan Run Review Revise

Business Planning for the ‘Lean Startup’

by Tim Berry

Nothing related to startups should be carved in stone. Best practices can be useful but are best taken as suggestions, not rules. So I’m troubled to see some of the “lean startup” advocates get into the codification business. I very much respect lean startup thought leaders Eric Ries and Steve Blank and the methodology they popularized at the end... Read More »

Myths of Entrepreneurship

Friday Video: Kauffman Center on Myths of Entrepreneurship

by Tim Berry

Several things that many people take for granted about entrepreneurship aren’t really true, according to this three-minute video offered by the Kauffman Center for Entrepreneurship. It starts with a reminder that it isn’t small business that drives the US economy’s growth of jobs, but rather new business. Startups. And my personal favorite, around 1:40, the... Read More »

A Bad Idea

How Can I Get Startup Funding Without Giving Away Half the Company?

by Tim Berry

I’m surprised how often I get asked the question in the title, or variations of it, from people in startups. And you will hear discussions in which experts recommend ways to get investors who take less equity and demand less control. That seems short-sighted or worse.  I posted here years ago dumb investors is a... Read More »

Reality Check on Startup Dreams and Clichés

by Tim Berry

My Friday video for today is another TED talk, one of the best from 2015, targeting entrepreneurs, dreams, and getting things done. I call it a reality check on startup dreams, and she (Bel Pesce, from Brazil, successful entrepreneur) calls it 5 way to kill your dreams. How to kill dreams? Expect overnight success. Believe... Read More »

Market Segments

How Startups Estimate Market Size

by Tim Berry

It’s a common question. How do I know market size? Of course what one does for that depends on the type of business. What works for a web app won’t work for a restaurant. The kinds of information available in one market differs from another. Local demographics might be quite enough for a retail business, but irrelevant... Read More »

The Reality of the ‘Be Your Own Boss’ Cliché

by Tim Berry

My Friday video this week is one of my own: Reality vs. Be Your Own Boss. Reality vs 'Be Your Own Boss' from Tim Berry on Vimeo. It’s a short one, barely 45 seconds. But it attacks a very common misconception. Read More »

Mike Maples on Ecorner

Entrepreneurship and Leadership with Mark Maples

by Tim Berry

My Friday video for this week is on entrepreneurship and leadership from the Stanford Ecorner. If you haven’t been there for a while, check it out. There is a new interface, and it’s a great collection of speakers on entrepreneurship, startups, business, and investment. Here’s the intro from the site: Silicon Valley veteran Mike Maples... Read More »

Small Business Failure Statistics

Demystify Business Failure Statistics

by Tim Berry

My Friday video for this week is one I did a while back, the truth about all those well-publicized business failure statistics. Most of the clichés we read everywhere are just often-repeated guesses. Nobody really knows. Read More »