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 Pile of Cash

10 Things Angel Investors Ask About Startups

by Tim Berry

Today the angel investment group I’m a member of (Willamette Angel Conference) finished our eighth year of choosing a startup to invest in. Our investment runs $100K to $500K, roughly. It’s announced every year on the second Thursday in May. The announcement comes later in the day, not here. Our annual angel investors process Every year... Read More »

Education and Experience

Does Business Education Stifle Creativity

by Tim Berry

Business Education vs. Creativity Does business education stifle innovation and creativity? You probably already know Sir Ken Robinson’s TED talk, from 2006, Do Schools Kill Creativity? It’s one of the five or so most viewed and most discussed TED talks. His basic idea is that school focus too much on the academic, not enough on other... Read More »

US Productivity Trends

Disturbing Questions About Productivity and Technology

by Tim Berry

Have you heard the standard cliche: "Necessity is the Mother of Invention?" In business productivity, in my experience at least, the old standard is reversed: the new truth is that Invention is the Mother of Necessity." For example: Spreadsheets and... 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 »

Video: Startup Funding. Bootstrap. Then “Be So Good They Can’t Ignore You.”

by Tim Berry

I stumbled on this brilliant video of an after-hours startup funding event at the Stanford business school, a panel discussion putting two of the best-known, most influential, and most successful investors (Marc Andreessen and Ron Conway) together with another successful entrepreneur (Parker Conrad, founder of Zenefits), a moderator, and a group of interested entrepreneurs. The... Read More »

Diversity

Birds of a Feather Fail Together: the Business Case for Diversity

by Tim Berry

Diversity is good for business. Equal opportunity is not only morally and ethically right, it’s also a better way to run a business. Here are some reasons why, and points to consider. What’s intuitively obvious It’s pretty much accepted wisdom that when people come together in a common business, it’s better for them to have... Read More »

GPS

Business Owners: The Lean Business Plan as Dashboard and GPS

by Tim Berry

What if you own a business, you’re not a startup, you don’t have to generate a traditional business plan to show to a bank or an investor? Would you still want a business plan? Yes, emphatically, yes you do … … but it’s not a traditional business plan. It’s a lean plan.  … and you... Read More »

Business Plan Financials

Business Plan Financials? Why Bother?

by Tim Berry

As I’m winding up my series of posts on standard business plan financials  – this is the 20th since last month – I want to focus on why? Why bother to project your business plan financials ahead of time? Aren’t they going to be wrong anyhow? Aren’t they going to change? Some people will suggest... Read More »

Waldinger TED talk

Remarkable Real Research on How Life Goals Matter

by Tim Berry

What? A 75-year-study on adult development? Psychiatrist Robert Waldinger absorbs the Harvard Study on Adult Development. Here he shares insights on how life goals affect happiness, and what ultimately is happiness. The study itself is remarkable. Waldinger credits luck and the persistence of several generations of researchers. About 60 of the original 600 men are... Read More »