Tim Berry

Tim Berry

Founder and Chairman of Palo Alto Software, founder of bplans.com, co-founder of Borland International, angel investor, baby boomer, ex-hippy Stanford MBA father of five, married 45 years. Now working on lean business planning (leanplan.com), a new way of business planning for all business owners, not just those who need a formal plan to get investment.

Recent Articles Published by Tim Berry

managing

Horror Story of Small Business Fraud

If you’re a business owner, and especially if you’re in the expert business, you should know this small business fraud story. It involves a very sophisticated scheme, including a fraudulent cashier’s check, and a very well faked charity, that would have fooled me. This could happen to me or to you Melinda Emerson, a good... Read more »

planning

The Best Place to Start Your Business …

… is where you are. Sure, there are exceptions. Maybe you’re young, and have no roots. Or maybe you just want to move to somewhere else. But, barring special cases, look around you. The best place to start you business is where you are. In my email and on Quora I get a steady stream... Read more »

planning

Where Can I Sell My Business Ideas?

I get it. What a nice dream … just sell the business idea, and let somebody else take the risk, find the money, and do the work. Except that the work, the risk, and the money is what gives the business idea value. So nowhere. The answer to your question about where is: nowhere. Business... Read more »

planning

7 Very Common False Assumptions in Entrepreneurship

These are very common false assumptions in entrepreneurship. “What gets us into trouble is not what we don’t know. It’s what we know for sure that just ain’t so.” — Mark Twain I answered a Quora question about this. Here’s my list of seven: That being profitable means having cash in the bank. Seems obvious,... Read more »

Some Posts on Managing During a Crisis

I've been posting on the main bplans blog during the pandemic crisis. Here are six recent posts. Several focus on the economic crisis. Read more »

starting

Startup Founder Compatibility is Vital

Please don’t ever estimate the importance of startup founder compatibility. It’s vital. And it may not be what you think. The relationship among founders of a healthy business is like a marriage. Compatible goals, thinking, values, and decision-making styles is really important. Even if a well-run and successful business, there will be a lot of... Read more »

planning

Do those summaries, sure. Use those frameworks. But don’t think they replace business planning.

There is some bad advice floating around in the startup world. Useful as the Lean Canvas is, and despite some well-intentioned suggestions of summaries, those are not business plans. They don’t deal with the drivers and components of cash flow. They don’t set milestones, metrics, and tracking. You can’t run a business with them. And... Read more »

planning

10 Prevailing Myths Of Business Ownership

I was asked about common myths of business ownership, that people still believe in 2019. I came up with a list of 10 common myths. Do you agree? That the business idea matters. As if ownership ought to depend on having the big idea. As if people steal ideas, or that’s even possible, much less... Read more »

planning

Know Your Industry: Average Margins

Know your industry. In a recent post here, I wrote that the most common stumbling point I see in multiple business plans is absurdly unrealistic profitability. Specifically … Most of the business plans I see project profits too high, or profits too early. In the real world, startups choose growth or profits, not both. The... Read more »

planning

Advice to Young People Looking to be Entrepreneurs

How does a young person work towards a career in entrepreneurship? I was asked this question on Quora. Here’s my answer. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Make sure you focus on your education while you’re young; don’t think success is supposed to happen immediately. School is the best way to build options later on.... Read more »

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