10 Common Mistakes with Startup Financial Projections

by Tim Berry

I was glad to be asked about common mistakes with financial projections. I read about 100 business plans a year for angel investment and business plan competitions. Most show unrealistic profitability. More people doing business plans should realize that most startups are unprofitable at the beginning; and that high growth correlates with losses, not profits.... Read More »

Business Success: Talent, Skill, or What?

by Tim Berry

I received this question: Is succeeding as an entrepreneur a matter of luck or do only the talented ones make it? And this is my answer: Luck isn’t enough, and talent isn’t enough either. You can have either one, or even both, and still fail. What you’re missing, with your question, is the work. Business... Read More »

5 Secrets of Creating a Great Business Team

by Tim Berry

My favorite five secrets of a great business team? This list came to me first as an answer to the question how do you build a great business team on Quora.  These five points aren’t something from the business school curriculum. They come from the experience of actually doing it, recruiting a team and growing... Read More »

7 Things Wanna-be Entrepreneurs Need to Know

by Tim Berry

What do entrepreneurs need to know as they get started? Of course there’s need to know, absolutely; and there’s ought to know.  I was asked to come up with a list, and here is my best guess. Know the difference between cash and profits. You Think in Profits, but You Live on Cash. Things like sales... Read More »

Good Data Debunking Popular Startup Myths

by Tim Berry

Contrary to popular startup myths and misunderstanding, tech founders aren’t mainly younger than 30. They are generally well educated, not dropouts. They tend to start up where they are, instead of moving to Silicon Valley or other tech hubs. Here’s a summary of data published by the Kauffman Foundation: We observed that, like immigrant tech founders, U.S.-born... Read More »

Understanding Uncertainty is Vital to an Entrepreneur

by Tim Berry

Pop quiz: what relationship factor is the single most common trait in the successful entrepreneur? My answer: understanding uncertainty. Living with uncertainty Why? First let me say that I’m not sure. Second, that I might change my mind tomorrow. (Irony intended.) Third, that I know there are seemingly endless lists of traits of the entrepreneur, and... Read More »

Do You Believe the Legendary Startup Failure Statistics. I Don’t.

by Tim Berry

This recent piece on startup failure statistics caught me eye on Twitter first, and I followed the links to discover Startups: Conventional Wisdom Says 90% Fail. Data Says Otherwise. | Fortune.com. Here’s a direct quote from author Erin Griffith: “I recently found myself carelessly repeating a statistic that I’d heard dozens of times in private conversations... Read More »

Pot of Gold

Startup Stock Options as Fool’s Gold

by Tim Berry

Terry had a good job with an established software company but left to join a startup. Why? “Because they’re giving me startup stock options.” Too bad. Two years later that job ended. That startup was going nowhere, cutting costs, and fighting extinction. Terry needed a new job. Again. What about those options? They had no value whatsoever. They... Read More »