Startup Hiring Like a Boss

I did a brown-bag lunch session with the RealCo teams on Wednesday on hiring. Let's face it: Hiring is hard. But there are ways to increase your likelihood of success. You can see my slides here: and here... https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1s1tPZnYX8ThBRd394P35OfB2jIe6vxSuuuHcloxIWzE/edit?usp=sharing…

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The Fallacy of Top-Down Market Sizing

Business founders mistake of using published research about their potential market size as validation. For example: Total student loan debt is $x trillion dollars. The annual marketing budget for e-commerce retailers is $x billion. There are X million pet owners in the USA. These data points are actually the result of a conceptual fallacy with regards to startups. Today's big markets aren't that exciting. In those markets, someone has already won, so your solution either has to disrupt that market or be so compelling that customers will switch. Trying to…

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Society's Problems are Not Customer Problems

I see lots of business pitches that confuse Society Problems with actual Customer Problems. Here are some examples of Society Problems: Americans are too obese. Too few kids have access to college. Too many bicyclists get hit by cars. Society Problems are usually things we all know should be fixed but haven't. Why? Well, they're hard. They are also our common problem rather than an individual customer's problem. That makes it really hard to get paid. Customer problems can be identified because they have nouns that are people or businesses:…

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Central Texas Winning the Amazon Sweepstakes

The Amazon HQ2 RFP announcement swept through the news in the past few weeks. https://www.amazon.com/b?ie=UTF8&node=17044620011 Many pundits put the Texas cities well behind other candidates. This New York Times piece has Denver as a clear favorite: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/09/09/upshot/where-should-amazon-new-headquarters-be.html?mcubz=1 As much as I love my hometown and state, San Antonio is at best a long shot candidate. Austin, just down the road, has better chances given the recent Whole Food acquisition…

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Born This Way

I was chatting with a founder the other day. Let's call him Bill. Bill said, "It'd be great to figure out how to get more people out of large enterprises to become entrepreneurs." After trying and failing a few dozen times at helping at Big Company employee get entrepreneurial, I think founders are Born this Way. Bill is a great example. He transitioned from Big Company to an entrepreneur in his mid-30s. It was natural to him. He was OK with selling his home to lower his personal burn rate.…

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