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I love basketball. But my career pretty much ended in 9th grade when I was 5'2" tall and had glasses--and though a pretty good shooter, I got cut from my junior high basketball team. Finally I got my growth spurt, and was about 5'10" as a senior where I tried out for my high school team. I made first and second cuts, but was the final person cut from the team and I've never fully recovered.

The Importance of Writing Ideas Down

I like the story of Johnny Appleseed. Sometimes I feel a bit like him, planting seeds (starting companies) and watching them grow. As I told a good and wealthy friend yesterday, I think I will be tempted in the future, if my harvest ever comes, to stop doing startup companies myself, but instead, to just teach and write and blog about all the ideas that I think should happen. I currently have a list of about 50 ideas that I believe could turn

Quotes from Business Leaders

I just noticed that a fairly large selection of quotes from business leaders has been added to the StrategyTree.com wiki. The beauty of a Wiki project is that any individual can add content and make the Wiki grow and become a useful resource. I want to thank the person(s) who created this section and encourage others who have collected inspiring quotes from business leaders and entrepreneurs to add them to this growing collection.

A Myriad of Decisions for Internet Startups

I continually get questions from students and startups such as: Which email solution provider should I use? What is the best affiliate program to launch? What about payment processing? What is the best low-cost or free web analytics software? These are tough questions for anyone to answer because most of us, even internet veterans, have tried only a handful of solutions in each category (email, affiliate, analytics, payment processing, etc.) and often have deep experience with only one. And today there are literally hundreds of available solutions, from

Entrepreneurs: Save Money with Free Legal Docs

Many entrepreneurs can't afford to pay $200-300 per hour for legal help, especially with simple things like incorporating and simple contracts. There are many online libraries of legal docs, including some that exist and generate revenue because of Google AdSense. Today I found a consulting agreement on www.lectlaw.com and used part of it for a new contract. Lectlaw.com has 40,000 pages indexed by Google. If you run this query:
site:lectlaw.com consulting
it returns an okay consulting contract.

Will West and Amy Lewis on Management Teams

Thanks to Ryan Money (Junto 2005), I got a copy of the handouts Will and Amy used in today's UITA breakfast.

Keys to Management Success - Will West, Control4

Hire right. In fact, hire people that are better than you are. If you don't you can't grow an exceptional organization. Do this right, and 80% of your job is done. Do this wrong, and you'll sink.

Be yourself. Don't try to be the manager you read in a book. Use those learningÂ?s to mold your approach, but don't try to become someone else. You aren't, and you probably won't do it well.

Create passion. Retention, extra hours, loyalty to the business, etc. are all easier when your management team believes in a vision. Help your team understand why you are going to change your little comer of the world.

How to Get Funding: Traction and Trajectory

Today I decided that in order to be compelling, business plan presentations really need to have two things: traction and trajectory. It's pretty hard to convince anyone, especially an investor who is naturally protective of his/her own money, that your idea will actually work. Entrepreneurs often count their chickens before they hatch. In fact, we count our chickens before we have ever sourced the eggs. We just believe. We just have faith that somehow it will all work out. So we invest time and energy in our idea. Investors aren't "full of faith" like that. Investors have wealth and

How to Have an Overnight Internet Success

My brother Curt, founder of Folio Corp, former CEO of MyFamily.com, and current CEO of Agilix, a venture-backed company, is fond of saying telling how his company was going to be an overnight success...after 10 years of hard work. I believe that the single most important key to success in an online venture is doing the little things day after day for years and years until you magically reach the tipping point and everyone seems to have heard of you. In other words, persistence is required for most successful ventures. The reason that I love daily metrics -- keeping track of all the key operating statistics in your company day after day -- is that daily metrics tell me if we are persisting in something that is hopeless, or if we are persisting in something that is bound to reach the tipping point and bring us the success that we hope for. For example, when we launched Ancestry.com's subscription service in

Are You Ready to Deal with VCs?

If you are an entrepreneur and want to understand how smart VCs are in terms of financial wheeling and dealing, read this summary of the Intermix Media deal by VC Bill Birnhaum. Like many entrepreneurs, you're probably either great at technology or marketing, but you leave the finance stuff to others. This can be a costly mistake. Invest a lot of time talking to investors and entrepreneurs to get an idea for what kind of deals and terms are out

VC Firms Increase Funding for Early Stage Startups

A report shows that early stage funding is increasing. $1.3 billion in venture capital flowed into early stage companies in the second quarter up from $830 million in the first quarter. I keep hearing that VCs are doing more early stage deals, but this is the first report I have seen that bears this out. Still, the 750 companies funded by VCs are a tiny number compared to probably 10-15,000 that are funded each quarter by angel investors (including friends and family, doctors and dentists and first-time and serial angels). That is why there is such a need for FundingUniverse.com to match local entrepreneurs with local angels. According to Angel Investing (p. 146), a book published in 2000 by two Harvard Business School professors, "In the United States, angels invest in