I am always surprised by how much the day-to-day makes you blind and narrows the thinking. It’s so bad that most startups will die if they do not accept to take a step back and think strategically.

I would argue that strategic thinking is the one single thing that could change a startup path.

Easier said than done, right?

Let’s look at the way an entrepreneur usually thinks about building a successful startup.

It starts with an idea and building a team around it. Then it’s often all about proving execution, delivering on the idea by producing a product, and…

Our economy has changed. I see three significant trends.

  • A significant number of youngsters, freshly out of school, want to become entrepreneurs. Corporate is not attractive, and the best talents no longer dream of corporate life. That is creating a long-term issue for corporations, but that’s another topic.
  • Likewise, the startup dream is also appealing to older, more experienced folks looking for a new adventure.
  • Finally, we have a growing trend toward the knowledge economy and learning marketplaces. People are sharing and selling what they know and love, we call it “Passion Economy”. Think Udemy, Patreon, and the likes.

We…

Our economy has changed. I see three significant trends.

  • A significant number of youngsters, freshly out of school, want to become entrepreneurs. Corporate is not attractive, and the best talents no longer dream of corporate life. That is creating a long-term issue for corporations, but that’s another topic.
  • Likewise, the startup dream is also appealing to older, more experienced folks looking for a new adventure.
  • Finally, we have a growing trend toward the knowledge economy and learning marketplaces. People are sharing and selling what they know and love, we call it “Passion Economy”. Think Udemy, Patreon, and the likes.

We…

Let’s agree, there is a thin line between reality and hallucination. To be an entrepreneur, you need to be delusional, and small lies are essential to progress in an environment that lacks hard evidence.

Sometimes entrepreneurs start to rely on big lies and distorted facts because facts hurt. Granted, you have to be crazy to start something. Chances are you won’t succeed, and you will fight with your co-founders, you will struggle with money, and you could eventually fall into a depression if you are not mentally strong. So your only option is to be an optimist. …

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I’ve long been wanting to write about speed. I am developing my 4th startup in solo mode, and I cannot go fast :-). Is it an issue?

A common perception is that speed is what makes a startup succeed. It’s all about speed and removing everything that can slow down execution. I often see entrepreneurs convinced that if they could go faster, they would succeed faster.

Really?

I think speed is critical once you have reached Product Market Fit and understand how to scale. Before that, speed can make you die faster!

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If there is one thing that most startups misunderstand entirely, that’s probably fundraising. Thus, they create their own mental image of what needs to be done to raise money successfully. After interacting with more than 1,000 startups, I can confidently say that it’s almost always wrong.

Who to blame?

VCs that stay opaque on why they say yes or no? Maybe! Most VCs never want to close doors, so they often remain open and vague on why they pass. They often say, “We like what you do, but it’s not completely aligned with what we are looking for; that does…

Alt opening — I am excited to share my vision on Startup Design based on my personal experience. I co-founded three startups, took one public, and sold the last two. I am still a General Manager of a fund that invested in 54 hand-selected startups.

Let me share my vision on Startup Design.

For me, every single startup interaction, whether it’s a quick question, a deeper conversation, or a full-on pitch, is an instructive input into an ever better understanding of how startups succeed, and more often fail. As a rational individual, I work best by organizing my thoughts into…

I know that is a strong statement; quit reading if you disagree, it’s about to get worse.

This is how someone might become a mentor. They watch a TED talk, let’s say Simon Sinek, and learn the golden circle, why, how, what. Maybe they also read a blog post, let’s say, “How to Implement OKRs in an Early-stage Company” from Brian Balfour. Then, all pumped up, they get out and teach young startups what they ‘think’ they have learned.

Worse yet, they don’t bother investing a lifetime in learning what others have conceptualized and go on with their certainties and…

Every startup is trying to disrupt. The common belief is that something can be created that will alter people’s behavior, change a market, and trigger new usage. Every startup is looking for that shift.

Let’s start with a statement. I personally do not believe in disruption as a shift, I believe in technology trends and market evolution. I do not think that disruption occurs quickly and rapidly like magic.

If you created a technology startup, you might believe that what you are building can permanently change things. You see that market problems are poorly addressed, and you think you can…

Dear Elon,

Let me start by saying that I admire what you have accomplished.

I never go public on issues, however, that could be my only option since I cannot find anyone at Tesla who would take responsibility. I feel something needs to change, Tesla won’t survive this in the long run and that would be a shame.

I moved back to France after 17 years in the US and ordered a Tesla Model 3. I bought everything cash, no credit, or lease.

The shipment occurred on March 19 during the shelter. Needless to say, the delivery was quick and…

Pierre Gaubil

Co-founder and General Partner @ The Refiners

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