Archive for the ‘Snapshots of a Startup’ Category

Snapshots of a Startup: Hedging Your Bets
August 29, 2007

Mistakes…immediately after the fact, they suck…but in hindsight…they’re some of the best teachers of all time.  To be brutally honest, this post is going to be in direct reference to a mistake that I’ve made in the management of my startup venture.  So without further adieu…lets just cut to the chase.

Several months back, our team and project was thriving, yet there remained one critical piece to the puzzle that needed to be filled.  Actually, there was one more person that we needed to find to work with on the project.  My thinking was to do a ton of research, talk to a ton of people and then see who I would come across.  Upon doing so, I spent time talking to several different individuals and worked hard on filtering down the list to a handful of candidates.  And then I made a major blunder… (more…)

Snapshots of a Startup: The Lowest Common Denominator
July 10, 2007


In the continuation of the Snapshots of a Startup series, I’ve making an effort to simply share some of the lessons/principles/concepts that I’m learning throughout the course of working on my first major startup. Well…it’s been a while now…and I’ve had this idea brewing in my head for quite some time. I’m thankful to have had the opportunity to both meet and become friends with many successful entrepreneurs, businessmen and social influencers. Each person has had some great nuggets of insight to share…yet in the experiences of each lies one thread, one reoccurring theme, one common denominator. (more…)

Snapshots of a Startup: The Stockdale Paradox
April 5, 2007


“There is no worse mistake in public leadership than to hold out false hopes soon to be swept away.”  – Winston Churchill

I’m continuing on in the series “Snapshots of a Startup” where I’m sharing some lessons from experiences that I’m going through, lessons I’ve learned and insights I’ve gained while in the process of devloping my 1st major startup venture.

The Stockdale Paradox…sound familiar?  Maybe…maybe not.  Well, I’m borrowing a page from Jim Collins’s book Good to Great as it directly applies to a key insight that I’ve learned from being involved in a startup.

Stockdale…Admiral Jim Stockdale…he was the highest ranking US military officer in the “Hanoi Hilton” prisoner-of-war camp during the peak of the Vietnam War.  He was restrained for not 1, not 3, not even 5…but 8 years as a POW.  In addition, he was tortured over 20 times during that period without being given any prisoner’s rights, release dates or anything for that matter that might have given him an ounce of hope of which to cling to.  How is this applying to a startup?  Am I just referring to overcoming struggles, maintaining perseverance or a will to succeed?  While those are all good things…the answer is NO…I’m getting to the point that Jim makes in his book. (more…)

Snapshots of a Startup: The “Litmus Test”
March 12, 2007


This is the 2nd post in the series “Snapshots of a Startup” where I’ll be sharing some personal experiences and lessons learned from the process of pursuing my 1st big venture. 

Before we dove head over heels into our idea, my partners and I did quite a lot of research and due diligence on the niche/market/competition.  But several months down the road, a couple of competing startups began to pop up in the space.  To be honest, our first reactions were those of…discouragement, frustration and a little bit of worry. (more…)

Snapshots of a Startup: Purpose and Vision
March 5, 2007


I got a message from one of my new found friends the other day, Mike (the founder of IdeaWhip) recommending that I start writing about some of my experiences and lessons that I’ve learned…wait, am learnING…while in the process of launching my 1st startup/business/dream.

Well I’ve decided to take him up on the idea as I’ll be posting these thoughts in a series entitled:  “Snapshots of a Startup.”  My aim is to share a “snapshot” of an experience by detailing out the situation I faced, the thoughts I had, the challenges that were present, my course of action and, finally, the reflection back on the lesson I learned.  So without further adieu…let’s get started… (more…)