The Problem with Startup Advice

This is going to be BIG.

I'm often the last one to leave an event, held back by the most persistant of entrepreneurs trying to squeeze as much advice as they can out of me. Often times, the advice is terrible or impractical. They don't look cautiously at the advice given to them by their favorite VC blogger.

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What We Wish We Knew Then: 7 EO Members Share Advice for Graduates

Entrepreneurs' Organization

The post What We Wish We Knew Then: 7 EO Members Share Advice for Graduates appeared first on Octane Blog – The official blog of the Entrepreneurs' Organization.

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Here is How to Make Sense of Conflicting Startup Advice

Both Sides of the Table

Everybody has a blog these days and there is much advice to be had. Many startups now go through accelerators and have mentors passing through each day with advice – usually it’s conflicting. This is generally how I try to organize my own views and how I try to give advice.

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Some Advice Before You Hit the Fund Raising Trail

Both Sides of the Table

the most counter-intuitive fund-raising advice you’ll get 8. How to go for the close Some Advice Before You Hit the Fund Raising Trail was originally published in Both Sides of the Table on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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Any advice can be worthless, or worse.


Ever get bad advice? Ever take that advice without question because the person giving it was an investor, a superior in rank, the chairperson of your board? I’ll bet you have at least one story of bad advice taken and being bitten as a result. Close. We all have in our past.

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The Bad Advice Diverse Founders are Given Around Fundraising

This is going to be BIG.

I can't think of a single time when a white man came to pitch me and I told him his fundraising plans weren't aggressive enough. Yet this is a message I'm giving to women and people of color all the time. It's not that this latter group isn't aggressive enough--after all, they're ditching everything else they could to to start companies. Something else is at play.

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Some Career Advice for Aspiring Tech CEOs

Both Sides of the Table

There is a second set of career discussions I have even more frequently than my “angel yourself” advice but this type is almost never discussed publicly in blogs, which tend to emphasize only billion-dollar opportunities, 20-something technical founders and Silicon Valley elitism. But I also have advice for the 15% that really do want to be a startup CEO. A shortened, better edited and with nicer pictures version of this post first appeared on TechCrunch.

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Some Advice for Celebrities and Startups Seeking Their Endorsements

Both Sides of the Table

For the most part my advice is simple, “don’t bother.” Entrepreneur AdviceI live in LA. And I’m a VC. So you can imagine I see my fair share of celebrities looking to get into the technology industry.

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The Most Important Advice I Could Give You About Unicorns

Both Sides of the Table

So here’s advice I give people all the time when they’re raising money. Or they’ll remind me of my common advice to take “ 50 coffee meetings.” The post The Most Important Advice I Could Give You About Unicorns appeared first on Bothsides of the Table. *. Unicorns. The most overused word in the technology industry today. And they aren’t even f **g real. That is how absurd thing have gotten. No, I take that back.

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My Number One Advice for Startups or VCs: Conviction > Consensus

Both Sides of the Table

It spoke to me because it so resonates with my nearly daily advice to entrepreneurs and VCs alike. I went as far as to call it the best Tweet of 2015 so far because it encapsulated my advice so succinctly. All advice you receive is too generic to help you – you need to decide for yourself in your exact situation. I call this process “triangulation” and my advice is always, “ Seek advice but in the end trust your own judgment.”

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The Market Holds The Best Fundraising Advice


As lines of code continue to proliferate through the world, as the rate of startup formation increases to seize those opportunities, and as the VC industry expands to support those new teams and opportunities, there is no shortage of people to visit for advice — not to mention all the resources online. In my short time investing to date, I have experienced a phenomenon that, in my own opinion, hurts more than helps — getting advice from too many sources.

The best advice startups will never follow


Let me tell you a few short hair-raising stories of entrepreneurs who have raised money and regretted it later. Here are some rules that entrepreneurs almost always ignore to their future peril.

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Why you should never have a data room — the most counter-intuitive fund-raising advice you’ll ever…

Both Sides of the Table

the most counter-intuitive fund-raising advice you’ll ever get I’m about to offer you some fund-raising advice that flies directly in the face of what most conventional wisdom will tell you. This is part of a series on fund-raising advice for entrepreneurs and VCs.

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Startup School Week 11 Recap – Geoff Ralston’s Parting Advice

Y Combinator

In this week’s lecture YC President Geoff Ralston shares parting advice for all the founders that participated in Startup School. 00:31 – Geoff Ralston’s Parting Advice. If you want to sign up for next year’s edition of Startup School, you can put your name on the waitlist at Topics. 00:00 – Intro. 00:51 – There is no one path. 3:19 – Find your path. 3:26 – Focus on what matters. 4:14 – Startups are hard.

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Reducing Startup Failure - Mastercard Exec Shares Her Insights and Advice for Female Founders.

Smart Hustle Magazine

Ginger's advice to women business owner? The post Reducing Startup Failure - Mastercard Exec Shares Her Insights and Advice for Female Founders. Startup failure is a serious thing. About one-third of small businesses fail during their first year in business, according to the SBA.

Startup Advice

Both Sides of the Table

I usually tell people that everything I learned about being an entrepreneur I learned by F’ing up at my first company. Continue reading on Medium

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Get Off My Lawn! Crazy Kids and Their Sex, Drugs and Startup Advice!

This is going to be BIG.

There are too many people giving advice who have been through one or two startups, none of which grew into a huge company, got to profitability, or an IPO. I think we all need to be a lot more discerning about where advice is coming from. That doesn''t feel like the perspective you get from a lot of advice givers these days. Your advice matches the experience of your accomplishments. Yet, it all sounds like awesome advice to other startup people--i.e.

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Why being a VC sucks. Advice to anyone who wants to get into venture capital.

This is going to be BIG.

I probably get around a dozen e-mails a week asking me how to get into venture capital. On top of that, anytime I talk to anyone who wants to get involved in startups but isn''t sure what they want to do, inevitably, I hear, "And then I was thinking maybe I should look into venture capital, too.". I usually direct people to this post --still hanging atop the search rankings for " How to be a VC analyst" years later.

Angel Investors Spotlight: An Inside Look at Hudson Valley Startup Fund’s Investment Process & Advice for Founders


The post Angel Investors Spotlight: An Inside Look at Hudson Valley Startup Fund’s Investment Process & Advice for Founders appeared first on The Gust Blog. Investors' Insights advice angel investors entrepreneursHudson Valley Startup Fund brings together a network of the region’s successful business and community leaders to give back, supporting the launch of the next Hudson Valley visionaries.

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Career Advice – Grad School Angst

Scratch Paper

Because I am one of the ones “who got out,” I get a ton of requests give career advice to grad students or speak on career panels. Photo by Bruce Gilbert. Not everybody I deal with in the start-up world knows of my secret past-life.

Advice on Organizing and Running Growth Teams from Dan Hockenmaier and Gustaf Alströmer

Y Combinator

00:20 – Dan’s most unpopular advice. 24:30 – Advice for employees who want to get a growth program going. Dan Hockenmaier is the founder of the growth strategy firm Basis One. Prior to Basis One he was the Director of Growth Marketing at Thumbtack. You can learn more at Gustaf Alströmer is a Partner at YC. Prior to YC he was the Product Lead for Growth at Airbnb. You can find Dan on Twitter @danhockenmaier and Gustaf is @gustaf. Topics.

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Startup Hiring Advice from Lever CEO Sarah Nahm with Holly Liu

Y Combinator

Sarah Nahm is the CEO and cofounder of Lever. Lever builds modern recruiting software for teams to source, interview, and hire top talent. They were in the Summer 2012 batch of YC. You can try Lever out at Holly Liu is a Visiting Partner at YC. Before that she cofounded the gaming company Kabam. You can find Sarah on Twitter @srhnhm and Holly is @hollyhliu. Topics. 00:05 – Did Sarah grow up thinking she’d be a founder?

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Angel Funding Advice

Both Sides of the Table

Tags: Pitching VCs Start-up Advice

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Does your board give you good advice?


This may be news, but boards of directors can offer bad advice. Having served on more than forty boards, I’ve seen such a variety of good and bad advice that my stories could fill a book. (oh,

Hire a consultant; ignore the advice.


Not all consultants give advice worth taking, of course. At one time or another, most all businesses use consultants to fill the gaps in knowledge or to provide guidance for management.

A practical guide to a first board meeting: Advice from the pros

This is going to be BIG.

Here’s what I got back: David Hornick, August Capital : "Here's some anti-advice. Jason Pressman, Shasta Ventures : "First board meetings always are a bit scary b/c you actually find out what is going on so my advice to both sides (investors and entrepreneurs) is to have no surprises due to a transparent, thoughtful and engaged due diligence process.

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Any advice can be worthless, or worse.


The angel investors could not raise the next, larger round to finance the shortfall and further expansion, putting the fragile young company at risk for following the advice of its board. Bad advice taken by an enthusiastic and compliant young CEO was the root of the cause, compounded by circumstance. By not putting up any argument and being completely compliant, the CEO ceded control of the company to outsiders who gave bad advice.

Some Quick Sage Advice for Young Employees Early in Their Careers

Both Sides of the Table

You know now why I would take her advice for new employees. ” She gave me a special one-time permission to write about her in a blog post so I could publish the advice she gave our friend. General Advice. What advice do you have for employees? Entrepreneur Advice

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Startup School Week 9 Recap – Carolynn Levy on Modern Startup Financing and Jared Friedman’s Advice for Hard-tech and Biotech Founders

Y Combinator

His lecture focuses on advice for hard-tech and biotech founders. 19:30 – Jared Friedman – Advice for Hard-tech and Biotech Founders. 25:49 – How much of YC’s advice applies to hard-tech founders? We’ve cut down the ninth week of lectures to be even shorter and combined them into one podcast. First, a lecture from Carolynn Levy. Carolynn is a partner at YC. Her lecture covers modern startup financing. Then a lecture from Jared Friedman.

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[Honeybook in Software Advice] 4 Best CRM Solutions With Excellent Customer Service and Support Ratings


The post [Honeybook in Software Advice] 4 Best CRM Solutions With Excellent Customer Service and Support Ratings appeared first on OurCrowd. HoneyBook’s got you covered. The software lets users manage projects, book clients, sign contracts online, send invoices, and handle payments.

How to (re) Approach People (Advice on the Eve of LeWeb)

Both Sides of the Table

This is part of my ongoing series with Startup Advice. Apologies in advance if it sounds arrogant – just trying to impart some realistic advice. The most important advice I can give you is – give me context.

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The three types of advice


There are three types of advice,” the wise White House Senior Counsel to the President told the young White House attorney. He referred to the three as legal advice, moral advice and political advice.

One of My Most Frequent Pieces of Advice: Be Politely Persistent

Both Sides of the Table

It is impossible advice to give because there is such a fine line between being persistent and being annoying and it’s something you probably can’t teach. I called it “the worst startup advice I had ever heard somebody give.” One of the hardest things for most entrepreneurs to know is how hard to push in situations where people tell you “no.” ” But then again most entrepreneurs fail.

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Follow Your Curiosity and Success Will Follow

Entrepreneurs' Organization

What advice would I share with young entrepreneurs today? So, as you carve out your place in the world, gathering advice on the right path for you, and the right way to get there, pay attention to those strange curiosities that pop up from time to time.

GAN Partner, Chargebee, on How Startups Can Get the Most Out of Office Hours with a Mentor


So, office hours should be a structured but limited time to get advice, spitball ideas, and share cathartic moments. GAN Partners gan partner mentors office hours partners startup adviceI work for Chargebee, a recurring billing and subscription management product used by thousands of customers in more than 53 countries and a proud GAN Partner.

“Angels,” Angels, and VCs

Y Combinator

Founders have a right to know where the money they are taking comes from, and they need to know how that source might influence the advice given them by their investors. Founders need this information to decide how to think about the investor and the funding offer or advice that investor may give. Advice Essay FeatureI’ve recently noticed an uptick in the number of “angels” that aren’t actually angels.

The Cost of Preemptive Deals

Y Combinator

Advice Essay Series A FeatureRecently, while discussing a preemptive funding offer with a company, we noticed that the offer was more dilutive than expected. Wondering if this was an outlier, we looked at 120 US Series A rounds from our portfolio over the past 18 months to see whether or not preemptive offers were generally more or less dilutive than process driven rounds. We were somewhat surprised to discover that, on average, founders taking preemptive offers are taking ~1.4%

How to Manage a Board

Y Combinator

Below, I’ve tried sharing our advice for managing your board – from how often to meet, to the materials you need – in order to ensure a useful and productive group discussion. I’ll share our collective advice on navigating these below. Sometimes the answer is not very clear but a framework is helpful when you decide to go against the board’s advice. Advice Essay YC Continuity FeatureWith special contributions from Nic Dardenne.

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The value of legal advice isn’t measured by a law degree.


Over the years in business and as a member of over forty boards, I have received good advice from corporate attorneys and on occasion bad advice as well. Attorneys are paid to protect the corporation, not to give business advice. Some are experienced enough to provide great business advice.

The Best Bit of Advice on Writing I've Received

Tomasz Tunguz

This is one of the best pieces of advice I’ve collected about writing. Put each sentence on a separate line when you write. When we read, we hear a rhythm. There is a rhythm to the words. And when we read, we look to find that rhythm, which pushes us through the end of a sentence, so if I write a really long sentence, and the reader isn’t expecting it – like this one – the reader will find it really hard to follow and understand where I am going.

The Best Advice I've Ever Received

Tomasz Tunguz

Advice is one person’s experience generalized”, an entrepreneur told me once. Advice can be a terribly dangerous thing, because it can be used as a shortcut for thinking.” ” When I asked how he responded to requests for advice, because as a successful entrepreneur he was often solicited for it, he replied that he first shared the structure and the framework he used to look at the problem. It might be the best advice you’ve ever given

What is the best advice a boss/supervisor ever gave you?


Make a decision. This one I learned in reverse from watching my very first boss, who would not/could not make a decision to save his life. The result was an office that descended nearly into paralysis, before everyone else (including me) started making decisions around him. Keep in mind that not making a decision IS making one, because something is ultimately going to happen, but now it won’t be under your control.

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At the Intersection of Communication and Humanity


Ask An Entrepreneur Resources advice communication email Tips and TricksHow to be a Considerate Communicator. By Ray Newal, Managing Director of Techstars Bangalore Accelerator. The Metaphor of the Traffic Light.