Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast

Entrepreneurs' Organization

While commendable, this effort to invest in strategy doesn’t work unless the company also focuses on culture. After culture eats breakfast, it continues to chomp its way through strategy for lunch and dinner, too!

Creating an Entrepreneurial Culture at Your Organization

TechStars

At Techstars, we talk a lot about “cultural transformation” and how we can support large corporations’ core objective to become more innovative and agile. As corporations strive to innovate in order to survive, creating an entrepreneurial culture has become a critical advantage.

People Ops Question: How do we define our company culture?

TechStars

We attract, retain, develop, and support Techstars employees globally and aim to uphold our culture and values, in a manner that is inclusive to all.” . Q: How do we define our company culture? Accelerators Resources Company culture People Ops Techstars Talent

Startup Culture Rot

This is going to be BIG.

You''re just not actively managing the culture because you''re busy doing other things. Great cultures have values that everyone can be a part of--and these values need to be built in to everyday life at your company, no matter how small it is. The best professionals want to work in places that care about culture and values--because they know actively managing that has second order effects. God forbid a negative cultural reputation gets out in the market.

VC Corner: Marlon Nichols, Cross Culture VC

Startup Grind

He has worked with several startups, invested in companies like Mayvenn, Gimlet Media, Blavity, Airspace Technologies, Codeverse, and many others Pitch your startup for a chance to meet with Cross Culture VC Q&A: What is your / your fund's mission?

How a Fashion Brand in Honduras Is Preserving the Country’s Traditional Culture

Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative

Rafael, a 2018 YLAI Fellow and an entrepreneur in Honduras, saw years later a need for his skills in the country’s cultural heritage sector. “My Today Rafael is working with Xiomara and other artisans to market their products, all the while preserving traditional Honduran culture.

Helping Startups Understand Salespeople & the Sales Culture

Both Sides of the Table

Most technology startups seem to be funded by product people or business people. Specifically what is often not in the DNA of founders are sales skills. Nor do they exist in the investors of early-stage companies. The result is a lack of knowledge of the process and of sales people themselves.

Why “The Culture of Failure” is Imperative to Startup Communities

Both Sides of the Table

After a recent discussion I had with Steve Blank it made me remember that I had left off one of the most critical factors – a culture of failure. At this time I can tell you that the Brits definitely didn’t have a culture of failure.

Why I F **g Hate Unicorns and the Culture They Breed

Both Sides of the Table

Not the successful companies themselves but the entire b t culture of swash-buckling startups who define themselves by hitting some magical $1 billion valuation number and the financiers who back them irrespective of metrics that justify it. My concern is that culture of unicorns has created a generation of entrepreneurs & investors looking for short cuts. Something is rotten in tech startup land. Don’t call me a hater for saying so.

Can a culture of entrepreneurship be created?

Carol Lauffer

Can you really create a culture of entrepreneurship, or must it occur organically? Here in Silicon Valley the culture of entrepreneurship permeates just about everything. I have witnessed numerous communities that are actively fostering a culture of entrepreneurship. Culture helps to create fertile ground for the startup of new businesses. Remember that creating a culture of entrepreneurship is a long-term strategy, and economic developers CAN have an impact

Great Startup Teams Foster a Culture of Likability

Gust

Larry Ellison Photo by Oracle PR. You don’t have to be likeable to everyone to be a great entrepreneur, just to the people who count. Of course, we can all point to apparent exceptions, like Ted Turner or Larry Ellison, who are sometimes seen as lions, downright predators, or even jerks.

Develop a culture of curiosity.

Berkonomics

It could happen, but only if you as manager develop the culture of curiosity that makes such creativity a part of your company DNA.

Honest cultures in startups

Tomasz Tunguz

This morning NPR profiled an education researcher comparing and contrasting the way different cultures approach intelligence and learning in schools. Though the debate about education methodologies is fascinating, I found the one of the stories in the report reminded me of the importance of transparent cultures in startups. I admire startup cultures that prioritize transparency and reward struggle because these companies value learning.

Honest cultures in startups

Tomasz Tunguz

This morning NPR profiled an education researcher comparing and contrasting the way different cultures approach intelligence and learning in schools. Though the debate about education methodologies is fascinating, I found the one of the stories in the report reminded me of the importance of transparent cultures in startups. I admire startup cultures that prioritize transparency and reward struggle because these companies value learning.

The Intense Power of a Strong Company Culture

Tomasz Tunguz

It was an inspirational moment for me because I observed the intense power of developing strong company culture. As a few of the executives shared with me, culture is a key part of the company and this annual meeting is a key part of that strategy. Culture is managing at scale. Culture starts at the top, and must be a key priority for the executive team. As Jeff Bezos said in 2014, “My main job today: I work hard at helping to maintain the culture.”

A Very Unusual Book about Startup Culture

Tomasz Tunguz

Last, Gordon recounts a story about the cultural toxicity of teasing and criticism. What’s wonderful about this book is that it characterizes the point of view of a cultural iconoclast within a large company. These perspectives stretch the reader’s mind about what culture ought to be, and how to break out of the every day in order to engender creativity. Orbiting the Giant Hairball is one of the most unusual business books I’ve read.

When Does Establishing a Good Startup Culture Outweigh Being Cheap?

Both Sides of the Table

Almost every startup company starts off “scrappy” and there’s a well established culture in the tech startup scene to embrace the “be cheap at all costs” mentality.

Beer and Startups: The Alcohol Culture of the Tech World

This is going to be BIG.

This is the first time I''ve really seen such a bold stance taken on it: "I think it is very, very unwise for companies to have a culture associated with drinking and the lowered inhibitions that come with drinking. He told me the last time he played a drinking game was probably ten years ago and he''d rather forget that experience, but not partaking made him feel like he didn''t fit into the company''s "culture". I don''t drink.

The Quarterly Reset

GAN

Company Culture annual planning business planning company culture planning workI’m traditionally pretty particular about doing annual planning every year. I prioritize it heavily because it’s the one time each year when we take a step back and go over our plans for the following year. It includes department-level brainstorming and planning sessions that roll up into full-blown presentations to the C-Suite.

Boston Startup Culture : The entrepreneur’s view

Fred Destin

The excellent C.A. Webb at NEVCA pushed through a survey that looks at the relative attractiveness of Boston as a startup market. Hold that yawn : the results are interesting. Not that I am expecting hordes of YC grads to come beating a path quite yet, mind you.

Company Culture: The Difference Between Values and Style

This is going to be BIG.

What makes for company culture? Too often, when people talk about company culture, they fail to differentiate between values and style. It's not only window dressing, but it can often mask serious culture problems when companies need to deal with style differences as they scale. Your culture should value a baseline of respect, dedication to the task at hand, open communication and quality such that the best performers can thrive no matter what their style.

Top Start-Up Investments That Are More Than Worth It

Startup Grind

Invest in a strong company culture. This may seem an odd suggestion for many, but a strong company culture will help your enterprise grow and become valued on the local community and industry. Building relationships is also a great step toward a stronger company culture.

Thank a Salesperson Today

GAN

Company Culture business development corporate partners gan partners partners sales team team dynamicsI gave Dina a call on Monday. Dina oversees business development for GAN Partners, the innovative corporates like Allstate, Prologis, and UPS that engage with startups in the GAN Community. She’s had an amazing three months. She’s been working hard, traveling a ton, and doing the right things to find new partners.

The Summer Solstice And Seed Stage Squeeze

Haystack

Career Culture Technology Venture CapitalIf you’ve been following my tweets lately, you’ve read some of my quick musings on the state of the seed market this summer. In short, in my 6.5 years of investing in the seed stage, I have never seen activity levels like I’m seeing today. Granted, 6.5 years is not a long arc – I have not experienced a prolonged down market as a private investor.

Understanding the Rich Tapestry of American Culture as Experienced Through Food

Both Sides of the Table

Like many immigrant families and many Jewish families I grew up around a kitchen table, often outside my house and experiencing food… Continue reading on Medium

Quickly Unpacking Spotify’s Acquisition Of Gimlet Media

Haystack

Career Culture Technology Venture CapitalI’ve been traveling all week, digging out of email, and closing two deals and — hence — have been pretty quiet online. As I was scrolling through Twitter today and saw the rumors around Gimlet, the podcast media company, being acquired by Spotify for $200M in cash, I knew I had to stop, write this post, and share some thoughts on what’s going on. So, here goes…. Well, actually, before I begin, this post needs a few disclaimers.

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Fund Investing Versus Fund Management

Haystack

Career Culture Technology Venture CapitalWhen I started out investing (via a fund — not my money), I was just investing based on a simple schedule: About once a month, invest $25K into one company I liked. Pretty easy. Over the years, that check size grew slowly to $50K, then a few $100Ks, and I followed-on into a few at the $250K level, with two outsized pile-ins at $400K and $600K total exposure, respectively. That escalation from $25K back in 2013 took a little over four years.

Looking Back On Tech, Startups, And VC In 2018

Haystack

Career Culture Technology Venture CapitalIt’s that time of year, time to look back and reflect on the most significant storylines in the tech, startup, and VC world. A comprehensive post on this topic could be 5,000+ words, but we do not do such things here. We kept detailed notes month by month and today, I tried to organize them by key sections, what you’ll see below.

Reflecting On Haystack’s Investment In HelloSign (Acquired By Dropbox)

Haystack

Career Culture Technology Venture CapitalOver five years ago, as I began to deploy the first Haystack Fund, I was lucky to select HelloSign as my sixth investment ever. I discovered the product much like you might have – I used it to help handle the paperwork and signatures for the new fund. I had a friend who worked there (thanks Joel Andren!) and he was patient and over time found the right time to introduce me to Joseph Walla, one of the company’s cofounders.

The Breakout Tech Company Of 2018

Haystack

Career Culture Technology Venture CapitalIt’s that time of year, where I — as a committee of one judge, me — select one startup in the tech ecosystem that “broke out” and has the makings of an even larger outcome should things continue to go right.

Deal Opacity

Haystack

5/ Copycat Culture And Stealth Mode Back En Vogue: I’ve alluded to this above and below, but now when a category gets hot, founders and capital flood it. Career Culture Technology Venture CapitalWhen I moved back to the Bay Area in early 2011, the technology and startup sector didn’t feel as big or expansive as it does today.

Mapping The Haystack Portfolio Across The United States

Haystack

Career Culture Technology Venture CapitalHello. It has been a while since I’ve posted here, nearly 3 months. My fingers are well-rested, but my writing prowess is likely rusty, so please forgive any rustiness in this post. I do plan to write a lot more this summer, so stay tuned.

#OWS 2: Hubris in the face of risk and a culture of entitlement

Fred Destin

As you know like you, I too left mainstream finance for the startup world and although it's a gross oversimplification / generalization but I would posit that the single biggest difference between the two worlds is hubris in the face of risk and a culture of entitlement. all abound in both worlds, but hubris and a culture of entitlement are largely missing from the entrepreneurial genome. Insider view on the investment banking mayhem, take two.

How can we build a culture of responsibility?

This is going to be BIG.

It’s really not surprising, though, because the blame game seems to be an integral part of our culture. In fact, too often, our blame culture is disempowering and stifling to people that have had a rough time—reinforcing ideas that the world is working against them in some way. How can we create a culture where actually taking responsibility is the norm—and where everyone wants the buck to stop with them.

The VC Twilight Zone

Haystack

Career Culture Technology Venture CapitalTalk to any Bay Area VC in the last 24 hours, and the talk of the town among investors is universal : “ What do you think of the SV Angel news?

VC Firm Creation Versus VC Firm Building

Haystack

Career Culture Technology Venture CapitalEarlier this year, I reflected on the difference between “fund investing” vs “fund management.” ” It’s a useful post for emerging managers, I’d recommend reading it. The gist of that post is – making investments is relatively easy, but learning to manage a VC fund is very complex and hard to learn. Susa Ventures recently announced their 3rd seed fund.

The Story Behind Our Investment In SecondMeasure

Haystack

Career Culture Technology Venture CapitalAbout 3.5 years ago, we met Michael and Lillian from SecondMeasure while they were in Y Combinator. We were lucky to invest not only during this time, but also doubled down in an extension. And this week, the company announced it had raised a super-sized $20M Series A financing co-led by Kent Bennett from Bessemer Venture Partners and also Goldman Sachs. The round was completed last fall, but announced this week.).

“Your Portfolio Is Your Path”

Haystack

Career Culture Technology Venture CapitalYou are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. You are what you eat. About a year ago, I tracked down a VC who gave a talk I heard about where he referenced the phrase “Your portfolio is your path,” it stuck out in my mind because amid all the noise, it was simple, brief, and yet still open to interpretation.

Echolocation

Haystack

Career Culture Technology Venture CapitalI was catching up on MG’s newsletter/blog and came across this opening line , which got me thinking about a concept in investing, specifically in deal sourcing: To me, all information is about triangulation. Any single source, no matter how close to the situation?—?and and often times because they’re too close to the situation?—?lacks lacks full clarity. Triangulation is one way to describe this.

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The Story Behind Our Investment In Fiddler Labs

Haystack

Career Culture Public Policy Technology Venture CapitalThis is the story of how we invested in Fiddler Labs. At the beginning of 2018, we almost invested in a startup with two strong founders. To make a long and private story short, on the morning I was about to call the founders to let them know I was in, they decided to amicably part ways. I was stunned, but also relieved it happened then and not much later.

Investing Outside The Bay Area

Haystack

Career Culture Technology Venture CapitalThis is a post I’ve wanted to write for a long time, but I needed the time to digest all the other great posts on the topics by other investors, and to analyze specific portfolio data from Haystack over the last five years. Well, that time has finally come. As a warning, this post will have more subheading than usual, and it will be packed with lots of links — please click through and read them.

Being a Victim Won’t Make You a Good Boss

GAN

Changing the Tapes company culture founders mental health startup culture victim victim mentalityThis past Sunday, someone on our staff sent me a text about a payroll issue. Everyone on our team gets paid at the end of the month and a paycheck should have hit this person’s account the previous Friday, but it never happened. Not exactly what any of us want, and truly a frustrating experience for them.

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Amazon “Swipes Left” On New York City

Haystack

Those opponents have a sense of what comes with the “big tech” bundle — changes to the neighborhood, changes to rent, changes to the culture they have today. Career Culture Public Policy TechnologyStart spreading the news, indeed. Today, Amazon announced it will entirely abandon its plans to build its second headquarters (a/k/a “HQ2”) in Long Island City, a residential neighborhood in the borough of Queens, New York City.