Category Archives: Protecting the business

The lion and the ant: A managerial lesson

This story has turned out to be one of the most enduring posts ever for me, well worth repeating.  And what a lesson for us all.  I confess that our research cannot find its source.  So, with thanks to whomever … Continue reading

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My hard-earned lessons from negative exits.

In my life as an early-stage investor, I’ve been closely involved with so many businesses, there were bound to be numerous stories of  actual and near failures, hopefully from which to learn lessons for all of us as we go … Continue reading

Posted in Hedging against downturns, Protecting the business, The liquidity event and beyond | 1 Comment

Patent litigation can kill the small guy.

Here’s the bright side to patents. When you think of patents, you think of added value to the corporation in the form of protection of its intellectual property. In fact, many corporations spend millions developing surrounding patents to form what … Continue reading

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Is there gold in your old intellectual property?

Digging through your IP closet for gold… In past years, several times a month I’d have lunch with one of my CEOs, and each time we’d find ourselves digging into the intellectual property developed by the company over the years, … Continue reading

Posted in Growth!, Protecting the business | 2 Comments

Budget from the top down or bottom up? A puzzle.

Here’s the argument: Many people believe that bottom-up budgeting leads to waste and misdirection. The advocates of top-down budgeting are strong in their belief that if you give each person or department no guidance, they will budget to their wants … Continue reading

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Recognize your five critical business risks.

If you could predict a crisis within your business before its occurrence, wouldn’t you move to prevent or reduce its impact?  Making such predictions is a skill that can be developed, and here’s one method of doing so. First let’s … Continue reading

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What can go wrong with your business growth?

So, your business has begun to take off. You’ve figured out your channels of distribution, pricing model and how to support your growing list of customers.  Don’t be alarmed by this next statement.  That’s relatively easy. You can be the … Continue reading

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Premature scaling can kill your business.

Here’s a lesson from experience. Venture capitalists sometimes make an error in directing their portfolio company CEOs to push resources to the limit and scale the business to immense size quickly, all to seize market share.  The logic in this … Continue reading

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The four rules for motivating your employees with money.

We’ve debated this one forever it seems.  Should be overwhelm prospective employees with stock options and perks?  Or concentrate our available resources on just plain money as an attraction?   Well, here are rules to make money work for you in … Continue reading

Posted in Depending upon others, Protecting the business | 2 Comments

A tale of two CEO’s and the management of pain.

This is the tale of two CEOs, one of them unfortunately….me.   It’s a story of how people handle unusual situations when selling to the top – an executive of a prospective customer.  And the stories couldn’t be more different. … Continue reading

Posted in Depending upon others, General, Protecting the business | 1 Comment