Category Archives: Ignition! Starting up

Could you have created a “dirty cap table?”

Oh, I know. When you started the business, you took investments from friends and family in small amounts just to get you started.  Of course, that worked at the time.  But… Enter the need for larger investments When you seek … Continue reading

Posted in Ignition! Starting up, Raising money | 3 Comments

Would you sign a personal guarantee if you have investors?

It’s a fact of life that a banker, lender or lessor will ask for a personal guarantee from the founder or entrepreneur most every time. But what if you’ve diluted your interest from 100% to something less than 50%? Should … Continue reading

Posted in Ignition! Starting up, Protecting the business, Raising money | 1 Comment

Oh, go ahead and ask for a five-million-dollar investment in your startup.

I cannot tell you how many times I have seen executive summaries of business plans in which the entrepreneur seeks $5,000,000 to build the business. Four reasons you should reconsider. First, few startups can use that much money today with … Continue reading

Posted in Ignition! Starting up, Raising money | 5 Comments

Once again: Is it the jockey or the horse?

Early stage investors have been arguing over this for years.  Do they bet on the entrepreneur (jockey) or the business idea and plan (the horse)?   This is serious stuff.  If you are looking for money, this question will certainly come … Continue reading

Posted in Depending upon others, Ignition! Starting up, Surrounding yourself with talent | 4 Comments

What would you do if told to “fail fast?”

Here’s a question that should strike close to home. Professional investors like to quote this mantra to anyone who will listen.  “Fail fast,” they say. But what if you believe so strongly in your budding enterprise that this seems to … Continue reading

Posted in Finding your ideal niche, Ignition! Starting up, Protecting the business | 4 Comments

Risk, insanity, and the 50% startup rule

Fifty percent of all businesses formed fail within the first two years.  There are many variations of this number since there are a number of ways to measure failure.  But the number is a startling reminder that creating a business … Continue reading

Posted in Ignition! Starting up | 2 Comments

Can a revolutionary concept be too late to market?

Too many startup businesses, especially in the technology world, are built upon brand new concepts that have not yet been proven in the field against products from other companies that already have revenues flowing. As a rule, creating a product … Continue reading

Posted in Finding your ideal niche, Ignition! Starting up, Positioning | 2 Comments

Can a “good-hearted” entrepreneur succeed in business?

People argue over whether an entrepreneur with a sense of fairness, a desire for collegiality, a want to share the profits can succeed in the long run within a business world full of lions and tigers that eat timid entrepreneurs … Continue reading

Posted in Ignition! Starting up, Surrounding yourself with talent | 6 Comments

Are you wasting money filing patents?

I’ve been working with early stage companies and their intellectual property protection plans for years. But only recently did I read a clear document on the risks and rewards of patent strategy.  Thanks to Russ Krajec, a patent attorney, for … Continue reading

Posted in Growth!, Ignition! Starting up, Protecting the business | 6 Comments

Do you want to control your business destiny?

There is nothing quite as thrilling in business as igniting a startup and watching it blossom.  Especially when starting a company with personal savings or money from relatives and friends, early signs of success are intoxicating.  Each new customer, each … Continue reading

Posted in Finding your ideal niche, Ignition! Starting up | Leave a comment