Resources and Readings

Thanks to Internet search technology and social media interconnec­tivity, answers to most entrepreneurial questions can be found with a few clicks. I have attempted to list sources beyond the usual …

Startup Readiness Tool

This tool can be used to: ■ Evaluate and improve a founding team’s readiness to launch a business ■ Calibrate the timing of a startup effort (accelerate or delay) ■ …

PERSEVERE WITHOUT ATTACHING

The deepest form of entrepreneurial commitment acknowledges and accepts that there are forces in the marketplace that are beyond the founder’s control, forces that will impact the venture’s destiny for …

BALANCE PERFORMANCE WITH RECOVERY

Sustained, world-class performance in any field requires what Jim Loehr, renowned performance psychologist and co-founder of the Human Performance Institute, calls oscillation, the balancing of in­tense periods of focus and …

FOCUS ON ACHIEVABLE GOALS

One of the challenges for passionate founders with ambitious ideas is to not be overwhelmed and stymied by the size and complexity of the venture opportunity. The old axiom about …

FEED YOUR FIRE

As a kid, I loved waking up to the sound of distant lawn mowers drift­ing through my window, a signal that the weekend had arrived. Sat­urdays were packed with possibility. …

Founder-Level Strategies: Performing and Persevering over Time

During 2008, as it became increasingly clear that the market for up­scale adult daycare services in Charlotte was not going to materialize any time soon, Lynn Ivey continued to doggedly …

COMMIT RESOURCES WISELY

Raising ample funds is one side of the financial equation that will de­termine the length of your startup runway. The other is your burn rate, the negative cash flow likely …

RAISE MORE MONEY THAN YOU THINK YOU WILL NEED

This section expands upon a principle I shared near the end of Chap­ter Five, one that directly impacts your available runway and deserves emphasis. Human beings have always been poor …

ADDRESS YOUR BIGGEST RISKS EARLY

Venture capitalists call it the Valley of Death, the period after a founder has begun to spend capital but has yet to find a steady stream of revenues. A large …

LAUNCH CLOSE TO THE CUSTOMER

In every successful startup journey, there is a point of no return, where the aspiring founder moves from the idea stage to whole­hearted commitment to the cause. This passage is …

Venture-Level Strategies: Strengthening and Lengthening Your Runway

The metaphor of the runway is widely used among entrepreneurs to represent both the excitement of speeding toward a successful liftoff and the risk of crashing into the heap of …

Staying Power Give Your Venture Time to Take Flight

“It's not that I'm so smart. It's just that I stay with problems longer." —Albert Einstein You can do everything well. You can prepare yourself as a founder, aim for …

SCRUTINY

Wise entrepreneurs and investors understand that great ventures are forged, not in retreats or laboratories, but on the field of play, where offerings and delivery systems are subject to the …

CANDOR

J. C. Faulkner remembers a very early source of advice about the value of honesty: “My grandfather—he was a coal miner—he said something about integrity and truth that I’ve never …

HUMILITY

Humility is the opposite of hubris and serves as its antidote. No amount of passion and expertise will eliminate your blind spots or protect you from mistakes. To the contrary, …

CURIOSITY

Jim Collins, the bestselling author and renowned student of business leadership, has observed that all creative and entrepreneurial endeav­ors require “the precision of a scientist and the wonder of a …

Four Personal Tools for Bursting the Feel-Good Bubble

Integrity of communication starts at the personal level with the fun­damental issue of how a founder deals with incoming data and opin­ion. The most reliable predictor of your venture’s future …

OVERCOMMUNICATE

In a fast-paced startup environment, it’s easy for founders to develop lazy or sloppy communication habits and to think team members are up-to-date on emerging issues when they are not. …

RAISE THE QUALITY OF CONVERSATIONS

Building on pioneering work from the field of organizational learning by theorists and practitioners such as Chris Argyris, Peter Senge, and Robert Putnam, consultant Ken Macher developed expertise and tools …

SURROUND YOURSELF WITH SMART PEOPLE

Another hallmark of J. C. Faulkner’s approach to building D1 was that he sought and attracted the highest level of talent. Doug Crisp and other members of his management team …

INVEST TIME TO CULTIVATE INTEGRITY

As noted in this book’s introduction, the much-sought-after secrets of entrepreneurial success are not so secret. They are known to most founders, which begs the question: Why do we, as …

DON’T CONFUSE GOOD FEELINGS WITH PROGRESS

One by-product of entrepreneurial passion—and the Motivational Media that feed it—is that too many founding teams behave as if positive emotion indicates forward movement. If we walk out of a …

Integrity of Communication: The Basics

In a new venture environment, every choice sets a tone and initiates a pattern. What is talked about, what is avoided, how tough issues are raised and resolved, all of …

No One Is Immune to Reality Distortion

During the launch and early growth of D1, J. C. Faulkner and his management team spent a lot of time together in very close quarters. They met every Monday afternoon …

Integrity of Communication Your Secret Startup Weapon

"They are simple tools, and almost all children are adept in their use by the age of ten. Yet presidents and kings will often forget to use them, to their …

HARVESTING LESSONS USING THE FOUR-QUADRANT FRAMEWORK

For an early-stage venture, the question, “What have we learned?” is more important than the question, “What have we done?” As you bring your concept to life, you will move …

CYCLES OF ITERATION OCCUR AT MULTIPLE LEVELS

An important principle of healthy startup iteration is that it occurs at many levels, beyond simply cranking out new features or products. By “levels,” I’m referring to the relative scope …

HEALTHY ITERATION DRIVES LEARNING

Eric Ries, a software engineer and entrepreneur who launched his Lessons Learned blog in 2008 and quickly became a leading champion of “lean startup” principles for dealing with the pervasive …

The New Venture Learning Curve

Most founders look back on their startup journey as the most inten­sive educational experience of their lives. Even serial entrepreneurs, full of war stories, are amazed at what can be …

LOOKING THROUGH THE LENS OF POTENTIAL: LESSONS FROM A VISUAL ARTIST

Launching a new venture is a creative act, and challenges faced by passionate entrepreneurs run parallel in many ways to the work of professional artists. Like entrepreneurs, artists give shape …

COMMITTING WITHOUT ATTACHING

In order to execute with agility, founders must successfully deal with a paradox. Effective entrepreneurs are able to completely commit to an idea, while remaining open to changing it. This …

The Paradox of Strong Execution

Chapters Three, Four, and Five each dealt with one of the funda­mental domains that form the strong core of any new venture: ■ Chapter Three addressed the principle of founder …

Startup Agility

Executing with Focused Flexibility “A startup is an experiment: An inquiry into how the world might look under the vision of the startup's founders." —Eric Ries, Co-Founder, IMVU Despite the …

Securing the Right Funding

One of the benefits of developing a clear math story and accurately anticipating future cash flows is getting a clear picture of your ven­ture’s capital requirements. In his classic book, …

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