BLOG STARTUPS, VENTURE AND THE TECH BUSINESS

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June 12 2014
by Scott Johnson

The Coming Explosion of Reputation Management

We just invested in BrandYourself, a great young company in NYC.  Pretty much everyone (yourself included) is getting Googled these days.  If you are looking for a date, or a job, or are a customer facing person, or even a kids soccer coach, then someone is checking out your search results, and in all likelihood, […]

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May 22 2014
by Scott Johnson

The Four Rules of Setting Expectations

When you see a public stock being crushed, or a public company CEO being fired, it is nearly always due to a failure to meet expectations.  This is the main reason companies stay private – they don’t want to have to apologize to sell-side analysts for missing earnings by a penny, or explain to wall […]

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April 15 2014
by Scott Johnson

Your Pitch Should Be Ten Minutes

I was in a pitch meeting yesterday, and after the customary preamble, the presenter opened his laptop and said, in a very energetic tone, “I have a ten minute pitch, and then we can have a conversation.”  I can’t think of a smarter way to set the tone of a pitch meeting.   I don’t […]

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March 4 2014
by Scott Johnson

Time for Agile Budgeting

Once a year, usually in the fourth quarter, companies create a budget for the following year.  The process starts with growth aspirations and goal setting, moves to planning spending in different parts of the company needed to achieve those goals, and then painfully paring back to what resources the company can actually afford given resources […]

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February 10 2014
by Scott Johnson

Create an Experience, Don’t have a Meeting

I was chatting with a VP of sales candidate for one of my companies last week when he uttered a gem that stuck with me all weekend.  He said “If  you are out pitching, and you want to be the one meeting that week that gets remembered, then don’t have a meeting at all, create […]

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January 27 2014
by Scott Johnson

After the B Round – Watch the burn!

This post first appeared in Pando Daily Gather round and listen to an untold story that is happening right now all over startup land. I can’t name names but have seen it play out in two acts. Act I. A company has one positive press release after another, announcing successive rounds of fundraising, new customers, […]

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January 13 2014
by Scott Johnson

The Most Important Lesson Google Taught Me

Before there was Google, there was Yahoo! for category search and Alta Vista for keyword search.  I would say that the search hierarchy was well established by the time Google showed up to the party.  You see, Google didn’t invent search, they just made it work really well.  Google Maps – similar story.  Mapquest dominated […]

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June 3 2013
by Scott Johnson

Revenue Quality, Not Just Quantity!

Revenue growth (or sometimes active user growth) is an obvious necessity for venture backed companies.  But life is never quite that straight forward.  Just as all site traffic is not created equal, there is good revenue and great revenue (there is no such thing as bad positive margin revenue).  Importantly, prospective revenue “quality” can dramatically […]

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April 30 2013
by Scott Johnson

Redefining Series A (and college education)

In the good old days, aka the mid ’90s, the venture world was quite orderly.  Angel rounds were under $500K.  Series A rounds were $3-$5 million for companies just getting their first customers, and “B rounds” happened 18 months later at $5-$15 million to scale up.  Which firms did which type of investment was well […]

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April 5 2013
by Scott Johnson

5 Habits of Great Startup CEOs

Being CEO of a startup is quite similar to being the parent of a newborn.  The neighbors see a clean cooing newborn with smiling proud parents.  But we all know what goes on inside the house.  Sleepless nights, stress, no time to attend to other relationships.  You are a slave to the new creature.  It […]

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