This morning, I had a really great chat with Adrian Camara of Paper. He shared some great insights about the importance of hustle, momentum, and velocity in business. In my time working as an Entrepreneur Advisor with Innovate Calgary and interacting with startups and the entrepreneurial ecosystem, I have learned that the one key ingredient to a successful startup is hustle. A great startup is constantly engaging customers and validating ideas as fast as possible.
Successfully closing an investment round is the goal of nearly every entrepreneur. Having access to both capital and expert business mentors gives a startup the fuel it needs to scale rapidly. When seeking investment, most entrepreneurs focus on building a solid pitch that inspires confidence from investors and promises hockey-stick growth. While the pitch is crucial to earning interest from investors, most entrepreneurs lack understanding of the due diligence process that follows a successful pitch. Many deals fall apart because due diligence fails even though the founders delivered a great pitch. Read below for three tips to ensure your startup will pass due diligence, and close the investment deal.
Here is a guest post from a partner in the UK outlining some tips for using surveys to generate interesting blog content. Read below for this great technique that will generate traffic and backlinks through cooperation with local media.
A recent post from Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) describes 9 important qualities that all sales people should have. Sales skills are absolutely critical to the success of a startup. A product alone does not generate revenue. All companies require some sort of talented sales force in order to survive. Unfortunately, most entrepreneurs that I encounter are hesitant to perform sales. The fact is that all founders are required to perform sales roles. Below, I highlight three sales skills that most of my startups clients fail to recognize, but are fundamental to closing deals and growing revenue.
It is common amongst developers to deploy code using git. However, I have never done this before. I am (generally) familiar with git and source code management concepts, but using git for a deployment is something I always wanted to do. BitBucket (and I expect other repo services) allow users to add a deployment key to their repo. This key is read-only, so you can be confident when you upload it to your remote host, no malicious user can use it to modify your code.
Ran into an issue this evening trying to use my FaceTime camera via my Thunderbolt Display. After launching the video conference software and connecting to the call, camera would not share any video. It simply showed a black screen.
Many startups struggle with the concept of a minimum viable product (also known as an MVP). A number of clients that I work with believe that they need to have a perfectly functional and polished product before they show it to anyone. As a result, they will spend countless hours and significant amounts of money developing and refining their product without any input from a customer. In many cases, these entrepreneurs end up building something that nobody wants, and as a result, their startup collapses due to poor sales.
The Calgary startup ecosystem consists of a large collection of government agencies, non-profits, incubators, and accelerators that provide various support and resources to start-ups. I feel a major challenge with the entrepreneurs in Calgary, particularly the early-phase ones, is that they find it difficult to find these ecosystem players and understand how they can benefit their startup.
I use an external USB drive to store my Time Machine backups, as most people do. The drive is split into two partitions; one for Time Machine, the other for general data. Every few weeks/months, OSX will no longer mount the Time Machine volume. The volume appears in Disk Utility, but greyed out. The Mount option in Disk Utility is also greyed out. Overall, it appears that OSX can detect and identify the volume, but does not present any option for actually mounting it (at least through the GUI)…
Customers love products with great design. A product may work great and provide real customer benefit, but will struggle to gain momentum and marketing ’buzz’ if it looks unappealing. Therefore, the design of a product (or service) is just as important as its functionality and the value it provides to a customer. In fact, many customers presently expect products to be just as beautiful to look at much as they are reliable and functional.