This is part of my ongoing Series on Entrepreneurial Culture.
In my last post on OPEN Forum, I made the case that entrepreneurs should stop actively looking for a co-founder. Now I’m here to tell you that if you think you have in fact found the right partner, you should be extremely careful and not rush into any arrangements.
Although it’s shocking, the fact is, a huge percentage of the companies I come across in my various roles as an entrepreneurship professor, mentor, and investor are doomed to fail essentially before they ever get started, due to founder incompatibility.
The reasons for these breakups that are given in retrospect by the founders are some variation of the following.....
Continue reading here for the original post on Amex OPEN Forum.
I recently wrote this article for Amex Open Forum. The original text can be found here. This is part of my Series on Entrepreneurial Culture Everywhere I go, I hear the same refrain from fledgling entrepreneurs I meet: “I’m looking for a co-founder.” I hear it from many of my... Comments | Read more
I wrote this last week in the aftermath of the terrible happenings in Boston and dedicate it to the great people of Boston who I came to know and love when I lived up there (after something of a rough start). ------- Having grown up in Brooklyn in the 70's... Comments | Read more
This is part of my ongoing series on Entrepreneurial Culture. So what's this mythical pain point every startup needs to have that everyone's always referring to? The easy answer, (to quote Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart), is "you know it when you see it". Perhaps, but I think this concept... Comments | Read more
This is part of my Series on Angel Investing and Venture Capital I recently came across this absolutely awesome post as well as the accompanying infographic above having to do with identifying the sort of founders investors can feel good about backing. It was written by Saar Gur a partner... Comments | Read more
This is part of my ongoing Series on Mentorship. Yesterday was Thanksgiving and I was thinking about the many things for which I am thankful. I won't list them here as they are many. But my mind kept returning to memories of a great mentor of mine who passed away... Comments | Read more
I'm happy to report that this press release went out yesterday announcing the following partnership: Endeavor Global and Startup Genome are pleased to announce a partnership that will help drive and deepen the cultivation of entrepreneurial ecosystems worldwide. It’s the mission of Startup Genome to build the world’s most up-to-date... Comments | Read more
This is part of my Series on Mentorship. The last few days in NYC have been harrowing and humbling for everyone, but especially for those living in low-lying areas. Many have lost their homes, many have seen valuable possessions destroyed, and tragically for some of the unluckiest- Sandy took their... Comments | Read more
This is part of my Series on Mentorship. I recently wrote about some enduring lessons I was privileged to learn from that great Old Master I told you about. I'm happy to say that of late I've been receiving some additional lessons, this time from some younger Masters. A few... Comments | Read more
thanks for the note Helen, my condolences... (fully agree)
Find an amazing person, and I guarantee, s/he had at least one far more amazing person guiding them :). I was lucky enough to have two that were also my parents, both of whom I lost recently. The pain and loss are intense for me personally, like the loss of your friend, but I'm guessing you feel as I do, these guiding stars touched a great deal more than our lives, and the world is a little bit darker without them in it!
We always remember our mentors, don't we? Powerful forces. Tough when they pass. Hope you are well, my friend. Thanks for having me on the list.
Your enthusiasm for chess, entrepreneurship and family are infectious David, lucky kids...parents and teachers should be heed to your admonition about keeping it fun, it is surely the best way to keep folks engaged...
Thanks for weighing-in Frank... those are some heavyweight companies... Pinterest: BOOM... Comixology: BOOM... student entrepreneurs can really take advantage of these cutting edge programs many universities are offering these days that go beyond "old-school business plan writing" and offer lots more...
(and we need to get you on Disqus soon!)
Great post David! Several startups have emerged from the venture competitions at NYU (a/k/a the Entrepreneurs Challenge) including Pinterest, The Hotlist, Course Horse, Comixology, etc. As one reader points out it may not be the solution for every startup, but it has proven to be a great source for many...not just to non-dilutive funding, but also to helping gather market feedback, develop skills, building a team along with a strong group of mentors (both from the competitions, but also from the exposure teams receive throughout).
RC you make some strong points... thanks for weighing in. I bet you and I would agree on a lot of things- as we've both seen some damage done by bad advice. And yes, of course, with the right person and right motivations- all that interdisciplinary experience can be invaluable.
As a lawyer I can't say I entirely disagree with the comments re the damage that can be done by even a well-intentioned lawyer, but I think the underlying point isn't don't listen to a lawyer on anything other than how to "paper the deal;" rather seek out people who share your interest and passion, and if they have skills or experience that you don't and that are needed then so much the better. Those with previous entrepreneurial experience are at the top of the list, but if the person meets the first test then isn't legal (or financial, operations, marketing, sales, etc) training and/or experience a bonus - assuming they haven't been entirely corrupted by law school a/or private firm practice?
Hi David, thanks for writing this insightful article. I'm a entrepreneur at Yale and it's been quite a journey getting our startup up to speed so far. Everyday there's just so much more to learn, and I appreciate you giving advice to students like us!
Great post, Dave and it is exciting to see meaningful entrepreneurial activities like this at Columbia!
I’m a student in the Berkeley-Columbia eMBA program based in the Silicon Valley and it would be great if we could find a way to get the BCEMBA community involved with the entrepreneurial activities at Columbia notwithstanding the geographic distance as most of us are not located in NY.
Our current students and recent grads are in management positions at places like Google, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, Yahoo, Intel, Oracle, NVIDIA (just to name a few…) and a number of us (myself included) are working on startup ideas. It would be great if we could realize some synergies between Manhattan and the Silicon Valley.
I’d be happy to explore possibilities with anyone in the Columbia venture community who’s interested.