Can you teach entrepreneurship? Part 8: When to sell?

Sell when your company has achieved its mission. Sell when you have run out of ideas. Sell when the buyer offers a price that you feel reflects the company’s full potential. Theories on when to sell vary from the philosophical to the economic. These three mental models, gleaned from the work or writings of Elon Musk,Continue reading “Can you teach entrepreneurship? Part 8: When to sell?”

Can you teach entrepreneurship? Part 7: Be a master of big sales

Success in a startup requires skill in big sales. It is not widely known or accepted but big sales (e.g. which include hiring employees, getting investors and selling expensive products), require a set of skills that are very distinct from selling low price products (say, for less than $100). Sales is often something that we think ofContinue reading “Can you teach entrepreneurship? Part 7: Be a master of big sales”

Can you teach entrepreneurship – Part 6: Mastering Market Size

A startup’s market size must be big enough to justify any upfront investment. Applying this logic suggests $5 million is a very minimum empirical market size for software startups. The same logic suggests very minimum market sizes for hardware should be larger, and, for pharma, much larger. Rigorously validating market size requires time and money and thisContinue reading “Can you teach entrepreneurship – Part 6: Mastering Market Size”

Part 5: The Dream Team

Raw entrepreneurial talent and a diverse founding team correlate strongly with improved startup success rates. In this blog, I’ll provide evidence for this claim and propose a way to measure the quality of a startup founding team by looking at prior startup successes and also the number of roles within the founding team. Data show that raw entrepreneurial talent hasContinue reading “Part 5: The Dream Team”

Part 4: Prior startup experience may not help much

Over the last while, I’ve frequently heard that serial entrepreneurs have a higher probability of success. Mistakenly, though, I’ve taken this statement to mean that entrepreneurs improve by learning from past experiences. Serial entrepreneurs do have a higher rate of success, but their success may have more to do with them having the raw talent than learning while on theContinue reading “Part 4: Prior startup experience may not help much”