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Stop being a founder, and start being a CEO

A lot of founders don’t make it as a CEO. Not that they can’t, but they don’t. None more glorious that Andrew Mason and his middle finger salute to the capital markets. “Just kidding – I was fired today.” ~ Andrew Mason (Former CEO of Groupon) So why don’t they make it? Well, it’s complicated…. Read More

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Community Building 101

It’s commonly understood that people spend their time with people they know — both offline and online. People spend their money with companies and individuals they know and trust (if possible). People donate to causes run by organizations and people they know and trust. That’s human nature. Community building also is the lifeblood of any… Read More

Photo via Scott Campbell

Commentary: 5 startup lessons I learned in 5 months

After months of research, a lean development cycle, and a beta program, TINYpulse launched publicly last November. In April, I was recapping for my advisors what I learned in the first five months since launch, and thought I’d create a condensed version to share publicly with fellow entrepreneurs. 1. Simple first. When we were developing… Read More

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Startup lesson #3: Don’t make up a brand, be yourself

[Editor's note: Seattle entrepreneurs Barry Chu and Dave Cotter share some of their startup lessons in starting the new mobile app SquareHub. The three-part series is running this week on GeekWire, starting Tuesday with their thoughts about minimum viable products. In part two, they talked about figuring out key product features. Part three, running here today, covers startup... Read More

squarehub-team

Startup lesson #2: Don’t ignore the enablers

[Editor's note: Seattle entrepreneurs Barry Chu and Dave Cotter share some of their startup lessons in starting the new mobile app SquareHub. The three-part series is running this week on GeekWire, starting yesterday with their thoughts about minimum viable products. In part two, they'll talk about how they determined product features. Part three, set to run... Read More

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Startup lesson #1: Reid Hoffman is wrong

[Editor's note: Seattle entrepreneurs Barry Chu and Dave Cotter share some of their startup lessons in starting the new mobile app SquareHub. The three-part series is running this week on GeekWire, starting today with their thoughts about minimum viable products. In part two, they'll talk about how they determined product features. Part three, set to... Read More

Photo via Keith Cooper

You did what? Why we chose debt over venture capital

If you’re an entrepreneur, there’s a good chance that many of your conversations — and a good chunk of your inner dialogue — are consumed by thoughts of fundraising. You can’t open a web browser or email or Twitter without being bombarded by opinion pieces, research, case studies, and news on the topic. On this… Read More

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Dogfooding: Find a way to be your own customer

In early ‘90s, while working on Windows NT, Microsoft popularized an idea to make everyone on the team use early builds of their own software. Back then, it was quite a painful request — imagine developing an operating system on a box prone to crashes, where your basic tools don’t quite work right. This setup… Read More

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Turtles and Flywheels: How to build a startup community

(Editor’s note: Chris DeVore gave the keynote speech at Thursday night’s GeekWire Awards. These are his prepared remarks, with full video of the talk above). I want to talk to you tonight about two things: Turtles And flywheels Some of you may have heard the story about the Hindu wise man who explained to a… Read More

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Hackathons at startups: Creative ‘fresh air’

Every now and again, we hear about hackathons: Startup Weekend, Facebook’s famed all-nighters, Hack Week at Dropbox. However, in a startup, it’s so difficult to imagine how organizing a hackathon can be anything but harmful: “What do you mean, take a couple work days and drop what we’re doing? We’re in a race with competitors!… Read More

inboxzero

The future of the inbox

My inbox is a horribly inefficient way to manage the requests that come into me. On any given day, I receive all sorts of different emails — all of which require different forms of action. Here are some of the types of emails I field daily: Introduction requests Notification emails from my bank Invoices Receipts… Read More

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Commentary: Why every artist should work at a startup

Hi, I’m Clayton Weller. I’m a director, performer and writer. I would most definitely consider myself an artist. I’ve worked for years to hone my craft. I’ve taken classes, held myself to a relentless production schedule, and worked under people who have been producing art for longer than I’ve been alive. Still, the best thing… Read More

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An open letter to Jeff Bezos: Help spark the creative class

Congratulations on your success, Jeff Bezos! You’ve become one of the most important innovators in the world.  You’ve matched your vision with the hard work necessary to make ideas come to fruition. You’ve aligned yourself with people equally willing to start with a dream and work hard to achieve that dream.  And now you’ve decided… Read More

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What startups can learn from rock ‘n’ roll bands

So what can startups learn from the local do-it-yourself Rock N Rollers? You think it’s hard to get people to click on your link, imagine inviting hundreds — or even thousands — of people to your show and knowing that your income is determined by how many of those people show up and buy merchandise. Trust… Read More

shittimes

Startup Jedi: How to get through the sh*t times

There’s an old West Point quote that goes something like: The best laid battle plans are tossed out the window when the first shot gets fired. Startups are the same. Pretty much every new venture I’ve been involved with has gone through incredibly challenging “near death” experiences. While we may not be facing real gun… Read More

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Intrapreneurship: More than a market trend

Every leading corporation was once a startup in some form or another. Scrappy beginnings led to the entities that often define entire industries for a good chunk of the world: Companies like Amazon, Coca-Cola, Google and Microsoft. Beneath what are often referred to as ‘heavy processes’ rests an innovative spirit that once propelled a concept… Read More