Archive for November, 2011

Magic People aka Amazing Startup Founders

Where can one find the well-rounded entrepreneur? The one who not only can demonstrate technical prowess but also can create a genius roadmap to the startup’s future? In a world full of specialization, these people are rare gems. They can produce amazing things, like magic. I call these people, the MagicPeople (see equation above). There are many stories of this species. People like Sean Parker, founder of Napster, and founding   Read More ...

Immigrant Entrepreneur Song: Let me create jobs!

Are giant sea-bound incubators the answer to the Silicon Valley immigrant entrepreneur’s cry?  Probably not. But times are changing. Americans are now supporting a new type of visa for immigrant founders who want to create jobs in our country. It’s called the Startup Visa. Founders from afar, I commend you. After listening to stories from firsthand immigrant entrepreneurs, I’ve never seen such dedication to building a successful company…just to stay   Read More ...

Coming soon! An almost classic startup guide every hacker should own if he wishes to have a clue–The Hacker’s Guide to the Ultimate Machine: Your friendly startup guide according to the startup sages. For the last 3 months, I have been interviewing startups, mentors, angels, and VCs to address real questions hackers have on building a startup–from inception to scaling up. With each conversation the guide has evolved. Indeed, as   Read More ...

Your life is a roller coaster and you know it. There’s no avoiding it. There’s so much uncertainty in a startup that it nearly is impossible to stay grounded throughout the process. Right? RIGHT?! Okay, whoa. Relax. Here’s a thought that may bring some ease to your soul: Your startup does not define you. Let that sink in. The success of your startup is not equated to your self worth.   Read More ...

Happy Turkey Day!


The most interesting people in the world are people who do what they want. How do they do it? How in the world did Drew Houston, founder and CEO of Dropbox, say no to “Steve freakin’ Jobs?” In a startup, you have no time to do things other than the ones you want to get done so here’s how: 1- Know your outcome. Clarity is everything. How do you know   Read More ...

In case you missed this slideshow from Alexey, it’s pretty informative.   Incoming search terms for the article:how to find co founder

Bootstrapper: It’s Peanut Butter Jelly Time!

Startup mantra: “Don’t die.”

The death of a startup is usually due to two reasons: (1) You ran out money. (2) You ran out time because you ran out of money.

Cash is the life and blood flow of the startup. So how do you keep that precious blood flowing? Sometimes, you have to go back to your grade school roots and bring out that PEANUT BUTTER JELLY! Bootstrapping must become your way of life. Instead of eating the honey-soy broiled salmon, try a burrito bowl. Instead of a finding your own corner office space on the 10th floor, try a shared space on 3rd floor or work from home. Instead of taking the BART, try casual carpooling. Adjusting the rate in which you burn your startup’s life source will tell you how long you have left to achieve your goals.Then when your startup accelerates, you already will have been trained in the art of bootstrapping for a healthy growing startup.

Startup Inception, Don’t Stop There

“An idea is like a virus. Resilient. Highly contagious. And the smallest seed of an idea can grow. It can grow to define… or destroy you.” Dom Cobb, Inception (2010)

One of my mentors once told me to write down twenty-five startup ideas in one night. I looked at him in horror. He said, “Ideas are the easy part.” My eyes squinted. “But…how will I know if they’re good ideas?” His eyes squinted. “There are lots of ideas out there. Let the best idea will win.”

Everyone wants to hold onto one idea and “run with it.” But before you quit your job, steal your family and friends’ money, and breakup with your girlfriend, try exploring SEVERAL ideas first. The best idea will win. But it must earn it. Have each of your ideas compete for attention and resources. Which ones solve the biggest pains? Which ones have capabilities for future applications? Which ones do you have some expertise behind? Which ones take forever to sell? Which ones require significant funding?

It’s good to dream. But all dreams turn into work. So do your homework. Explore several ideas. Don’t let one idea…destroy you.

Be a Gladiator, Win the Crowd

  “Listen to me. Learn from me. I was not the best because I killed quickly. I was the best because the crowd loved me. Win the crowd and you will win your freedom.” -Proximo, former gladiator, Gladiator (2000) *Disclaimer: The following words may or may not sound taboo to the fellow hacker.* Sometimes you are the best. Let’s face it. You know your stuff and you are pretty fast   Read More ...