Entrepreneurship Tips — Pre-Startup

Is it the VC that proposes the amount for the pre-seed startup?

Posted by Robert Norton on

No good investors would want to invest in a company where the CEO did not have their head around the capital needed. A financial projections and plan is required to even get a meeting with most investors. That said, there can always be some back and forth negotiations. A VC might want to put more money in to scale faster. A CEO wants minimum dilution and to get the valuation up by achieving key milestones like MVP, traction, team building and quantification of customer acquisition costs. All of these reduce risk and hence increase the share and valuation price. Click...

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How Big Must A Market For An MVP And Market Entry Strategy Be?

Posted by Robert Norton on

How Big Must A Market For An MVP And Market Entry Strategy Be?

Absolutely. That is called a “niche” and often is the intersection of a vertical market and application/problem. And even smaller is okay and sometimes an advantage in the beginning. Of course, you also need a vision and steps into larger markets. Generally, $1 billion minimum if you seek institutional capital, as they only invest in companies that can reach $100M in sales after 5–6 years. Even if your price point is $250 that’s a $12.5M market opportunity. Which may be enough to validate your product, tune it, prove your value proposition, price point, marketing, and sales economics to raise funding...

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How to be successful at absolutely anything?

Posted by Robert Norton on

How to be successful at absolutely anything?

There are many commonly accepted principles about success that come up again and again like pursuing your passion (so work is fun, not a burden), focus on a clear mission (medium term) and vision (long-term) so you will focus and be immersed in the problem, the solution and the value you create for your customers. Long-term commitment and persistence are never optional, either.  But there is one principle that few people talk about that can be the foundation of all of these, which I will reveal in this article. My dad gave me the gift of the standard of hard...

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Job Scope in Early Stage Companies

Posted by Robert Norton on

Job Scope in Early Stage Companies

In any startup company, EACH employee MUST wear many hats. In a large company, job specialization is the rule. However, job specialization does not make for a successful startup, as it requires too many people and both the costs and risks would greatly increase with the added levels of people and communication. It is a well-known fact that there are diminishing returns with each layer and additional employees on any project. This is even more pronounced in knowledge-intensive areas and professional services like software engineering and other knowledge and design-intensive areas.  (Read The Mythical Man-Month). In early-stage and smaller companies,...

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Services For Startup and Early-Stage Companies

Posted by Robert Norton on

Services For Startup and Early-Stage Companies

Early-stage companies are the most fragile, have the least resources and the biggest challenges ahead of them.  Developing a new business is one of the biggest challenges in life and generally requires experience in at least five key disciplines (product/service development, finance, sales, marketing, and operations) to do well.   For a founder or entrepreneur and their team to be successful, they must have not only industry domain experience but all these skills available to design the business at both the strategic and tactical levels (a vision).  Taking all these disciplines into account and then allocating resources appropriately for the specific...

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