Founders School Blog

When Should My Venture Start Thinking About Intellectual Property?

When Craig Wortmann, in his series "Entrepreneurial Selling", describes the entrepreneur, racing back and forth across the long side of a triangle, teetering on a teeny tiny point, trying not to tip over, something about the image rings so true. He so vividly describes: "as the entrepreneur you're running back and forth on the top, doing everything that has to be done-- from making the coffee to creating the product, to overseeing the sales, marketing, and communications.

Wendy Torrance on September 10, 2014
How Three Audacious Entrepreneurs Reimagined Age-Old Industries

We have interviewed dozens of accomplished entrepreneurs for our Founder Genius clips. We've talked with them about topics ranging from founding team dynamics, balancing the entrepreneurial life, sales and presentation strategies, and how they tackle the challenges of protecting intellectual property.

Wendy Torrance on September 05, 2014
Dont Let Passion Blind You Insights from Noam Wasserman

In the Wall Street Journal this week, Harvard Business School professor Noam Wasserman discusses the ways in which passion can get in the way of entrepreneurial success. This goes against the grain since passion is often identified as something critical for entrepreneurs to possess.

Wendy Torrance on August 28, 2014
How To Keep Your Family Life Cool When Your Venture Heats Up

Starting a company and remaining an active member of your family is no easy task. In some ways, a startup becomes the newborn of a family--whiny and constantly craving attention. It doesn't leave a lot of room for other people to enjoy your company, and as many middle children know, this can leave others feeling left out and abandoned.

Amanda Schnieders on August 20, 2014
Why Getting Out of the Building Doesn't Mean Giving Away Your Idea

Getting out of the building to talk to customers doesn't mean getting out of the building and telling people about your idea. You're not out to say the following: "I have a great idea X to solve Y problem with Z solution. What do you think of that?" What you're really doing when you talk to customers is listening and learning.

Wendy Torrance on August 15, 2014
Telling Failure Stories in a Successful Way

Entrepreneurs are always selling. When you're the founder of a startup, you are your company. You're in a constant state of pitching. And one of the most important tools to have at your disposal while selling is a matrix of stories.

Amanda Schnieders on August 05, 2014
New Daniel Pink Series Illustrates How to Lead and Motivate Employees for a More Engaged Team

I'm not a salesperson. I never have been. I was one of those people who thought of snake oil when I thought of sales (though after working with Craig Wortmann long enough, I have been disabused of those notions). Nonetheless, when I read Daniel Pink's book To Sell Is Human about a year ago, I was struck by the insight that "we're all in sales" every day, in many ways.

Wendy Torrance on July 24, 2014
Customer Development Data: Why You Should Be Thinking More Like a Scientist

Entrepreneurs are a lot of things. Innovators, business professionals, inventors. But scientists? Steve Blank certainly thinks so.

Amanda Schnieders on July 23, 2014
The Real Question You Should Be Asking About Your Marketing Tactics: Should I Pause, Pivot or Pursue?

Consolidate and codify sounds technical, but it's actually a fairly simple idea. The consolidation step means taking everything you've done throughout your marketing strategy and combining it into a single, more effective piece of learning. The second half is to codify your learning, which means to arrange what you've learned into a way that makes sense. In this instance, that means a way that leads to action.

Amanda Schnieders on July 18, 2014
What the 'Hack' in Growth Hacking Really Means (and How to Do It)

Unless you have good processes in place for measuring the effectiveness of your marketing efforts, you could very well be spending your marketing dollars ineffectively.

Amanda Schnieders on July 14, 2014