to page content
to site navigation
Explore the Entrepreneurship.org Resource Center to find resources. Designed with entrepreneurs in mind, our resource center allows you to find materials to grow great ideas.
When I read Meg Hirshberg's book "For Better or for Work: A Survival Guide for Entrepreneurs and Their Families" I knew instantly that I wanted Meg to join our slate of Founders School experts. The goal of Founders School is to provide entrepreneurs with crucial skills and knowledge, and to do so with an eye to topics that are important but rarely discussed in typical entrepreneurship education programs. The subject of Meg's book is just such a topic. We all know that entrepreneurs have to juggle a variety of considerations when founding a company: team building, assessment of product/market fit, intellectual property, and how to get that first important customer. What many entrepreneurs and, more importantly, their families, know is that there's a juggle on the family side of the equation as well, but it's one that many entrepreneurs may be reluctant to talk about.
"No business plan survives first contact with customers," Steve Blank says. What? Isn't the point of planning that you maximize the likelihood of success in the marketplace? Well yes, but perhaps not the kind of planning you might be thinking about. A business plan conceived on paper, powered by a great idea or invention, enhanced by research on the size of the market and a customer profile, has great potential. But it also has a crucial flaw.
Tien Tzuo, Chief Strategy Officer for Salesforce.com, describes seven lessons for transforming an enterprise software business from a traditional direct sales model to one which leverages the internet to produce in-bound sales. He stresses the awareness cycle for Salesforce.com's products, free-trial offers, onion-based product design and the continuing importance of events in the complex enterprise software industry.
Entrepreneurs loath to seek mentoring should take at least one piece of advice: try it, you'll like it, writes the author who built a business by accepting help from smarter and more experienced founders. Included is a look at the workings of her relationship with her current mentor. (Originally Published October 2002)
Julius Walls has the priviledge of leading a company that exists to give back.
First-time CEOs may find it daunting to establish their first board of directors. This topic expert details a four-step process to building boards that can help growth companies thrive.
Entrepreneurs can benefit from seeking to be paired for a fee with a mentor who provides guidance and support, says the author, who pursued such a formal mentorship upon the founding of her second venture. With new skills to learn in an operating company as opposed to her previous professional-services concern, this entrepreneur reports developing company-building tactics as well as respect for mentoring itself.
An outstanding office culture trumps all, says Ken Wilcox, the CEO of Silicon Valley Bank, who heads the most noted financial hub for the technology sector. Wilcox discusses how his financial services institution has scaffolded against recession, and bullet points the uniqueness of commercial banking for the tech start-up.
Vicki Wu's passion for her business and philanthropic activities have caused her to seek convergences between the for- and non-profit worlds.
An entrepreneur argues that sabbaticals need not be extended periods of time off but can be worked into the everyday job of building a company.
Want to get connected? Sign up to receive regular news, polls and updates from The Kauffman Foundation.
A robust online curriculum for entrepreneurs.
Explore Founders School >
A network of U.S. cities facilitating a weekly entrepreneur education program. Go to 1 Million Cups >
Whether you are starting or growing a company, FastTrac will help you live your dream at each stage.
Get started with FastTrac >