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The Resource Center has all the info you'll need From content to user feedback, the resource center has the information you need for every level of the entrepreneurial process.
Some of the very first decisions founders must make early on in their ventures are crucially important to the future of the business. Many of these decisions concern the ubiquitous "people problems" that challenge even experienced entrepreneurs. When should I found? Should I co-found with someone? With whom? How should we split the equity? Bad or ill-informed choices at critical junctures could have significant consequences for startups. In fact, research has suggested that 65 percent of new firm failures were related to problems within the management team.
Once you've heard the insight--that startups are different from big companies--it seems so obvious. Yet too often entrepreneurs, and those that teach them, approach the building of new companies with the same goals, staff structures and assumptions that motivate the management of large companies. Startup founders build teams to focus on engineering, and on the process of creating a product and bringing it to market.
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.
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.
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