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I’m a multi-exit, multi-failure entrepreneur. Building & Exited ExitEvent & Automated Insights. More info at
Photo: Luis Alvarez/Getty Images

Ask anyone who’s worked at more than one startup and they’ll probably tell you the same thing: Young companies start to go off the rails once they hit 50 employees. I call this the “teenager” startup phase, and I’ve been there several times, both as an employee and an executive.

If you want to give your new business a decent shot at success, you need to build traction — clear, measurable evidence that people are interested in what your company is offering. And that won’t happen on Day One.

So why do startups make big, splashy announcements the day they…

Pricing Plan design by Luke Peake

Let’s talk about how much you should charge customers for something when you’re not totally sure what that thing is yet.

A startup has to get its pricing right or the product will be dead at launch. The problem is, there aren’t a lot of hard and fast rules for…

Credit: PM Images/Getty Images

At startups, the difference between survival and running out of runway always comes down to taking our eyes off revenue.

We don’t want to do this, and we certainly don’t do it on purpose. But when we’re in the middle of the startup run, it’s pretty easy to fall into…

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

My daughter is starting her own company this week, and I’ve taken a role as her investor. While she’s not quite at the high-growth stage of her entrepreneurial career, she’s launching something more than a lemonade stand or some other kind of friends-and-neighbors business.

In fact, friends and neighbors are…

image by Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

A couple weeks ago, I answered a great question from a very young founder about the options for selling his startup, now that he was losing his personal passion for it. Believe it or not, I hear this question a lot, especially from young entrepreneurs.

The answer to his question…

Photo by Andrew Stutesman on Unsplash

In over 20 years of doling out startup advice — free, paid, solicited, and random — I try really hard not to tell people when to raise money and from whom. But I have no problem jumping into the “why.”

Here’s how I look at that “why.” Imagine, if you…

Your customers want to buy your startup’s product. They really do. So why haven’t they?

The problem might be that they don’t understand what you’re selling them, because you’re selling them a package of features, not a set of solutions.

You’ve probably made them aware of a few things to…

Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash

Think about your favorite television show.

I’m willing to bet that it started off a little slow, then hooked you. It had a great season in the middle of its run, then ended in a way that was either wholly satisfying or frustratingly flat.

This is how episodic writing creates…

Photo by Victoria Heath on Unsplash

This week, I answered a question about the stealth nature of starting a side company — asked by someone who has already witnessed legal action taken against someone just like themselves for doing something a little like what they were about to do.

There was panic in that question, and…

Joe Procopio

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