When Is The Wrong Time To Scale Your Company?

By Brett Fox | August 31, 2016

When Is The Wrong Time To Scale Your Company? By Brett Fox “We’re in the first stage of a three stage fab expansion,” The CEO proudly told me. It was December 2000, and I was being recruited to run the Communication’s Division of the company. The economic bubble was bursting already, yet here was this…

Is Giving Schwag To Your Employees A Bad Idea?

By Brett Fox | August 16, 2016

I was watching Shark Tank, and there was a recap about an investment Barbara Corcoran did in a bathing suit company (The Mix Bikini). The founder of the company spoke about the blow out party he threw after receiving Corcoran’s investment: “I would estimate we spent $50,000 on the party, at least.” And that, ladies…

How Do You Keep Stress From Crushing You As A CEO?

By Brett Fox | July 26, 2016

How Do You Keep Stress From Crushing You As CEO? By Bret Fox “I think we should sell the company,” One of our investors said to me.  I was meeting with the investor at his office on Sand Hill Road. We were in the process of closing our Series B funding.  We had a term…

When Is The Second Best Time To Get Help?

By Brett Fox | July 19, 2016

When Is The Second Best Time To Get Help? By Brett Fox “I’m sorry, but I can’t help you,” I said to Jim. “I think the best thing for you to do is sell the company. I wish you the best of luck.” Jim’s company was past the brink of disaster and well into its…

Are You Playing The Long Game With Your Customers?

By Brett Fox | July 12, 2016

Are You Playing The Long Game With Your Customers? By Brett Fox “Hi Mr. Fox. It’s Jean at AAA Pool Company. I’m calling you back regarding the quote we gave you to fix your pool pump.” The pump on our pool needed to be replaced, and I was, to say the least, a little surprised…

Do You Really Know The Right Way To Say No?

By Brett Fox | June 29, 2016

Do You Really Know The Right Way To Say No? By Brett Fox “Thanks for taking the time to meet with me today.  I really appreciate it, but I don’t see a fit for you in our organization,” the CEO said to me. The CEO’s tone was firm and even pleasant.  He certainly wasn’t being…

Why You Should Ignore The Rise Of The Unicorns

By Brett Fox | June 15, 2016

“I hate high-margin businesses,” one of the most famous VCs in Silicon Valley told me during my pitch. I thought to myself, “There’s not a hope in hell this guy’s going to fund us.” I ignored his comment, and I continued on with my presentation. So what did this world-renowned VC mean?  I asked one…

How To Crush Your Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals

By Brett Fox | May 24, 2016

How To Crush Your Big Hairy Audacious Goals By Brett Fox I walked up to the white board and in huge capital letters I wrote: IGNORE PHYSICS! We were starting the first step of defining our next generation process technology, and I wanted to set the proper tone to the engineers in the room. “IGNORE…

Can Sandbagging Your Goals Be The Key To Your Success?

By Brett Fox | May 3, 2016

Can Sandbagging Your Goals Be The Key To Your Success? By Brett Fox Somewhere in the universe there’s an older version of me rolling his eyes. Have I gone mad? Sandbag your goals? Let me explain what I mean and what I don’t mean. No. I’ll let the older version of me and the newer…

Can Your Startup Survive A One-Customer Market?

By Brett Fox | April 23, 2016

Can Your Startup Survive A One Customer Market By Brett Fox at brettjfox.com I’ve loved the Chicago Cubs since I was a little boy growing up in the northern suburbs of Chicago.   The problem is they have broken my heart many, many times. I watched my Grandfather pass away without the Cubs winning a World…