How Do Entrepreneurs Like Elon Musk Eliminate Distractions?

By Brett Fox | February 5, 2017

How Do Entrepreneurs Like Elon Musk Eliminate Distractions? By Brett Fox When I was younger, I would walk into my office with my coffee and plug in my computer. I would take a quick look at my email, and maybe surf the net for a bit. I have some long term goals that I need…

How Do You Overcome Entrepreneurial Fear?

By Brett Fox | January 31, 2017

It’s Tuesday morning at 9:18AM. My heart rate suddenly raced to what felt like 200 beats per minute. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. We had just agreed to terms with a new lead investor. We were in the process of closing the funding. And now “Raul”, one of our two existing investors, just…

Is It True That Technical Founders Are More Important Than Non-Technical Founders?

By Brett Fox | January 29, 2017

Is It True That Technical Founders Are More Important Than Non-Technical Founders? By Brett Fox “It’s really hard to find the skill you have in product definition and marketing,” my cofounder, Vice President of Engineering said to me one day. “I think it’s next to impossible to find engineers that have the technical chops and…

Should I Change The Direction Of My Company?

By Brett Fox | January 29, 2017

Should I Change The Direction Of My Company? By Brett Fox Years ago I was working at a company. The company was doing incredibly well. We were growing at pretty nice clip and the stock price was going up. We were the dominant player in several different end markets. But there was a new market…

My Secrets To Building A High-Energy Work Environment

By Brett Fox | January 25, 2017

Can you believe the best work environment I was ever a part of I used to call “The Pit”? It’s true. And, not surprisingly, the company that had that work environment was the most successful company I ever worked at. The most successful company I every worked at was Maxim Integrated Products. Maxim was a…

Are There Consequences To Firing Someone On The Spot?

By Brett Fox | January 22, 2017

Are There Consequences To Firing Someone On The Spot? By Brett Fox There are always consequences when fire someone. Even in California, where employment is “at will.” Years ago, I was running a division of a company. Every Friday the company had an operations meeting that included senior management. The meeting always started at 1PM…

Should A Startup Fire An Underperforming Intern?

By Brett Fox | January 15, 2017

Should A Startup Fire An Underperforming Intern? By Brett Fox Let’s be honest. The amount of money you are going to save over the next month by firing him isn’t the issue. The real issue is a lot more important. Remember, everything you do as CEO is analyzed (and overanalyzed) by your employees: Why did…

What Are The Main Reasons A Startup Fails After Breaking Even?

By Brett Fox | January 15, 2017

What Are The Main Reasons A Startup Fails After Breaking Even? By Brett Fox I was advising a bootstrapped startup for two years. The startup was at zero revenue when we started working together. They recently got to break even. The future looked really bright for the company. Then the wheels started falling off. The…

What Is It Like As CEO To Downsize Your Company?

By Brett Fox | January 8, 2017

What Is It Like As CEO To Downsize Your Company? By Brett Fox I remember when we had to layoff people in order to get our funding closed. We needed the funding to last at least 18 months. So I had to let a lot of really good people go. These were people that helped…

What Are Some Signs Of A Bad Startup Culture?

By Brett Fox | January 8, 2017

What Are Some Signs Of A Bad Startup Culture? By Brett Fox I was interviewing an engineering candidate a while back. Everyone on the team really liked him, and we were set to hire him if our interview went well. It turned out that I liked him too. He was smart, passionate about his work,…