Culture

What Is The Most Common Trait Of Successful Startups?

“I’m worried about keeping the culture,” “Omar,” a CEO that I’m working with, said to me yesterday. Omar’s company is at that classic transition point between being a 7 figure company and an 8 figure company. I smiled back at Omar over our Zoom link. [Do you want to grow your business? Maybe I can…

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How You Can Be Ruthless Without Being A Jerk

“I intend to be ruthless as CEO,” I said to my friend and mentor, Dave. We were having coffee at Peets in Palo Alto. It was early March, and we had, finally, gotten our Series A funding. After two years, and lots of painful misses, I was rearing to get started. [Do you want to…

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What Are The 5 Rules You Need For A Successful Startup?

My Mom sold houses in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles. She started out by selling condominiums, then eventually graduated to selling estates. I’ll say, from watching my Mom, that selling real estate is a seven day a week, 365 day a year, grind. It looks easy from the outside, but the successful…

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How Do You Determine Your Salary As A Startup CEO?

“Here’s what we can afford to pay you,” I said to Greg, one of the best Analog IC design engineers in our industry. [Do you want to grow your business? Maybe I can help. Click here.] Greg was making $400K/year working part time at Maxim. I had known and worked with Greg, so I knew…

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How You Can Keep Your Family And Be A Success

Supposedly, in order to be a successful startup CEO, “they” tell you that you have to give up everything, including your family, and be 100% devoted to your startup. I am here to tell you that “they” are wrong. And who are “they” anyways? But that’s a different story. Yes, you do need to make…

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Why Your Team’s Salaries Should Be Higher Than Your’s

“Here’s the offer we’re giving you,” the CEO said to me. Then he told me what the equity and salary would be. “What do you think?” The CEO asked me. [Do you want to grow your business? Maybe I can help. Click here.] “I’ll give it some thought,” I said. “But my initial response is…

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7 Survival Tips For Startup CEOs

“Hey Brett. Congrats on getting your company funded. I’ve heard the horror stories, and I was just wondering how many hours you’re working?” Kent asked me in an email. The horror stories of founders working 100 hours week on end are commonplace. The reality, or at least my reality, was different. [Do you want to…

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What You Need To Know About Reference Checks

I curled up on my bed in a fetal ball, sobbing. I kept repeating to myself: “What have I done?” “What have I done?” “What have I done?” Why was I crying? [Do you want to grow your business? Maybe I can help. Click here.] It was October 2009. We had been raising money since…

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How Being Too Frugal Can Hurt Your Company

“We’re not spending money on voicemail!” Jack Gifford, the CEO of Maxim Integrated Products said. “We don’t need it!” Several other senior executives and I were meeting with Gifford and the subject of voicemail came up. Gifford’s negative response wasn’t a surprise to any of us in the room. After all, Gifford was the same…

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The Simple Strategy To Get Your Team’s Buy In To Your Culture

I have a simple rule I like using, and I’ll share it with you. It’s always a red flag when something (with the exception being the technology) is supposedly complex. [Do you want to grow your business? Maybe I can help. Click here.] The same holds true for getting your team to buy into your company culture.…

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