Corum group presentation – trends and predictions for 2012

Today I participated in an annual call with The Corum Group, a Seattle based M&A group focused on trends and opportunities for 2012 across the broad software, internet and mobile spaces. I was part of a panel that included some friends and people I really respect, including;

  • Dan Shapiro, Google — Social Domination
  • Chris Bray, IBM — The Year Ahead
  • T.A. McCann, RIM — Revolution in Mobile
  • Peter Coffee, Salesforce — Cloud Strategies
  • Steve Singh, CEO, Concur — SaaS in 2012
  • Reese Jones — the Berkeley Lab Sage
  • John Heyman, Actuate Partners — “Selling for a Billion”

I made the following key points about “revolutions in mobileContinue reading

Building your tribe – regular and efficient updates


To create a great and successful company, marking and communicating your progress to yourself, your team and your supporters is critical. Here are a few things that have worked well for me;


communicate every 2 weeks – this allows you to make meaningful progress, is a good frequency for your supporters to digest and sets you in a rythym towards monthly board meetings

– send your updates on Sunday afternoon – gives you an opportunity to finish out the week, have some time to put your thoughts down and will give your supporters a chance to read and comment before their busy week starts

– develop a specific format – I like to use the following: Continue reading

9 strategies to maximize the value of mentor meetings

I have been spending a bunch of time with the teams at Techstars Seattle.  It is exciting to see all the progress as we approach demo day on Nov 3, where all the teams show off their companies and plans for world domination.
Here are a few things that I have tried and/or learned from the entrepreneurs that can make most of these mentor meetings: Continue reading

The quick startup – done with a mind map

We are well into the Techstars Seattle season and I have been spending lots of time with many of the teams. As part of our discussions, we have been talking about how to simplify the pitches as well as capture all the different ideas and put them into context. One good way I have used to do this is with a mind map. I use Mindjet Mindmanager, but you could use others. Here is a template that I have developed that focuses on what I believe are the core elements of any startup – Customer, Value Proposition, Feature Set and Business model. In a perfect world, each of these concepts relates to each other in a cohesive story.  For example, if your value is saving someone time, are you charing them more for features that save more time, are you communicating that your features save them more time than the competition, does your customer have a way to quantify time saved, is it meaningful and are you thinking the features you choose by how much time they might save the end user…you get the picture.

Here is the simplified, expanded version of the mind map.

and the MindJet template you can use. Do more (companies) faster! (thx Brad Feld).

I have also used http://www.mindmeister.com/ which is pretty good if you want to collaborate with others.