Startups

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3 Strategies To Building a Marketplace Startup

By | Marketing, Startups, Strategy | 17 Comments

Building a two-sided market is probably the hardest thing you can build as an entrepreneur.

It’s so hard that a few weeks ago, I organized a Marketplace Founders Dinner because I felt like there needed to be an “AA type meeting” for providing support to those founders :).

I don’t know if you know what a marketplace is, but it’s like an Etsy, Ebay or Clarity (my startup).

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dan martell - jevon macdonald - photy by kk

What I Look For When Investing In Startups

By | Startups, Strategy | 43 Comments

Updated Jan 23rd: Please don’t email me your pitch. I’m not looking for new investments outside my personal network. If you’d like you can follow me on Angel List to get notified of my new investments. Thank you.

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I’ve always found “angel investing” to be such a funny term. It almost comes across as being some kind of religious business saviour when it’s really just people who’d rather take risk and make a bet on a person who’s got the audacity to change the world.

Regardless, that is what we’re called and I personally wish there were more.

I am hoping this blog will inspire others to invest and get involved helping amazing entrepreneurs in your community.

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How To Launch a Company In The Press

By | Marketing, Startups, Strategy | 4 Comments

Launching your startup is probably one of the most important things to get right so you get as much momentum going in the beginning and have as many people as possible show up to use your product or service.

I have been starting companies now for 15 years, and one of the things that I’ve really tried to figure out is – how do you launch? And what does launch really mean?

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How To Stimulate a Growth Economy

By | Community, Leadership, Startups, Strategy | 24 Comments

Over the last 25 years, almost all of the private sector jobs have been created by businesses less than 5 years old.

It’s because of this fact, that I believe most economic development strategies are broken. They focus on convincing bigger, established companies from outside of the region to open up new, remote offices, and focus less on fostering new growth opportunities by startups, building disruptive technologies.

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5 Big Lessons Skateboarding Taught Me About Business

By | Personal, Startups | 34 Comments

As a teenager I was a “skater.” One of those kids who hung out downtown and annoyed the pedestrians. Skateboarding is how I spent my teenage years. Was I any good? I like to think so. Towards the end of my skating days, I almost got my 360 flips dialed in, used to launch myself straight off huge sets of stairs, and even landed some pretty big backside heel flips off a dip in the industrial park. This was in a time when there were very few skate parks so we had to make due with our surroundings.

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A Salute To The Entrepreneur

By | Leadership, Startups | 27 Comments

Today I want to honour the entrepreneurs in our world. I know I’m super biased, but let’s put that aside for a second.

Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, gets better without someone standing up and deciding to make it better. I believe most people go through their day and take for granted that someone, at some point in time, decided that there needed to be a better way.

And that’s why today, I want to salute the entrepreneurs… and here’s why:

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Keith Rabois - Investors, Entrepreneur

Why The Best Startups Are Created In An Economic Downturn

By | Startups, Strategy | 6 Comments

In 2009, I was at a party in San Francisco and had a chance to talk with Keith Rabois about startups and why certain ones succeeded, while others failed. As someone who’s invested and been involved with some of the best companies (Square, Slide, PayPal, etc.), his insights were extremely profound. One of my favourite anecdotes was that most great companies are started in an economic downturn.

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