Team, product, or market? The X factor of growth

There is this continuous debate on what matters the most. The right team, the product, or the market. Until recently, I would have argued the team before the product. If you ask entrepreneurs or VCs which is most important, the most likely answer would be the team, partly because in the beginning of a startup, you know a lot more about the team than you do the …

Innovation? Forget corporate metrics

If you make your innovation a hedging process – like we discussed here – then how do you lead and manage innovation? What are the particular ways of reversing the process to foster valuable innovation? Leading innovation and what is considered good leadership are not the same. The default conception of the leader’s role – setting out a vision and inspiring people to follow – works when …

Image as a burden: Changing how we change

This Christmas I visited Amsterdam and Malene Dumas’ exhibition at Stedelijk Museum named ‘Image as a burden’. What a title. In our world of imaging, picturing, documenting and producing manifests of what we believe, the opinion of an image as a burden would find less support. Because images say more than a thousand words. But. Imagine there were no images of Muslim / Jewish or Indian …

VC proposition: What entrepreneurs want

Next to the reputation of a Venture Capital (VC) firm’s principals, CEOs top evaluation criteria when choosing a VC is the ability to add value to the portfolio company beyond funding. No surprise. However, looking at the prioritization of qualities of a VC, there is a disconnect between the VCs and the customers. According to DeSantis Breindel CEOs tend to …

Bad ideas that became irresistible

Who is in search of a copycat? Anyone? Well, Michael Wolfe illustrated to all of us that although engineering and product are still key to the very best companies there is so much more to a sound business model. All it takes to understand this point is to look at great inventions that failed – or to look at the following great …

Making sense of Minimum Viable Products

Minimum viable products are all the rage. The idea is to test the waters and make some sense out of the market before heavily investing in product development. That’s definitely oversimplified, but what I’m going to explore in this post is the “sense making” aspect of MVPs. Minimum Viable Products–what does this mean? If you read any article or listen …

New venture: Go or go for no

It is messy in the middle. Exactly at the point when you have invested all your time, money, or reputation and yet lack progress, cash flow, etc. That’s when the pain of failure becomes ubiquitous. Fatigue sets in. Team members, investors, your family members or other stakeholders show impatience, or uncertainty. The challenges become confusing. What do you do? You know challenges almost …

Next ‘big thing’: A product of time and hunger

Entrepreneurs, investors, advisors … We are all in the search of the next big thing – trends, ideas, companies, investments. I admit I can relate to this, but we are much better of slightly changing the focus and spending the energy on searching for those who are hungry for success – be it partners, entrepreneurs, ecosystems… We like to work …