August 30, 2015: Josh Baer presented his list of tips on starting the start at the Longhorn Startup Seminar this past Thursday. His focus was the student who in general wants to be an entrepreneur and start something, which describes many of the 138 enrolled in the class this semester. That objective requires coming up with an idea, identifying a market, finding a team, building an MVP, and plunging into business while the parents are still footing most of the overhead. It’s good advice for a very lean startup approach while you are in the cozy confines of university life.
August 23, 2015: A couple of weeks ago I wrote about filling the C-Suite in the biomedical startup I’m advising. The living case study continues, with the CEO job in particular under consideration this week. Our major investors are itching for some resolution of our search.
August 16, 2015: Continuing the series on my live case study of the biomedical startup I’m advising, attention is turned this week to the processes of the business. It’s one thing to get a deal funded, but it’s quite a bit more challenging to actually create and operate the company according to plan. We had a very interesting discussion on this topic with one of our potential investors.
August 9, 2015: Comes now in one of my startup affiliations the task of filling out the C-Suite. This particular endeavor in the oncology arena is one I’ve mentioned frequently and is giving me a running case study for my TechDrawl posts. The traditional roles of CEO, COO, CFO, CTO, CMO, and DBO aren’t obvious fits for the division of tasks in this venture.
August 2, 2015: One of this week’s highlights was reviewing and editing an Offering Memo for a company where I sit on the board. We did two days of very productive road shows in Georgia and are following up with the legal docs to complete the raise.
July 26, 2015: The past month I have continued to see my usual variety of deals. I attend some of the local pitch events, of which there are many choices, and I routinely respond to requests from UT students and faculty who have dreams to disclose.
I seem recently to have run into a rash of especially bad ideas. They are too small, have been tried hundreds of times, are aimed at spaces already well covered, or have no viable business model. I could pile on many more objections, but that’s a good start.
July 19, 2015: Startups require enormous stamina, both mental and physical. I’ve heard Bob Metcalfe mention repeatedly to our Longhorn Startup students the importance of eating, sleeping, and generally staying healthy while trying to get a business going. I wrote a TechDrawl essay on the topic nearly three years ago, and it’s worth revisiting today. Your chances of success are greatly improved if you are performing 100%, or more.
July 12, 2015: A term that I learned in my various banking ventures over the years is that someone in the bank always becomes the Designated Blame Officer. A big loan may go bad because of completely unpredictable circumstances, but one can be sure than an officer will take the fall for that. Just this week on a global scale we saw Antony Jenkins at Barclays go from CEO to DBO as a result of nefarious behavior on his watch and what was described as too slow a pace of change.
July 5, 2015: The Dyer gene pool provided me very little in the way of natural rhythm. I once took ballroom dance lessons where the instructor likened me to a windshield wiper completely off beat with the car radio. When I make a mistake with my golf swing, it’s also nearly always attributable to losing the rhythm that results in a good shot. The old saying is “swing slowly and enjoy the extra distance” – and that is indeed true. A smooth, rhythmic, unhurried swing will result in better contact and a longer ball flight.
June 28, 2015: The headline above is a term commonly used in the tech industry. It came to mind this week via an article about “connected devices” or “Internet of Things” stating effectively that, even though Apple, Google, Samsung, and other titans are doubling down in this space without much yet to show for their efforts, future adoption of these technologies is inevitable.