The Perils of Having Employees

Smithsonian employees

June 27, 2013:  Earlier this week my post dealt with how managing your startup is dramatically affected when you actually have paying customers.  For most businesses, the commencement of revenues also leads to an increase in headcount.  You move beyond the comfort zone of your trusted founding team and must learn to accomplish things through people of varying skill sets and motivations who are mainly interested in a paycheck. 

Fishing for Early Stage Deals at Venture Atlanta 2012

Ace field reporter Jesse Dyer files this report from the Georgia Aquarium today.  Not exactly the shark tank, but beluga whales for sure:

Entrepreneurship life in the post-Pardot era has begun in Atlanta.  What the Pardot sale means for the city is easily an essay unto itself, but that $96M exit was definitely the buzz in the room at Venture Atlanta 2012.  Will the local tech community really broaden its interests with this exit, or will it just double down on marketing automation as it previously did with Internet security in the footsteps of ISS?  Time will tell.

Are You an Operator?

After some kind feedback on my test for entrepreneurs in my previous post, I’m today thinking about the notion of what Bob Metcalfe calls “scaling entrepreneurs.”  Those are the leaders who not only can create a startup but who can operate it to the level that it creates enterprise value.   Yes there have been some Valley successes like Instagram where founders built a cool product and were swallowed by a big fish long before they had to deal with the pesky details of actually running a business.  But, those are rare exceptions.

SEAL Decision Day 2012


SEAL (Student Entrepreneurship Acceleration and Launch) is an annual ATI summer program in which staff and mentors help student teams drive toward Go or No Go decisions on their entrepreneurial concepts.  The final presentations yesterday were the culmination of that effort.  There were no judges and no prizes, just candid reports on the conclusions reached.  Success is measured not by the ratio that proceed but by the validity of the conclusions reached, good or bad.

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