TechStars notes in the raw #2

March 5, 2008 at 8:52 am Leave a comment

(I took copious notes during TechStars 2007. I am opening up my notebook and sharing them with aspiring entrepreneurs.   I am going to serialize my notes on this blog.  These are my RAW notes, so sometimes people spoke too fast or were inaudible but I tried to get the gist of what they were saying. There is very little editing to these notes.)

The following questions were addressed during one of the early TechStars panels:

1) What kills most startups?

  • Surprise!! Surprise!! Not making money is not usually the big issue that causes failures unless you don’t have a vision
  • Team dynamic issues – startup failures are mostly caused by founding team friction
  • Companies fail due to execution failures. Execution failures are still team issues that can be categorized as follows: 
  1.  Team dysfunction issues
  2.  Team poor performance issues

1 and 2. are a “chicken and egg” situation

  • Do not be afraid to address team issues head on, solve them and remove the problem
  • Once you have a team issue problem that threatens your startup, re-adjust what you are doing or join another team (None of the original TechStars team members changed teams)
  • Beware of meandering, where after several weeks you are not getting anywhere. Address and re-adjust immediately because you risk team members losing passion because you are not getting anywhere

 2)  “Getting acquired” as a business model

  • Getting acquired is not a business model.  It’s a WISH!!!
  • Concentrate on building a business that has compelling value

 3) The “style” of a startup

  • You have the permission to create your own identity
  • Have an attitude
  • Have a style
  • Develop a style for your startup and yourself and work it (America’s Next Top Startup, anyone???) all the way through



Entry filed under: Startups, Techstars, Web 2.0.

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