The Audible version of Startup Opportunities: Know When to Quit Your Day Job, 2nd Edition is available for pre-order and will be on out on 9/19. My co-author, Sean Wise, read it using his deliciously dulcet voice.
Jason and I also finished the Audible recording of Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist, 3rd Edition and expect to see it up on Audible in 60 days. More when it’s out.
It’s a lot of fun to read your own audio book like I did for Startup Life: Surviving and Thriving in a Relationship with and Entrepreneur, the book I wrote with Amy.
My newest book, Startup Opportunities: Know When to Quit Your Day Job, is available via Kindle for $0.99 today. If you are a fan of my books, a friend, or just someone who is interested in startups, buy a copy today.
We are getting ready to launch the 2nd Edition of Startup Opportunities. Sean and I are working with Jesse Tevelow, a founder from the very first Techstars Boulder program, on this launch.
There is a lot more coming soon.
As a huge reader, I love the recent plethora of startup / entrepreneurship books. I’m involved in three new ones – one that I’ve co-authored, one that FG Press has published, and one where I’m part of a Kickstarter campaign. I encourage you to grab each of them.
The first is Startup Opportunities: Know When To Quit Your Day Job. I wrote it with Sean Wise, a professor at Ryerson University in Toronto. It’s aimed at the first time entrepreneur or soon to be entrepreneur who is asking herself the question, “Is this a good idea?” or “Is this an opportunity I should dive all in on?” I’ll be writing a lot more about this on my blog in the coming weeks. For now, go get a copy of Startup Opportunities.
The second is Bend The Curve: Accelerate Your Startup’s Success, written by Andrew Razeghi and part of the Techstars series of books. Andrew is a professor at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and is involved in Techstars. Bend The Curve includes a huge amount of information useful to any existing startup and I’m excited about what Andrew has put together. I’ve got a section in the book on board of directors and you’ll recognize many other contributors to this book.
The last is Eric Ries’ new project, The Leaders Guide, which just launched on Kickstarter. One of the award levels is a day in Boulder with me, time with Techstars, several of my portfolio companies, a night at the St. Julien Hotel, and dinner with me at Kasa Sushi (my favorite sushi place in Boulder.) Oh, and you get a bunch of other stuff, including a ton of Eric’s Lean Startup work, access to the new community he’s creating, and special bonus lean startup content.
When I started my first company in 1987, there was almost no information on being an entrepreneur, starting, or scaling a company. While there were business biographies and lots of ego books, almost everything was about management and leadership of large companies. It’s awesome to see how that has changed and I’m glad to be a tiny part of it.
Sean Wise, my co-author for my next book, Startup Opportunities, is a professor at Ryerson University in Toronto. When we first started writing this book in late 2013, we knew that we were going to do both a United States tour and a Canadian book tour. We flipped a coin to see which one we’d do first and Canada won.
The book is comes out in March (pre-order right now to give me some love) and we’re celebrating that with a Central and Eastern Canadian book tour. Sean and I will also be putting the topics in our book directly to work. At each book tour event, a few idea stage companies will be pitching us for an investment prize out of the fund Sean’s involved with, Ryerson Futures.
Canada has always been good to me and I have some fun memories of both work and play from our neighbor in the north. If you’re in the area, join me at one of the tour stops listed below.
Each of the organizations is an integral part of their startup community. They help out with community engagement, mentorship, and/or capital. In addition to investing a lot of time, energy, and money in their startup communities, they have done a huge amount of work organizing this book tour – thank you, as we couldn’t do this without you.
A number of the most entrepreneurially-minded companies in Canada act as our national sponsors for the Startup Opportunities book tour.
Our Naming Sponsor QuickBooks is dedicated to getting new, high-growth businesses off the ground.
BDC Capital is our National Pitch Tour Sponsor and will be joining Sean and I on the judges’ panel at all the events.
Silicon Valley Bank is a close partner to me and my partners at Foundry Group here in the US and I’m excited to work with them in Canada as well.
Startup Canada has embraced the #GiveFirst mindset which has made Boulder a awesome startup community.
Canadian Business is the center of business and entrepreneurial news and information in Canada.
Wiley Canada, who works with Sean Wise his other books, publishes quality business and instructional content.
For more details about the book tour and all the sponsors, you can take a look at document that the FG Press team put together.
If you’re curious about this pitch competition, you can find more information here, and be sure to reach out to the city partners as they are the ones selecting the companies to pitch their events.
I try to respond to all of my emails. I’ve always been like this – it’s just part of my value system. I used to be annoyed by other people who don’t, but I let go of that emotion a long time ago. But I still try to respond to all of my emails. A big hint, which is the reason for this post, is to ask specific questions if you want a real response.
Part of my morning drill is to systematically go through all the emails from the previous night. I usually end up at close to – or at – inbox zero when I finish this drill. Over the course of the week I get a little behind on non-urgent stuff so I end up responding to them over the weekend.
The result is a lot of what I like to call cliche loops. Here’s an example of the “will you look at our business, no, will you make a referral” loop.
Fortunately I use Yesware so I can respond quickly via templates I’ve already set up. Here’s how the more detailed conversation goes:
Entrepreneur: Happy New Year! Attached is the our BP. Please let me know if you are interested to talk.
Me: Thx for reaching out again. I took a look – I don’t think it’s something we’d be into investing in but hope to run into you at anonymous-place at some point.
Entrepreneur: Thanks for the quick reply. Can we apply for the techstars?
Me: Of course!
Entrepreneur: Thanks for the advice. If you are willing, can you please comment on our BP? We wish you can be our advisor.
Me: I can’t be “an advisor” in any formal way. I’m also not part of the selection process for Techstars so I encourage you to just apply.
Entrepreneur: Thanks. We understand. You turned down our BP almost right away. So we are really appreciated if you can tell us what we can improve, or whats wrong there.
Me: I wrote a post about saying no in 60 seconds a while ago – https://www.feld.com/archives/2009/06/say-no-in-less-than-60-seconds.html. Your overview is ok – just not something I’m into.
Entrepreneur: Thanks for the detailed message. Do you have any other investors that you can point us to?
Me: Re: Asking for a referral – I wrote a blog about this a while ago – I hope it makes sense. https://www.feld.com/archives/2007/11/dont-ask-for-a-referral-if-i-say-no.html
Now, I’m not try to be an asshole with my responses. I’m just trying to get through one of “yet another email I’m not interested in” and be polite to the sender. If the entrepreneur had asked me any specific questions about his business, I would have tried to answer it or said “sorry – I have no clue” if I have no clue. But all of the questions are of the “please engage more with us” kind. Even the most specific question “So we are really appreciated if you can tell us what we can improve, or whats wrong there.” is painfully generic.
I realize that part of the reason I’m writing the book Startup Opportunities is so that I can point people like this at it. I get between one and five emails like this a day and have for a long time. I’m happy to get them – I just wish I could help more.
I’ve been stalled trying to get through two books: Startup Opportunities (with Sean Wise) and Startup Metrics
(with Seth Levine). Dane McDonald (FG Press CEO) and my assistant Eugene Wan created a book cover recently to try to inspire me, as an homage to Do More Faster (with David Cohen).
It worked. I’ve gotten a lot of writing on Startup Opportunities done in the last week and I expect this week to be a good one.