What’s the best way to operate within a big company?

Tobias Peggs (CEO @ Aviary)
What to Expect at a Big Company, and How to Leave It Gracefully – PE HUB

1. Develop patience. It’s a virtue. (And pushing multiple initiatives is the only way to maintain sanity.) 2. Learn to love “Alignment.” Achieving it will become a big part of your job. 3. Understand the Mission Statement. 4. Seek out the brilliant people in other departments, and learn from them. 5. Understand, and revel in, the scale. 6. Realize that you’re sometimes at war with other departments, not just your competitors. 7. Get the highest-… (read more)

What’s the best way to handle conflict?

Jeffrey Minch (Entrepreneur – ‎Littlefield Advisors)
The Co-Founder Bootcamp – AVC

When there were problems it was ALWAYS about the definition of the role — mine or theirs. If you want to sort out roles, define them. If you want to reduce friction, investigate from whence it comes and it will likely come from a gap or a burr in that role definition. Talk about it before it comes to blows. Tension is normal when people are moving fast. It is normal. You want tension.

Ben Horowitz (Co-Founder & Partner @ Andreessen Horowitz)
How to Minimize Politics in Your Company – Ben’s Blog

Generally, the best way to handle complaints [about behavior] is to get the complaining executive and the targeted executive in the room together and have them explain themselves. Usually, simply having this meeting will resolve the conflict and correct the behavior (if it was actually broken). Do not attempt to address behavioral issues without both executives in the room. Doing so will invite manipulation and politics.

What's the best way to manage your burn-rate?

Fred Wilson (Co-Founder and Partner at Union Square Ventures)
Burn Baby Burn – AVC

Valuations can be fixed. You can do a down round, or three or four flat ones, until you get the price right. But burn rates are exactly that. Burning cash. Losing money. Emphasis on the losing. And they are indeed sky high all over the US startup sector right now. And our portfolio is not immune to it

What’s the best way to think about runway?

Eric Ries (Author, The Lean Startup)
The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses

Measuring runway through the lens of pivots rather than that of time suggests another way to extend that runway: get to each pivot faster. In other words, the startup has to find ways to achieve the same amount of validated learning at lower cost or in a shorter time. (p.160)

Fred Wilson (Co-Founder and Partner at Union Square Ventures)
Maximizing Runway Can Minimize Success – AVC

To my mind, maximizing runway is not the game startups should be playing. Getting somewhere fast is the game they should be playing. You can always raise more money if you are doing well on the metrics that matter in your business. So focus on that and runway will take care of itself. If you can get the plane to take off, the length of the runway matters less. If you can’t, there is no runway long enough for you.

Josh Kopelman (Partner at First Round)
What the Seed Funding Boom Means for Raising a Series A | First Round Review

So why not raise $2.5M in seed money instead of $1.5M to give yourself the best shot at perfecting this data? You should target 18 to 24 months of runway post Series Seed. The best time to raise follow-on capital is when you don’t need it, and 2 years of runway gives you the best chance to land in that situation.

Fred Wilson (Co-Founder and Partner at Union Square Ventures)
Tightening Your Belt – AVC

When the business becomes profitable more quickly, when the cash runway extends by a year or more, when the budget is no longer stretched and new initiatives are now possible, the team understands the value of belt tightening and embraces it as much as the investors do.
If you’ve been a growth spurt for the past few years and have not taken the time to do some belt tightening, it might be a good time to do that.

Mike Maples Jr (Managing Partner
@ FLOODGATE)

Ron Conway, Mike Maples Jr. – Angel Investing Revealed by Stanford eCorner | Free Listening on SoundCloud

Prove something dramatic while you have six months of cash [in the bank]

Bruce Gibney (Former Partner @ Founders Fund)
Peter Thiel’s CS183: Startup – Class 8 Notes Essay

You should always try to pitch when you don’t need money. That is when you are strongest. Short runways are often perceived as a sign of massive weakness. If everybody knows you’re desperate, the best that can happen is you get screwed on terms.

What’s the best way to do a new product launch?

Jeff Bezos (Founder & CEO of Amazon)
The Institutional Yes

What I have found—and this is an empirical observation; I see no reason why it should be the case, but it tends to be—is that when we plant a seed, it tends to take five to seven years before it has a meaningful impact on the economics of the company.

Sam Gerstenzang (Director of Product at Imgur)
16 product things I learned at Imgur — Medium

Every feature you launch is a feature you’ll need to support with users, infrastructure and development. So launch as few things as possible.

David Jaxon (Founder, Seeking Alpha)
Keep your target market narrow | A Founder’s Notebook

Keep your target market narrow.

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Julie Zhuo (Director of Product Design at Facebook)
Pando: The tax of new

Define a green light criterion, and test a small launch against it. Define a sunset criterion.

Boris Wertz (Founder of version one ventures)
Nine common things that start-up founders tend to underestimate or overestimate – Version One

Start-up founders typically want to make a big PR splash when they’re launching their product or closing a funding round. A major launch announcement can make a lot of noise in moment, but it’s more important to focus on generating continuous demand than your 15 minutes of fame.

Paul Graham (Co-Founder & Partner at Y Combinator)
Do Things that Don’t Scale

I should mention one sort of initial tactic that usually doesn’t work: the Big Launch. It’s easy to see how little launches matter. Think of some successful startups. How many of their launches do you remember? So why do founders think launches matter? A combination of solipsism and laziness. They think what they’re building is so great that everyone who hears about it will immediately sign up.

What’s the best way to do your initial launch?

Paul Graham (Co-Founder & Partner at Y Combinator)
Do Things that Don’t Scale

I should mention one sort of initial tactic that usually doesn’t work: the Big Launch. It’s easy to see how little launches matter. Think of some successful startups. How many of their launches do you remember? So why do founders think launches matter? A combination of solipsism and laziness. They think what they’re building is so great that everyone who hears about it will immediately sign up.

Boris Wertz (Founder of version one ventures)
Nine common things that start-up founders tend to underestimate or overestimate – Version One

Start-up founders typically want to make a big PR splash when they’re launching their product or closing a funding round. A major launch announcement can make a lot of noise in moment, but it’s more important to focus on generating continuous demand than your 15 minutes of fame.

Vibhu Norby (Co-Founder, CEO at b8ta)
Should you make a big PR push when launching a product? | A Founder’s Notebook

The bigger your launch, the quicker you will enter the famous “trough of sorrow. ” No human can easily withstand the emotional rollercoaster of startup metrics. “Launching” screws with your metrics – and you need clean metrics to evaluate and iterate on your business. If you see 6000 signups on day one and 2000 on day two, you can be mislead about the strength of your vision

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Seth Godin (Founder at Yoyodyne Entertainment)
Seth’s Blog: Elephant Math

…big launches don’t necessarily scale.

Ben Yoskovitz (VP Product at VarageSale, VP Product at GoInstant (acquired by Salesforce), Author of Lean Analytics)
Launch Your Startup When You’ve Already Won

There’s a time and place for making noise about your startup, but you’ve gotta be clear on whether you’re doing it to feed your own ego and make yourself feel good, or if you’re doing it strategically for some understood and measurable benefit.

David Jaxon (Founder, Seeking Alpha)
Keep your target market narrow | A Founder’s Notebook

Keep your target market narrow.

Julie Zhuo (Director of Product Design at Facebook)
Pando: The tax of new

Define a green light criterion, and test a small launch against it. Define a sunset criterion.

Paul Graham (Co-Founder & Partner at Y Combinator)
Do Things that Don’t Scale

The usual way to do that is to get some initial set of users by doing a comparatively untargeted launch, and then to observe which kind seem most enthusiastic, and seek out more like them.

Paul Graham (Co-Founder & Partner at Y Combinator)
Do Things that Don’t Scale

When you only have a small number of users, you can sometimes get away with doing by hand things that you plan to automate later. This lets you launch faster, and when you do finally automate yourself out of the loop, you’ll know exactly what to build because you’ll have muscle memory from doing it yourself. It would be a little frightening to be solving users’ problems in a way that wasn’t yet automatic, but less frightening than the far more c… (read more)

Paul Graham (Co-Founder & Partner at Y Combinator)
Do Things that Don’t Scale

It’s not enough just to do something extraordinary initially. You have to make an extraordinary effort initially. Any strategy that omits the effort—whether it’s expecting a big launch to get you users, or a big partner—is ipso facto suspect.

Paul Graham (Co-Founder & Partner at Y Combinator)
Frighteningly Ambitious Startup Ideas

Empirically, the way to do really big things seems to be to start with deceptively small things. Want to dominate microcomputer software? Start by writing a Basic interpreter for a machine with a few thousand users. Want to make the universal web site? Start by building a site for Harvard undergrads to stalk one another.

Paul Graham (Co-Founder & Partner at Y Combinator)
Startups in 13 Sentences

Launch fast. The reason to launch fast is not so much that it’s critical to get your product to market early, but that you haven’t really started working on it till you’ve launched. Launching teaches you what you should have been building.

Paul Graham (Co-Founder & Partner at Y Combinator)
Startups in 13 Sentences

Let your idea evolve. This is the second half of launching fast. Launch fast and iterate. It’s a big mistake to treat a startup as if it were merely a matter of implementing some brilliant initial idea. As in an essay, most of the ideas appear in the implementing.

Sam Gerstenzang (Director of Product at Imgur)
16 product things I learned at Imgur — Medium

Every feature you launch is a feature you’ll need to support with users, infrastructure and development. So launch as few things as possible.

Eric Ries (Author, The Lean Startup)
The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to … – Eric Ries – Google Books

When an entrepreneur has an unclear hypothesis, it’s almost impossible to experience complete failure, and without failure there is usually no impetus to embark on the radical change a pivot requires. As I mentioned earlier, the failure of the “launch it and see what happens” approach should now be evident: you will always succeed—in seeing what happens.

What’s the best way to manage stress?

Bill Trenchard (Partner at First Round)
70% of Time Could Be Used Better – How the Best CEOs Get the Most Out of Every Day | First Round Review

1. The seven-minute workout. It’s scientifically proven. The New York Times has spoken. You do 12 exercises in seven minutes and it works. 2. Take walking meetings. Almost everyone has one-on-one meetings. Suggest taking a walk instead of sitting in a conference room or a coffee shop. 3. Ask for a standing desk. Most offices now accommodate these requests. They’ve been proven to reduce risks of heart disease and cancer and boost mood and alertnes… (read more)

Charlie O’Donnell (Partner Brooklyn Bridge Ventures)
How to stay calm under immense work pressure — Charlie O’Donnell | A Founder’s Notebook

1. Take care of your physical self. 2. Consider the worst case scenarios and have a plan for them. 3. Always try to do your best work, but know and accept your limits. 4. Try to think as linearly as possible. 5. Don’t accept other people’s timelines as your own. 6. Be extremely protective of your time. 7. Get an assistant. 8. Reverse engineer the life you want to live. 9. Let other people in. 10. Get rid of the people and relationships that drain… (read more)

David Jackson (Founder, Seeking Alpha)
Limiting decision fatigue | A Founder’s Notebook

Limit decision fatigue. In decision making and psychology, decision fatigue refers to the deteriorating quality of decisions made by an individual, after a long session of decision making. It is now understood as one of the causes of irrational trade-offs in decision making. For instance, judges in court have been shown to make less favorable decisions later in the day than early in the day. This is one of the reasons why it’s important to delega… (read more)

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David Jackson (Founder, Seeking Alpha)
Startup founder? You should be meeting with other founders | A Founder’s Notebook

You should be meeting with other founders

Eric Barker (Founder at StubHub)
How to sleep better to raise your productivity | A Founder’s Notebook

Forget the morning alarm clock; set an alarm to remind you when to go to bed.

Herbert Lui (Creative Director, Wonder Shuttle)
Why you should take a walk at 3pm | A Founder’s Notebook

Every day at around 3PM, my brain gets weary. I’ve tried numerous techniques to counter this challenge. Yet I’ve found one technique to be the most effective: going for a walk. The longest stroll I’ve taken is around 10 minutes, and I just wander around the block.

Jason Lemkin (Managing Director at Storm Ventures, SaaStr.com)
Jason M. Lemkin’s answer to How do CEOs stay calm? – Quora

1. You must fake it. You cannot let anyone see you look like you are losing control. Ever. Once they see that… they will lose faith. 2. You need help. If you don’t have true help carrying the load — stop. Do almost nothing else. Recruit someone. 3. You need a break. In fact, lots of them. 4. You need someone to confide in. At least one. 5. Once the business is real, self-sustaining — you need to take a real vacation. Not just a trip where you ema… (read more)

Maura Thomas (Award-winning speaker, trainer, author)
Your Late-Night Emails Are Hurting Your Team

Being “always on” hurts results. When employees are constantly monitoring their email after work hours — whether this is due to a fear of missing something from you, or because they are addicted to their devices — they are missing out on essential down time that brains need. Refrain from after-hours communication. Discourage an always-on environment of distraction that inhibits creative flow.

Mark Suster (Managing Partner at Upfront Ventures)
Download • Snapchat

You’ve gotta find a way to pull yourself up by your socks and give yourself confidence

Mark Suster (Managing Partner at Upfront Ventures)
Download • Snapchat

Find a group of your peers and host regular meetings with a group of your peers that has a zone of confidence and trust.

Socrates (Enigmatic Philosopher)
Socratic Method