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Do More Faster: Techstars Lessons to Accelerate Your Startup, 2nd Edition

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Do More Faster: Techstars Lessons to Accelerate Your Startup, 2nd Edition

Brad Feld, David G. Cohen

ISBN: 978-1-119-58325-7 June 2019 400 Pages

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Description

Refreshed, updated, and expanded. Do More Faster provides time-tested advice, tips, and experiences by founders and mentors of Techstars to help entrepreneurs succeed!

David Cohen and Brad Feld, leading advocates for entrepreneurs and startups, team up to provide first-time entrepreneurs with the tools, insights, and experiences to help them do more faster. The authors share their decades of experience working with thousands of startup founders and have enlisted the advice of dozens of Techstars startup founders and mentors. Contributors include Tim Ferriss, Eric Ries, Matt Mullenweg (WordPress), Isaac Saldana (SendGrid), and other successful entrepreneurs.

Co-founders of Techstars, the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed, Cohen and Feld recognize the daunting task of creating a sustainable business and have seen first-hand the common mistakes first-time entrepreneurs make over and over. The authors take the complexity and uncertainty of starting a business and distill the critical factors into seven themes: Ideas and Vision, People, Working Effectively, Product, Fundraising, Legal and Structure, and Work and Life Harmony. They share their hard-won successes, failures, and advice for anyone with an idea who wants to create a business.

Throughout the book crucial questions are raised and addressed from multiple perspectives.

●      How important is it to have an original idea?

●      How is founder conflict handled?

●      What are the tradeoffs between bootstrapping and financing?

Make-or-break decisions like company structure, hiring, and legal consequences are presented in an easy-to-understand style. Do More Faster will elevate your thinking on a range of important topics, help you avoid costly mistakes, and provide you with a resource to consult as you go from idea to successful business.

If you have the drive and desire to start a business, need to create a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem in your community, or want to spark greater innovation in your organization—don’t go it alone. Use the advice, tips, and tactics found throughout Do More Faster to give yourself the best chance of succeeding. 

Foreword xiii

Preface xv

About Techstars xix

Introduction 1

Chapter 1 Do More Faster 3
David Cohen

Chapter 2 Do or Do Not; There Is No Try 7
Brad Feld

Theme One: Idea and Vision 9

Chapter 3 Trust Me, Your Idea Is Worthless 13
Tim Ferriss

Chapter 4 Start with Your Passion 17
Kevin Mann

Chapter 5 Look for the Pain 21
Isaac Saldana

Chapter 6 Get Feedback Early 25
Nate Abbott and Natty Zola

Chapter 7 Usage Is Like Oxygen for Ideas 29
Matt Mullenweg

Chapter 8 Forget the Kitchen Sink 33
David Cohen

Chapter 9 Find That One Thing They Love 37
Darren Crystal

Chapter 10 Don’t Plan. Prototype! 39
Greg Reinacker

Chapter 11 You Never Need Another Original Idea 43
Niel Robertson

Chapter 12 Get It Out There 45
Sean Corbett

Chapter 13 Avoid Tunnel Vision 49
Bijan Sabet

Chapter 14 Focus 51
Jared Polis

Chapter 15 Iterate Again 55
Colin Angle

Chapter 16 Fail Fast 59
Alex White

Chapter 17 Pull the Plug When You Know It’s Time 63
Paul Berberian

Chapter 18 Love Doesn’t Scale, or Does It? 67
Nicole Glaros

Chapter 19 Reconciling Vision and Focus 71
David Cohen

Theme Two: People 73

Chapter 20 Be Open to Randomness 75
David Cohen

Chapter 21 Entrepreneurship Is a Group Sport 79
Mark O’Sullivan

Chapter 22 Avoid Cofounder Confl ict 83
Dharmesh Shah

Chapter 23 Hire People Better than You 87
Will Herman

Chapter 24 How to Find and Engage Mentors 91
David Cohen

Chapter 25 Hire Slowly, Fire Quickly 99
Matt Blumberg

Chapter 26 If You Can Quit, You Should 103
Laura Fitton

Chapter 27 Build a Balanced Team 107
Alex White

Chapter 28 Startups Seek Friends 111
Micah Baldwin

Chapter 29 Engage Great Mentors 115
Emily Olson

Chapter 30 The Mentor Manifesto 119
David Cohen

Chapter 31 Define Your Culture 123
Greg Gottesman

Chapter 32 Two Strikes and You Are Out 129
Brad Feld

Chapter 33 Karma Matters 133
Warren Katz

Theme Three: Working Effectively 137

Chapter 34 Assume That You’re Wrong 139
Howard Diamond

Chapter 35 Make Decisions Quickly 143
Ari Newman

Chapter 36 It’s Just Data 145
Bill Warner

Chapter 37 Use Your Head, then Trust Your Gut 149
Ryan McIntyre

Chapter 38 Progress Equals Validated Learning 153
Eric Ries

Chapter 39 The Plural of Anecdote Is Not Data 157
Brad Feld

Chapter 40 Don’t Suck at Email 161
David Cohen

Chapter 41 Use What’s Free 165
Jason Seats

Chapter 42 Be Tiny Until You Shouldn’t Be 169
Jeffrey Powers

Chapter 43 Don’t Celebrate the Wrong Things 173
Rob Johnson

Chapter 44 Be Specific 179
Brad Feld

Chapter 45 Learn from Your Failures 181
Fred Wilson

Chapter 46 Quality over Quantity 183
Andy Smith

Chapter 47 Have a Bias Toward Action 187
Ben Casnocha

Theme Four: Product 191

Chapter 48 Don’t Wait Until You Are Proud of Your Product 193
Ajay Kulkarni and Andy Cheung

Chapter 49 Find Your Whitespace 197
Raj Aggarwal

Chapter 50 Focus on What Matters 201
Dick Costolo

Chapter 51 Obsess over Metrics 203
Dave McClure

Chapter 52 Avoid Distractions 205
Andy Sack

Chapter 53 Know Your Customer 209
Bill Flagg

Chapter 54 Beware the Big Companies 213
Michael Zeisser

Chapter 55 Throw Things Away 215
Eric Marcoullier

Chapter 56 Pivot 219
Rob Hayes

Theme Five: Fundraising 221

Chapter 57 There’s More than One Way to Raise Money 223
Brad Feld

Chapter 58 Beware of Angel Investors Who Aren’t 227
David Cohen

Chapter 59 Don’t Forget about Bootstrapping 231
David Brown

Chapter 60 You Don’t Have to Raise Money 235
Joe Aigboboh and Jesse Tevelow

Chapter 61 Seed Investors Care about Three Things 239
Jeff Clavier

Chapter 62 Practice Like You Play 243
Alex White

Chapter 63 If You Want Money, Ask for Advice 247
Nicole Glaros

Chapter 64 Show, Don’t Tell 251
Brad Feld

Chapter 65 Turn the Knife after You Stick It In 253
David Cohen

Chapter 66 Don’t Overoptimize on Valuations 257
Kirk Holland

Chapter 67 Get Help with Your Term Sheet 261
Jason Mendelson

Chapter 68 Focus on the First One-Third 265
Brad Feld

Theme Six: Legal and Structure 267

Chapter 69 Choose the Right Company Structure 269
Brad Feld

Chapter 70 Form the Company Early 273
Brad Bernthal

Chapter 71 Default to Delaware 277
Jon Taylor

Chapter 72 Lawyers Don’t Have to Be Expensive 279
Michael Platt

Chapter 73 Vesting Is Good for You 283
Jon Fox

Chapter 74 Your Brother-in-Law Is Probably Not the Right Corporate Lawyer 287
Brad Feld

Chapter 75 To 83(b) or Not to 83(b), There Is No Question 291
Matt Galligan

Theme Seven: Work–Life Harmony 295

Chapter 76 Discover Work–Life Harmony 297
Brad Feld

Chapter 77 Practice Your Passion 301
Eran Egozy

Chapter 78 Follow Your Heart 305
Mark Solon

Chapter 79 Turn Work into Play 309
Howard Lindzon

Chapter 80 Don’t Make Yourself Indispensable 313
David Cohen

Chapter 81 Get Out from Behind Your Computer 315
Seth Levine

Chapter 82 Stay Healthy 319
Andy Smith

Chapter 83 Get Away from It All 323
Amy Batchelor

Conclusion 327

Appendix 1: The Evolution of Techstars 331

Appendix 2: Original Edition’s Foreword 345

Appendix 3: Where Are the Techstars Companies Now? 349

About the Authors 355

Acknowledgments 357

Index 359