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Minimize use of CxO titles at early company stages

on Fri, 05/31/2013 - 02:36

I'm about 10 months into helping a bunch of startups through organizations like TechStars, MassChallenge, and others.  And I've seen an emerging trend among startups that I want to discourage: The over - and inappropriate - use of "Chief (fill-in-the-blank)" titles.

"What's the problem," you ask?  "Why not give people CxO roles?" There are a bunch of reasons:

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AFK

on Fri, 04/05/2013 - 15:50

SImple blog post:  My wife & I are on holiday from 4 April to 24 April 2013.

See you when I return. :-)

Lunch Beat Boston #1 is right up my alley

on Wed, 03/06/2013 - 20:04

A couple of months ago, Dimitri Gunn told me about an event blooming around the globe called Lunch Beat, a daytime version of a nighttime club experience.  Dmitri wanted to start the trend in Boston. So he got some help from Hubspot's Rebecca Corliss, snagged the social space at Hack+Reduce, some sponsorship from some vendors, Hubspot, and Atlas Ventures, and held a party today.

Lunch Beat has a few of rules in its Manifesto. Among them:

  1. If it's your first lunch at Lunch Beat, you have to dance.
  2. If it's your second, third, or fourth time at Lunch Beat, you have to dance.
  3. Everybody at Lunch
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Culture matters even at the start

on Fri, 02/22/2013 - 14:41

A few days ago, Todd McKinnon asserted in a WSJ blog article that "long term success is not predicated on creating a world-class company culture." He also states "Forget about cultural fit and instead get people in the door that can create a beautiful product and bring passion to the problems your company is out to solve."

My friend Bob Mason blogged a response suggesting that people's beliefs on the importance of company culture would quickly shift to a quasi-religious battle between believers & non-believers.

Let me firmly place myself in the camp of those who believe culture, and

Families - not age - affects startups

on Fri, 02/22/2013 - 13:15

On February 17, 2013, Scott Kirsner of the Boston Globe wrote an article Exploring the Age Divide in Boston Start-Ups. It infuritated me for two reasons: 1) It's probably true, but 2) for different reasons than Scott asserted.

Scott's premise is that start-ups are only the domain of young, 20-somethings. He concludes "older people" (over 30?) don't do startups because they:

  1. Moved to - and so work - in the 'burbs;
  2. Won't put in the hours required by a startup;
  3. Have atrophying skills (e.g. Java vs. RoR);
  4. Are less malleable and trainable;
  5. Have higher salary expectations than startups can supply;

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