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Articles in the Anecdotes Category

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[6 Mar 2011]
Don’t Leap when You Can Pivot

Lean Startups and Customer Development is about eliminating waste.
Mostly this happens when you talk to customers and other shareholders to see if your idea is viable.  The earlier you learn that your idea is not viable, the less time you will waste on the idea.
Eliminating waste is a key tenant in lean startup methodology.  I’ve recently noticed a trend that adds waste to lean startups, and that is The Leap.
The term pivot has taken a life of its own over the past few months, but leap hasn’t been highly publicized, …

Anecdotes »

[5 Mar 2011]

We all fall into bad routines from time to time.
I started to feel content recently, and it sucks.  I’m in bed before midnight, awake at 9.  You know, completely slacking.  I’m not doing the things necessary to run a startup.
I’m not sure where these habits came from, but I need to stop them – today.
I was on the treadmill yesterday, and at the point where I usually get winded and stop, I powered through.  I ran an extra mile and a half yesterday and I felt awesome!
What was the difference? …

Anecdotes, Guest Posts, Headline »

[2 Feb 2011]
Why Startups Fail: An Analysis of Post-Mortems

The guys at ChubbyBrain have graciously allowed Founder’s Block to repost this analysis, originally published Jan 11th, of the top 20 reasons why startups fail.
We’ve previously highlighted the top startup failure post-mortems (32 in total) written by a group of startup entrepreneurs gracious enough to share their lessons learned from failure. Many of you read those post-mortems and asked, what are the most common reasons why these startups failed? After a thorough analysis of those 32 start-up post-mortems, we compiled this list of the top 20 causes of startup …

Anecdotes »

[3 Dec 2010]
Randomness and Why I am No Longer a Fan of Coworking Spaces

It wasn’t long ago that I was envious of others working at coworking offices.  I was living in New Jersey traveling to New York City for meetups.  I was jealous of those working at The Hive at 55 or New Work City.  I wanted to be in an office with cool startups and be a part of “the scene”.  After I moved to Boston, I doubled my freelance workload and soon  felt comfortable enough to purchase space at a coworking office in Boston.  Workbar Boston was the new home of …

Anecdotes »

[21 Nov 2010]

Reposted from Brian’s personal blog on November 20th, 2010 10:47pm:
So I’ve just returned home after a pretty exhausting 28 hours.  If things had turned out as planned, I’d be in Boston right now, being taken around by my twin brother for a show with his friends called “Look, he actually exists!”, while drinking myself silly and having a grand old time.   But instead, I’m sitting in Brooklyn with a belly full of pizza, fading consciousness, and an earful of quotes from  a madman Gary Vaynerchuk.
The weekend with my brother …

Anecdotes, Case Studies, Guest Posts »

[26 Jul 2010]
Getting Caught Mid-Pivot: Lessons from the Imercive Postmortem

I met Keith Nowak at the recent VC Demo Day event and he was kind enough to share the story and lessons of how his  startup, imercive, ran out of funding mid-pivot and  had to shut down. Learning from failure is in many ways more more effective than learning from success, and Keith’s story may just give you the pointers to avoid dead ends in your own ventures.

imercive postmortem

Keith Nowak
In December 2009, I made the incredibly difficult decision to shut down imercive. Three years, a lot of money, and …

Anecdotes »

[25 Jul 2010]

For those of you who haven’t read Part 1, here it is Part 1. For those of you who don’t want to read part 1, we’re taking part in a 54 hour lean startup contest that is similar to Startup Weekend called The Lean Startup Machine.
Now, let’s get more specific.
You might find my presentation video somewhere on the Lean Startup Machine Website over the next few days or weeks, but here were some of our key assumptions.
1.) Marketing students are highly motivated by money.
2.) Startups and Small …

Anecdotes »

[24 Jul 2010]

I’m taking part in The Lean Startup Machine. It’s similar startup weekend that’s specifically designed with lean startup principles. Steve Blank would be proud! Eric Ries is proud (he was at the event via online video to speak and answer questions)
The goal of the event is to teach rapid customer development and to build working CD/Lean principle prototypes as fast as possible to get feedback, pivot, and eventually build an awesome product.
The night started with a few talks, speeches, and need to knows. The full agenda …

Anecdotes »

[6 Jul 2010]

This is a story about a company that has taken numerous pivots in different directions.  Smarter Football started as a consulting company in 2007, pivoted to a software company in 2009, and is pivoting to a Publishing Company in 2010.
The following post is 90% stream of consciousness, 10% editing.  So take it easy if there’s bad grammar. 
The Smarter Football saga really started in early 2007 when I started Pennza Mobile Detailing with Nick Pennisi, a life long best friend that I’ve known since grade school.  Mobile detailing is …

Anecdotes »

[28 Jun 2010]

One of the goals of FoundersBlock is to be as open and honest with our audience as possible, to share stories we feel can be a value add to other early stage entrepreneurs that encounter the same struggles we face. Tonight, I write such a post. Perhaps you’ve heard of some of the following sayings:

“What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger”
“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade”
“What defines your character isn’t that you fell down, but how you get back up”

I apologize for the cheesy selection, but as I’m …