Business strategy

Why marketplace startup founders need to learn the simple rule that a butcher’s customer is not the cow

- October 27, 2021 3 MIN READ

I was reminded of an important analogy in a first mentoring session with prototype-stage startup. They’re building a two-sided marketplace in a smartphone app. They couldn’t wait to show me the app and were surprised and initially a little miffed that I wasn’t interested in seeing a demo. From my background notes I could guess… Read more »

Business strategy

When an investor asks if your startup is ‘a vitamin pill or a headache pill?’, here’s what they mean

- September 29, 2021 5 MIN READ

One of the most common questions an investor will ask a founder is, “do you see yourselves as a vitamin pill or a headache pill?”. “Uhhh… we think we’re a software startup?” Is not the correct answer. Worse, sometimes they will criticise you by saying, “You think you’re a headache pill but actually, I think… Read more »


ASK ALAN: My startup has a $500 marketing budget, so how should I spend it?

- September 15, 2021 3 MIN READ

The truth is, $500 is not going to get you very far on most marketing platforms. Unless you’re incredibly lucky you’re not going to guess correctly the first time you experiment with the variables of [creative]+[placement]+[time]+[advertising channel] and it isn’t enough marketing budget to run even one A/B test and get some conclusive results. But,… Read more »

Inside Man
Capital Raising

CAP RAISING FOR FOUNDERS: What’s a SAFE, a convertible note, and are they really better than a priced equity round?

- August 20, 2021 6 MIN READ

What’s a SAFE, what’s a convertible note, and are they really better for founders than raising investment in a priced equity round? The short answer is that you can raise investment with a SAFE note or convertible note in Australia, but you might not necessarily find it easier to raise the money if you do.… Read more »


Australian universities will hasten their own demise if they try to save costs by ignoring startups

- June 16, 2020 5 MIN READ

Australia’s universities are in desperate trouble, and their first move has been to cut the entrepreneurship and innovation arms they should be defending at all costs. Sometimes, there’s no satisfaction in being right with predictions; like the time back in early March, when I predicted that the tech startup accelerator programs and incubators being offered by… Read more »


How to nail your tech accelerator application

- June 9, 2020 2 MIN READ

Yes, be honest! Be honest about what you think you’ve learned so far, and what you hope to learn about during the accelerator. No accelerator wants startup founders who pretend they don’t need any help, that believe they are a sure bet for success. Accelerators exist to coach you, and if you don’t need any… Read more »