How to get deals done for your startup

- May 26, 2022 6 MIN READ

The main way tech startups grow is through creating technology that solves valuable problems for their customers but another way they grow is through cutting smart deals with other companies.  The first few deals I negotiated were content licensing deals, first for Microsoft’s online efforts and then for Yahoo, back in the mid-to-late 1990s. Since… Read more »


How to ask someone to be your technical cofounder

- May 11, 2022 2 MIN READ

Sometimes when you present the opportunity as “we just need you to build what we specify” you’re taking away the biggest motivation there is. If you’ve been working in startups for a while, you’ll be familiar with this kind of request: Seeking: Technical Cofounder I am looking for someone to join us as a technical… Read more »


Startups and the 3 degrees of lostness

- April 13, 2022 6 MIN READ

I like participating in outdoor endurance and adventure events for many reasons, not the least because they often involve solving problems and taking calculated risks based on partial information in a small team of high-achieving people who aren’t getting enough rest. It’s no coincidence that “…solving problems and taking calculated risks based on partial information… Read more »


How to avoid screwing yourself on sales negotiations

- November 25, 2021 < 1 MIN READ

The earlier you are; The fewer your customers; The further you are from your revenue goal; and The bigger the customer; The more likely you are to screw yourself on the sales negotiation. Do you want one more thing to practice every day? No! But practice being aware that this is probably true any time… Read more »


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 »


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 »

elaine stead
Women in tech

‘Australia has a problem with men who bully women’: leading VC investors write to the AFR about its treatment of Elaine Stead

- July 30, 2021 2 MIN READ

Partners and principals at leading Australian venture capital firms, including Square Peg Capital, Main Sequence Ventures, Giant Leap, Jelix Ventures, and Flying Fox Ventures have signed an open letter to the editor the AFR about what the investment community sees as “an ongoing smear campaign” against colleague Dr Elaine Stead. The letter follows a high… Read more »