Obnoxious Angel

January 25th, 2011 → 8:58 am @

The founder and I entered the boardroom where the Angels were waiting for us.  We did introductions, and the founder started his pitch.  This founder is good at pitching, so I didn’t have to say much.  I spent most of my time observing the Angels. One of them was very aggressive.  He used all the body language and verbal signal games that men display to establish dominance (aggressive questioning, interrupting, finger pointing, and so on).

I briefly imagined him as a gorilla, bouncing up and down with bared teeth, and shrieking at the founder… ok, it wasn’t quite that bad. But he was definitely making a power play. (more…)

Angel funding

Book Review from Fiona Rotherham, Business Editor

January 21st, 2011 → 5:59 am @

I’m very pleased to report a fabulous book review from Fiona Rotherham, Managing Editor of Business for Fairfax media.

Mr Evans’ book contains an entrepreneurial balance sheet assessing the typical entrepreneur….  Most failures he has witnessed result from three causes – stupidity, greed and laziness.

Most entrepreneurs he knows have a mix of fear and arrogance – fear of failure that pushes through all obstacles to reach their goals and an arrogance that drives them to take risks others won’t.

“They are simply experts in getting innovative new businesses started.  It is an expertise which can be learned by many.”

You can download the document here.

Or read her text in full (more…)

Entrepreneurship &Teaching entrepreneurship

Having fun while building companies

January 14th, 2011 → 1:30 pm @

One of my team came to me today and said, “I’m sick of working with people who are not entrepreneurial.”  I laughed.  My team are free to engage with whomever they like, as long as the start-up company fulfils certain criteria (large market opportunity, differentiated offering, ethically sound, etc).  Some team members  prefer to work with entrepreneurial founders, while others are more interested in the technology.

I laughed because I had given up working with non-entrepreneurial founders some time ago. I’d realised that, while I’d had a great time building companies with other entrepreneurs, working with technology-focused founders was just hard work. The entrepreneurs generate an energy which both boosts my own energy and feeds off my inputs.  Sure, they also create chaos as they drive ahead more quickly than they should, but it’s a good, productive chaos full of blind alleys, quick fixes, and rapidly ticked-off milestones.  It’s great being in a world of possibilities and opportunities, where optimism rules.

The technology founders, meanwhile, dither around with well-structured processes, endless meetings, and never-ready-to-launch products.  They see building a business as “problem-solving”, and they suck the life out of me… correction… they USED to suck the life out of me.  Now I choose to work only with the entrepreneurs…  and I’m having fun.  It looks like another member of my team is joining me!

Entrepreneur behavior &Mentoring entrepreneurs