Just Ask For It

On May 24, 2011 By Kilton Hopkins

This is entrepreneurial mistake #3. If you don’t ask for it, you can’t get it (except by luck). Sometimes we don’t ask for the things that mean a lot to us. It’s scary – what happens if you are turned down? Then you have to face the disappointment of… well… reality. It’s worse, though, to [...]

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If you’re thinking about taking a risk, then you’re already taking the risk. I am approached rather often by would-be entrepreneurs who ask how they can overcome their fear of the risks involved in starting something of their own. I don’t know how to respond, except to tell them that they are already in a [...]

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Startups Are People

On April 26, 2011 By Kilton Hopkins

This article goes under the category of “investor mistakes”… as well as “my mistakes”. Startups are not just run by the people working in them. They are not just owned by people. They ARE people. The individuals behind the company mean everything. In larger, more established companies, there is a bit of wiggle room for [...]

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As a very smart young woman once told me, life is like a game of Super Mario. We have a set of restrictions (rules) under which we operate, a collection of goals, and a surprising array of challenges that changes beneath our feet. We advance levels as we go, sometimes opening a door to a [...]

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Time is a more valuable resource than gold. Hands down. Given the opportunity, I would buy as much of it as I could. With time you can do anything human beings can do… but unfortunately we all have a limited amount. If you’re going to buy me a gift, the perfect one would be a [...]

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Just because you built something cool does not mean that anyone will come look at it, buy it, or invest in it.  This is mistake #2 in the top 20 entrepreneurial mistakes list. I’m not saying that building something amazing is pointless…just that doing so is not the last effort. Marketing and business strategy is [...]

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A Short Note on Patents

On January 5, 2011 By Kilton Hopkins

I am asked about patents on a weekly basis.  It seems that there is a lot of misunderstanding about patents, trademarks, and copyrights….but especially patents. You can patent anything.  Also, not everything can be patented. Both of these statements are true.  With a bit of creativity, and a good patent attorney, a patent can be [...]

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You have a contract with a business partner…and you made sure you covered all the important points…and everyone had their lawyer look at it.  Everything should be fine, right?  Unfortunately not.  When it comes to actual problems, contracts provide a framework for dealing with the problem but they rarely prevent or solve issues.  That’s because [...]

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As the CEO of one of my companies recently said, it is better to passionately lead your team down the wrong path than to be wavering or hesitant.  It may seem like the worst thing would be to fail…but actually the worst thing is to be unable to incite a following. When the leader of [...]

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When seeking investment for your startup, most investors will want to see a business plan. Typically, entrepreneurs begin to write a 20-page document that covers everything they can imagine. A more sensible approach is to look at the business plan from the investor’s perspective and provide them a shorter, high quality version of what they [...]

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