Computer Guy

Computer Guy
Sunset at DoubleM Systems (, Del Mar, California

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

System for Startup Success

Think - Plan - Do - Repeat

System for Startup Success

     Emotion flames startup creation. Reason takes chaos and optimizes the path from thought to reward. Objectivity is as essential as passion. Think big, start small. The first mistake is to think too little, the second is to think too much.

     Write your thoughts for clarity. Define the big why, the strategy, who does what, by when, for how much. Include checklists, key performance indicators. timelines and responsibilities. 

     Ideas gain value only by action. Execute the plan as it is written. Measure the results of actions and practice continuous improvement. See the Startup Action Checklist.

     Consistent rhythm creates predictable results. Accelerate the process.

Startup CEO Action Checklist

 Focus - Limited resources require limited objectives. Prioritize. Concentrate on the top two. Deny shiny objects to give energy to essentials. Make managing a competitive advantage. Delegate.

 Recruit - Share the dream to build a 5-star core team, top down: board of advisors first. Hire slow, fire fast. Reward superior performance. Always be recruiting. Leverage is the startup spinach.

 Sell - Cash is the life blood of the business. Sales solve all problems. Sell value to customers or sell equity to investors. Sell the mission to all. Create, maintain, improve and expand your selling systems. 

 Build - Expand methodically from a balanced business. Create products based on customer feedback. "Do it, Document it, Delegate it." Build a strong body and peaceful mind to endure the journey.

 Test - Continuous improvement requires continuous experimentation. Feedback is the raw material to build your business. Everything is a prototype. Do good now, make it better later.

Friday, September 26, 2014

How to give the perfect PowerPoint pitch to VCs

By David Rose, serial entrepreneur, investor, and prolific Quoran, in a TED talk entitled Ten Things You Need to Know Before You Pitch a VC.

Fast paced, and right on the money.  Enjoy, Learn, Prosper!  Link to YouTube video.

Click here for the entire Q/A thread on Quora.

What VCs are looking for in the entrepreneur:
  1.  Integrity
  2.  Passion
  3.  Experience
  4.  Knowledge
  5.  Skill
  6.  Leadership
  7.  Commitment
  8.  Vision
  9.  Realism
10.  Coachability

1.  Logical Progression
2.  Things the VC knows or understands
3.  Validators

1.  Things VC knows are not true
2.  Things VC doesn't understand
3.  Things that make VC think
4.  Internal inconsistencies
5.  Typos, errors, unpreparedness

Short, short bullet points

Just the headline

Only images

The slides:
  1.  Company Logo
  2.  Business Overview
  3.  Management Team
  4.  Market
  5.  Product
  6.  Business Model
  7.  Strategic Relationships
  9.  Competition
 10.  Barriers to Entry
 11.  Financial Overview
 12.  Use of Proceeds
 13.  Capital and Valuation

Top tips:
1.  Don't look at the slides; make emotional connection with the audience
2.  Use a remote control
3.  Always use presenter mode
4.  Handouts are NOT your presentation
5.  Don't read your talk

The Optimist Creed

The founders of a startup need to keep it positive, at all times:

The Optimist Creed

Promise Yourself

To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.

To talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet.

To make all your friends feel that there is something in them.

To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.

To think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best.

To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.

To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.

To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.

To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.

To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

How to start a startup: #2 - Ideas, Products, Teams and Execution Part II

The second in a free series by Y Combinator, presented at Stanford.
Here's the link to the video:
And here's the link to the reading materials:

Zero to One, by Peter Thiel

For those of us interested in startups, either doing one, or investing in them, this new book is a most excellent read. Highly recommend. Peter Thiel is a PayPal founder, early investor in Facebook, founder of Palantir, and a very intelligent contrarian. Lots to learn here.

Click on the book cover photo above to order from


Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.
Your playing small does not serve the world. 
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine as children do.
It's not just in some of us; it is in everyone.
And as we let our own lights shine,
we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.

Original writing of Marianne Williamson, in her book,
A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of "A Course in Miracles".
Read by Nelson Mandela at his inauguration in 1994.
Popularized in the movie "Coach Carter".

Friday, September 19, 2014

Mark Cuban's 12 Rules for Startups

  1.  Don't start a company unless it's an obsession and something you love.
  2.  If you have an exit strategy it's not an obsession.
  3.  Hire people who you think will love working there.
  4.  Sales cure all.
  5.  Know your core competencies and focus on being great at them.
  6.  Lunch is a chance to get out of the office and talk.
  7.  No offices.  There is nothing private in a startup.
  8.  As far as technology, go with what you know.
  9.  Keep the organization flat.
10.  Never buy swag.
11.  Never hire a PR firm.
12.  Make the job fun for employees.