Starting a Startup

September 23, 2015

Read The Full Prompt

The thesis of our course is that early decisions that founders make have a disproportionate  impact on their ultimate success or failure. What pathways did they open? What chains did they forge around their own ankles?  Consider the choices that Jessica Matthews  of Uncharted Play, Lew Cirne of Wily, or Hillary Mallow of ProLabs made. Their choices resulted in stable or unstable business partnerships, years of sacrifice and struggle, loss of  control of their companies and even the destruction of a marriage.  In other situations early founding decisions have resulted  in  financial and personal success. The challenges founders face as a business matures can often be traced back to the seeds they sowed at the founding stage.

The founders we have studied often stumbled into these choices blindfolded – without much consideration of their implications or regard for their consequences. They often did not even recognize their decisions as choices. What observations can you share with entrepreneurs that are seeking co-founders and making their first commitments to the business? What questions still intrigue you?  What factors would you advice others to consider before taking the plunge into the ocean of possibilities that entrepreneurship offers? When should they persevere, when should they close the business?

Please limit your post to 500 words. include pictures, links to other sites and videos, if they make the entry more compelling. Remember that to make an impact, your entry has to be read by others. Try and make it visually appealing, provocative and thoughtful.  And,  please comment on the blog entries of others.  Your blog post will be accessible on the internet. It is due before 9 pm on September 22nd, 2015. We will be discussing a few of your posts in class on the 23rd.

Responses (55)

Co-founders Dirty Laundry
Last modified on September 23, 2015 at 3:27 am
It looks so rosy on the outside. Every now and then, we hear stories of some young entrepreneurs who founded their tech startups after school and became millionaires at age 30. Some may say it’s all about luck. While this [...]
What is FAIR?
Last modified on September 23, 2015 at 1:01 am
Frans de Waal’s famous experiment on unequally paid monkeys is an amazing video that I enjoy to watch every time on TED. As we see in the experiment, two monkeys are working happily under a standard setup until one of [...]
A Role by Any Other Name
Posted on September 23, 2015 at 1:15 pm
Society values the title of "founder"... perhaps we do more than we should
Depends Diapers!
Jeremiah Jewkes
Posted on September 23, 2015 at 3:58 am
Now every time someone says, "It Depends," you will automatically think about adult diapers.
Delusion and Hostility: An Entrepreneur’s Best Friends
Posted on September 23, 2015 at 2:37 am
It seems that so many founders stumble upon their ideas by chance – a school project for Jessica Matthews, a workplace challenge for Lew Cirne, a shared interest in music for friends Tim Westergren and Jon Kraft. This is natural [...]
4 Must-Think-Throughs Before You Found
Posted on September 23, 2015 at 12:36 am
For entrepreneurs to be, you may often wonder when you will be really “ready” to launch your own startup. You are afraid that life is too short and opportunities are too easy to slip away. But before you are caught [...]
The pitfalls of hiring based on conventional wisdom
Last modified on September 23, 2015 at 4:11 am
A company can only be as good as the people within it. As a founder, it is imperative that you decide what it is you value most in an employee and plan your hiring decisions accordingly. You can establish whatever [...]
Love Me Do: Firing a Co-Founder
Last modified on September 23, 2015 at 12:48 am
This week, the Beatles’ first recording contract was sold at a New York auction. Even a novice Beatles fan, though, should notice something about the signatures on the contract: Ringo Starr’s name is not there. Peter Best, the band’s original [...]
A Startup Reality Distortion Field?
Posted on September 23, 2015 at 4:07 am
Who can be a founder, and how must one run a venture? In answering these questions, today's startup world presents a reality distortion field; should one remain within it?
Team First
Posted on September 23, 2015 at 1:01 am
Starting a team is key, but who should you choose? Better yet, who shouldn't you choose?
Minimum Viable Founder: No One Is Going To Eat This Chicken
Last modified on September 23, 2015 at 3:57 am
Only strong chickens breed unicorns. Be a strong chicken. Before we begin to perfect our arsenal of leadership qualities and skills, we should focus on a more fundamental question: how to sustain ourselves as entrepreneurs.
Timing matters, but assembling a team is at least within our control
Last modified on September 22, 2015 at 11:59 pm
On March 2015, at a TED conference, Bill Gross, founder of Idealab, presented his research outlining The single biggest reason why startups succeed, and after examining more than 200 companies, he suggested that “timing” accounted for 42% of a startups [...]
Age: Just a Number?
Upasana Unni
Upasana Unni
Last modified on September 23, 2015 at 2:25 am
What's the right age to found a startup? Do would-be founders over 30 have a chance?
Why finding a start up is comparable to looking for love…..
Last modified on September 23, 2015 at 4:13 am
  I’ve never been one to really think about marriage. However, when asked about my entrepreneurial path, I always advise folks to treat entrepreneurship like looking for “the one” in dating.  I’m no relationship expert but this analogy has really [...]
What is the most important reason why startups succeed?
Last modified on September 23, 2015 at 1:10 am
Given my interest in investing and hopefully launching a startup in the near future I have always been intrigued with trying to define the secret formula for success and the factors that actually matter the most for the success of [...]
Is Founding Selfish?
Last modified on September 23, 2015 at 12:57 am
Founding is all the rage these days. Is it deeply selfish, or the right decision for you?
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