Our Thoughts

Jul 2016

Intuition Doesn’t Scale

As the culture of entrepreneurship continues its shift from reliance on paid consultants to volunteer mentors, we collectively cheer about the money we’re saving. But, this shift trades one problem for another. Mentors’ time is perhaps more precious than money. Yet,...
Jul 2016

Harnessing Communities’ Tacit Knowledge

This is a response to Brad Feld’s recently published book Startup Communities, which is summarized in a 3.5-minute video here. Feld’s “Boulder Thesis” is highly aligned with the research on fostering effective communities of practice. However, based on that...
Jul 2016

Startup Leaders: Quit Acting like NFL Coaches

Startup Leaders: Quit Acting like NFL Coaches
Professional football feeds on a reliable stream of incredibly talented, well trained players from top collegiate programs. Elite high school players jockey for scholarships, replacing graduating and drafted college talent. Football is inclusive at its lowest levels...
Oct 2015

Volunteer like a Rockstar

Volunteer like a Rockstar
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Oct 2015

When startup “cat food” isn’t cash

Leading your startup community involves quite a bit of cat herding. When you’re herding cats, it helps to have some cat food. It’s easy to convince yourself that the $30k or $300k you worked hard to secure from sponsors or tax payers is both the ultimate lure for...
Apr 2015

Valid Evaluation and the Kauffman Foundation Announce Data Collaboration Project

Evidence-based assessment data from experts in entrepreneurial communities offer promising insights Kansas City, Missouri • Denver, Colorado Today the Valid Evaluation (Valid Eval) and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation announce that they are collaborating on...
Jun 2014

StartX is NOT the Future of Accelerators. You are.

Chad Byers’ post about StartX (quoted below) makes some good points. But, lost in the “Stanford is Awesome” message is the much larger – although less obvious – trend that is emerging. Startup Communities are accelerating their own members. I am not arguing that...
May 2014

Get off the “Social Proof Bus”

  Parody Twitter account @BoredElonMusk shares a snarky (and legitimate) criticism of @angellist and its reliance on “social proof” to evaluate entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs seeking capital deserve...
Jun 2013

Contests’ Role in Fostering Innovation

Randall Wright gets it wrong in this MIT Tech Review piece, “Thinking of Running an Open Innovation Contest? Think Again.” Innovation and creating a culture that fosters it has little to do with the extrinsic rewards offered by a contest. But, other attributes...