The Blade

Thoughts for entrepreneurs from someone who's been in the trenches.

How to Negotiate Over-the-top Sales Contracts with Big Companies

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This is a fairly typical ‘big [company] MSA [Master Services Agreement], with lots of overreach and terms that are not applicable to the nature of your services. This is why the issues list is lengthy.”

          -Email from my attorney after reviewing a sales agreement with a large company

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1-Minute Rant: “What’s My Age Again?”

When I was 29 and starting First Research I was young and energetic with very few distractions to slow me down. Read More

1-Minute Rant: “Pitch Perfect”

One of my favorite arcade games growing up was Galaga. I dominated, but the coolest part was at the end it told me the percentage of shots hit versus missed. Read More

The One Thing that Prevents Most Startups from Succeeding

 

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Why do so many startups struggle getting off the ground?

First, let’s begin with their products. Most new products are incomplete (explained in Geoffrey Moore’s excellent book, Crossing the Chasm); they lack features that users expect; they have no brand name recognition; their teams are “two guys and a dog”; the problem the product is solving is yet to be obvious to most buyers; they don’t have competitors to validate their value. Read More

This Industry is Ripe for the Pickin’

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In 2016, Wells Fargo’s Wealth and Investment Management Division earned $3.9 billion on $15.9 billion in revenue – a 24.5% pre-tax margin. JP Morgan Chase’s Asset & Wealth Division earned $3.5 billion on $12.0 billion in revenue – 29% margin. Bank of America Global Wealth, that boasts 18,688 wealth advisors, earned 23%. Shall I go on? Read More

1-Minute Rant: “Think Hard About How You Pitch Your Idea”

When I was starting my first company First Research, I was down-right awful at explaining my idea. Read More

1-Minute Rant: “5 Tips to Improve Working with Contractors”

Just about all founders must work with contractors to get stuff done. We simply don’t have the time or skills to do it all. Read More

3 “Sports” Businesses That Need Disruption

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Our enjoyment for playing and watching sports has created seriously flawed business models. Beware of these scams under the guise of “nonprofit” operations, which earn executives millions. Read More

1-Minute Rant: “Gettin’ Dirty”

Think about what we know about how Steve Jobs managed Apple. Read More

1-Minute Rant: “Screw Ups Happen”

One year ago, I published “Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover” & Other Embarrassing Startup Moments”. I’ve done a lot of stupid things Read More