Dave's Essay Collection

How to Define a Killer Distribution Strategy

According to Peter Thiel, “Poor distribution—not product—is the number one cause of failure.” Here’s a smart way to think about your distribution strategy.

My favourite lecture at Stanford...

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Why Founders Hate Consultants

Engaging founders is an art. In 10 years of working with startups, I’ve learned that some approaches work better than others.

I’ve worked with startups in a variety of professional formats: at Downing Ventures...

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How to Deconstruct your Customer's Need

They say that every great business addresses a real customer need. If expressing your customer need has ever felt slippery, this is for you.

As Steve Jobs said: you have to start with the customer experience...

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How Systems of Accountability Help Startups Execute Faster

Making yourself more accountable can speed up your decision making and help you build a stronger business.

Autonomy is liberating. As CEO, it’s up to me to decide what I should focus on today. But this power has a dark...

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How to Charm Potential Investors

It takes more than a good pitch to make investors love you. Here are some behaviours that make a great impression on the other side of the table.

I’ve given many hundreds of pitches as an entrepreneur, but it’s only...

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Why Online Marketplaces Exist in Some Markets and Not in Others

My failed events app taught me that lead-generation businesses need more than just great execution to succeed.

Three years ago, when marketplaces were on trend, I founded a company called Spotnight to help customers...

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What You Should Ask Every Advisor

Too many decisions and too little data? Forget about asking for opinions on what to do—try asking this question instead.

I’m part of a large startup group on Facebook called ‘London Startups’. Every so...

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4 Questions to Discover If You Have a Disruptive Innovation

Airbnb and Uber are both high-growth startups—yet only one of them is disruptive. Do you know which one it is?

I used to think that disruption referred to any dramatic breakthrough innovation in a certain field. When I...

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How to Spot Bad Startup Ideas

Have you ever met a founder who’s convinced they’re solving a problem . . . but it’s a problem that doesn’t exist? Here are some ways to tell if you’re kidding yourself (if you’re...

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How Early-Stage Investment Can Decrease Your Chances of Success

When entrepreneurs ask me how to raise the money to build their product idea, my answer is always the same: you’re asking the wrong question.

I’ve managed to raise investment from a PowerPoint presentation twice...

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