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Dave's Essay Collection

How to Use Permissions and Commitments to Make Meetings Shorter

Starting meetings with three simple questions can help you control even the most difficult of participants.

Meetings are unavoidable. Team meetings, planning meetings, feedback meetings, one-on-ones, reviews, retrospectives,...

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How to Manage Perfectionism on your Team

What’s the most common answer to the question, ‘What’s your biggest weakness?’ Of course, it’s, ‘I’m a bit of a perfectionist.’ For many of us, perfectionism is a humble brag. My...

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How to Coach Your Team and Get The Result You Want

If you’ve ever found it difficult to get the results you want from other people, try this simple management technique.

Like most of the founders I meet, when I started my first business, I was new to managing...

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The Key Elements of a Startup’s Vision

We expect our leaders to have a ‘vision’. If you’ve ever felt your vision was hard to capture, you’re not alone.

The term vision was always too fluffy for my liking. It...

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The Technical Skills that Every Founder Should Learn

Expectations on founders have never been higher—not just from investors but from talented employees, too. Here’s how to create your way into business.

Ten years ago, I raised money with a PowerPoint...

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How to Attract Top Talent to Your Startup

What do Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg and David Ogilvy have in common? They all share the philosophy that people are your most important asset.

A-plus players like to work together, and they don’t like it if you...
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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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