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Dave's Essay Collection

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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How to Start Fundraising Without Asking For Money

If you’re reaching out to investors only when you need their money, you’re reaching out too late. Here’s how to start building relationships with investors before you need them.

Every founder I know lives and...

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How to Make Your Product Idea Sound Genius

A look back at early interviews with Facebook and Uber CEOs illustrates an ingenious way to communicate hard-to-describe products.

As a founder, I spend countless hours refining my elevator pitch and practising it every...

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Why Testing Your Competitors is an Awesome UX Hack

Here’s a little-known technique that helps you start learning from potential users without building anything at all.

A happy little accident

Before I launched my last startup, I spent a couple of weeks testing my idea...

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5 Reasons Why Founders Resist Marketing

Founders predictably underestimate the importance of hiring marketers. Here’s why many startups don’t get round to marketing their product until it’s too late.

The Builder’s Dream

As CEO of my last...

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