Dave's Essay Collection

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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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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