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Dave's Essay Collection

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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How Conversion Rates Can Kill Innovation

Imagine that hundreds of prospects are visiting your landing page. If you could just turn them into loyal customers, you’ve got a business. My first instinct was to measure a series of conversion rates, but it didn’t...

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The Structure of the Perfect Pitch

When it comes to pitches, everyone’s a critic. But here’s a formula to help you grab someone’s attention—and hold it.

Business summaries aren’t really summaries

The need for short summaries comes up a...

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How To Become a World-Class Team

No team starts off world-class. It’s not enough to put a bunch of smart, accomplished people in a room and expect magic to happen. Here’s how to get your team on the path to world-class.

My first time as a manager...

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Why ‘Deductive Logic’ Beats ‘Strategic Logic’ Every Time

What’s going on when smart, analytical leaders make awful decisions? It turns out good logic and data aren’t enough to guarantee good decisions. Here’s how to spot bad reasoning and how to avoid it.

Strategic...

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