Startups aren’t businesses. They’re speculations.

Once a founder is out on the road pitching their business to investors, they often face the harsh reality that the investors are “grading” them based on a set of metrics, milestones, and indicators that help the investor determine if the startup is investable, if it’s a good bet. Meanwhile, the founder has already gone all in — investing all of their time, energy, creativity, and money into their dream.

The Accelerator Model isn’t dead, but it needs to evolve

The world is moving and changing incredibly fast. Someday, we’ll have as many accelerators in the world as there are currently colleges and universities. As we evolve the accelerator model, I believe this is how we’ll train people to create value in an uncertain and ever-changing world. In order to reach that point, we need to think critically about what currently works and doesn’t about the accelerator model. And then we need to ambitiously embrace experimentation and continuous improvement.

Introducing Fluent & my 2018 BHAG

One of the things I love most about working in the startup space is the expectation to always level up and to find the next harder challenge after gaining some mastery at the current level. Having been a founder in an accelerator first, building a startup over the past six years, and then transitioning to managing an accelerator for the past two years, I have a unique point of view on the design and implementation of accelerators.

You say Progress. I say Traction. What do we mean?

Startupland was once an uncharted business frontier, but we now have our own satirical TV show. This “industry” is developed enough to have more fully-defined concepts that we can all rally around. It’s time we speak a common language for thinking about the very earliest, most nebulous stages of startup formation.

Five questions for (very) early-stage founders

If I asked you right now what your startup needs the most, I bet I could predict how you’d respond – “I need capital”. It’s the way almost every startup founder, at any stage, responds. I hear you, even if I don’t agree. Your startup is really nothing more than a big collection of assumptions around an identified problem and a possible solution. You need a roadmap for working through those assumptions efficiently, so you know you’re in the best position possible for success.