The Bootstrapper's Bible

"The Entrepreneur's Essentials", my free ebook, is in progress

I’ve been writing a lot lately, just not here on Lucky7. I finally decided to compile and refresh some of my best posts over the years into a free ebook named “The Entrepreneur’s Essentials”. In this article, the Austin Business Journal interviewed me about doing so. It is really fun to reflect on what I wrote years ago and have been applying to for the past three years. If you would like to check it out, head on over to Medium. Here are the four lessons I’ve written so far:

  1. The Entrepreneur’s Essentials #1: How to leverage advisors and investors as your extended team

  2. The Entrepreneur’s Essentials #2: What’s in a name?

  3. The Entrepreneur’s Essentials #3: The five critical ingredients to build a big company

  4. The Entrepreneur’s Essentials #4: Seven lessons learned on the journey from founder to CEO

Capital efficiency on the way to IPO revisited, and a PandoDaily memo to YC's class

In December of last year, I wrote a Lucky7 post about our capital efficiency at Bazaarvoice on the way to IPO.

Quoting from my post:

As I pointed out in my "Bootstrap or VC?" post, we raised around $24 million and had around $12 million left in the bank when we went public. You can build a better culture if you are capital efficient, and also have a bigger economic ripple effect. I'll write more on that some other time, but for now I'm proud we were able to scale 75% more efficiently, on average, on our own path to IPO.

This week, PandoDaily had an in-depth memo written by Ben Sesser, a serial entrepreneur, and sent to me by a friend and new startup CEO in Silicon Valley. It was written for this year's Y Combinator class and the topic was how hot SaaS (Software as a Service) is right now (therefore attracting more entrepreneurs and capital to fund them) but also how hard it is to execute on. Ben analyzed recent SaaS IPOs, including Bazaarvoice, to make his point. As our co-founder and CEO from inception through IPO, follow-on offering, and two acquisitions (PowerReviews and Longboard Media) and now as our Vice Chairman of the Board, I was proud to see him include the stats on Bazaarvoice compared to other recent SaaS IPOs. Here are three of the charts he included:

Middle-aged entrepreneurs - this is your five-step program to freedom

Middle-aged entrepreneurs - this is your five-step program to freedom

We are at the tail-end of RISE week here in beautiful Austin. If I was an aspiring entrepreneur, I would take a vacation during RISE week and attend as many sessions as I could. I was happy to do my part and present on fundraising both Monday at Austin Ventures as well as Tuesday along with panelists from CTAN (the Central Texas Angel Network). And, overall, it has been another great week for Austin, with TechStars announcing their launch, which I wrote about in this Lucky7 post.

Time is money, money is time, or something different?

It has been awhile since I've posted as I've had three conferences back to back, including the main TED conference in Long Beach, our own Bazaarvoice Summit in Austin, and then SXSWi. So it is perhaps ironic that I write this philosophical post about time.

Benjamin Franklin was famous for saying many things and one of them was "remember that time is money" (you can read his full quote here). In my new journey as an angel and VC investor and entrepreneurial coach, I've been having many conversations with those that have been in these fields for longer than I have. In the first half of my life, I've been singularly focused on changing the world through technology - as the entrepreneur myself versus through others. One of the more stirring conversations I had recently was with a successful investor that said, "what use is money with no time". He was frustrated in that he had a lot of money but that it had chained him to have little time and he was vigorously trying to change that.

The five critical ingredients to build a big company

I'm going to greatly expand on this topic, so I'll keep this post as short as possible. I could write a book on this post alone. For now, I want to quickly get down my thoughts on the five most critical ingredients to build a big company - one that changes the world and creates a lot of jobs and economic impact. Here are the ingredients: