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99Designs—Design Done Better

Whenever I start a new business, one of the first things I need to do is get a corporate logo; most people don’t think a business is real until it has a logo. It’s a pain in the neck, and pretty expensive–both in time and money. First, I have to...

Prostitution, Drugs, Pornography, Gambling, and Religion

Silicon Valley is obsessed with business models. It’s one of the first questions we ask about any new venture: “What’s the business model?” When I was teaching Entrepreneurship in High Technology at Stanford in the early 1990s, and later...

How to Get a Rock-Star Understanding of Your Market

How do you describe your market? When I ask people to describe their market, they often say something like, “Most of our customers are in their mid-20s, just out of college.” Or they might use titles: “Our customers are CIOs at healthcare...

You Know You Are An Entrepreneur When?

A few years ago I met a venture capitalist who tried to impress me with his entrepreneurial credentials. “I’ve always been an entrepreneur!” he proclaimed. “After I graduated I immediately joined a little startup, named Yahoo!” He looked...

Three Essentials for Healthy Entrepreneurship

A few weeks ago I was meeting with a woman at Stanford.  She is a Visiting Scholar, from Kyushu University where she studies innovation in the Japanese automotive and semiconductor industries. Over coffee at Bytes, she shared with me her model of innovation.  In it,...