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Category: Nuts & Bolts

Pitch Perfect: The Fundamentals of Great Pitch Decks

July 29, 2016 by Akira Hirai

Pitch Perfect: The Fundamentals of Great Pitch Decks

The pitch deck (or investor presentation) is often the first tool you’ll use to connect with potential investors. Its contents should help investors determine whether your business is the right opportunity for them. An effective pitch deck shares your business plan clearly and concisely, and it engages your audience on an emotional level as well. An effective pitch deck focuses on the problem or “pain point” your business addresses, how it does so, and who is on your management team. When you present your pitch, you have a terrific opportunity [Read More]

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Reboot: The Art of the Start 2.0

April 16, 2015 by Akira Hirai

The Art of the Start 2.0

Ten years after shaking up the world of entrepreneurship, Guy Kawasaki has fully updated his essential field guide to starting a business. The result: a book that’s both a reality check and an inspiration for the hopeful entrepreneur. The Art of the Start 2.0 revisits timeless topics like fundraising, pitching, and partnering – while adding fresh insights in areas like social media and crowdfunding – with Kawasaki’s signature frank-yet-refreshing acumen. The 2.0 version of this “battle-hardened guide” to starting a business is more relevant than ever. Despite historically-low startup rates, [Read More]

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Five Tips for Bootstrapping Your Startup

March 30, 2015 by Akira Hirai

Tips for Bootstrapping Your Startup

Most entrepreneurs can sidestep the frustration and distraction of finding angel investors or lenders to fund their startups, at least in the very early stages. Here are five tips that will help you bootstrap your startup with considerably less outside capital: Start virtual: An office is often a luxury which – thanks to ubiquitous online collaboration tools like me (screen sharing), Slack (instant messaging on steroids), Skype (voice and video communication), and Basecamp (project management) – is often superfluous. If you don’t actually need a physical location for your business, [Read More]

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Six Tips for Fostering Brand Evangelism

March 17, 2015 by Akira Hirai

Tips for Fostering Brand Evangelism

Loyal customers are more than repeat business – they are evangelists for your brand. Brand evangelists not only purchase your products, they promote your company to their social networks, both on and offline, and remain faithful even when your prices are not the lowest. Converting a dispassionate customer to a brand evangelist requires purposeful, positive relationship building, and these six tips are essential: Share your brand’s story: Brand loyalty is built by fostering a personal connection between the customer and the company. Creating that connection begins with learning to tell [Read More]

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Guy Kawasaki Entrepreneurship Course on Udemy

February 18, 2015 by Akira Hirai

Guy Kawasaki

I just received the following email from Guy Kawasaki: Hi there, Today, I’m opening my new Entrepreneurship course to the public!  The Essential Guide to Entrepreneurship is for you if you’re thinking about starting a company but unsure about designing a prototype, building a team, raising money, and launching your product. I’ve been working on this course for the past few months, and I hope it will bring you closer to your goals.  Today, I’m offering Lifetime Access to the course for 75% off ($49 instead of $199).  The course [Read More]

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First Impressions

June 30, 2014 by Jimmy Lewin and Akira Hirai

First Impressions

We recently came across a website called Visual-Signature (no longer live). The founder, Zainab Gibrine, is an image consultant and corporate executive based in Dubai. The site is focused on how job seekers and others can use their image to “advance their professional and personal ambitions.” We thought there were some interesting lessons to be learned for our readers who are primarily entrepreneurs. Ms. Gibrine suggests that “appearance, nonverbal communication, and body language all play a role in your interactions with others.” Our frequent readers realize that we are not [Read More]

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Licensing May be the Best Business Model for You

March 20, 2014 by Jimmy Lewin and Akira Hirai

Intellectual Property Licensing Business Model

Let’s face it, not every inventor, scientist, or engineer is cut out to be a great businessperson. If that sounds like you, then you may be better off employing a licensing model rather than a traditional business model for commercializing your intellectual property. Licensing puts the burden of commercializing your IP on somebody else’s shoulders. You will recall that earlier this week, in The Operating Model Just Might be Best for You, we explained the advantages of the traditional (often referred to as ‘operating’) model and promised to follow up [Read More]

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The Operating Model Just Might be Best for You

March 18, 2014 by Jimmy Lewin and Akira Hirai

The Operating Business Model

In our last post, Your IP Gives You Two Business Model Choices, we touched upon the differences between a traditional operating business model and a licensing business model. In that post, we said that in the traditional model, the owner of the intellectual property commercializes a product that is created out of their Intellectual Property. Alternatively, a licensing model is used when the owner of the IP licenses the innovation to another party in return for royalties. The other party then owns the rights to commercialize the IP by manufacturing [Read More]

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Your IP Gives You Two Business Model Choices

March 14, 2014 by Jimmy Lewin and Akira Hirai

Two Business Model Choices for Intellectual Property

You may recall a popular piece from September 2012, Licensing Your Intellectual Property for Fun and Profit. The point of the article was to describe the potentially lucrative, yet often overlooked business model of licensing technology to an independent company rather than building a company around the technology yourself. This post is the first of three that will cover the licensing vs. operating decision in greater depth. Here in part one we will give an overview of the two business models that owners of IP have to commercialize their technologies. [Read More]

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The Founder’s Dictionary 2014: Updated Startup Trends and Terminology

March 10, 2014 by Akira Hirai

Startup Terms

If you have spent any time reading sites like TechCrunch, Hacker News, or just about any startup blog or small business website, you’ve probably noticed that the tech startup field has more jargon and industry-specific terminology than most. At times it seems like its own separate language, and it can be tough for even an experienced entrepreneur to keep up. On top of all this, the startup landscape is shifting all the time, with new business models and funding opportunities emerging regularly. Sure, there is Urban Dictionary for slang, and [Read More]

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