November 2, 2017

How Venture Capital Firms Work, for Entrepreneurs and Startups

A couple of months ago, I was doing an internal lunch & learn for senior managers, and the topic came up as to “how do our VC firms work?”  In the spirit of deeply understanding our customers’ businesses in order to better serve them, I thought the same would be true of our investors and Board members – that educating our team on the inner workings and economics of our investors would lead to greater empathy of one of our other key stakeholders. So with no small amount of help from my long-time investor and director Brad Feld and his colleague Jason Mendelson, whose book Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist I contributed to in a very small way by writing a series of sidebars called “The Entrepreneur’s Perspective” (that process led to my writing Startup CEO), I pulled together this presentation available on Slideshare entitled How Venture Capital Firms Work and Why You Should Care. I redacted our cap table and pictures of our VCs, but otherwise, feel free to use it with your own management team, or even your whole company.


January 7, 2014

Startup CEO: The Online Course

As most of you know by now, I wrote a book that was published last fall called Startup CEO:  A Field Guide to Scaling Up Your Business.  I’m excited to announce that, starting on January 20th, the book has now been turned into Kauffman Fellows Academy (KFA) online course called Startup CEO.  Similarly, Brad Feld and Jason Mendelson’s highly successful Venture Deals is also going to launch as Venture Deals KFA online course on February 24th. Both will be offered initially on the NovoEd platform. The parties involved in getting it off the ground (besides me) were the team at Kauffman Fellows Academy and NovoEd.  Clint Korver, a serial entrepreneur and Stanford adjunct professor, […]


November 14, 2013

Startup CEO “Bibliography”

Startup CEO “Bibliography” A couple people who read Startup CEO:  A Field Guide to Scaling Up Your Business asked me if I would publish a list of all the other business books I refer to over the course of the book.  Here it is — I guess in some respects an all-time favorite list for me of business books. The Lean Startup by Eric Ries The Four Steps to the Epiphany by Steven Gary Blank Running Lean by Ash Maurya The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Customer Development: A Cheat Sheet to the Four Steps to the Epiphany by Brant Cooper and […]


September 3, 2013

Startup CEO (OnlyOnce- the book!), Part IV – Book Launches Today!

Startup CEO (OnlyOnce- the book!), Part IV – Book Launches Today! My book is officially on sale on Amazon and iTunes today.  The full detailed outline is here if you’re interested, and the link to buy it is here. This is very exciting.  I had been saying for a while that I had no idea whether 50 people would buy it or 5,000, but the publisher (Wiley) tells me we had over 2,000 pre-orders, so that’s a great start, at least. So thanks to those 2,000 brave souls, and anyone else who buys it as well.  I hope you enjoy […]


July 9, 2013

Startup CEO (OnlyOnce- the book!), Part III – Pre-Order Now

Startup CEO (OnlyOnce – the book!), Part III – Pre-Order Now My book, Startup CEO:  A Field Guide to Scaling Up Your Business, is now available for pre-order on Amazon in multiple formats (Print, Kindle), which is an exciting milestone in this project!  The book is due out right after Labor Day, but Brad Feld tells me that the more pre-orders I have, the better.  Please pardon the self-promotion, but click away if you’re interested! Here are a few quick thoughts about the book, though I’ll post more about it and the process at some point: I’ll be using the […]


June 27, 2013

Book Short: Tales of Two Cities

Book Short:  Tales of Two Cities Return Path is basically dual-headquartered in New York City and Broomfield, Colorado, so two recently published books which provide history and insights into the tech industry in those two cities were both of interest to me. Startup Communities: Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Your City, by Brad Feld (book, kindle) came out a few months ago and is part of Brad’s Startup Revolution series which will also include my upcoming book Startup CEO, to be published this fall.  In the book, Brad uses the example of the Boulder/Denver area and a few different sectors […]


December 20, 2012

Startup CEO (OnlyOnce- the book!), Part II – Crowdsourcing the Outline

Startup CEO (OnlyOnce- the book!), Part II – Crowdsourcing the Outline As I mentioned a few weeks ago here, I’m excited to be writing a book called Startup CEO:  A Field Guide to Building and Running Your Company, to be published by Wiley & Sons next summer.  Since many readers of OnlyOnce are my target audience for the book, I thought I’d post my current outline and ask for input and feedback on it.  So here it is, still a bit of a work in progress.  Please comment away and let me know what you think, what’s missing, what’s not […]


November 6, 2012

Startup CEO (OnlyOnce- the book!)

Startup CEO (OnlyOnce – the book!) One of the things I’ve often thought over the years since starting Return Path in 1999 is that there’s no instruction manual anywhere for how to be a CEO.  While big company CEOs are usually groomed for the job for years, startup CEOs aren’t…and they’re often young and relatively inexperienced in business in general.  That became one of the driving forces behind the creation of my blog, OnlyOnce (because “you’re only a first time CEO once”) back in 2004. Now, over 700 blog posts later, I’m excited to announce that I’m writing a book […]