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Startups: How to Do PR, Find Investors, & Deal with Failure (Work Management Roundup)
Leadership 3 min read

Startups: How to Do PR, Find Investors, & Deal with Failure (Work Management Roundup)

Welcome back to the weekly Work Management Roundup, where we bring you the best reads from around the web on productivity, work, and management. This week, we shine a spotlight on startups: how to do PR before you launch, how to find investors, what to ask job candidates, and even how to deal with failure. Read on! 10 PR Strategies to Follow When Launching a Startup (Pressfarm): You don't just launch on the day itself, you need to prepare weeks before. This article walks you through 10 steps to do BEFORE the official birth of your startup. This Is Why So Many Entrepreneurs Can’t Find Investors (Fortune): In this opinion piece by Wrike CEO Andrew Filev, he argues that startups should move away from asking for investors in order to finance their product development. Instead, new companies should bootstrap until their product gains an audience and some traction before seeking funding. We Got 10 CEOs to Tell Us Their One Killer Interview Question for New Hires (Quartz): While some of these questions resemble the eternal favorite "Where do you see yourself in five years?", there are a few that are unique. Whether you're searching or hiring, it's a good idea to take a look at what these CEOs consider the killer question that reveals the most about job candidates. Treat Failure Like a Scientist (James Clear): With each experiment a scientist does, every failure becomes a data point that eventually leads to the right answer. Therefore, when failure comes, instead of sobbing in the pouring rain, roll up your sleeves and try again. The Quarter of a Trillion Dollar App Bonfire (Medium): When 80% of the 1.2 million apps in the App store are considered "zombie apps" because they have so few users, it prompts the question: how did there get to be so many? The simplest answer: developers built their apps without first figuring out if there was a real audience for their product. A team is united when it sees the same vision. Anant Mediratta, CEO & Founder of WiseCalvin says: “Get your team on the same page, aiming for the same goal. Sit down with the team and explain your short- and long-term goal, and be open to their suggestions. Discuss how you have planned to hit those goals, and then assign each of them their respective work.” #wrike Copy and paste the URL into your browser to read the full blog post: ------->>>>>>> http://bit.ly/18TeamTips A photo posted by Wrike (@wriketeam) on Feb 24, 2016 at 7:19am PST More Work Management Reads Think About This: Why I Quit Google Inbox (Medium) E-Commerce: Convenience Built on a Mountain of Cardboard (The New York Times) How People Learn to Become Resilient (The New Yorker) Go Try This: 7 Tips for Getting More Responses to Your Emails (With Data!) (Boomerang) How to Build the Perfect Team (Slideshare) How To Market YouTube Videos More Effectively (Small Business Trends) Browse The Work Management Roundup on Flipboard If you use Flipboard on your mobile device, you can check out these links (and more!) via The Work Management Roundup magazine. View my Flipboard Magazine.

11 Internet of Things Startups to Watch  (Infographic)
Marketing 3 min read

11 "Internet of Things" Startups to Watch (Infographic)

It's poised to become the largest device market in the world. One research group estimates that by 2019, it will be more than double the size of the smartphone, PC, tablet, connected car, and wearable markets combined.  Samsung even pledged a funding pool of more than $100 million for startups that want to help build the South Korean manufacturer's vision of an entirely open ecosystem for these Net-enabled devices, so that they all speak the same language.  We're talking about the Internet of Things (IoT) — a term referring to consumer devices, appliances, and services that connect to networks to send and receive data. When you use your mobile device to access a remote wifi security camera you've installed in your home, you're using IoT. Brands like Nest thermostats and Dropcam wifi cameras (both now acquired by Google), or Jawbone and the entire wearable devices industry are IoT. And there are several hundred more companies in the space.  We took a look at eight of the hottest, most interesting, most buzzed-about IoT startups, plus 3 established brands to compile this infographic of companies we think will make it big in 2015.  Like our infographic? Share it easily using our embed code: Infographic brought to you byWrike Do you agree with our predictions? Or are there other IoT startups you feel are more poised for success this year?  Hit the comments and speak your mind. 

30 Startup Founders Share Their Entrepreneurship Advice
Leadership 10 min read

30 Startup Founders Share Their Entrepreneurship Advice

When you've formulated a new business idea in your head, where do you go for advice on how to make your dream a reality? Your parents? Best friend? Google? These sources almost always have opinions to share, but unless your BFF is an entrepreneur, you might be getting just that — an opinion. It's better to take your advice from experts instead.  We asked 30 experienced business founders and CEOs to share their best piece of advice for new entrepreneurs in any space. If you're confused about what to focus on, how to hire a great team, or ways to prove you're a worthy leader, skip the Googling and read what these successful founders have to say. On Following Your Passion The only thing that will get you through the tough times of being an entrepreneur — and there will be many of those — is being very singular and passionate about what you are doing. If you're not, if you're chasing money or anything else, then the highs and lows of startup life will absolutely wear you out. —Andrew Filev, Founder/CEO @ Wrike If your only goal in your business is to make money, don't bother. Find something you can be passionate about and run with it. Find other people who are committed to the same cause or passion as you, and divide and conquer. —Blair Nastasi, Founder/CEO @ Media Moguls PR Give it your all. You really can't try and start a business and give 50% effort. You need to dedicate as much time and resources to your endeavor as possible. I would also recommend having some skin in the game. Obviously, your time is important but when you invest your own money into the business, it will just make you work even harder. —Jason Parks, Owner @ The Media Captain On the Mental Hardships of Being a Founder There's nothing better than starting your own business but you have to be OK with the ups and downs. You are going to have higher highs and lower lows than you've ever had before. From an emotional standpoint, you need to be ok with this. But in the end I'd advise "just do it." —Will von Bernuth, Co-founder @ Block Island Organics You will have setbacks. They are normal, but the ones who will be successful think outside the box and figure a new way around the setbacks to push them ahead. You need to be innovative and have a different state of mind then the rest. —Marc Appelbaum, Founder/CEO @ Global Branding Central On Smart Business Planning and Change Keep a nimble mind. It's good that you want to stick to your vision, after all it's your baby, but things change along the way. Don't be afraid to embrace change and mix things up. —Brad Zomick, Co-founder/Senior Director of Content @ SkilledUp Double everything. It's like a home remodeling project. If they say it will take 2 weeks to complete a project it will probably be 4 weeks. Same goes for money. If you think it will cost $5,000 it will probably be $10,000. —Kimberly Rath, Co-founder/Chairman @ Talent Plus, Inc. On Growing Your Business I think the most important thing for young entrepreneurs to have is focus. It's not a lack of capital that kills startups, it’s lack of bandwidth. If the idea is good enough, there will be plenty of time to leverage it out to other aspects of the market. Stick to your knitting in the early stage and give yourself the opportunity to expand focus once you have the credibility of the core idea’s success. —Luke Schneider, CEO @ Silvercar [Don't] scale too quickly. It can be appealing to try and get your product out there as fast as possible, but it doesn't always work out. Repositioning and improving your product cannot be considered failures. —Nabeel Mushtaq, Co-founder/COO @ AskforTask.com Have patience. Ideas and businesses are not created overnight. Things will tend to take longer than expected, whether that is fundraising, product development cycles, customer acquisition, etc.... In Silicon Valley, this is tough, because the whole culture here is built around a short-term focus of how quickly you can grow. Have resilience and don't give up so quickly. Survive another day and keep at it. Those who have patience and resilience will eventually find success. —Jonathan Tang, Founder/CEO @ Vastrm Understand what market segment you service and market only to that segment. Become the leader in some aspect of your industry such that no competitor can ever come close to replicating your model. —Louis Altman, Founder/CEO @ GlobaFone On Carefully Accepting and Incorporating Feedback Get plugged in with the entrepreneurship community in your city/state. There are a lot of people there who have done it before and can give you rock solid advice. —Sean Higgins, Co-founder @ ilos Videos Be careful who you choose to listen to. Too much of the wrong feedback and ideas can choke your creativity and your beliefs. Feedback is the lifeblood of a startup, but you need to be able to put the feedback in context. Does the person giving you feedback share your lens? Do they fit your target persona? —Nick Kellet, Co-founder @ Listly Everybody will tell you what you're supposed to do, if you ask them. Don't ask, just figure out what kind of company you wish existed — and make it. Maybe it'll succeed, maybe it'll fail, but either way your odds are best if you trust your instincts and ignore the naysayers. —David Barrett, Founder/CEO @ Expensify On Talking to Your Customers If you haven’t spent at least as much time talking to your customers as you have building your prototype, stop and go have as many conversations as you possibly can. Ask open-ended questions about people’s experiences and challenges and listen very carefully to the words they use. You’ll get more game-changing insights about your product, messaging, positioning and sales strategy than you could ever learn from reading business books. —Alex Turnbull, Founder/CEO @ Groove On Failure and Success “Act more. Think less.” I believe that many entrepreneurs can suffer from “analysis paralysis” and overthink themselves to inaction, which lets valuable opportunities slip through their fingers. I encourage my employees to be proactive in their roles and learn from their experiences — good and bad. Failure isn’t a negative, as long as you learn from what you did! —Rob Bellenfant, Founder/CEO @ TechnologyAdvice It's so important to celebrate the small wins. When you venture into entrepreneurship for the first time, experiencing the frequent and unpredictable ups and downs can be unsettling. Every day is a journey and the low moments of uncertainty and doubt are inevitable. You will question yourself, your model, your team. When that tide turns again (which it will), take the time to celebrate and reflect on that win. It will serve as your foundation for the next bumpy ride. —Samantha Laliberte, Co-founder @ Ezzy Lynn On Leadership The secret of leadership is to create more leaders. You do that by giving up responsibility and [letting] the other person fail on their own. We never learn from others' teachings, we learn from our experiences; please let your managers/leaders grow the same way. —Annkur P. Agarwal, Founder @ PriceBaba.com I really encourage any aspiring entrepreneur to view themselves as the archetypal member of the team — focus on building habits and behavior that they want to see in others and that will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. —Colin M. Darretta, Founder/CEO @ WellPath Solutions Read, learn, and read some more! The amount of information that can be found on the web is incredible. And don't forget about books — How to Win Friends and Influence People, Lincoln on Leadership, and The Big Leap are great places to start. As a leader, you need to be good at a lot of stuff. Start rounding out your hard edges so that you can make yourself easier to work with. —Arsham Mirshah & Chris Mechanic, Co-founders @  WebMechanix On Hiring a Great Team Never, ever, settle on a co-founder. If it's not right, take a pause. Even if you have to drop the project entirely for a while. Even if you fall far behind. Because a great co-founder will just take you to so many amazing places, so much faster. —Jason Lemkin, Co-Founder/CEO @ Echosign and SaaStr Get great at recruiting, interviewing, hiring, and onboarding. Building a world-class team is perhaps the single greatest talent a leader can have, but in my experience, few new entrepreneurs recognize it — let alone work deliberately to develop their skills in this area. —Ben Landers, Founder/President/CEO @ Blue Corona Build a team of people that aspire. You don’t want the person who is the best in the field, you want the person who desperately wants to be that person. —Jessica Jessup, Co-founder @ Giftovus Hire for the person and personality first, specific work skills second. Does the person have the smarts and people skills? Do they have the hunger and determination to succeed? If so, their specific prior work experience is less important, particularly because in a startup everyone wears so many different hats. —Alex Moazed, President/CEO @ Applico My one piece of advice for budding entrepreneurs is to hire people who compliment each other. Not everyone needs to have the same personality to have a great culture. Find complimentary people who work well together. Make sure that the team is involved in the hiring process so there is buy-in. —Deborah Sweeney, CEO @ MyCorporation.com On Remote Employees Actively embrace remote working and invest in the right tools that make it easy. Location shouldn't matter anymore. Embracing this means that you can hire the best people — not just the best people in the vicinity. —Sam Bruce, Co-founder @ muchbetteradventures.com On Nurturing Your Company Culture Culture is something that you should manage intentionally. Culture is not a ping-pong table, beer, and a dog-friendly office. Culture is a competitive advantage and it will be the thing that helps your employees deliver great work. Start by taking the time to identify your values as a company. Then write them down, post them on the wall, and revisit them on a quarterly basis. —Chris Ostoich, Founder @ BlackbookHR Your employees are your most valuable asset. Even more important than your first funding round or your attempts at going viral. You must focus on creating a work environment that is empowering, flexible, and enjoyable, especially if you’re looking to hire millennial-aged (or younger) talent. Also focus on hiring people much smarter than you — if you’re not, you’ve got it all wrong. —Clayton Dean, Co-Founder/Managing Director @ Circa Interactive A culture will naturally evolve and as a business owner it's your job to pay attention and be a catalyst for that culture. If you see employees all heading to the gym over lunch, offer to pay for gym memberships. Try and recognize culture shifts and help your employees bloom. —Jim Belosic, CEO @ ShortStack Share our slideshare! 12 Founders Share Their Entrepreneurial Wisdom What's your best piece of business advice? You may not be a business founder or a startup whiz, but we know you have business lessons to share. Hit the comments and teach our readers something new. Related Reads: The 7 Deadly Sins of Bad Startup Leaders Top 10 Reasons Startups Fail (Infographic) 7 Ways to Fund Your Startup (Infographic)

5 Rules for the Solopreneur's Success
Leadership 5 min read

5 Rules for the Solopreneur's Success

Ever considered a possibility of self-employment? While the idea of autonomously balancing your career and personal life appeals to everyone, there's hard work behind it. So if you wish to be your own boss, here are the 5 rules I would suggest taking into account:   1. Acquire good time-management habits   When working solo, you have to wear all the hats – administrator, marketer, the actual service provider, just to name a few. To avoid being lured into spending 12 hours a day at a computer, get the most of your time.     Make yourself a list of the 3-5 things you must accomplish today. Once you've prioritized, block out your time and work on these things distraction-free. Know that you cannot interrupt yourself until the most important of those things is done.    2. If you want a job done perfectly, hire a professional!   The typical solopreneur is easily tempted to become workaholic, never feeling that their work is done. But it's rather misleading to think that you don't need (or want) anyone. Even if you believe that you can simply do everything better by yourself, it's always good to have others who can challenge your ideas a bit.    Once you start to establish the processes to make yourself successful, hiring freelancers helps you get things done that you wouldn't normally be able to do on your own – without the overhead of full-time employees. Here are a couple websites I usually use: elance.com, odesk.com ...   3. Effective communication is king   Communication is paramount for any business. When dealing with remote clients and freelancers, it's crucial to have a powerful system in place to turn your online discussions into something very close to the face-to-face meetings. I use Wrike project management software for this purpose.    So, for example, when I have a task assigned to a client, they know the project doesn't go forward until their portion is done – and they clearly see that within Wrike. I also can sift through tons of e-mails in a snap. I turn e-mails into tasks and receive notifications when tasks are completed, having seamless collaboration automatized.   4. Celebrate your achievements   Outside of the office cubes and corporate ladders, it's easy to lose sight of how much you've moved forward in your work. That's why it's very important to regularly track the progress of your accomplishments.    I like to see what I need to accomplish in a day, week or month. I have a lot of different projects to juggle, and it's crucial that I do not drop the ball on any of them. I like to use Wrike's "Table View" to view my task lists across all projects. If I'm feeling bogged down, I filter by "Overdue" or "Due Today" to allow me to focus on what needs to get done first. I make sure that I write comments in every task and log my time so that I know I'm not spending too much time on one thing.   5. Access work when needed - anytime, anywhere   Solopreneurship takes devotion and diligence, and these things do not at all involve being tied up to a certain workplace or work hours.    As a person who is constantly multitasking, I like being able to add or view something crucial from my phone. It's also really nice to easily access documents on the go. And it's all available in Wrike project management software, whether I'm working from my home office, Starbucks or the beach.     Are you doing any of the above as a solopreneur or in the hustle of full-time work? You are very welcome to share your experience here with us!

Perfecting Your Startup Investor Pitch Deck: 3 Essential Links
Leadership 3 min read

Perfecting Your Startup Investor Pitch Deck: 3 Essential Links

One of the highlights of being an entrepreneur is telling people about the amazing startup you've built — whether to attract investors, users, or prospective hires. It's a highlight as well as possibly the most nerve-wracking moment of an entrepreneur's life: that moment when you're before an audience, alone with your pitch deck, trying to communicate why they should care enough to invest their time or money in your company.  The art of creating your startup's pitch deck is one that has wrought a thousand and one blog posts. There is a lot of advice out there, given out by angel investors and successful startup CEOs alike. You can even access a host of decks written with startups in mind on Slideshare.  Having combed through a myriad of resources, we've concluded that these three links below are absolutely essential to crafting and polishing your startup's pitch deck. Ignore them at your own peril. 1. Reid Hoffman & LinkedIn's Successful Series B pitch to Greylock A decade after it was presented in 2004, this deck is still essential. It's an amazing resource, showing each slide along with accompanying insight from Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn's co-founder (and current investor at Greylock Partners). Hoffman offers advice on how entrepreneurs should approach the pitch process, while providing context for the tech climate of 2004.  Best Tips:  Open with your investment thesis: what prospective investors must believe in order to want to invest in your company.  Steer toward objections. There will be a few issues that could present problems for your financing — address them head on. 2. Guy Kawasaki's Pitch Deck Template Pitch Deck Template by Guy Kawasaki from Quintin Adamis Back in 2012, author, noted entrepreneur, and chief evangelist Guy Kawasaki posted an alternative pitch deck template on his blog. You can download the full PowerPoint here. He discusses the pitch deck formula in depth within the post, giving pointers that he says no investor will actually tell you, because it's always easier for them to smile and say, "That's interesting."  Best Tips: When it comes to PowerPoint pitches for your company, think "Hot Or Not", not eHarmony. Your investors decide if your company is “hot or not” in a matter of seconds. According to Kawasaki, the best-case outcome of a pitch is not a request for money wiring instructions. There is a more important goal: rising above the noise and avoiding elimination. You want to “live another day” and get to the next stage: due diligence. 3. Crowdfunder's Investor Pitch Deck Template Over on Forbes, Chance Barnett, CEO of Crowdfunder.com, contributes a downloadable PowerPoint deck template that distills the investor pitch formula down to 11 core slides every deck needs in order to get its point across clearly. Barnett's pitch deck formula is based on his extensive experience raising money for his own ventures, as well as looking at over 10,000 pitch decks on Crowdfunder. You can download his Investor Pitch Deck Template (PPT) here.  Best Tips: Including too much information in your initial pitch can be counterproductive. You want to leave some questions unanswered, hit the big points in a clear way, and avoid over-sharing. Put key numbers and traction at the very beginning. This grabs attention and clarifies the market opportunity, especially if the numbers are good.  What other pitch deck advice do you have? Do you have suggestions of pitch decks that should join this list? Hit the comments and show us the light. 

How 5 Famous Startups Got Funding
Leadership 5 min read

How 5 Famous Startups Got Funding

You’ve been bitten by the entrepreneurial bug. You're dreaming about launching your own startup, bringing your ideas to life, and surrounding yourself with a team of people all working to build something great. Suddenly your wallet gives you a wakeup call: where are you going to get the money? Unless you win the lottery or know some impressive counterfeiting techniques, you’re going to need to raise a decent amount of cash. There are a bunch of different ways to finance your startup, and we’ve got the scoop on 5 tech giants that each pursued a different funding strategy on their way to becoming household names. 1. Bootstrapping GoPro “I moved back in with my parents and went to work seven days a week, 20 hours a day.”  —Nicholas Woodman In 2002, a surfing trip to Australia got Nicholas Woodman thinking: how great would it be to have a camera that could capture his POV as he caught a wave? He took $265,000, scrounged up from personal savings and borrowed from his parents, to develop his camera. Woodman took early products to trade shows, growing GoPro slowly until the company started to generate its own revenue. A fervent proponent of bootstrapping, Woodman held out as long as he could before taking on outside funding. It wasn’t until 2011 that GoPro accepted $88 million in outside investments from five venture capital firms. At its IPO in 2014, the company was valued at $2.95 billion. 2. Charging Google to AmEx "We had to use all of our credit cards and our friends' credit cards and our parents' credit cards....”  —Larry Page Larry Page and Sergey Brin met as Stanford University graduate students, later collaborating on a search engine project. Committed to their studies, they ran the program out of their dorm rooms while pursuing their degrees. But by 1998, Google was getting 10,000 searches a day, and the pair decided their project had a real future. They maxed out $15,000 worth of credit cards to buy a terabyte of disk space and drafted a business plan. Page and Brin later went on to raise $100,000 in seed money from Andy Bechtolsheim, co-founder of Sun Microsystems and fellow Stanford alum. At its IPO in 2004, Google was valued at $26.4 billion. 3. Building Apple on 30-Day Credit “It was unbelievable — we were in business. All of a sudden we needed about $20,000 to buy parts.”  —Steve Wozniak After partnering with Steve Wozniak to build a personal computer, Steve Jobs approached a local computer store and agreed to sell them fully-assembled computers for $500 each, payment on delivery. The only problem was, the duo didn't have the money to buy the parts they needed. So Jobs took the computer shop’s purchase order to an electronic parts distributor and worked out a deal: if he could get the parts in advance and pay 30 days later, he would build and deliver the computers within that month. Then he'd use the earnings from the computer shop to pay what they owed for the parts. After calling the computer shop to verify the purchase order, the parts distributor agreed. Working round-the-clock, Wozniak and Jobs delivered the computers, paid their supplier, and used leftover profits for their next order of parts. At its IPO in 1980, Apple was valued at $1.7 billion. 4. Fueling Facebook with Angel Investments "I literally coded Facebook in my dorm room and launched it from my dorm room. I rented a server for $85 a month.” —Mark Zuckerberg After launching Facebook from their Harvard dorm rooms in February 2004, Mark Zuckerberg and partner Eduardo Saverin covered operations costs out of their own pockets, along with running a few ads. Later that summer, Zuckerberg met with Peter Thiel, president of Clarium Capital. Thiel was impressed with Zuckerberg’s vision and made a $500,000 angel investment in exchange for a 10.2% stake in Facebook. A year later, Thiel and Accel Partners would go on to invest an additional $12.5 million as Facebook continued to grow past 5 million users. At its IPO in 2012, Facebook was valued at $104 billion. 5. Crowdfunding Pebble Smartwatch “[Paul Graham] was like, 'You guys need to do something wild. What could you do that's wild?’  I thought for a moment and said, 'We could go on Kickstarter.'" —Eric Migicovsky By the end of 2011, Eric Migicovsky had a prototype for a smartwatch and $375,000 in angel investments. It was enough to keep his company afloat for a little longer, but not enough to fund a full production run. When he and Y Combinator founder Paul Graham started brainstorming  fundraising options, Migicovsky mentioned Kickstarter. He’d backed a few projects before and thought it might help raise some extra money. Migicovsky studied successful projects, created his campaign page, and set his fundraising goal for $100,000. In the first day alone, backers pledged $600,000, and Migicovsky’s Pebble Watch went on to raise over $10 million from 68,929 backers. Are you ready to fund your startup? Which option would you pick? Check out our 7 Ways to Fund Your Startup Infographic and add your own page to the history books!

3 Ways Startups Can Speed Up the Hiring Process and Lose the Personal Bias
Leadership 5 min read

3 Ways Startups Can Speed Up the Hiring Process and Lose the Personal Bias

Hiring the right people is one of the secrets to building a killer company, but most companies have broken and biased process. Here's how to optimize your process and find the best candidates.

Dos and Don'ts of the Startup Pitch: Expert Advice from 5 Famous Investors
Leadership 5 min read

Dos and Don'ts of the Startup Pitch: Expert Advice from 5 Famous Investors

Entrepreneurs are generally confident people, and yet most confess to experiencing tremendous anxiety when it comes to pitching investors. Standing in front of a group of people who can make or break your company and asking them to invest money in your business is an intimidating prospect. How do you start your deck? How long should you present? What kinds of details do you need to include? How do you make a good impression? Well, who better to give advice than the very people you'll be pitching? These 5 serial entrepreneurs and veteran investors outline what you should and shouldn't do when pitching your business: Chris Sacca, veteran VC DO talk about why you are uniquely qualified to follow through on your business idea. What experience or expertise do you have that gives you an advantage over everyone else? What sets you apart from your competitors? DO instill FOMO: "fear of missing out." Most investors have passed up an opportunity that later went on to be profitable, so make them worry they’ll regret it if they pass you up. DO talk endgame. Investors want to know what your plan is for acquisition, ideally in 3-5 years’ time. Give an example of a company that would consider your business an attractive acquisition. DON'T ramble. Keep your pitch short, simple, and specific. You should have a 2-minute version of your pitch that conveys your basic business model, your "unfair advantage," and an exact funding target. You're not trying to raise "between $1.5 - 2 million." You're raising “$1.8 million.” Brian Cohen, Chairman of The New York Angels DO talk about your financial plan. What's your main revenue stream? Discuss why the problem you've identified is profitable, why your solution is viable, and how you're going to make money. DO discuss the market trends that are driving your product. Investors are curious people and want to stay on top of the latest, so satisfy that curiosity and make a good impression by teaching them something new. DON'T be vague when discussing how the investment will be spent. What are you raising money to do, exactly? And why now? Chance Barnett, CEO of Crowdfunder DO find someone in your network who can introduce you to investors (ideally someone with a strong reputation). Send whomever you’re asking to make the introduction a short email blurb with suggested language and a link to your online profile, so they can easily forward it along. DON'T present a series of bullet points. Tell a story instead. Barnett advises all pitches follow this general format: “There is a huge opportunity to do X as a giant business. We’ve cracked the code, and this is how my company is doing it and will dominate this market. Here’s who myself and my team are, and why we’re the only people to back in this space. It’s working, and now we need money for X and Y to grow.” Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn co-founder and venture capitalist DO research the investors you're pitching. What businesses have they backed in the past? If you know what they’re interested in, you can tailor your presentation to give them the info they want. DO remember it’s more important for the right people to say yes than for everyone to say yes. Investors can offer more than just money — they can be valuable advisors too. So pay attention to  potential investors who are asking interesting questions and are excited about your product, market, and the problem you’re trying to solve. DO show, don’t tell. Instead of saying you understand your customers needs, provide quotes from credible customers. Avoid superfluous adjectives and adverbs like “very.” Hoffman says these words act like a poker tell, signifying points you’re most nervous or unsure about, and that he's more likely to ask probing questions about those key points. So be specific and straightforward. DON’T shy away from areas that are problematic or risky to your business. Just because you don’t address them, doesn’t mean investors won’t see them. And by showing you've already identified and understand potential concerns, you’re building confidence instead of instilling doubt. DON'T end with a generic "Q&A" slide. End with your most important slide, something that you want on screen while you’re answering questions that will linger in investors minds long after the meeting’s over. David Rose, serial entrepreneur & angel investor DO keep it short. Angel pitches should be 15 mins; VC meetings less than half an hour. DO show your integrity, passion, and conviction to succeed no matter what. Investors are backing YOU first and foremost. DO prepare a handout with more detailed information on your business. Just remember: your presentation is not your handout. Your handout should stand alone without you, and give investors the chance to deep dive into what you’ve presented. DON’T read your speech or stare at the screen. You’re trying to connect with investors, not your PowerPoint slides. So make eye contact, pay attention to your body language, and follow good presentation practices. Are you ready for your pitch? Follow these tips to ace your pitch and impress investors. And remember, VCs and angels aren't the only source of startup funding. Check out this infographic for 5 other ways to raise money for your business. Sources: Ted.com, ReidHoffman.org, Forbes.com, Business News Daily, This American Life

18 Top Networking Sites for Startup Founders (Infographic)
Leadership 3 min read

18 Top Networking Sites for Startup Founders (Infographic)

If you're founding a startup, networking isn’t optional. It’s your lifeline. Entrepreneurs need support from all sorts of people — partners, investors, customers and employees — but most importantly, they need to tap into great communities to make those connections in the first place.  We found 18 thriving networking sites especially for entrepreneurs to help you find advice, capital, co-founders, or just have some fun! Find the best sites for you in our latest infographic:    Share this infographic on your site with this embed code:  Wrike Project Management Software Read Next: • The Ultimate List of Legal Resources for Startups • 7 Ways to Fund Your Startup (Infographic) • Top 10 Reasons Startups Fail (Infographic)

The 7 Deadly Sins of Bad Startup Leaders
Leadership 5 min read

The 7 Deadly Sins of Bad Startup Leaders

Threats to your business don't just come from external factors like competitors or changing markets; internal problems like flawed leadership can be just as fatal. Stay away from these 7 deadly traits that keep struggling startup leaders from succeeding. 1. Arrogance Great leaders are humble. It’s easy to hand off less desirable tasks to employees that are “in the trenches," and focus on high-level strategy instead. But by staying humble, rolling up your sleeves, and working alongside your team, you'll stay connected to both your colleagues and your customers. Making genuine relationships with your team makes them more likely to stick with you, something you’ll be especially grateful for when you hit rough patches (and you will). Staying humble means you’ll have help through the down times, and it also means you won't get so cocky during the good times, leaving room for an underdog competitor to surprise you. 2. Stubbornness Don't refuse to pivot in the name of perseverance. If you're captaining a sinking ship, it won't do any good to insist your team keep rowing instead of scanning the horizon for a new port. Keep an open mind, and a strategic move could turn a bleak prognosis into a million-dollar opportunity. After all, YouTube was originally a floundering dating site. 3. Vanity It’s easy to start measuring your success by the wrong metrics: the number of press mentions and interview requests, the size of your new office, or the number of products your logo is printed on. But don't let surface-level shine distract you from digging deeper to focus on what matters, and insist on the same from your team. Lead by example by prioritizing foundational targets like the number of active users, churn rates, revenue growth, etc. 4. Wrath It’s not that great leaders don’t have high expectations or demand a lot from their employees. But you can’t expect your team to do every task exactly as you want it, every single time. Even if they did, mistakes and miscalculations are an inevitable part of human nature. And when those situations pop up, you can’t fly off the handle. So keep your team happy. Yes, your office should be professional, and so should your relationship with your team. But that doesn't mean your workplace should be cold, or that you should act like a drill sergeant. People are more productive when they're in a good mood. Happy people have more energy, creativity and motivation, make fewer mistakes, and work better with others. They fix problems instead of whining about them. A positive work culture built around your team’s happiness is just as essential to profitability as your product. 5. Selfishness Good leaders need a confident sense of self. Independence and self-reliance are admirable traits, so be driven. Pursue your goals without distraction. But listen as often as you speak. Build relationships that will last — with your team, with investors, with customers. Selfish leaders ignore customer needs in pursuit of their own vision and run with their favorite idea without evaluating or asking for feedback. They refuse to accept ideas that aren't their own, reject constructive criticism, and see themselves as lone geniuses. Just remember: you can't do it all by yourself. Even Tony Stark had Pepper Potts and The Avengers. 6. Laziness Planning, launching, and running your own business takes a lot of hard work, and few people would accuse any entrepreneur of being lazy in the traditional sense. Pushing yourself and your team and taking calculated risks is at the heart of the entrepreneurial spirit. But once you've found success, don't get complacent. Even if your product has millions of happy, devoted users and your brand is a household name, you need to keep moving forward or you'll fade into obscurity. (Just ask Blockbuster, Pan Am, or Tower Records.) Always ask yourself, your team, and your customers: "What's next? What can we do better?" 7. Greed Your vision should go beyond making piles of money so big you can swim around in them like Scrooge McDuck. People want their work to mean something. In a study by The Intelligence Group, 64% of respondents said they would rather get paid $40,000 for a job they found meaningful than $100,000 for a job they didn't. So create a tangible vision for the kind of impact you want your company to have, rooted in something meaningful, and keep it at the forefront of everything you do. You'll not only attract top talent that's dedicated to their work, you'll keep them around. What companies are successfully avoiding these deadly sins? Head to the comments and tell us which startup leaders you most admire! And if you're looking for a good read, pick up some more leadership tips in these 15 Books Every Manager Should Read.

2015's Hottest Industries for Tech Startups
Leadership 3 min read

2015's Hottest Industries for Tech Startups

Starting a business takes guts, brains, and dedication. But it also takes some shrewd business savvy to know exactly which markets and industries offer your best opportunity for success. You need to strike while the iron's hot if you want to edge out competitors and launch a healthy startup. Click through our latest Slideshare to learn which 10 tech industries are poised for massive growth in 2015: 10 Hottest Industries for Tech Startups in 2015 Agree or disagree? Let us know in the comments! Read Next: 7 Ways to Fund Your Startup (Infographic) Dos and Don’ts of the Startup Pitch: Expert Advice from 5 Famous Investors The Ultimate List of Legal Resources for Startups

10 Hot Industries for Tech Startups in 2015
Leadership 5 min read

10 Hot Industries for Tech Startups in 2015

The new year often brings fresh beginnings, career resolutions, renewed focus — and new business ventures. If you've been dreaming of becoming an entrepreneur, perhaps this is the year you've finally resolved to launch your own company. If so, be sure to take a look at these 10 industries where business is booming. 1. Internet of Things  Thermostats that learn your daily habits. Wifi security cameras you control with your cell phone. Doorbells that recognize your face. The Internet of Things includes all consumer devices that connect to networks, and Gartner estimates there will be 26 billion units installed by 2020. By that time, IoT product and supplier revenue will top $300 billion. And between 2013 - 2022, the industry is projected to generate $14.4 trillion net profit globally. 2. Education Technology  EdTech workers design and produce online classes, tutorials, help centers, and training programs for all levels of education, from pre-K to higher ed. In 2013, e-Learning was a $56.2 billion industry, and it will double that in 2015. The industry as a whole boasts a 4.4% annual growth rate, and cloud-based learning solutions are especially popular with a 9% growth rate. 3. Mobile Apps  From addictive games and social networks to business and productivity tools, the mobile apps industry is showing no signs of slowing its upward trend. The number of downloads from the Apple App store alone has reached $85 billion, and global spending is projected to hit $35 billion in 2015. 4. Wearable Tech  Smartwatches. Google Glass. Fitness trackers. Wearable technology is designed to monitor everything from our sleep cycles to our daily appointments, and the trend is spreading fast. The global wearable technology market is expected to grow a whopping 40.8% annually, becoming a $5.8 billion industry by 2018. 5. Business Apps The proliferation of mobile devices means three things: more people are working on the go, more companies are adopting "Bring Your Own Device” policies, and more organizations are embracing remote workers. All of this has led to the rise of cloud-based SaaS companies offering business apps that help teams work together from anywhere, on any device. Gartner predicts Enterprise software spending will grow 7.3% in 2015 to reach $344 billion. 6. Mobile Health  Mobile Health (mHealth) involves using mobile devices and networks to support medical care in both developed and developing countries. The demand for affordable and accessible healthcare continues to grow, and more and more healthcare professionals are carrying smartphones in their pockets. As a result, the mobile health market is expected to increase from $14.5 billion in 2015 to $58.8 billion in 2020. 7. Automated Guided Vehicles Think robot forklifts. These machines automate warehousing logistics, like retrieving products to fulfill orders and preparing shipments to be loaded onto delivery vehicles. AGVs are spreading through numerous big industries, like pharmaceuticals, chemicals, food, automotive, and warehousing — essentially, any business that requires transportation of materials. 8. Digital Detectives Ever dropped your phone in the toilet? Or lost your laptop? So much data gets lost, corrupted, or stolen (just ask Sony, Target, and eBay). Digital detectives work to recover that data, or protect it from being illegally accessed. Companies that can assist investigations into phishing and bank fraud schemes or other criminal cases will be in high demand, as will the ability to recover sensitive data from jeopardized devices and networks. 9. Big Data Analytics Although big data has been a buzzword since 2010, most companies are still pretty overwhelmed by it. Tools that can help distill big data to better understand customers and inform business strategies will continue to be in high demand in the coming years. With the emerging Internet of Things, a corresponding "Analytics of Things" market will also grow, and the big data and analytics market is projected to reach $125 billion worldwide in 2015. 10. Mobile Payments It's been a long time since smartphones were primarily used to make calls. Mobile devices have become multi-tools, infiltrating nearly every aspect of our business and personal lives. The next stage of that is the convenience of digital payments. Mobile payments are projected to grow 60% worldwide through 2015, reaching 47 billion transactions. What do you think 2015 will bring for entrepreneurs? Give us your take in the comments section. 10 Hottest Industries for Tech Startups in 2015 from Wrike Related Reads: 7 Ways to Fund Your Startup Top 10 Reasons Startups Fail Sources: Cio.com.au, Docebo.com, ElearningIndustry.com, Forbes.com, Gartner.com, GlobeNewsWire.com, Inc.com, Mashable.com, PostScapes.com, Statista.com