#Founders!

Steve Blank will answer your questions to help your #startup come out of this crisis strong, ready to hire, and growing again!

Join Tapan Kataria, Amanda Lewan, and me Monday while you eat your lunch!

RSVP now.

Haven’t heard of Steve? I’ll tell you why I’m excited in a 40-second video.

Here is a nugget of Steve’s advice:

“To begin adjusting the culture to this new reality, communicate these business model and operating plan changes to your employees. Offer relentless optimism for survival, but ruthless cost-cutting (starting with the CXO salaries). Let them know that as CEO you are…


Who is a founder raising money for the first time?

Email me dave@davidsilvasmith.com or tell your friends.


I know failing doesn’t feel good. Sometimes, like in the story I’m about to share failure hurts my feelings.

Even though I don’t enjoy failing at the moment it happens, now I look forward to a level of failure in my life. When I’m failing I’m trying new things. I’m learning. I’m getting better. If I haven’t failed in a while I haven’t been trying hard enough.

When I had startups I failed, a lot :)

I’m going to share a recent big failure and what I learned from it.

First I’ll share some backstory though.

I Want to Help Lansing Founders


I’ve got a 10-week Wednesday publishing streak going strong!

I’ve written about one investment I made, critiqued a pitch deck, and startup sales.

So far the article you seem to have liked most is “How My Fears Doomed My First Startup”, which is about my struggles with sales and customer engagement 9 years ago.

I have a couple of dozen startup articles drafted up, but I’m curious — what would you like me to write about next?

— dave


Founders often ask me: “Dave, I’m pitching next week, what do you think the judges will ask me?”

I remember feeling nervous about pitching when I was an entrepreneur doing some of my early startups.

Just the thought of me submitting a pitch, and then anxiously wondering if my idea is good enough, or will it be laughed at, was enough to give me sleepless nights. It seemed like the worst part, but submitting wasn’t the worst part for me.

My anxiety went to new levels after being accepted to pitch in a competition.

After being accepted to pitch I…


In 2010, I doomed my first startup from the beginning. I never gave it a chance. Through reflection on my failure, I grew and became empowered to sell a product before I hadn’t even started building.

If you only read one thing and skip the rest of this article, here is my biggest takeaway:

Startup sales is about understanding and solving problems. Customers buy solutions, not features. Tweet This

Learning to Sell


I loved the idea of creating a software company people would read about in the papers. I loved the idea of building software that helped millions of people around the world. However, I didn’t want to change, sacrifice, or grow to make that happen. I wanted to do what I was good at. To stay in my comfort zone and just have success rain down on me. I was so scared, I didn’t even think about the challenges I’d face in trying to build a hyper-growth massive company. …


I wanted to build a software company people loved. I wanted to help millions of people by building something they loved.

This time wouldn’t be like my previous failures. Software that no one else ever saw, let alone used.

This time was different. I have a working Minimum Viable Product, MVP, this time. Other people have seen what I’m doing. They think I’m crazy, but they just don’t get startups. Right?

Something was missing though. Users weren’t flocking to my app. I felt I just needed to raise money. That’s what I saw news stories about. Yeah! That would get…


They show a deep understanding of their customers, a history of outstanding results, and data-driven-strategy.

Full disclosure: I invested in MySwimPro’s WeFunder.

Here are the 3 reasons why.

I’m going to cover each of the 26 slides in MySwimPro’s pitch deck. I hope by sharing my feedback and thinking, founders will be able to improve their own decks.

For each slide I’ll write:

  1. My main takeaways.
  2. What I would improve and why.


I’ve been wondering how I can connect with founders to help them.

Especially founders in the same city and state as me.

What do you think is the best way? Email, Facebook group, Telegram?

Or does everyone get enough messages and not need more?

David Silva Smith

I want to help you and your friends build your startups. Bitcoin ❤ + father + angel investor #Startup #Tips at https://dsdoes.com

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