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“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” — Will Durant

Those close to me know that strangely New Year’s Eve is my least favourite day of the year. I find it contrived — the concept of being able to start afresh. I believe you can make a substantial change on any day of the year if you want to. I have particular contempt for New Year’s resolutions. While people’s intention is no doubt good, most resolutions are dead in the water a few weeks into January (January 12th to be precise). Based…


“If a person gave away your body to some passerby, you’d be furious. Yet you hand over your mind to anyone who comes along” – Epictetus.

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When was the last time you really felt uninterrupted at work? We live in an environment of constant distraction – from our devices, technology and the people we work with. Our technology distracts us with notifications, alarms, alerts and a multitude of other dopamine inducing techniques. When the technology isn’t distracting us, then it’s our colleagues with interruptions, videoconferences, and meetings. In fact, even our distractions are now being interrupted! Our meetings are impacted…


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As a founder and former VC, I am often asked my views on the best way to raise capital. Raising capital is time-consuming and distracting. The less time you spend raising money, the more you can spend on the main event, which is leading and running your startup. I have seen startups caught in ‘capital-raising hell’, their cap raises dragging on for months and months — heavily impacting their business — until ultimately it goes ‘cold’, as investors start to think something is wrong with the company or the founder.

If you apply some strategy to how you raise capital…


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Fail in high school, and you are usually graded an F; the same is true of startups. Depending on who you ask, there are a multitude of reasons why startups fail. Each strand of startup DNA contributes its own reasons for failure, but all of them relate directly to one of the three F’s;

1. Founder failures

2. Funding failures

3. Flawed business models.

You can’t solve a problem you don’t recognise or whose existence you deny. Acknowledging and understanding why startups fail is critical to success. It allows you to develop a plan.

When I ask founders why startups…


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Startups seem to be the new black — approximately three are founded every minute. More than $50b in venture funding is invested every year. 9 out of 10 will fail within three years of being established. Not great odds. So why do founders keep at it?

A great startup can change the world. The device you are reading this article on now was made by a company that was once a startup. Almost every aspect of our society has been enhanced by technology and the startups behind that technology.

One of the most amazing things about startups is that there…


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Over the past 20 years I have founded and funded numerous technology startups. During that time I have seen a clear pattern emerging: startup failure has become an accepted industry norm, and it has an impact that reaches far beyond financial loss to investors. Having experienced my own journey of failure as a founder more than once, I have felt the very real, deep, personal impact of that failure on me, my family and my colleagues.

As I sat at home, licking my wounds from my most recent startup failure, a thought took hold — and it soon became an…


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Approximately 3 startups are founded every minute — “startup” is definitely the new black. The barriers to entry are low — pretty much anyone with a laptop and an idea can start a business. This democratisation of entrepreneurship has produced some amazing results — everything from ride sharing, food delivery to electric cars — and our society and our economy are better for it. Yet, increasingly we are seeing a darker side — with entrepreneurs being unprepared for the physical, mental and emotional stresses of putting it all on the line for their business.

Whilst it may look like it…


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Failure. Just the word itself can cause an entrepreneur to break out into a cold sweat. If I asked you to think about your worst failure, what would come to mind? More importantly, how does thinking about that failure make you feel? Does it make you feel embarrassed? Guilty? Angry? Rejected? All of the above? Most entrepreneurs and small business owners have a visceral reaction to failure. Its something we don’t like experiencing, and it’s certainly something we don’t like talking about.

It’s hard not to be afraid of failure. Whether we like it or not, failure in a business…


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As an investor in startups, I see well over 100 formal startup pitches every year — and probably even more “elevator” pitches. There are many factors that determine if I invest in a company, but when evaluating the “idea”, I test for four key components: desirability, viability, feasibility and adaptability.

1. Desirability: solve a relevant problem

It may sound crazy, but solve a relevant and important problem for customers and they will beat a path to your door. Of all of the reasons why startups fail, ‘no market need’ is number one. …

Jamie Pride

Jamie Pride is a speaker, author, and coach on a mission to help build better founders. He is the author of Unicorn Tears: Why Startups Fail & How To Avoid It.

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