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“Be in love with your problem, not your solution.”

Requests for Startups: Matt Wallaert (Microsoft Ventures)

How does your academic background in behavioral psychology influence the way you think about building and growing companies?

You focus on the idea of competing pressures quite often. Could you summarize this idea and comment on why founders might overlook these competing pressures? What are some examples of companies that confront these competing pressures effectively?

You have said that companies should derive “structured, diverse thoughts about consumers’ behaviors.” What are the best methods for companies to do this? What does such information allow companies to do?

What is the major piece of advice you give to entrepreneurs in the Microsoft Ventures network?

What are the most frequent reasons you see startups fail?

What startup verticals interest you most right now?

What are your biggest predictions for the year ahead?

Are there any specific company ideas that you really want someone to build and would potentially fund?

You spearheaded the digital literacy program Bing in the Classroom (BitC) at Microsoft to foster digital literacy in K-12 students. How do you see these kinds of socially responsible product extensions within the context of large technology companies like Microsoft? Is this different for earlier-stage companies? Do you think that companies should have a double bottom line baked into their business plan?



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Requests for Startups

Entrepreneurial ideas & perspectives by investors, operators, and influencers. Subscribe: www.requestsforstartups.com.