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Roger Ehrenberg
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Entries by Roger Ehrenberg

Letting Go

(0) Comments | Posted January 10, 2012 | 11:00 AM

In my experience, exceptionally bright, driven, visionary people commonly share a particular attribute: a high need for control. These characteristics are also hallmarks of the startup founder, who brings maniacal focus, evangelical passion and a penchant for multi-tasking to the table. As they bring on co-founders and early employees, you...

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Message to Founders: Always Ask for 'The Order'

(3) Comments | Posted November 28, 2011 | 8:31 AM

In Wall Street parlance, "the order" is the opportunity to do a transaction. You, the salesperson, are telling the customer in no uncertain terms that you want to do a deal given a particular set of parameters. It is part and parcel of the culture that you can (and should)...

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Fund-Raising: Manage The Process, Don't Let The Process Manage You

(0) Comments | Posted November 17, 2011 | 9:50 AM

One of the most frustrating and distracting yet critically important aspects of building a business is ensuring it has adequate capital to grow. Pretty obvious, right? Well, the process a company follows for raising capital can have a strong positive - or negative - impact on the company, its employees...

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How To Create A Data-Driven Startup

(0) Comments | Posted November 11, 2011 | 8:57 AM

As usual, the Defrag Conference has brought together a disparate group of amazing people to discuss innovation, technology, community - and data. I was flattered to ask to deliver a keynote this year, and the topic I chose was near and dear to my heart: using data to create competitive...

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Too Many Startups Or Too Few Dollars?

(0) Comments | Posted November 3, 2011 | 11:30 AM

"There's too much venture money: it's a bubble." "It's so hard to raise VC capital these days." Depending upon one's perspective, the early stage venture world is a vastly different place. From my seat I see several trends that are giving rise to this seeming disconnect, the outgrowth of which...

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Know Thyself

(0) Comments | Posted October 17, 2011 | 8:51 AM

The noise across the venture investing landscape is deafening. Is there a valuation bubble? Is the boom in angel investing about to tip? Should large venture funds be doing seed stage investing? Is small-ticket Micro VC a legitimate strategy? Can new venture managers get funded? Blah, blah, blah. Bottom line:...

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Speed Can Kill

(1) Comments | Posted September 27, 2011 | 10:00 AM

Lately we've been witnessing an increasing number of entrepreneurs whom we've met previously, spent time, gave guidance and support, and encouraged them to stay in touch as develop their plan. Then out of left field we hear they are raising a round. Fantastic, we say. We'd love to get an...

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Block Out The Noise

(0) Comments | Posted August 9, 2011 | 2:45 PM

The public markets are in panic. Global exchanges are getting crushed, with high-quality issues getting sold along with weaker securities. Cross-market correlations are trending towards 1. Gold is hitting new highs. This is not a pretty picture. And perhaps even worse, there are no easy solutions. "QE3" or...

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Why VCs Matter

(0) Comments | Posted July 22, 2011 | 11:34 AM

One of the most contentious and hotly-debated issues in my time as a seed stage investor concerns the concept of the "value-added investor." Almost every founder utters the words "I'm really only interested in raising money from value-added investors" -- at least 99% of the time in my experience. But...

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3 Questions Entrepreneurs Should Answer Before Choosing An Investor

(1) Comments | Posted May 20, 2011 | 12:40 PM

"How should I finance my start-up?" is a common refrain from first-time founders and serial entrepreneurs alike. There is no manual for how to best do this, and intuition can only get you so far in the absence of experience and mentoring. As with investors evaluating start-ups, it is and...

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What Keeps Venture Investors Up At Night

(3) Comments | Posted March 15, 2011 | 6:00 PM

As a venture investor, one thought routinely keeps me up at night: Are we making the right investments?

After the beads of sweat form on my brow, they really get going when I think of the complexity and multi-dimensional nature of the question. Some related issues that keep me awake...

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Another Internet Startup Bubble? Depends Where You're Standing

(5) Comments | Posted February 11, 2011 | 12:45 PM

Let's be serious - everybody is wondering if there is another shoe to drop in the Great Internet Gold Rush of 2011.

$6 billion for Groupon? Nah, too low. Something between $8-$10 billion for Twitter? Sure, why not? Eight-figure pre-money valuations for numerous West Coast consumer web start-ups? Hey,...

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Failing Well At Your Startup

(5) Comments | Posted January 28, 2011 | 1:45 PM

Failure sucks. Nobody wants to fail. But in the startup world, most people are doing just that. I'm not sure I've read much about "how" to fail, since failure is so depressing and negative. But I'm here to tell you that there is a good way to fail and that...

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