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Tim Berry
Tim Berry is chairman and founder of Palo Alto Software and founder of, and co-founder of Have Presence. He writes about business planning, entrepreneurship, social media, and small business on his blog Planning Startups Stories and focuses on business planning on his website. He's on twitter as Timberry.

He is the author of The Plan-As-You-Go Business Plan, published by Entrepreneur Press in 2008; and several other books on business planning and starting a business. He is the conceptual author of LivePlan and Business Plan Pro.

He spent the 1970s as a foreign correspondent in Mexico City, where he wrote for Business Week and Financial Times, among others. In the 1980s he got a Stanford MBA and was involved in the early Silicon Valley. He consulted to Apple Computer in business planning from 1982 through 1994.

Tim is a nationally known expert in business planning and has been interviewed by CNN, MSNBC, Forbes, Money Machine Television, and Inc. He's spoken on business planning to audiences in 14 countries, most recently as a guest of eBay at its annual conference. He teaches a course in business planning at the University of Oregon.

Entries by Tim Berry

Hard Truths About Business Plans and Angel Investors

(0) Comments | Posted July 14, 2014 | 2:50 PM

Earlier this year I reviewed submissions on more than 30 businesses for our angel investment group in two days. Yes, I was cramming! No, I didn't read the business plans, just the summaries. And I watched how my fellow angel group members did basically the same things I did. So...

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Today's SEC Ruling on Crowdfunding Is a Mixed Bag

(1) Comments | Posted July 10, 2013 | 6:13 PM

What? Soliciting is okay now? Yes, at least as far as startups and angel investors with what the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) calls "general solicitation." 

According to reports in VentureBeat and elsewhere, today's SEC ruling doesn't open up crowdfunding as most people understand it -- normal people investing in startups....

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Business Plan Yes, But Comprensive and Detailed, Not So Much

(1) Comments | Posted March 25, 2013 | 12:46 PM

Funny how sometimes what sounds like good advice isn't. I was browsing online when I caught the alleged business plan tip shown here (although I added the red circle over it). It says you should write a "comprehensive, detailed business plan." And I say, probably not; only in special circumstances. 

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eBook Disruption Picks Up Momentum With Major Authors

(2) Comments | Posted March 18, 2013 | 3:42 PM

Why would an established author with NY Times Bestseller credibility jump a prestigious publisher ship and self-publish ebooks instead? It's not what you probably think, at least not according to  Guy Kawasaki, one of two authors I know of who jumped from brand-name to self publishing. 

Guy Kawasaki's latest...

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Don't Give Away Ownership As If It Were Credit, Please!

(1) Comments | Posted June 25, 2012 | 1:48 PM

Please, entrepreneurs, this is important. Please don't give away ownership in your startup, ever, except to partners who offer permanent help and value to the business, and will be there forever. That's team members working the business, investors, or strategic partners with long-term commitments you can't live without. Separate ownership,...

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Facebook Needs at Least One Woman On Its Board

(1) Comments | Posted April 1, 2012 | 7:08 PM

Why would a startup as important as Facebook, run by somebody as young as Mark Zuckerberg, whose users are more than 50 percent women, go into all-important public stock offering with a board of directors composed of seven men?

For no good reason.

Not that these seven don't make a...

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What Worries Me About the Crowdfunding Initiatives

(13) Comments | Posted March 8, 2012 | 6:43 PM

Today we have the news that the House has passed a new bill based on crowd funding.

On first glance, it seems like a great idea: end legal restrictions on outsider investments in new startups. The current securities law limits the number of non-accredited investors in a startup to...

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Design It Pink? Isn't That Insulting?

(20) Comments | Posted March 5, 2012 | 3:21 PM

Maybe it's because I'm father to four daughters, maybe because of simple fair play, but if you read my stuff I've been a chronic complainer about the relatively low numbers of women in high tech and tech in general. And I don't believe it's because the women like it that...

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Concept Meets Code: 10 Tips for Entrepreneurs Dealing with Developers

(40) Comments | Posted August 16, 2011 | 9:49 AM

I've seen it too many times: starry-eyed would-be Internet entrepreneur meets real developer, dream in hand. This is culture clash. More often than not, it ends up with wasted time, wasted money and dashed dreams. Concept meets computer code.

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Involvement vs. Commitment in Small Business

(0) Comments | Posted June 21, 2011 | 5:39 PM

It's an old joke:

Question: In the classic bacon and egg breakfast, what's the role of the chicken, and what's the role of the pig? Answer: the chicken is involved. The pig is committed.

Good joke or not,...

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Y'Want Jobs? Small Business? Then Fund Education

(42) Comments | Posted January 27, 2011 | 11:36 AM

Everybody agrees that small business is good for an economy, that it promotes jobs, and so on. But what does anybody want the government to do about it? And what can governments really do about it, effectively?

More small business loans, perhaps? Lower taxes? Cut regulations?...

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How Bad? Top 10 Lies About Business Planning (PHOTOS)

(14) Comments | Posted November 23, 2010 | 10:50 AM

It's really a shame. As the world moves faster and faster, tools get better, change is more rapid, people, businesses, and organizations need good business planning more than ever. Unfortunately, as the need has grown, so too has the size of the whoppers that experts who should know better tell....

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True Or Not? Top 10 Election Talking Points On Small Business

(23) Comments | Posted October 25, 2010 | 12:47 AM

As the November 2nd elections near, every politician is suddenly small business' best friend. Every problem in small business is caused by the opposing party, and every new proposal is going to rejuvenate small business and entrepreneurship in this country, they say.

The question is: do you believe it?...

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WSJ vs. NYTimes on How Dumb You Are or Aren't

(6) Comments | Posted June 8, 2010 | 10:27 AM

Imagine a large auditorium with a boxing ring in the middle. "Ladies and gentlemen," the announcer's voice echoes, "in this corner, we have the Wall Street Journal, saying computers make you smarter. And in the opposite corner, the New York Times, saying they make you dumber."

Sure, you might have...

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Why Facebook and All Social Media Privacy Is Oxymoronic

(29) Comments | Posted May 20, 2010 | 12:01 PM

It's not that I'm unsympathetic to complaints about Facebook privacy, or, actually, lack of privacy. I get it. Facebook felt like a private medium in the beginning, especially to the college students who gave it its sizzle. I don't like Mark Zuckerberg as Big Brother any more than I liked...

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In Business and Speaking, Silence Can Be Golden

(17) Comments | Posted March 31, 2010 | 2:04 PM

Do you recognize the Simon & Garfunkel song, The Sounds of Silence? It's a sad song about loss. But silence is also golden. It's a powerful tool in business and life. Learn to use it.

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A Startling Reminder of Gender Bias

(6) Comments | Posted December 15, 2009 | 2:14 PM

There's a place for truth in writing. And there's a place for writing in blogging. Sometimes truth happens, even in blogs. Sometimes, when it does, it's startling.

Honestly, I never cared that any writer was man or woman. What...

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5 Ways to Break Up a Bad Work Day

(8) Comments | Posted October 29, 2009 | 12:47 PM

It’s one of those days. Maybe you have technical problems, or a project that isn’t going well, you couldn’t sleep last night, you’ve run into a writer’s block or thinker’s block or city block. Maybe you just lost a client. Or learned about a powerful new competitor. Or maybe it’s...

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3 MBA Tricks to Shorten Boring Meetings

(5) Comments | Posted August 26, 2009 | 3:22 PM

On the bad days, in off moments, it seems like my two years in business school were mostly about learning the definitions of a few key buzz words to use in meetings.

1. ROI

Stands for return on investment, as in profits divided by total investment. For fun in boring...

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Moonshot, Columbus, Now Woodstock a Myth Too? Oh No!

(10) Comments | Posted August 17, 2009 | 11:06 AM

We baby boomers have lost too many cultural icons. Don't take away Woodstock.

Some nut shot John Lennon. Good journalism -- or was it reality? -- took away our faith in institutions. We've pretty much lost Ford, Chevrolet, General Motors, Wall Street, faith in television news, trust in doctors, air,...

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