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How an Entrepreneur’s Passion Can Destroy a Startup

Strong Feelings Can Lead Founders to Make Bad Choices at the Worst Times. Here’s What to Watch For. Originally published on the Wall Street Journal  By NOAM WASSERMAN   Call it the paradox of entrepreneurship: The very thing it takes to start a business often ends up destroying it. I’ve spent the past 15 years researching people who start companies, and there’s a consistent theme among the 16,000 founders I’ve analyzed. It’s passion. Founders believe in their ideas so strongly they throw aside comfortable jobs and risk their life savings to chase their dreams. They have such contagious enthusiasm they can convince others to sign on, whether it’s co-founders or venture investors or early-adopting customers. But that’s the positive side of passion....
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10 Business Leaders All Entrepreneurs Should Follow

Originally published on Forbes by Shawn Porat You can learn a great deal from successful business leaders, past and present. A good argument could be made that it’s more valuable to listen to an accomplished entrepreneur reveal his or her secrets than to spend months pouring over textbooks full of charts and abstractions. Not that you have to choose between the two; both formal and informal education have their places. But when it comes to the latter, you should make a lifetime commitment to learn from the smartest people in your field — and in business generally. Reading someone’s books, blogs or tweets doesn’t mean you have to agree with them on everything, but when you encounter notions that...
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Startup Schools: America’s Most Entrepreneurial Universities

Originally published on Forbes by Liyan Chen For the second time, Stanford University out-muscled its East Coast rivals to top the FORBES 2014 most entrepreneurial universities list. Silicon Valley’s reach has extended across California, as the state’s schools took over half of this year’s top ten spots. FORBES ranked the nation’s most entrepreneurial research universities based on their entrepreneurial ratios – the number of alumni and students who have identified themselves as founders and business owners on LinkedIn LNKD  against the school’s total student body (undergraduate and graduate combined). Here are the highlights of the top 20 start-up schools on our list: 1 Stanford University Its entrepreneurs don’t always wait for degrees. Among its famous dropouts: Google’s GOOGL  Larry Page and Sergey Brin; Yahoo’s Jerry Yang and David Filo; and...
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3 Secrets Behind Turning a Great Idea Into a Big Business

    Originally published on Inc. by Peter Cohan How do you take a great idea and turn it into a big company? The answer to that question is likely on the minds of most early-stage entrepreneurs. One person with the experience to provide useful insights is South Africa native Barry Morris — an Oxford graduate who has “over 25 years of experience running private and public companies ranging in scale from early startup phase to over 1,000 #8221; To wit, Morris turned publicly traded Irish software company IONA Technologies into a dominant player with “10,000 customers, 270 technology partners, $180 million in revenues, and 70% market #8221; As he explained in a July 10 interview from a restaurant in France, “I was pulled out...
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100 Great Questions Every Entrepreneur Should Ask

Originally posted on Inc. by LEIGH BUCHANAN Paul Graham, Jim Collins, Tony Hsieh, and other business leaders share the questions you should be asking if you want to improve your company. There’s no Superman versus Iron Man face-off between questions and answers over which is the better tool for innovation. But if there were, questions would be  ignite imaginations, avert catastrophes, and reveal unexpected paths to brighter destinations. Jim Collins, Marshall Goldsmith, and other thinkers have compiled their own stocks of questions, which they urge leaders to pose to themselves and their teams. The right questions don’t allow people to remain passive. They require reflection, followed by action. Warren Berger, author of A More Beautiful Question, praises inquiry’s ability to trigger divergent...
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5 Characteristics Successful Entrepreneurs Have in Common

Originally posted on Inc. by DREW HENDRICKS Knowing the most common characteristics of successful entrepreneurs is a good place to start in order to better your own business chops. The good news? If you don’t have these traits, you can develop them over time. It won’t always come naturally to you, but mimicking the positives of successful entrepreneurs can give you the edge you need. While there are certainly exceptions to the rule (After all, Steve Jobs wasn’t exactly known for his social skills.), if you want to optimize your odds of running a successful business, it’s wise to pick up every feasible tool. Here are some of the most common characteristics shared among entrepreneurs who have achieved great success. How many do you...
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6 Entrepreneurs Anonymously Share Their Secret Fears

Originally posted on Inc. by DANA SEVERSON Founder Confessions is a weekly series brought to you by , a place where entrepreneurs can share stories, confess and ask questions anonymously. This series features a collection of confessions from entrepreneurs in the trenches. Their submissions are anonymous, allowing them to speak freely without fear of retribution. To contribute a confession and be a part of this series, visit  to see the current confessional topic on the right side bar. You can also follow StartupsAnonymous on Twitter at @startupsspeak Launching a business is not for the faint of heart. Even those who have been at it for years and appear to be “successful” are plagued with anxiety and fear. Some of their fears may...
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3 psychological traps that keep your startup in the trough of sorrow

This post originally appeared on the iDoneThis blog by Walter Chen You’re stuck in the trough of sorrow. No matter what you do, nothing in your company is improving. You look around you, and everyone you know is crushing it. Their companies are getting acquired, they’re raising huge funding rounds, and they’re announcing new product features that people love. But not you. You’re stuck in the trough of sorrow, and it feels like you’ll never get out. It’s emotionally trying and tough to handle psychologically, and you’ll want to quit. That’s whyfamed startup investor Paul Graham has said that the number one underlying cause of startup death is that “the become demoralized.” How you handle those plateaus, psychologically, will determine whether...
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