candy

Is Your Startup a Toothbrush or Candy?

Is Your Startup a Toothbrush or Candy? If you’re in the startup world, you’ve probably heard the question, “Is your startup a painkiller or a vitamin?”. This question implies that either your company solves a painful problem or a mild, problem that is not top-of-mind. The urgency of a pain pill is much greater than the urgency of a vitamin. In other words, you want to solve a painful problem. Did you know that the US vitamin market is 4-5…

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Market Sizing

Market Sizing

If you are a CEO, you probably have a pitch deck slide with a single giant number with the words, “market size” near it.  For me, these “Market” slides usually set off a blaring BS alarm.  If the dollar amount is too big, I feel like they are trying to pull one over on me.  If the dollar amount is too low, I think that the founder doesn’t know their market.  Neither case is good for fundraising.  The problem is founders are confused about which “Market Size” to report.  There…

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Startup Accelerators

Accelerated Time

What could you do with your startup in 12 weeks? A lot, right? Especially when you have support, mentorship, and funding. What about 12 months? The typical incubator/accelerator lasts between 6 weeks and 14 weeks. The typical startup studio gets the startup up and going, whether it takes 6 weeks or 24 months. In the studio model, the startup transitions from totally supported by the studio to totally independent over some amount of time. The longer time-frame allows the studio…

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Startups can either Sink or Swim

Sink or Swim

Throwing good money after bad is a dumb idea.  Investors know that if a startup is failing, you don’t throw more money in.  Not unless you like seeing cash burst up into flames.  So why is it that startup founders throw good time after bad?  As the adage goes, “Time is money.”  I’ve made this mistake myself.  I knew I should cut and run, but hung out and went down with the ship.  It’s hard to pull away.  On top of…

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MVP Sticky Glue blog photo

MVP Sticky Glue

Startup founders love adding new features to their MVPs – they just don’t love paying for them with time and money.  Given that your typical startup team is already pushing their limits on budget and time, every new feature comes with a dire cost.  If adding a feature delays reaching your customer, it could end your startup.  So the question is, “When is adding a feature worth it?”  If you’re successful, you’ll be able to add features later.  But if…

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Boulder Bits

Our New Value Oriented Environment

This week Boulder Bits is moving into our new office space.  We are very appreciative to Galvanize, who hosted our fledgling studio for nearly a year.  Now that we’re on the brink of founding our third startup – Cubspot – it is time to have our own space.  There are tons of trends for startup spaces.  It can be challenging to figure out what is a fad, and what actually makes a difference. There are all sorts of claims that bold colors and open…

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Guest Blog: Why Boulder Bits?

Back in November of 2015 I was looking for an internship for the end of the coming spring semester. I interviewed for three different companies in one day! One of those companies happened to be Boulder Bits. At the time they were working out of Galvanize. I came in and we sat down in the “Ember” conference room for the interview. About 10 minutes or so into the interview Jesse asked me what my super power is. I have never…

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Boulder BITS Team

Boulder Bits- A New Spin On Starting Up

I’ve often said that startups are like snowflakes; they’re all made of the same components, just arranged in a different configuration. Like startups, startup studios – or venture-builders – are all unique and different. Because there are nearly as many variations of startup studios as there are studios themselves, I’m writing this post to explain as succinctly as possible, why and how Boulder Bits is configured. Boulder Bits in Several Sentences Boulder Bits seeks out problems that real people face.…

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Product-Market fit pitfall

Product-Market Fit: Pitfalls

In early-stage companies you hear the term “product-market fit” all the time.  Every startup CEO I meet declares that they have “amazing product-market fit.”  A few minutes later they usually tell me why they’re having trouble gaining traction.  So which is it, amazing product-market fit? Or weak traction?  You shouldn’t have both. I’ve already described two aspects of product-market fit that every entrepreneur should consider: 1. Vet multiple product/market options before choosing one.  Starting from a single point is a weak…

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Problem solution alignment

Problem Solution Alignment

I’m often asked when I know that I’ve found “product-market fit”.  The answer is simple – I don’t.  If anyone says, “We have product-market fit because …” the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.  I get an involuntary gag reflex.  There is no point in any company where they’ve found the holy grail of a product sufficiently awesome that they won’t have to change what their doing for tomorrow, next week, next month or next year.  Anyone that think’s they’ve found “product-market…

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