Category Archives: Family/Career

Organizational Debt is like Technical debt – but worse

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Startups focus on speed since they are burning cash every day as they search for product/market fit. But over time code/hardware written/built to validate hypotheses and find early customers can become unwieldy, difficult to maintain and incapable of scaling. These … Continue reading

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What Do I Do Now? The Startup Lifecycle

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Last week I got a call from Patrick an ex-student I hadn’t heard from for 8 years. He was now the CEO of a company and wanted to talk about what he admitted was a “first world” problem. Over breakfast … Continue reading

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It’s About Women Running Startups

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“Why is it so hard for a woman to still get taken seriously by a venture capitalist?” Read full post or download MP3.

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The Path of Our Lives

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I got a call that reminded me that most people live their life as if it’s predestined – but some live theirs fighting to change it…read full post or download MP3.

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Three Things I Learned on Commencement Day

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In the last five years I’ve been at Commencement Day at universities around the world – a few times to receive awards and three times as the commencement speaker. But attending both my daughters’ college graduations this year helped me to see how … Continue reading

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How Do You Want to Spend Your Next 4 Years of Your Life?

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As our Lean LaunchPad for Life Sciences class winds down, a good number of the 26 teams are trying to figure out whether they should go forward to turn their class project into a business…read full post. Download MP3

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How to get meetings with people too busy to see you

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Asking, “Can I have coffee with you to pick your brain?” is probably the worst possible way to get a meeting with someone with a busy schedule.  Here’s a better approach…read full post. Download MP3

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Building Great Founding Teams

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 That he which hath no stomach to this fight, let him depart…We few, we happy few, we band of brothers. – William Shakespeare, Henry Vth There’s been a lot written about the individual characteristics of what makes a greatfounder, but a … Continue reading

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University of Minnesota Commencement speech – May 10th 2013

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I am honored to be with you as we gather to celebrate your graduation. This school has a distinguished roster of graduates… Earl Bakken, the founder ofMedtronic, was an Electrical Engineering grad, and Bob Gore of Gortex, and your current president are … Continue reading

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Failure and Redemption

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“What’s gone and what’s past help Should be past grief.” William Shakespeare – The Winter’s Tale We give abundant advice to founders about how to make startups succeed yet we offer few models about dealing with failure…read full post. Download MP3

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