Clear Trademark Rights Before Naming Things

You cannot use a brand in commerce if your use would be confusingly similar to someone else’s brand. So, do not name your company or your product or service without clearing trademark rights first. Once you choose your name, scour the internet using the search engine of your choice to ensure no one else is…

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Deploy a captivating hook

When courting potential investors with an executive summary, or even just an email, see if you can deploy a seriously captivating hook right off the bat. I know this is easier said than done. But remember, your executive summary is nothing more than a 30-second blipvert to get the reader interested in taking a meeting…

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Be a rockstar

I am a lawyer. I help people start companies and do deals. I try to be really good at this. In fact, I try to be a big effing rockstar. Like they say, “Go big, or go home.” Life is way too short not to supersize it. My clients and friends know this. They’re all…

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TechVenture… human adventure.

Remarks delivered at the TechVenture conference. December 6, 2011. Hard Rock Cafe, Universal Studios, Orlando. [The audio is here: techventure2011] On December 17, 2010, Mohammad Bouazizi, a 26 year-old street vendor in Tunisia, was harassed, beaten, and humiliated by police for selling vegetables in the street without a permit, which is a euphemistic way of…

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Is Reality Real?

A dear friend turned me on to this mind-bending post about why we’re all just AI’s running around a virtual world, a Matrix, if you will. Brains in a vat. I alluded to this possibility in my remarks delivered to open the Internet Technology Summit last June. The basic argument goes: if we can create…

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Why startups fail

My friend Michael Trout says: Fourteen million business plans are submitted each year in the U.S. (according to Google Aardvark) and only 2000-3000 (according to Adeo of TheFunded.com) are deemed successful! So, if you are submitting a business plan then you have a 0.0214% of getting funding each year! From a systemic perspective, most startups…

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A 12-Step Program for Quitting Your Day Job

A lot of people come to me with the question, “I’ve got a great business/product/service idea. What do I do next?” If you find yourself asking this question, my advice is to become a full-time entrepreneur and start a company to make and sell your product or service. In my experience, that is the best…

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