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Startup Port Newsletter - Issue #6

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Helping founders create and implement a lean roadmap with fast turnaround and execution based on fact
 

Startup Port Newsletter

March 14 · Issue #6 · View online
Create + Collaborate + Launch

Helping founders create and implement a lean roadmap with fast turnaround and execution based on facts not assumptions!

We lost a great mind today. RIP Stephen Hawking. 
And hope that the solar flares will not wreak havoc with your electric equipment.
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How do you manage your time?
Or, how can you master your time? There are many techniques and approaches to improving your productivity, but one of the simplest comes from chunking your work. Learn how to do it and why it works. A great article shared from our friend Aly Juma.
Getting stuff done is the name of the game. How you do it is up to you, but to be a productive member of society, you need to be able to get things done. When you peel back the layers, this idea essentially translates into a matter of managing your time.
Here is the full article.  (4 min. read)
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Does creative freedom work?
There is an “adopted” consensus that innovation needs to have a good environment with lavish perks such as having a great location, toys, free food, lots of games, playground for adults, sandboxes, work when you feel like it and few I don’t know of (only Silicon Valley people know all the perks). In order for your employees to be innovative do they really need all this? The profligate culture and the justification by founders of lavish perks as necessary to attract and retain top talent, and create an innovative atmosphere to produces a lucrative exit is starting to be contested by common sense people. And this culture of waste and needy and selfish culture is increasingly under attack.

Another issue is what might be called If You Give a Mouse a Cookie syndrome. In the classic children’s book, a mouse happily receives a cookie—and proceeds to request a glass of milk, a straw to drink from, a mirror to check for his milk mustache, and so on. Where does all the perks end, and in reality what is the impact all of this on the collective outcome? and what is the proper return on investment for all this.
Here is an insider view from a former Google engineer.  (5 min. read)
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Don't get your hopes up Midwest!
Silicon Valley VCs will not be riding to the rescue of the Midwest’s startups anytime soon!
The traditional logic that world-class companies need to relocate to one of three coastal cities with the most venture investment—San Francisco, New York or Boston—is slowly breaking down. For decades, it was common practice for blue-chip investors to demand promising startups relocate to Silicon Valley as a condition of taking their money. Less so today as the promise of a payday has finally arrived in the Midwest. But did it? 
The Midwest definitely  wants a piece of the technology economy. The digital economy in Chicago is growing. There is a plenty of collaboration between universities, corporations and local government. We have diverse humming high-tech hubs. Google and Facebook are setting up shop to attract talent and flee soaring labor costs. And other large companies are swooping up talent and ideas from the region. 
But regardless of all the pluses the Midwest has to offer none of these are enough to attract early stage investment from Silicon Valley VC firms. Data tell the story. PitchBook analyzed investment data for Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin between 2012 and 2018. Of the 4,726 venture deals in the region, Silicon Valley investors participated in just 519.  
Here is the article from Quartz  (4 min. read)
Data from Pitchbook, graphics from Quartz -Atlas-
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Are you barking up the wrong tree?
“Work smarter, not harder.” Sounds good. But how do you actually do that? *crickets* Well, luckily someone finally took up the challenge of finding a clear answer!
UC Berkeley professor Morten Hansen looked at 200 academic papers, interviewed 120 experts, ran a pilot study on 300 subjects, and built a framework which he then tested on 5000 participants from various industries and backgrounds.
He found 7 behaviors that made up 66% of the difference in how people performed. (By comparison, standard metrics like education, age, and hours worked were only responsible for 10% combined.)
Here is the article from Eric Barker published in LADDERS. (5 min. read)
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Short takes and newsworthy stuff...
This week we want to share three books we suggest all our startup founders read:
  • Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life…And Maybe the World. A book by Ret US Admiral William McRaven.
Wake up early. You get an extra hour or two of uninterrupted time which you can use to pursue activities you’re interested in. This could mean more time reading or pursuing your passion project. Mastering something which most find difficult might also give you increased confidence and an expanded sense of possibility.
Make your bed. It sounds ridiculous, but for some this simple act could be a small win that gives one discipline and a sense of control. It’s something that Admiral William McRaven had to do when he was a Navy SEAL and found so important that he titled his book Make Your Bed. BASED ON THE INCREDIBLE GRADUATION SPEECH WITH OVER 10 MILLION VIEWS ON YOUTUBE. If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.
  • Start With Why by Simon Sinek (if you haven’t read it yet!)
This book centers on an important business truth: People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. Simon Sinek explains this concept in Start With Why by delving into a few basic questions. One key question he poses is why some people and organizations are more innovative, influential and profitable than others. He also asks why so few are able to repeat their success. If you are struggling to create a long-term vision and guiding principles as you navigate business and life, this book can give you the inspiration to begin moving in the right direction.
  • The Lean Startup by Eric Ries.
How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries, 2011. Whether an entrepreneur is a business veteran who has experienced the highs and lows of the great dotcom bubble or a young, inexperienced newcomer, a long-standing set of rules and suggestions are typically offered for certain scenarios, such as when it’s wise to turn to a focus group or just remain optimistic.
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About Startup Port: We partner with outstanding entrepreneurs and founders to help them build successful companies. Beyond just plain dollars, Startup Port brings “intellectual capital” in the form of matter experts who provide guidance, mentoring, operational advisory and coaching to entrepreneurs, by serving on their boards, providing much needed contacts/networking relationships, assisting with strategic growth planning, key hiring decisions, and preparing them for fundraising
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If you like this, please share with a friend, a colleague or better yet a young entrepreneur. Thank you, and make sure to manage your TIME properly, we do not have the luxury to restart it with a few keystrokes!
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