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startup life

Startup Founders, Don’t Sweat the Medium Stuff

Elliott Hauser is the founder of Coursefork, a group of university and online educators building open teaching tools. There’s a book I’ve never read called Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff, about not letting the little things hold back progress. You’ll hear a similar sentiment expressed often in startup context. The message is to find key drivers and focus on them — everything else is just details. This is related to what’s generally called the Pareto principle: In many cases, if not most, 20% of your X produces 80% of your Y. Many imply that the Pareto principle implies “Don’t...

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Why Startups Need Ping Pong

People constantly ask me how I manage to fit a full-time life at a VC-backed startup pioneering the new science of extracting personalized human-sounding narrative from big data, a 1000+ strong network of entrepreneurs and investors complete with daily content and monthly events, and — oh yeah — a family of five, which includes twin girls and full-on little league schedule for the boy, who is a left-handed switch hitter. Lottery ticket! I have a list of stock brush-off answers: Cloning. The 25th Hour. Freemasons. The startup or the network or the family are a complete fabrication. The truth...

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