The various musings of Michael Hiles

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Startup Founders, sometimes you have to just tell fear to go fuck itself


Franklin Delano Roosevelt said, “…the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” He said these words as a way of comforting a country devastated by a harsh depression. This was part of his inaugural speech for his first term. The meaning of Roosevelt’s statement was to face your fears and not be paralyzed…

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Stages of Startup Business Operations


This is a particularly challenging issue for founding teams. Especially when it’s a single founder who is trying to sell and keep revenue coming into the front door.

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First Follower: Leadership Lessons from Dancing Guy

Derek Sivers was the founder of CD Baby. For those who don’t remember, for about 20 years, CDs were the preferred method of packaging and distributing music. Derek wanted to make it easier for artists to sell their CDs direct to their audiences. Then he sold the company. As impressive as that was, I believe…

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It’s Not About Ideas, It’s About Making Ideas Happen

There’s a glut of ideas on the market. There’s a shortage of execution on all those wonderful ideas. Ideas are a dime a dozen. People spend an inordinate amount of time coming up with billion dollar ideas. Then they work to protect those ideas as if any idea, by itself, is gold. They work to keep the ideas…

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How To Start A Product Company Out Of A Services Company

One of the best ways to create an income as an entrepreneur is to provide consulting services to clients at some intrinsic level. There’s volumes of philosophy about how to make that kind of company a success, the least of which is how to package the knowledge and service delivery in a scalable way.

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What is a Term Sheet?

So you’ve got big dreams of Mark Zuckerberg fame and fortune with your startup. Okay, cool. But you’re going to need some money to pull it off. It takes money to make money, and if you don’t come from a wealthy family in Lichtenstein, you might end up with a term sheet as the first…

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