Perfect Startup Pitch Deck

Posted on April 1, 2015

Angels and VCs have very specific information that they want to see in a pitch deck. The more accessible that you make this info and the less you obfuscate it with unnecessary filler material, the farther you will get. Keep it simple and don’t “bury the lead.” Eight out of ten pitch decks go to extreme lengths to be unique (via visual design, creative slide titles, non-standard slides or content, etc.) and consequently bury the takeaways in an unintelligible collage of overly branded rhetoric and wishful thinking… or worse yet, they omit the main points altogether. Your goal is to demonstrate that you think clearly, understand what factors are important to their decision-making, and are capable of summarizing and communicating the relevant information to them without wasting their time. If you can do that, you’ll be in the top 20% of the pitches they see on any given day.

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JIRA: Add Column to Scrum Work Board and Kanban Board

Posted on December 18, 2014

Adding a new column to Kanban board in JIRA Agile is a common task that, unfortunately, is a little more challenging than it should be. In this video, I'll show you how to get it done, step-by-step, quickly and easily.

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Scrum or Kanban?

Posted on December 1, 2014

When should you use Scrum and when should you use Kanban? There’s no answer that’s right 100% of the time for this question but there are some general rules of thumb that you can use to decide between Scrum and Kanban. The main factors to consider are:

  • Is this a new development project or are you simply adding features and/or maintaining an existing product?
  • Do you have a small team of developers (i.e. less than four people) or variable resource allocation over the duration of the project?
  • Do you have to answer to external stakeholders or demonstrate progress at pre-specified intervals (e.g. at the end of every week-long sprint) to the Product Owner?
  • What is your team used to, and what project management tool are you planning on using?
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User Acceptance Testing (UAT)

Posted on November 30, 2014

Some patterns pop up again and again. On many, actually most, of the products that I’ve managed, I’ve had to spend huge amounts of time going through the product, finding what’s broken, filing issues, tracking issues, chasing down engineers, apologizing to stakeholders and clients, and then following-up and re-testing to make sure that the issues were resolved… only to find that the same issues pop back up a week or two later, and force me to relive the same nightmare over again.

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JIRA: Create New Kanban Board and Make it Visible

Posted on November 15, 2014

If you've been tricked into thinking that your new board is visible in JIRA after you created it, then you are not alone. In this video, I'll demonstrate how to create a new Kanban board from an existing JIRA project, and I'll address the two most common reasons that new boards don't show up for your teammates after being created. I'll show you how to get it done, step-by-step, quickly and easily.

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JIRA: Tracking Related Design and Development Tasks

Posted on October 28, 2014

Given how sophisticated and configurable JIRA is, you’d think that handling dependent design and development tasks would be a piece of cake. It’s not. Usually, the Product -> Design -> Frontend Dev work that goes into creating a new feature/functionality has to happen in order; i.e. it’s hard to start frontend development without visual designs, and it’s hard to start visual design or frontend dev without some wireframes, user stories, and acceptance criteria.

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Life Is Short And So Is This Book

A Book By Jim Parsons

Posted on September 15, 2014

This is a great little book that I find myself picking up at least once a year for re-read. Its subtitle is “Brief thoughts on making the most of your life,” and it is by far the most concise and valuable guidebook I’ve found on the topic. Peter Atkins has experience in technology -he worked at Microsoft for more than five years -and in Entrepreneurial Finance, as Managing Director at Permian Partners, and investment fund that he founded in 2001.

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How to Choose a Good Domain Name

Posted on April 16, 2012

Finding a good domain name for a startup or new product can be a huge pain in the ass. Every good .com that you can think of is already taken -oftentimes by opportunistic squatters looking to make a quick thousand bucks; all of the keywords and combinations/permutations of them that aptly describe your business were registered a decade ago; all credible .io’s (and .ly’s) are being bought up at an increasing rate, not to mention that they cost $50/year; and you’re a person who realizes that buying one of the new .guru, .company, .la, or .world, etc. will make you look like a complete and total ass clown. So, what can you do?

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Evaluating Market Size: TAM, SAM, SOM

Posted on November 11, 2021

In this article, I’m going to share a methodology for evaluating the market size for a fictitious B2B SaaS product named “Geospatial Crop Intelligence” (GCI for short). This same approach can be used to evaluate the opportunity for launching a new product at an established company or for a startup that has a single product and needs to quantify the market size as part of a pitch to VC’s or Angel Investors.

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