The bus stop test

One of the tests I frequently use with startups is the "bus stop test". This is a good way of removing confusing drivel from your pitches, which prevents people understanding your proposition. Far too many decks I see are full of jargon, long sentences and obscure words.  Resorting to pompous or technical language is often ...

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You’re not burst-testing marketing? Big mistake…

Whatever marketing you're doing, there's a common trap you risk falling into.  At the start, it seems so simple.  Spend a few quid, acquire a few users.  One simple division sum and - Hey Presto! You have your cost-per-acquisition.  But sadly, it's really not that simple.  When campaigns scale, it's very common to see significant ...

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The boring rainy Tuesday test

Many businesses rely on hype and unreliable free methods to promote and sell their products and services.  Don't get sucked in to this trap.  The boring rainy Tuesday test is a critical, which all businesses should be able to pass. You need to ensure that you can market your products and services - even when exceptional methods ...

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When should you start raising money?

Many entrepreneurs wonder when's the right time is to start raising money. There are two simple answers worth considering: The first, rather glib answer is that if you're asking the question, then it's probably too early. Generally speaking if you *can* avoid raising and continue, then you should. You will almost always get a better valuation of your ...

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Investment Portfolio and Exits

Here's the list of my current portfolio and exits.  Broadly, these go from oldest to newest.  The information given is: sector; instrument type, exit type; last known status.  Founder shares are marked*. Facilities management; partner*; trade sale; N/A Payments processing; ordinary shares; MBO; trading/expanding Virtual tour; ordinary shares; MBO; trading Virtual estate agency; share option; option buyback; trading/expanding Art eCommerce; ordinary shares; ...

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