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Gandhi on customers: this dude was way ahead of his time

I came across this quote at the weekend:

A customer is the most important visitor on our premises. He is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption in our work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider in our business. He is part [...]

260 customers surveyed, but sloppy customer research

I blogged recently about the difference between quantity and quality when it comes to customer research. My friend Michal Bohanes recently made the same point with a picture in his excellent post mortem on his startup Dinnr (in which I was an angel investor).

Michal was making the point that despite all this work [...]

Avoiding burnout

“Dude. Go the gym!” is what one of my partners told one of our founders recently. He was stressed out closing a funding round and had dropped his usual routine, but the extra time didn’t help. In fact not going to the gym made things worse.

It’s easy for founders to get immersed in [...]

Creativity in startups comes from people and process

At Forward Partners we have been thinking a lot recently about the qualities that we like to see in our people – our values if you like. One of those is to be “creative, adventurous and open-minded” and as we flesh out what that means we’ve been musing on how creativity works within our portfolio companies. We [...]

Platforms for innovation

Chris Dixon crowdsourced this list of future platforms for innovation:

Virtual reality Internet of things Wearable computers Cryptocurrencies / blockchain Self-driving cars Drones Brain-computer interfaces 3d printing Augmented reality Open data Synthetic biology Satellites Injectibles Nanotech

Platform may not be an appropriate descriptor for everything on the list, but it’s a good list none-the-less. At [...]

Tablet share flat on gov.uk driving license site

I post this chart showing breakdown of access by device for the UK government’s ‘book your driving test’ site for two reasons:

We have data showing that tablet share is flat since the beginning of the year and that all the growth is going to mobile. The ‘tablets are yesterday’s story’ meme has [...]

Talking with customers: focus on quality not quantity

At Forward Partners we invest in early stage companies in the ecommerce ecosystem, often from company inception. Much of the time, then, there are no customers who have bought the product, and often there isn’t even a prototype we can look at. We have to evaluate the idea and conversations with potential customers are one way of doing [...]

The dream is free…

…but the hustle is sold separately. I love this picture that was doing the rounds on Twitter this morning.

In English-English we would say something like ideas are cheap, and execution is everything. This is soooo much better. Dreams are more exciting than ideas and ‘hustle’ captures the work of startups much better [...]

Don’t let post event rationalisations ruin your future decisions

Putting a favourable gloss on events even when it isn’t merited is in many ways a healthy part of human nature. It helps us preserve our self confidence and lets us move on. However, it can lead to a history being mis-remembered and then future decisions get made using bad data. That’s dangerous.

I often see [...]

Her – a movie about artificial intelligence

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Last night Fiona and I watched Her, a kind and sensitive film about love between a human and an artificial intelligence. I’ve embedded the trailer above in case you want to take a look.

It’s a great film on two levels. Firstly as a modern era human love story and secondly for the [...]