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Do More Faster: TechStars Lessons to Accelerate Your Startup


Praise for Do More Faster

"Remember when experience mattered? Thanks to this book, no matter how new to your field or how young or inexperienced you are, you can learn from people who have actually done it.

Sure beats failing." —Seth Godin, author of Linchpin

"When it comes to pragmatic advice—as well as examples highlighting real-world results—Do More Faster is a full-course meal. Brad and David have done a masterful job of simplifying into bite-sized chunks the ingredients that every entrepreneur should consider in channeling their enthusiasm into a real-world approach to building a sustainable business. TechStars has set the standard and shared the formula—now you have to execute." —Dan'l Lewin, Corporate Vice President, Strategic and Emerging Business Development, Microsoft

"If you have an idea and a dream, read Do More Faster! It offers a unique opportunity to hear first- hand what to do (and what not to do) to build and scale your business." —Josh Kopelman, Managing Partner, First Round Capital

"Having recently launched my fourth startup, I can say without reservation that what Brad and David are doing to promote entrepreneurialism is accelerating the pace of innovation. Additionally, the ideas and examples they reveal in Do More Faster are tangible and valuable lessons for anyone thinking about starting a new business. Their passion, vision, and commitment to the startup community, both through TechStars and their personal mentorship, are unmatched."
—Pete Sheinbaum, founder and CEO, The Mandelbrot Project, Inc., and former CEO, DailyCandy, Inc.

"One thing is sure in the tech world: that history repeats itself. The lessons in founding companies are always the same, yet these are rarely passed down from one generation of entrepreneur to the next. Brad and David have done a brilliant job of crystallizing the most important lessons and bringing them to life in the words of the entrepreneurs. Every startup founder should read this book!"
—Vivek Wadhwa, columnist, Bloomberg Businessweek, and contributor, TechCrunch

"Do More Faster is a locked-room all-nighter with David Cohen, Brad Feld, and the impressive mentors to TechStars; it is candid, smart, and spot-on. This is some of the very best advice entrepreneurs can get anywhere. Buy it already."
—Paul Kedrosky, Angel Investor and Senior Fellow, Kauffman Foundation

David Cohen is the founder and CEO of TechStars. He previously founded and successfully exited several companies and is now an angel investor in over 100 Internet startups.

BRAD FELD is a managing director of Foundry Group, an early stage venture capital firm. He has been an early stage investor and entrepreneur for over twenty-five years.



About TechStars.

The Seven Themes You Must Master.

Theme 1: Idea and Vision.

Trust Me, Your Idea is Worthless.

Start With Your Passion.

Look for the Pain.

Get Feedback Early.

Usage is Like Oxygen for Ideas.

Forget the Kitchen Sink.

Find That One Thing They Love.

Don't Plan. Prototype!

You Never Need another Original Idea.

Get It Out There.

Avoid Tunnel Vision.


Iterate Again.

Fail Fast.

Pull the Plug When You Know It's Time.

Theme 2: People.

Don't Go It Alone.

Avoid Co-Founder Conflict.

Hire People Better Than You.

Hire Slowly, Fire Quickly.

If You Can Quit, You Should.

Build a Balanced Team.

Startups Seek Friends.

Engage Great Mentors.

Define Your Culture.

Two Strikes and You Are Out.

Karma Matters.

Be Open to Randomness.

Theme 3: Execution.

Do More Faster.

Assume That You're Wrong.

Make Decisions Quickly.

It's Just Data.

Use Your Head, Then Trust Your Gut.

Progress Equals Validated Learning.

The Plural of Anecdote is Not Data.

Don't Suck at Email

Use What's Free.

Be Tiny Until You Shouldn't Be.

Don't Celebrate the Wrong Things.

Release at a Specific Time.

Learn From Your Failures.

Quality Over Quantity.

Have a Bias Towards Action.

Do or Do Not, There is No Try.

Theme 4: Product.

Don't Wait Until You Are Proud of Your Product.

Find Your Whitespace.

Focus on What Matters.

Obsess Over Metrics.

Avoid Distractions.

Know Your Customer.

Beware the Big Companies.

Throw Things Away.


Theme 5: Fundraising.

You Don't Have To Raise Money.

There's More Than One Way To Raise Money.

Don't Forget About Bootstrapping.

Beware of Angel Investors Who Aren't.

Seed Investors Care About Three Things.

Practice Like You Play.

If You Want Money, Ask for Advice.

Show, Don't Tell.

Turn the Knife After You Stick It In.

Don't Over Optimize On Valuations.

Get Help With Your Term Sheet.

Focus On The First One-Third.

Theme 6: Legal and Structure.

Form the Company Early.

Choose the Right Company Structure.

Default to Delaware.

Lawyers Don't Have To Be Expensive.

Vesting Is Good For You.

Your Brother-in-Law is Probably Not the Right Corporate Lawyer.

To 83(b) Or Not To 83(b), There Is No Question.

Theme 7: Work/Life Balance.

Discover Work Life Balance.

Practice Your Passion.

Follow Your Heart.

Turn Work into Play.

Get Out From Behind Your Computer.

Stay Healthy.

Get Away From It All.

The Evolution of TechStars.

What Motivated Me To Start TechStars?

Why TechStars Started in Boulder.

How TechStars Came to Boston.

How TechStars Came to Seattle.

So You Want To Start TechStars In Your City?

Appendix A: The TechStars Companies.

About the Authors.