A lot of people have been asking me how to get into BD recently. Similar to Venture Capital, I don’t think there is a boilerplate prescription for getting into BD. There are definitely things you can do to put yourself in a favorable position like networking, blogging, and gaining an understanding of what BD actually means. That’s all great, but I’m here to tell you that I think getting a job in BD is about putting yourself in a position to capitalize when a “right time, right place opportunity” presents itself by working your ass off.
I think it’d be useful to outline how I got into business development by re-telling my startup journey. More than anything else, I want …
It sucks to be cold. It sucks to be hungry. It sucks being lonely. It sucks to be sick. A lot of harsh realities suck.
But you know what sucks more than anything else? Feeling like you’re a lesser human or even worse, like you’re not one at all.
I’ve come to realize over the past year nothing makes people feel better than making them feel special or appreciated; more or less, giving them dignity. At the same time, nothing makes people feel worse than depriving them the dignity that all human beings deserve.
Yet everyday we walk by those in need. They ask for help and we pretend not to hear. They stretch their hands out and we intentionally act like we …
Most young people working at a startup have aspirations of starting their own company some day. If you’re in this camp, I think its important to aspire to more than just being a great employee. Your tenure working for someone else is an awesome time to also familiarize yourself with the unique challenges of starting and executing on something. Gaining insight into what it’s actually like will better prepare you for the day you ultimately go out on your own.
As an employee you often have the luxury of:
⁃ Structure: your work starts and ends at a certain time at a designated place
⁃ Direction: an understanding of what you’re to accomplish and how to do that
Pro-active business development is about finding decision makers and making it happen when you do.
LinkedIn is a pretty powerful tool for finding a decision maker, but sometimes it’s not enough. Let me illustrate an example of what I’m alluding to from my subscription commerce days.
As a budding sub-com warlord, I wanted to reach the person in charge of allocating sampling budgets for a large brand. My guess was that I needed to talk to someone in the marketing department, but there would be 13 marketing coordinators on LinkedIn. Of course none of them mentioned anything about sampling in their job description. What’s a little known startup to do?
When I find myself in …
If there is one networking virtue I wish I knew earlier in my career it’d be consistency. Tell me if this story sounds familiar:
I go to the Crunchtech Explosion Conference. I meet the contact of my dreams and we end up having an awesome conversation. After exchanging information I send a thoughtful follow-up email. I get a response. I’m so in! Time passes and I thrust myself back into my normal routine.
Months later I realize that the company I’d like to do a partnership with is extremely close to the dream contact I met that day. I want to email him for an introduction request, but it just feels weird. We haven’t talked for four months. I wonder if they …
I talk to a lot of people who have “nights and weekends” projects. Sometimes these are things they’re working on for fun. Other times these are products that people think they’d like to form a company around some day. People in the latter camp often say they’d leave their day job if their nights and weekends project was further along. But they can’t leave the day job they’re not too content with until they reached a certain milestone.
If I found myself in this situation, I’d have a mornings and weekends project. Here’s why:
I don’t know about anyone else but I’m wiped after my foots been on the gas for an …
In the first part of this post, I defined inputs and outputs in the context of progressing your career. The main point is that you should consider the degree to which inputs enhance outputs when evaluating how you spend your time. Reading 850 books might sound cool, be fun and make you feel good, but it might not yield the highest return on your time if you looking to become the startup sensai you set out to be.
I think a much more effective way to become a badass is to focus on outputs. Here’s why:
Real Learning and Behavior Change Occurs
Consuming content (inputs) in terms of building skills allows me to familiarize myself with things. I can learn what …
Amidst the barrage of publicly broadcasted New Year’s resolutions I’ve consistently noticed the aspiration to read a ton of books. Reading is awesome. I thoroughly enjoy it. But I wonder if the people that are planning to take down a small library this year aspire to do this for the right reasons. This trend is in direct alignment with a pervasive behavior I’ve decided to leave behind in my journey to progress my career.
I like to think about how I spend my time professionally bettering myself in terms of inputs and outputs.
Input noun definition: something that is put in. In this context, I think about inputs as things I consume ranging from blog posts, …