Entrepreneurial

Making a case for more candor at startups

– Connie Loizos is a contributor for PE Hub, a Thomson Reuters publication. This article originally appeared here. –

In an age where seemingly everyone in the startup community now blogs, tweets and leaks his or her news, stretching the truth has become de rigueur. But I’d argue that it’s creating distrust; it’s also distorting the way that founders, the real engine of Silicon Valley, see the world.

What can be done about it, if anything? Recently, I asked neuroscientist and best-selling author Sam Harris, whose new Kindle essay, “Lying,” explores our fundamental inclination to lie and self-promote. Our conversation has been edited for length.

Q: In your essay, you say your interest in lying was piqued as a Stanford freshman in a popular ethics course. What was so life-changing about it?

A: The course is surprisingly simple in its format and content. Basically, 10 people sit around giving (professor) Ron Howard — a pioneer in management science — examples of lies they think worth telling, and he just shoots them down. You learn the really poisonous role that lying plays, and that the lies you think people are justified in telling have hidden costs that most people find quite unacceptable at the end of the day. He teaches the course every year and I know many Stanford graduates in tech have been influenced by it.

5 things entrepreneurs need to know about valuation

– Tim Berry is the president and founder of Palo Alto Software. This post originally appeared on his blog, “Planning, Startups, Stories”. The views expressed are his own. –

Valuation is one of those four-syllable business buzzwords you’re going to have to deal with, eventually, if you either want to start a business or own a business. If it doesn’t come up when you start, it will come up later. Here is what I think you need to know, in five short points.

1. The word has vastly different meanings: don’t you hate it when the same words mean different things? Valuation means at least three different things:

There’s a bubble in talk about bubbles

– Joanna Glasner is a contributor to pe HUB, a Thomson Reuters publication. This post originally appeared here. The views expressed are her own. –

There may or may not be a bubble in Internet startup valuations. But one thing in which there is definitely a bubble is in talk by journalists, investors and anyone else looking to raise their online profile through constant punditry about bubbles.

A recent Google News keyword search for instances of “Internet” and “bubble” unearthed 960 links. Facebook, Twitter and Zynga are bubbles, said one. Is Yelp: the dot com bubble part deux? asked another. One more asked: Is Twitter the harbinger of the second bubble?

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