The Best Business Articles of the Month

We invite to read our abstracts of the best business articles we have encountered. 

January 2019

9 Things First-Time Founders Get Wrong About the Journey  SaaStr - by 

In this article, Jason Lemkim, provides guidance to successful executives pondering the launching of a startup. His advice: Go for it, but keep some common startup myths prominently in mind:

• Startups rarely launch quickly; they typically take 24 months to reach fruition. 

• Venture capital may still be the buzz, but the reality is that very few startups actually receive venture capital funding

 In the early days of a startup, entrepreneurs usually cannot rely on outsourcing the sales function for their product or service. Instead, entrepreneurs should plan on managing sales on their own, at least until such time as sales reach a threshold that affords the new company the opportunity to hire or retain a professional sales executive or sales force.

Developing a startup from scratch requires, of course, different skill sets from being a successful executive in a large company. 

Key words: startup, entrepreneur, founder


The Art of the Public Divorce Announcement  The Wall Street Journal - by Elizabeth Bernstein

This Wall Street Journal article tackles the reality of the 21st century marriage: As much as prominent executives, like all of us, take our marital vows expecting them to be for life, the reality of divorce statistics force us to address the reality that not all marriages endure "until death do us part".

When divorce comes, The Journal advises, prominent executives, and especially those running large public corporations, need to pro-actively define the narrative of their divorce—or run the serious risk that this narrative will be defined publicly (and quite possibly inaccurately) by others.

Describe a separation pro-actively to minimize conjecture, including a statement. Also, leverage social media, and especially Twitter, for the statement's dissemination. 

The innovative way Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos have co-announced their divorce can apply to many business separations (e.g., an iconic executive quitting or an historical founder being fired).

Key words: separation, divorce, announcement.

5 Pieces of Advice from John Bogle  The New York Times - by Amie Tsang

John Bogle, who founded the giant U.S. money management firm Vanguard, passed away earlier this month at age 89. 

Bogle's firm, which ultimately grew to have an astounding $4.9 trillion under management, was built on a belief that, over the long term, most investment managers cannot outperform the broad stock market averages.

Bogle leaves behind a legacy of hugely successful lessons for investors. A few pieces of his advice:

• Hold. Long-term investors must hold stocks even though the market can prove volatile, because they are still likely to produce better returns over the long-term than their alternatives. 

• Do not trust the experts. Instead seek out low-cost index funds that provide diversified portfolios that are index based, as opposed to more actively-traded funds that seek to outperform these indices and typically fail. 

• Eliminate emotion from your investment program. "Have rational expectations for future returns and avoid changing those expectations in response to the ephemeral noise coming from Wall Street." Bogle advised. 

• Own the entire stock market. “The US market is a safer bet than other markets as U.S. companies keep being innovative and entrepreneurial,” he once said.The S&P 500 is an excellent proxy for the board U.S. market.

Bogle has changed the way people now invest in the stock market. His lessons are valuable and lead to change yours too.

Key Words: investor, money, S&P500