Welcome to For Entrepreneurs

ForEntrepreneurs listed as Number 2 in Forbe’s list of 100 Best Web Sites for Entrepreneurs.

For Entrepreneurs is a blog for startups and entrepreneurs, written by David Skok, a five time serial entrepreneur turned VC (now at Matrix. Partners). It aims to address the key issues they will face in getting started, getting funded, and building a successful company. Although applicable to most startups, there is strong focus on SaaS businesses, and building a sales and marketing machine.

New to this site?

You might find the following blog posts and articles a good place to start:

Hi, my name is David Skok. I am a serial entrepreneur turned VC. I have a great passion for helping entrepreneurs and startups. I started my first company a few months after leaving university at the age of 21, and over the next 25 years, founded a total of four companies (Skok Systems, Corporate Software Europe, Watermark Software, and SilverStream Software) and did one turnaround (Xionics). I have had my share of ups and downs. I was lucky enough to have three of these companies go public, one was acquired, and one initially succeeded, but then failed when I moved the company to the US. I often remark that I learned more from that one failure than I have from all of my successes.

After 25 years as an entrepreneur, I became a venture capital partner at Matrix Partners, the firm that had backed my last two companies. I had worked with 15 different VC firms, and Matrix had clearly been my best partner, earning my strong loyalty with their support through some very tough times. It was fun to move to the “dark side” and be in a position to help other entrepreneurs. As a VC, I have had the very good fortune to invest alongside some spectacular management teams, including  JBoss, AppIQ, Tabblo, Netezza, Diligent, CloudSwitch and TribeHR which have all had successful exits. I currently serve on the boards of HubSpot, Digium, CloudBees, Enservio, GrabCAD, OpenSpan, SageCloud, Salsify and VideoIQ.

I am very passionate about helping other entrepreneurs, having seen how important it is to get that help, encouragement, and support in the early days of creating my own ventures. If you are interested in learning more about what experiences have shaped my thinking, you may enjoy reading the following blog post: What drives great entrepreneurs.

If you would like to receive an email when new articles are published, please leave enter your email address in the form on the right hand side. To contact me, please email me at: dskok (at) matrixpartners.com. I would enjoy hearing from you.

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  • http://blog.saadiq.org saadiq

    Why does the rss feed only include a synopsis of your posts rather than the full post?

  • http://www.forentrepreneurs.com David Skok

    I am not sure, but will look into it.

  • sonarjohn

    David – your site is a great find for me and very much enjoyed your post on SaaS metrics – many thanks

    John
    http://www.sonar6.com

  • http://www.forentrepreneurs.com David Skok

    John, thanks for your kind comment. It is very much appreciated!

  • http://www.forentrepreneurs.com David Skok

    John, I went to look at your web site, and wanted to see a demo. I was put off by the need to register before I could see the demo. I am a strong believer in not putting that sign up form too early in the sales process as it will dramatically lower your conversion rates. Have you tried A/B testing with and without the form in front of the demo?
    - David

  • sonarjohn

    John Holt
    CEO
    phone +64 21 245 4661
    US mobile +1 510 409 3369
    skype sonarjohn
    http://www.sonar6.com

  • Kyle Lussier

    Wow, this is the best website I've found online in 15 years on these topics.

  • http://twitter.com/phil_hendrix Phil Hendrix

    Hi, David – just learned about your blog from Lance Weatherby's blog. Lots of good advice… great of you to share.

    I agree w/ your observation that entrepreneurs are often unrealistically optimistic. In our work w/ clients (mix of startups and established cos), a second tendency we've observed is an undue focus on features and technology and too little attention to other aspects of the value proposition (e.g., problem solved, benefits delivered, etc.).

    After recently spending a day hearing 50+ startups present a brief overview of their ideas/products, I posted on Slideshare a template that we've found useful in helping clients articulate the value proposition for their new product/service. Here is the link:

    http://bit.ly/ahDbSo

    Hope you find this relevant and useful – would welcome any thoughts you may have.

    Phil Hendrix, Ph.D.

  • shanelennon

    David, do you have any benchmark numbers for CAC for social media either web or mobile – in particular marketing CAC?

    I've seen ranges from $2 to $30 for avg. acquisition cost of a user in social networks – this is not a retention number just acquistion.

    shane

  • http://www.forentrepreneurs.com David Skok

    Shane, I don't have those numbers, but it is worth remembering that social media either web or mobile is just a lead source, and will need to be converted to a sale. Depending on whether that is done touchless or with inside sales, and then looking at the conversion rates, will help you calculate CAC. Since that can result in a wide range of outcomes, it is hard to provide a generalized number.

    The range you suggest would imply a touchless conversion with pretty good conversion rates of visitors to closed deals.

    I hope I have understood and answered your question.
    Best, David

  • http://blog.gypsii.com Shane Lennon

    Yes thank you.

    Shane

  • http://blog.gypsii.com Shane Lennon

    An article I saw that you might find interesting – Single Unit Value Is More Important Than Growth

    Here is a link to the posting: http://bit.ly/9IxGLG

  • http://www.forentrepreneurs.com David Skok

    Thanks Shane. I will take a look.

  • http://bckexpress.com/ bcke

    When resolving to venture out into the broad world of business, you will first want to pick an ownership organization that will efficiently match the requirements of your business, plus protect yourself and your private assets. Opt for a unique proprietorship, alliance, limited alliance, limited liability company (LLC), corporation (for profit), nonprofit corporation (not for profit), or cooperative organizations. Confirm you do your research on every one, as one minor variation from one organization to another could be the key aspect that prevents creditors from hunt your private property in case your business collapses. Examine brief accounts of the most common structures to identify what will best suit your entrepreneur effort. Remember these are just a few of the alternatives out there.

  • http://bckexpress.com/ bcke

    When resolving to venture out into the broad world of business, you will first want to pick an ownership organization that will efficiently match the requirements of your business, plus protect yourself and your private assets. Opt for a unique proprietorship, alliance, limited alliance, limited liability company (LLC), corporation (for profit), nonprofit corporation (not for profit), or cooperative organizations. Confirm you do your research on every one, as one minor variation from one organization to another could be the key aspect that prevents creditors from hunt your private property in case your business collapses. Examine brief accounts of the most common structures to identify what will best suit your entrepreneur effort. Remember these are just a few of the alternatives out there.

  • http://www.modularhomesnetwork.com/ modular homes

    there are so more information!

  • http://www.smallbizstew.blogspot.com Dawn Austin

    This is an excellent site for information and is the motivation to start my own site. The information that this site has gives potential small business the information needed to successfully make an impact on their market. Great job!

  • http://www.forentrepreneurs.com David Skok

    Thanks Dawn. I am glad it inspired you! Best of luck with your own site.

  • http://hubpages.com/hub/800-Calorie-Diet 800 calorie diet

    Golden. Great, useful info.

  • fteddleton

    Have a good idea? Want to invest? Have advice, tips or consultation for business?
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  • Doris Fabiano

    São Carlos, 05/09/2010

    Dear friend, I need to any help for my work to better the world…

    My name is Dóris Fabiano and Iam from Brazil. Iam publisher, art-therapist and energy therapist. I create figures that cure.
    I created 800 figures that healing through of our unconscious.
    I’d liked to print this figures in posters, clothes, inside of the cars, cups, glasses, shoes, underwear, bedclothes to the world, therefore i need companies to print the Cure Art to benefit all the world.
    Printing only in bedclothes we can, while sleep, change our mind to cure our stress, tiredness, sexual desire and other disturbies. For example: For old people, we can print pictures, paterns in bedclothes that provide us energy to regenerate all the systems of the body, fears, pains, emotions disorders.
    We can create patterns in glasses of the cups where contain energy to your drink. You will drink something that will cure of very disturbies: Fisical, psychic and behaviour disturbies.
    When are in contact with this pictures and patterns we can be more ethic, more repectful with other persons, take care our city, our planet. Always automatically. Naturaly. Easy.
    If you want I can send you some picture to you see how it is.
    I have also figures to change our genetics.
    Imagine our people more calm, ethic, helthy, only with this printings in very things?
    Now, imagine walpapers, tissues, clothies, shoes, films, tv comercial, upholstered furniture?
    I’d liked to be your social partner and work together for a better world.

    Thank you for attention

    Dóris M. Fabiano
    doris.fabiano@terra.com.br

  • Jon

    I found you after you did a Mixergy interview and I really enjoyed the interview… you are a fascinating guy! My business is a mix of “CAD” (your first company) mixed with lasers and on-demand mass manufacturing.

    Jon @ WoodMarvels.com

  • http://www.forentrepreneurs.com David Skok

    Thanks Jon. I took a look at your website. Fascinating business. Best of luck!

  • http://kozancity.10001mb.com Kozan City

    David, Thanks for the info!

  • http://thedanielrichard.com Daniel Richard

    Hey David, found you from Andrew’s interview on Mixergy. Liked the way the main topics are covered (shown right from the menu navigation); reading them now. Have a great week ahead! – Daniel

  • http://www.forentrepreneurs.com David Skok

    Thanks for the feedback Daniel. Let me know if there are other topics you’d like to see covered.
    Best, David

  • Julie

    Hi David,

    I found you on the Xconomy blogroll. I look forward to following your posts! I am the founder of a 1 year old startup that also provides a resource for startups, entrepreneurs and small businesses. It is called SharedBusinessSpace.com. Visit my site at https://www.SharedBusinessSpace.com. We have several hundred listings across the country of available business to business shared office spaces for rent and we get new listings on a regular basis.

    SharedBusinessSpace.com is a national online listing directory that is helping businesses to rent their extra office space so they can get revenue, rather than losing money while it sits vacant. For space seekers, we focuses on listing shared spaces that are affordable with flexible lease terms, which is very attractive to small business owners, startups and entrepreneurs. Julie K. Clark

  • http://www.forentrepreneurs.com David Skok

    Thanks Julie. This is a valuable resource. I will keep in my records and use when appropriate with startups that I meet. Thanks for sharing.
    Best, David

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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FBW75WCVI5E7YGLC2LBPOUY32E Denise Iordache

    I found your site very interesting and helpful for those who are interested of starting a new business. i have some friends who have just launched http://www.palkoo.com ! I really like this type of crowdsourcing platforms. What do you think about that?

  • http://www.forentrepreneurs.com David Skok

    I took a look at Palkoo. The idea seems exactly the same as 99Designs, which is not alone in that market. Is there any differentiation?

    I used 99Designs to come up with the design for ForEntrepreneurs.com, and loved the service. So it’s a great idea. But a new service that is late to the market needs some differentiation to be compelling.

    Best, David

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Gabriela-Jugaru/1660182406 Gabriela Jugaru

    Yes indeed David. Differentiation is very important when you enter an existing market. Though, I was wondering…The concept behind “lean startups” and “customer development” says you have to develop and launch a minimum viable product, test different marketing channels in order to prove that you are capable to market your product. Then make rapid iterations and develop features and services. We are in the process of developing great differentiation items, but it will take a few weeks until we will launch this new services.
    Although the price is not the best differentiator one can count on, the buyers pay the smallest fee for posting a project from all crowdsourcing platforms (only 5%). Until new services are ready to be launched, we have a big challenge: to make our voice heard in a niche with strong competitors.

  • http://www.forentrepreneurs.com David Skok

    Price can be a good differentiator if there is a long term way to sustain that (i.e. because of things like better technology that cannot be easily replicated, or because your competition are structured in some way organizationally that means they can never lower their costs).

    However usually it is not a good long term differentiator. If you use it for the short term to differentiate while you develop other features that will differentiate you, then that can be a good strategy.

    Best, David

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Diana-Mathew/100001624070163 Diana Mathew

    Hi! This is such a great article and I am sure a lot of money saving addicts are going to benefit from this. Keep it up! I am Diana Mathew, an Australian Entrepreneur, ebook author (The Money Tree by Diana Mathew) and a Saving Money guru. If you have time, maybe you can visit me too:
    http://mymoneytree.com.au

  • http://www.seekomega.com Mark Fidelman

    David,

    Very useful set of articles. Thanks for posting them again. I found myself re-reading them and finding new information that I missed earlier.

    Please keep posting.

  • http://www.forentrepreneurs.com David Skok

    Thanks for the positive feedback!

  • http://www.modularhomesnetwork.com Modular Home

    Thanks. I congratulate you for this blog.

  • http://www.thiscalls4u.com Bren

    The articles are interesting. I’m trying to launch not only a new company, but a new concept and it’s very difficult. http://www.thiscalls4u.com is my site and offer personalized phone calls as an alternative or in addition to sending cards, flowers and gifts to mark occasions. Very unique with great potential, but with limited marketing funds, exposure is frustratingly slow. Any ideas?
    Bren This Calls 4 U

  • http://www.forentrepreneurs.com David Skok

    Bren, given your limited budget, I would recommend trying out the techniques described by Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah in their book Inbound Marketing. I do have links to the book and more description here:

    http://www.forentrepreneurs.com/sales-marketing-machine/inbound-marketing/

  • Bren

    Thanks so much. I will review that information. Did you have a moment to check the site? Any suggestions?
    Bren
    This Calls 4 U

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    Enjoy reading your post! Keep going!

  • http://www.forentrepreneurs.com David Skok

    Thanks!

  • Cristiana

    Hi all,

    I send you attached a link in order to register yourself for a free webinar related to Social Media, Search Engine Optimization and Online Advertising.

    Join it today, from 2pm.

    http://www.bluelinerny.com/news/webinar-social-media-seo-online-advertising-2311.php

    Enjoy!

  • Cristiana

    Hi all,
    Enjoy a free webinar on 2/17/2011 related to challenges that any company faces when expanding into Asia. You just have to register. Here is the link.
    http://www.bluelinerny.com/news/webinar-expanding-into-asia-21711.php
    Have a magic day!

  • Markus Macherey

    David

    I just browsed through your presentation which is very intersting !! But nevertheless I am intersted in your ppt layer – because I want to add one side into my company presentation – i am in construcion and this foil give´s the wall english brown – i tried really hard to copy your style, but failed so would you be so kind to sent me the layer for my advertisement campain towards bauen@bauarte.net – I would appreciate your support on this one

    best regards
    Markus

  • Stuart Mish

    Hi David,
    Excellent talk the other night at the Lean Startup Circle event at Microsoft NERD Center. It was definitely one of the most valuable talks I have attended in quite some time. I will certainly be keeping up with your blog, and hope to see you at some other events in the near future. Thank you.

  • http://www.forentrepreneurs.com David Skok

    Thanks for the feedback!

    Best, David

  • http://www.forentrepreneurs.com David Skok

    Markus, the background is not an image that I can send you. It is a graduated fill. Sorry I can’t help more.

  • Omerma82

    Hallo David
    I’am omer fadul osman. I looking for and this my C.V
    PERSONAL I FORMATION
    Name : Omer Fadul Osman Abdallha
    Nationality : Sudaness
    Place &Birth of date : Khartoum 1982
    Gender : Male
    Martial Status : Muslim
    Adress : Khartoum—Bahry
    Tel : 00249915692848 ¬¬¬¬¬¬¬_ 00249912129132 _ 00249912111604 _ 00249912117201
    Email : omerma82@hotmail.com
    EDUCATION
    Bachelor honour in Geology & Mining University of Juba College of National Resources& Environmental
    Studies. Khartoum-sudan.
    Dibloma in computer Microsoft office.
    WORK HISTORY :
    Exploration Geologist in Rida Mining Company, sudan Oct 2010 – present
    (all work of exploration geologist).
    SKILLS
    • Good skill in surbac mine. • Good skill in GIS.
    LANGUAGES
    •Arabic • English fluently
    CAPABILITY
    Ability to learn and understand new skills with in specific time
    Ability to work under hard conditions

  • Omerma82

    Hallo David
    I’am omer fadul osman. I looking for job can you help me. this my C.V
    PERSONAL INFORMATION
    Name : Omer Fadul Osman Abdallha
    Nationality : Sudaness
    Place &Birth of date : Khartoum 1982
    Gender : Male
    Martial Status : Muslim
    Adress : Khartoum—Bahry
    Tel : 00249915692848 ¬¬¬¬¬¬¬_ 00249912129132 _ 00249912111604 _ 00249912117201
    Email : omerma82@hotmail.com
    EDUCATION
    Bachelor honour in Geology & Mining University of Juba College of National Resources& Environmental
    Studies. Khartoum-sudan.
    Dibloma in computer Microsoft office.
    WORK HISTORY :
    Exploration Geologist in Rida Mining Company, sudan Oct 2010 – present
    (all work of exploration geologist).
    SKILLS
    • Good skill in surbac mine. • Good skill in GIS.
    LANGUAGES
    •Arabic • English fluently
    CAPABILITY
    Ability to learn and understand new skills with in specific time
    Ability to work under hard conditions