If we’ve learned anything from this intense and perhaps “crazy” 2016 election, it’s this – use this as a time to learn. And this election is powered by good lessons for every entrepreneur.


One of the challenges in the runup to election day is the massive amount of media and promotion that is used to twist, color, obfuscate and shape our perceptions of the candidates. And lots of it is negative. Sometimes our biggest challenge is getting down to the real issue we care about as citizens. I call this filtering signal from noise.

As entrepreneurs, this is a great lesson in staying focused on what matters and what will move the needle. What do your customers really care about? What features really matter?

Ignore the noise. Focus on the signal.


Politicians are often smooth;they say the right things, they have lots of research and data to shape how they word things, what they wear, how they communicate.

As entrepreneurs, we find ourselves in similar situations when we are hiring, choosing vendors or working on alliances – are they telling us just what we want to hear? All can leave us unsure of how to best decide. I very much believe in doing your homework, using data but at the end of the day, trusting your gut and pulling the lever.


The President of the United States or the Governor of your state deals with some big, important issues many of which may affect your life, family, business or income. The fact is few of us are truly knowledgeable about politics and tax code and our justice system and younameit.

To make an informed decision, we need to ask our trusted friends and associates who understand and can articulate the issues for us. This third-party perspective can be critical when making a final decision; as entrepreneurs, we need our Board of Advisors and parts of our eco-system to help us.


I’ve always loved this Ralph Waldo Emerson quote: “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall”. This is a great quote about failure and how we should really frame it as people and certainly as entrepreneurs.

Someone will lose the vote to become our next President. Watch their actions post the election as it will be very telling for their future in politics, business and life. In your career as an entrepreneur, if you are taking risks, you will fail. And EVERYTHING is based on how your rise.

Yours in startups,




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