Entrepreneur Office Hours - Issue #13

Best of 2020, the founder of Opera talks about building the world's most popular web browser, and some advice on co-founder "dating"

Happy New Year! With another Friday holiday this week, I figured I’d publish this issue a day early to catch the handful of you working during New Year’s Eve.

Below you’ll find details about my conversation with Jon von Tetzchner, the founder of the Opera Web Browser. At one point, Opera was the most popular browser in the world, but now it’s largely forgotten. Jon gives some incredible insights into how and why that happened. Maybe it’ll help you avoid the same kind of mistake.

I also answer an entrepreneur question wondering what my best articles are from 2020. Let’s call it the “CliffsNotes” version of everything I’ve been droning on about for the past 365 days.

Lots of great things planned for all of you in 2021, and I can’t wait to start sharing those. The same goes for you… if you like what I’m doing, please share this email with others. And, as always, if you’ve got questions about startups or entrepreneurship, reply to this email, ping me on Twitter, or message me on LinkedIn.

Goodbye, 2020! Don’t let the door hit you on the way out…


The Fundraising Myth Entrepreneurs Need to Stop Believing

Entrepreneurs have tons of misconceptions about the fundraising process. I should know… I’ve probably had just about every one of them. And, when I first started fundraising, one misconception in particular caused me far too many problems. Do you believe the same thing?

Jon von Tetzchner - The Researcher Who Built His Own Web Browser... Twice!

The Browser Wars were ruthless. One of the biggest victims was Opera, which, at one time, was the most popular browser in the world. Now it's a distant sixth, and few people remember just how important it was. On the latest episode of Web Masters, we hear from Opera co-founder Jon von Tetzchner who tells the story of how Opera became so popular and how it eventually destroyed itself.

Listen now on:

…or just search “Web Masters” wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts.

What Everyone Gets Wrong About Finding a Great Startup Co-Founder

Great founding teams are critical for startup success, but the best teams probably look different than you think. That’s because too many founders think finding co-founders is like dating. Here’s why it definitely isn’t.

Office Hours Q&A



I just discovered your Medium content. You write tons of articles!

Out of curiosity, which ones would you recommend I start with?



I’ll ignore the annoyed voice in my head that wants to reply: “I worked my butt off creating every one of those articles, and they’re all worth reading!” Plus, to be fair, some are definitely better than others.

For the sake of limiting the scope of what I can choose from, and since I’m responding to this question in my “New Year’s issue,” let’s call this a “Top 5 Articles of 2020” list. It should be a good jumping off point.

  1. The Only “Competition” Slide You’ll Ever Need in a Pitch Deck

    For a while, this was my post popular article on Medium, and for good reason, I think. It’s a great reminder of what you’re actually competing against when building startups. Hint: It’s not another company.

  1. Three Early Signs a Startup Is Going to Be Successful

    Honestly, I think this article is just OK. But it’s easily my most read article on Medium, and lots of other people seem to like it. So… well… there’s that.

  1. The One Kind of Founder VCs Will Never Fund

    Tons of VCs commented on and shared this post, which means if you’re a startup founder looking to raise money, you should probably read it.

  1. The Real Reason Nobody Is Buying Your Startup’s Product

    My most “liked” article from 2020, and, I think, a simple explanation of why audience matters more than product.

  1. An Attempt to Explain the Most Difficult Concept in Entrepreneurship

    This piece is long, so not as many people read it as I would have liked. But here are a couple of examples of some of the feedback on it:

    “Really great for beginners like me to have some idea on entrepreneurship. Excellent explanation with comprehensive examples. Thank you.”

    “All wannabe startup founders should read this. Spot on assessment!”

    In other words, definitely worth a read, and a good place to start, particularly if you’re somewhat new to the entrepreneurial journey.

Bonus Post: If you’re too lazy to read my Number One choice, here’s the condensed version that was much more popular: Can You Avoid the One Mistake Every Entrepreneur Makes?

Got startup questions of your own? Reply to this email with whatever you want to know, and I’ll do my best to answer!