In case you didn’t know, I have actually migrated to Substack to post monthly. Check me out at https://startupinsider.substack.com


Build it and they will not come. Validate your idea first.

Chris and his bone-density scanner, Pursuit of Happyness

Chris Gardener, played by Will Smith in the movie Pursuit of Happyness, spent all of his savings on a new type of bone density x-ray machines. The scanners produced a clearer picture. They were supposed to catch on fire. But much to Chris’ surprise, he could not sell past the first 15 units despite all of the smooth-talk he could muster as a salesman. …


3 ways to know if you’re taking on too much risk

0 to Millions

Jaclyn was riding a Megabus shuttle from Boston to New York when a nagging idea kept her awake in an otherwise boring afternoon. Somewhere in between every stop-and-go in midst of a traffic jam that seemed to stretch forever, she couldn’t help but wonder if 2018, in all its entrepreneurial glory, had only smelly buses to offer. “Where is the Uber for long distance traveling? I bet someone would share a ride with me for $40 instead of this crap,” she repeated to herself.

June 18, 2015. One of Buoy’s earlier all nighters. Cc Justin

Jaclyn had come from a finance background. Over the course of the last 6 months, as…


4 Things to Know about Naming a Company

Taken January 7th, 2015. Co-Founder Adam leading a brainstorming session on names

When you first start thinking about owning a business, giving it a name probably comes early in mind. But what makes a company name stand out in the long run? Why do the most successful tech giants have names like “Apple” or “Amazon,” which are iconic now but seemed totally irrelevant and absurd when they first came to market. These were the questions we asked during the early days of Buoy. In fact, I thought the answer would be easy. I bet if I surveyed 10 random people to come up with…


Taken May 6th, 2016 at the Harvard Innovation Lab. One of many user tests conducted during Buoy’s earlier days.

Since starting Buoy, I’ve found that perceptions of the startup life unfortunately fall into two dichotomous camps: either i) “startup” is synonymous with overnight success stories — think AirBnb, Uber, Mint, etc or ii) it’s just an excuse to play video games all day until finding a new job.

The reality is neither and hopefully this blog gives you a better idea of entrepreneurship; just in case you want to work for a startup someday or build something you are truly passionate about. I will cover topics such as fund raising, product development, coding, branding, etc but let me know…

Nathanael Ren

Tech entrepreneur sharing stories and thoughts on startups

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