Tim Berry

Tim Berry is co-founder of Have Presence, founder and Chairman of Palo Alto Software, founder of bplans.com, and a co-founder of Borland International. He is author of books and software including LivePlan and Business Plan Pro, The Plan-As-You-Go Business Plan, and Lean Business Planning, published by Motivational Press in 2015. He has a Stanford MBA degree and degrees with honors from the University of Oregon and the University of Notre Dame. He taught starting a business at the University of Oregon for 11 years.


I have heard that if you believe in yourself/your business enough, you should use a credit card to get it started. Is this good advice?

Credit card debt isn’t all the same. Some people go deeper in debt than others, some have more resources than others as a safety net. Go into these dangerous waters very carefully, with a serious business plan, and a lot of thinking to provide a foundation to your decision to take this kind of risk.

What does it take to qualify for a business loan?

Start by understanding that this area is governed by banking law designed to protect depositors’ money from banks taking too much risk. So most of what they require is not up to them and not a matter of how good your business is or isn’t.

Is This Partner Arrangement Fair?

I get these emails, summarizing one side of an argument, asking me to guess or comment on fairness. For example, in an email I just received, the one asking me has worked for 18 months “with significant intellectual contribution.”

Bad Advice on Data Decisions

My problem is that so-called “data from customers” is rarely truth. Data gathering is plagued with problems of research design, random lists, skewed questions, half truth and innuendo disguised as data.

Crowdfunding is Being Oversold

I think so-called “crowdfunding” is being oversold. Many people seem to think it’s going to mean a lot new investment money for U.S. startups. I don’t think so. Not yet. Maybe never.