A regular question of my students at UC Berkeley is "How do I select my first/next job? How do I know the culture is right for me?" Paraphrasing Jordan B. Peterson When a society is corrupt, then the powerful rule. When a society isn't corrupt, then the great have authority. What is greatness? When the … Continue reading Startup Culture Observations
I often listen to the talks from The Royal Institute, sometimes while driving, like a podcast. A recent one in my playlist was a re-discovered talk by Anil Seth, "Is Reality a Controlled Hallucination?" - I remember his talk at TED four or five years back. We think perception is a process of reading out … Continue reading Data is only keeping our perceptual best guesses in check.
If your employees had magically one additional workday more per week than your competitor, what would you have them work on? If you would magically have $50,000 more budget per week, what would you spend it on? Many startups are struggling with pricing when their product or solution is saving cost or time (or both): … Continue reading The Most Important Pricing Questions for Cost Saving and Efficiency Products
Dave Kellogg is an outstanding leader and thinker -- go and follow his blog posts if you're not already doing so. He has a lot of good advice on planning and spending after getting funding ("post-funding"). Two of my portfolio companies went through the pleasure of raising a new round of financing last month. There … Continue reading Post-Funding: Trigger Spend on Milestones, not Timeline.
Selling is a service. You are solving a real problem. You are addressing a valuable need -- doing nothing or doing the wrong thing could have catastrophic consequences for your customers . But if you are just selling to make your quota you are neither helping yourself nor are you helping your startup and executive … Continue reading Sales: “I’m so glad I could help.”
What does your customer want to buy? Are they using your product as a stepping stone or enabler to a much bigger transformation? Or are you part of a larger product and fit the puzzle? Are you selling a product or a platform? I listened into sales conversations at one of our startups. The product … Continue reading Sales Strategy — Selling a Product Versus Selling a Platform.
Sales people have to close deals. The VP of Sales has to make sure to hit her quarterly target. Everyone hates the deals that are stalling, that seem to be stuck. As a board member, I have to be strategic. Slow-moving deals are a unique opportunity to uncover systemic problems in the sales motion, reveal … Continue reading Sales — Five reasons why I love slow moving deals.
My office shed is getting quite old now. Every year my wife and I are discussing how to rebuild it, "for sure this year!" But for now, I needed a dehumidifier. It's a good reminder that every sale has three stages -- and that's true for up-selling as well. Stage 1: Do I really need … Continue reading Sales — Do you know what stage you’re in?
[Disclaimer 1: This is not a primer on Brexit -- google it.] [Disclaimer 2: I'm not a lawyer, consult your own!] GDPR and Brexit The GDPR came into force on May 25th, 2018, and is applicable in the UK. It is implemented through the UK Data Protection Act 2018 (short: "DPA") and will remain applicable … Continue reading EU / UK / U.S. Data Transfers after Brexit.
Minimum valuations and their required revenue at fixed value-creation-multiple of cash consumption. In the last blog post I wrote about Fred Wilson's excellent insight into value creation relative to cash burn. I got a lot of questions about it so here is an Excel spreadsheet for you to download and play with -- let me … Continue reading Fred Wilson’s “Return on Burn” (Excel Worksheet Attached)