Pitch Clinic: “Noone else is doing it!”

We've got this awesome team and we're doing <insert-cool-stuff-here>. None of <insert-public-companies-here> can do that. We're light years ahead of them! I love great teams. Which investor doesn't. But just because you have not heard of any group within <insert-public-companies-here> doesn't mean they can't do it. In fact, any pitch about a unique technical skill … Continue reading Pitch Clinic: “Noone else is doing it!”

Jocko and Startups: Am I a good Leader?

[There are countless obvious lessons from Jocko's books and podcasts that apply to all people and all companies. Here are some insights that might be less obvious from the last #muster.] As board members and VC investors, we often get asked: "What are your other companies and CEOs doing? Am I a good leader?" Most … Continue reading Jocko and Startups: Am I a good Leader?

Datasets for Public Companies with Negative EBITDA or Net Income

After the last blog post (Startups: Don't compete on "nimble" and "cash burn.") I got a lot of questions on how to look at these public companies with negative EBITDA or negative Net Income. Here are some ideas. Dataset 1: Public Companies with Negative EBITDA Some companies have a negative EBITDA, but massive revenue growth, … Continue reading Datasets for Public Companies with Negative EBITDA or Net Income

Startups: Don’t compete on “nimble” and “cash burn”.

Fifteen years ago I was sitting on a panel with senior executives of large enterprises. We were discussing how startups, with their limited resources, are competing against established, well-funded public enterprises. A Corporate R&D executive of a public company quipped: Publicly traded companies usually can't afford to lose money. Internet companies and startups can, at … Continue reading Startups: Don’t compete on “nimble” and “cash burn”.

Venture Capital Financing and Investor Dilution (Excel Worksheet Included).

Reactions to my last blog post, Cap Table Changes over Time and Founder Dilution (Excel Worksheet Included), were interesting: There were some founders and entrepreneurs who said that this was a great example how venture capital investors squeeze out founders and CEOs who actually have the idea and are actually executing (versus VCs who just … Continue reading Venture Capital Financing and Investor Dilution (Excel Worksheet Included).

Cap Table Changes over Time and Founder Dilution (Excel Worksheet Included)

I recently got some questions from first-time founders on dilution, what is a typical A round, what does a typical cap table look like (not the format, but the progression over time). My answer is always the same: It depends. Here's an Excel worksheet that lets you play around with different round sizes and investors: … Continue reading Cap Table Changes over Time and Founder Dilution (Excel Worksheet Included)

Rant of the Month: Recommendation Algorithms — You’re Doing it Wrong!

We scroll for hours through the (literally!) bottomless feeds on our phones. We are looking for the two-second smile, zoom in on that face, that cleavage, that wreckage, that fail, that cat for six seconds. We heart the post when we think others might find it smart that we hearted the post. We might even … Continue reading Rant of the Month: Recommendation Algorithms — You’re Doing it Wrong!

Rant of the Month: Battery Life — You’re Getting it Wrong!

The short battery life, the fear of running out, the dreaded wait until the phone is charged, ever wondering “is it enough?” – it is the fear of missing out. What will I miss in these moments out of battery? What will happen while I am away? What if something cool happens and I can’t … Continue reading Rant of the Month: Battery Life — You’re Getting it Wrong!

The Flipside of Venture Capital.

[This post appeared first as a comment on Blue Dot Partners' blog, Perspectives. Philippe Bouissou wrote a post that resonated with me about The Two Types of Businesses.  There are two very different types of businesses. The motivations that drive entrepreneurs behind them are quite orthogonal. Both types of businesses are critical to creating a … Continue reading The Flipside of Venture Capital.