Fred Wilson has written about Un-SAFE notes. In a nutshell: they're not less expensive, and they hide some dilution problems when stacked. Because that's not always obvious, here is an Excel Worksheet to play around with. >> Download the Excel Worksheet. << The worksheet uses some circular references, so go to File > Options > … Continue reading SAFE Notes – Excel Worksheet Attached
Don't pick up. "I think you have the wrong number. We are a commercial waste processor for pig and cow cadavers." "I'm just an end user. I don't know who made the buying decision, or why. It's what we were told to use." "I am just an end user. I don't know what our budget … Continue reading Sales — Five fast ways to get rid of unwanted sales calls.
We hear about the "Startup A-team" both from our portfolio companies and in pitches. So what's the bar for a Startup A-team? And how do you rank people within an A-team of a Startup? Regardless of industry, I always recommend looking at the "USMC Fitness Report (1610)" as a starting point. Yes, it is from … Continue reading Jocko on Startups: What’s an A-Team?
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.
In May, Neeraj Agrawal and Logan Bartlett from Battery Ventures published a great presentation on the 2019 Software market. The Telecoms, Media, and Technology Sector ("TMT") is a bit bigger. Over the past 10 years TMT exit volume has been steadily rising. Until 2019, there was no end in sight. VC-backed TMT Exit Volume Globally … Continue reading TMT Exits — No End in Sight?
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.
[Earlier I wrote about the different vehicles] You're sitting on a board and the CEO presents some proposed grants. Motion to approve - second - all in favor - ay. Here's what you should have asked before the board meeting. A. Economics What's the vesting schedule? What are these options worth right now? What do … Continue reading Board Questions to ask about Stock Options, NSOs, ISOs, Restricted Stock, Restricted Stock Units (RSUs).
We often get the question about "Leading Unicorn Venture Capital Firms". And emerging fund managers are sometimes taken aback when we are unfazed about their two unicorns in their portfolio and continue our due diligence. Business Insider just published an article about early-stage investors with billion-dollar outcomes. [DISCLAIMER BELOW] [EDIT 5/28/2019, 08:38 PDT -- I … Continue reading Leading Unicorn VC Firms and The Long Tail