Post-Funding: Trigger Spend on Milestones, not Timeline.

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.

Sales: “I’m so glad I could help.”

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.”

Sales Strategy — Selling a Product Versus Selling a Platform.

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.

Board Questions to ask about Stock Options, NSOs, ISOs, Restricted Stock, Restricted Stock Units (RSUs).

[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).

EU / UK / U.S. Data Transfers after Brexit.

[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.

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!”

Digital Transformation Strategy — You Don’t Need One.

I talk a lot with very large enterprises in Europe, Asia, and Latin America.  Sometimes they have a question regarding their IT infrastructure, sometimes they want to hear about shifts in industry trends (few of them want to hear 'trends in the Silicon Valley,' thank god!). Sooner or later they tell me about their digital … Continue reading Digital Transformation Strategy — You Don’t Need One.

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.

“Flipping” your Company to the US?

I mainly help U.S.-based companies set up shop and scale for revenue in non-US regions. But I see more and more interesting deals where European or Asian companies are coming to the U.S. (Disclaimer!) There are usually two considerations why companies (startups and enterprises alike!) set up a dedicated U.S. entity: international regulations and litigations, … Continue reading “Flipping” your Company to the US?

VC Funding and “Going Earlier for Better Access.”

The story of these VCs usually goes like this: "We're starting to write very small checks much earlier. That way we can track company progress from the inside and are aware of any challenges or problems early on. We believe we can then also discern inflection points much earlier than other outside investors. We might … Continue reading VC Funding and “Going Earlier for Better Access.”