CategoryAdvice

Some funds ask to be paid to waste your time!

Last month I wrote: There are funds that waste the time of startups never actually writing checks. I won’t call them out publicly by name, but one prominent institutional lender just wasted 10 months of time of one my fledglings, and I’m sure they are sitting around as upset with us as we are of them. I thought that was the end of the story. 10 months of conversations and due diligence, two...

Some funds waste your time

The flipside to “unfundable” companies are funds that waste the time of startups never actually writing checks. I won’t call them out publicly by name, but one prominent institutional lender just wasted 10 months of time of one my fledglings, and I’m sure they are sitting around as upset with us as we are of them. First and foremost, investors, if it takes you more than...

1-on-1 Coaching on Patreon

Creating an investor pitch is one of those tasks that seems simple, but isn’t. I wrote a book on the topic years ago, providing slide-by-slide guidance, and that helps first time entrepreneurs, but not enough to create great pitch decks. So… I’ve launched a Patreon to take this one step further, to provide one-on-one, slide-by-slide coaching for anyone who would like the help. I...

Due to Insanity

I do a lot of teaching and the latest topic for me is teaching early-stage/Angel investing. As part of that we talk a lot about “norms”, as most of system for investing in startups is wrapped around norms more than logic. I’ll go into why that is some other time. What struck me a few moments ago was an LLC Agreement I was reviewing for an investment. Normally the reasons listed...

2050 is closer than 1990

One of my lessons in The Angel Accelerator is called “Seeing the Future” and the main theme is the fact that entrepreneurs need to be able to predict what is needed by customers a year or two or three from now. Along the way we talk about how almost no one predicted the pandemic in 2007-2009 when the financial markets nearly collapsed, we talk about flying cars and self-driving cars...

Typos (and other lessons in perfection)

In a recent post Fred Wilson of AVC.com talked about typos in his blog, and how their existence is OK. AVC is me. I am human. Humans are imperfect. So AVC should be imperfect.So there it is. I am letting it stand. Back when I was a young entrepreneur in the 1990s I used to obsess on perfection in my work. One of the big lessons in thirty years of startup life is that nothing is ever perfect. Not...

19,001 Contacts

In 2011 I left my life as a tech entrepreneur and began my work as a teacher, mentor, and impact investor. That change meant building a new network of contacts, and I started that effort with just a few dozen curated connections from the first twenty years of my career. Ten years later, I’ve been keeping a CRM database of (almost) everyone I’ve met and today the 19,001st person was...

Not Juggling, but Flashing

People who work with me think I don’t sleep. They see me working on multiple projects and getting more done than they think reasonable in any given week, month, or year. They conclude I’m one of those people who never sleeps. In reality, I sleep at least as much as they do. Maybe more. I’m just a better juggler. Look at my LinkedIn profile and you’ll find at least four...

Renting the last telephone

What I glossed over in Selling the first telephone is the fact that AT&T didn’t actually sell any telephones. Until the breakup of the company in 1984, telephones were rented as part of the monthly service. Renting was a choice to seemingly maximize profits. The excuse AT&T gave the government disallowing customers from owning their own phones was that AT&T was protecting their...

RUT not MVP

I saw this on Twitter yesterday: These days I spend more time with entrepreneurs who have products in the market and paying customers, rather than the dreamers who are still struggling with their minimal viable productions and first sales. In either case, what I teach entrepreneurs is that they need to not only worry about that first initial design for customers, but every incremental design...

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