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Real Founder Lessons

Why take funding if you are successfully bootstrapped?

(at minute 2:03)

Founder Lesson
Last week I had the opportunity to meet-up with Bryce and the Indie.vc team during their quarterly retreat in Atlanta. I’ve been a fan of their approach since they launched, but hadn’t gotten a deep dive into their model until then.

In a nutshell, the Indie approach is to give a founder options. If they push hard for a year or . . .

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April 13, 2017

First few hundred customers is about product

(at minute 7:10)

Founder Lesson
Sequoia is one of the top venture firms and Roelof Botha is one of their top investors. As with all members of the PayPal Mafia, I pay particular attention when I hear them speak because that group is so thoughtful about how disruptive companies are created. And Roelof in particular is very thoughtful.

In this podcast Roelof is . . .

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February 28, 2017

Test investor reactions before running a full process

(at minute 33:33)

Founder Lesson
Once founders have a good handle on their startup, the topic of raising money is never too far behind. Because raising capital takes so much time & energy I’m always looking for lessons to help me think about this topic.

This podcast captured my attention because the founders detailed a step-by-step process that they used . . .

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November 10, 2016

Raising money is never easy, so find true believers

(at minute 41:36)

Founder Lesson
When I first started raising money for startups, a very experienced attorney told me that every round would take six months. What I came to find out is that the reality is more like six to nine months. To new founders this might sound surprisingly long, but this has been the case for me every time.

One piece of advice that has . . .

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September 05, 2016

What angel investors want to see

(at minute 41:46)

Founder Lesson
As a group of investors, angel investors fall into a tricky middle ground that founders should understand and appreciate. Angels are typically individuals who are able to invest $10,000 to $100,000 personally. Most angels that I encounter act like friends & family investors - they focus on the people and idea. Like your . . .

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December 14, 2015

Financing strategy depends on the potential of the business

(at minute 5:39)

Common Founder Issue
I often hear founders discuss whether or not a certain business is “VC fundable” or “should we raise $250k or $1M?” What I’ve learned is that businesses and management teams are going to do what they do and financing strategy follows the operational results that happen as they execute their plans.

In other words, I’d . . .

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November 04, 2015

Focus all of your resources on the one key risk in your business

(at minute 41:10)

Common Founder Issue
I've spent the better part of 20 years working on startups and thinking about what makes founders successful. The single most important lesson that I’ve learned is that focus is the biggest competitive advantage that startups have, so I’m always on the lookout for additional thoughts on this topic. In this podcast the . . .

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October 21, 2015

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