Mentoring founders is hard
(what's your superpower?)
When my startup was growing like crazy and I felt like we had product-market fit, for the first time in my career I tried to mentor some startup founders. In 2012 I reached out to a half-dozen founder/CEOs with a simple offer...
If you agree to meet with me for coffee every month and tell me everything, I'll advise . . .
Raising money takes 6-9 months
(at minute 2:44)
Last week I was talking with a founder who was getting ready to raise money for the first time. During the course of our conversation it occurred to me that he's thinking the thoughts that all founders think before fundraising for the first time...
"Investors are going to meet me and hear my idea and in . . .
Focus your time on the right investors
(at minute 6:42)
I remember the first time that someone experienced told me some version of this advice...
"Don't waste your time with that investor...they don't invest in your type of startup."
"Don't waste your time with that investor...they aren't that active."
"Don't . . .
The value of accelerators
(at minute 36:07)
There's a bunch of startup stuff happening in downtown Atlanta this week, so I've been thinking a lot lately about programs that support startups.
The startup programs that have emerged over the past five years fascinate me. I'm old enough to remember the first startup hubs that emerged across the . . .
Why take funding if you are successfully bootstrapped?
(at minute 2:03)
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 . . .
First few hundred customers is about product
(at minute 7:10)
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 . . .
Test investor reactions before running a full process
(at minute 33:33)
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 . . .