Archive for the ‘Great Posts’ Category

A VCs Thought On A Potential Downturn

Will Price at Hummer Winblad has today’s great post up titled Downturn – Now What?  I love it when someone completely nails it and I don’t have to do anything other than link to their post.

Angel Funding Toolkit

Aruni Gunasegaram has a great post up on GigaOm’s Found|Read titled My Funding ToolkitIt’s a nice summary of stuff that Aruni has put together in the quest for her next round of angel funding.

What Is A CTO?

Fred Wilson has a long post up today titled What To Say To A Roomful of CTOsAs with many of Fred’s "think out loud posts" it covers a lot of ground.  It’s an interesting complement to a post I wrote last October titled CTO vs. VP Engineering where I assert that after 20 employees, a startup needs a separate CTO and VP Engineering.  I’d like to think both are excellent and provocative reads.

My Lawyer Wants Equity in My Startup

Venture Hacks has today’s great post titled Should I give my lawyers equity?  This is a common ask by most lawyers of their early stage clients.  Venture Hacks gives you all the correct answers to this question. 

Mark Davis – Get Venture

Mark Davis – a member of the DFJ Gotham – has written a very extensive series of posts on his blog titled Get VentureMark describes his goal as to "create the entrepreneur’s manual for raising venture capital."  He’s covered a lot of ground that is a good read for any entrepreneur looking to raise venture capital.

Sales is a Science, not an Art

Today’s great VC post comes from our partner Seth Levine“Sales is a Science, not an Art.”  I agree with Seth’s take on sales.  The most successful sales organizations are metric driven folks who really have control over all the “levers” that can be pushed and pulled to affect change. 

Given the distributed nature of the sales workforce, it’s really important to have a definitive process to avoid wasting a lot of time and having high turnover.   

Should Venture-backed Companies Require Non-Competes?

Today’s great post(s) are from Fred Wilson and Bijan Sabet regarding the usage of non-compete clauses for employees of venture-backed startups.  Specifically Bijan argues that non-competes should be eliminated and Fred argues that they should not, if properly paid for.

It’s an interesting debate, but one that I side with Fred on.  Having spent the past 10 years in California, I can confirm that they are not enforceable, but I cannot say that their lack of enforceability has had a positive effect on startup activity in the Bay Area.  In fact, I’ve seen several times where the absence of a non-compete has led to litigation between two companies, which is much more costly than not having one at all.

I think Fred’s most important point is that “non-competes need to be paid for” and that they need to be drafted reasonably.

This debate is one of a number of issues that is highly flammable when debating, but that I have a hard time finding how not having non-competes is in the best interests of a particular company. I’d equate this to a drag-along on departing founder’s stock, in that if one looks at the issue on a personal level, it can appear egregious, but the end result is better for the company as a whole.  And what is better for the company, as a whole, may or may not be better for that particular individual when all is said and done. 

Either way, kudos to Bijan and Fred for starting what should be a great discussion of ideas.   

Don’t Ask For An NDA

I’ve written about NDA’s over on Feld Thoughts – my most popular post on this is Why Most VC’s Don’t Sign NDAs

Today’s post of the day is from VentureHacks and is titled What should I send investors? Part 3: Business Plans, NDAs, and TractionThe whole post is worth a read even though the summary says it all:

"Summary: Don’t send long business plans to investors. Don’t ask for NDAs. Don’t share information that must remain confidential. Understand that investors care about traction over everything else."

Litigation Sucks

Today’s great post is from Jeremy Liew at Lightspeed Venture Partners titled Litigation as a negotiating strategyIt’s an email interview between Jeremy and Andrew Bridges of Winston Strawn about litigation.  While Andrew demonstrates his pithiness with his quip “litigation sucks” he digs down deep in answering a few of Jeremy’s pointed questions about litigation and startups.

What Should You Send To Prospective Investors?

Venture Hacks has two great posts up about what kind of stuff you should send to investors if you are looking for financing.

  1. What should I send investors? Part 1: Elevator Pitch.
  2. What should I send investors? Part 2: Deck.

Plus, as a special bonus, you get to see Ali G pitching investors.  This nicely compliments my post from June 2004 titled The Torturous World of Powerpoint