I love a good rant, especially when it’s from one of my partners. Today, Seth Levine has the VC Post of the Day titled Beware of ASSHOLE VCs. He talks in detail about his frustration with an experience he’s just had with a company he invested in unrelated to Foundry Group. He reminds us all to “check out your investors before you go into business with them.”
Archive for the ‘VC Post of the Day’ Category
Rob Go from NextView Ventures has today’s VC Post of the day titled Some Thoughts on Communicating With Your Investors. It contains some great advice for communicating with your seed investors (both VCs and angels), for building both commitment from your early VC seed investors, and creating a cadence that is effective.
Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures MBA Monday’s post titled Financings Options: Venture Debt is the runner up. Fred continues to knock it out of the park with super useful information in his MBA Monday’s series.
We also owe a special thanks to Mark Suster of GRP Partners for his awesome review of Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist which he ran first on TechCrunch and then on his blog titled One Book Every Entrepreneur and VC Should Own. Mark – we humbly thank you for your incredibly kind words.
Roger Ehrenberg from IA Ventures has today’s VC post of the day titled Financing your start-up. He covers some very relevant ground talking about what he thinks are the key variables an entrepreneur should consider with regard to her financing strategy: (1) Founder objectives and mind-set; (2) Business potential; (3) and Interpersonal dynamics. As with many things in life, Roger states something that we strongly believe: “But at the end of the day, interpersonal dynamics plan a vital role in any financing plan for a business of any size.”
The theme of the VC post of the day today is “better board meetings.” We noticed two VC’s blogging about this so we thought we’d highlight both of them.
The first is from Robert Siegel of X/Seed Capital titled A Thought on Board Meetings. In addition to saying nice words about previous posts from Brad on board meetings, he builds around the idea that “In the end, a Board really does one thing: Hire and fire the CEO.” He strongly suggests that “Therefore, no matter how much one likes his or her Board, and no matter how much one’s Board likes the team, management always needs to come prepared to Board meetings – one simply cannot “wing it” – even if things are going well for the company.”
Brad’s been on a quest to reinvent board meetings and has started with his portfolio. While it’s rumored that he is making good progress, these posts are solid suggestions for improving traditional board meetings.
Today’s VC post of the day is from Mark Suster titled Don’t Cede Control: Why You Need to Cut out Middle Men in Negotiations. Mark has an outstanding blog, speaks from the experience of being both a two-time entrepreneur as well as a VC, and loves to write detailed, thoughtful, and very useful long form blog posts full of examples, anecdotes, and wisdom.
This one is no exception. If you are an entrepreneur, you’ll understand why you should take responsibility for the negotiation. If you a VC, Mark will remind you to be a big boy or girl and actually do the work, rather than try to pawn it off on someone else. And, the next time you think about some government negotiation, just remember that everyone is DC is actually a middle man for the people who elected them.
The runner up post today is Roger Ehrenberg’s titled Why investors matter. Roger is also an entrepreneur turned VC after a tour as an angel investor so he covers things from both the entrepreneur and VC perspective.
Our new motto over here at Ask the VC is “we read all the VC blog posts so you don’t have to.” We’ll give you the best one of the day with a quick summary and – if there are runner ups, include them also. Of course, we are never entirely sure what day it is so these might be from yesterday, today, or even tomorrow when we are really ahead of our game.
Today’s post of the day is from Charlie O’Donnell at First Round Capital titled Live in the problem, not in the solution: How customer development has gone awry. Charlie acknowledges up front that he’s not a Lean Startup zealot, although he thinks there are a lot of positives to the Lean Startup approach. He then goes on to talk about the challenge of applying the customer development approach to a domain you know nothing aboutl
“What’s lacking is an innate understanding of the customers problems before they go through the ideation phase. I find that some of the most sound entrepreneurial efforts are one where the founder has lived the problem uniquely in some way. Either they actually were the customer (and by customer I mean someone who pays for this kind of service) or they’ve literally spent years thinking about it–as an enthusiast or insider. “
We’d add a small comment to this – it’s really hard to be an entrepreneur around something you aren’t passionate about. This is tightly linked to Charlie’s point, as it’s hard to know a lot about something you aren’t passionate about.
Today’s runner up is Fred Wilson’s MBA Monday post on Financing Options: Preferred Stock. We cover this extensively in Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist, but Fred does a nice job of introducing the concept.
Today’s VC post of the day is from Dan Martell. Dan isn’t a VC, but is a super-mentor for 500Startups and is the Co-Founder of Flowtown, But more importantly, he’s written two excellent blog posts on Cohort Metrics. Don’t know what a Cohort Metric is? Shame on you – go take a look at the posts right now.
Many VCs and entrepreneurs care about metrics. But they often care about the wrong ones, or don’t understand the ones they are looking at, or think metrics is the way they measure things in Europe. Dan’s posts are a great introduction to understanding how to think about cohort metrics, which makes your metrics a lot more valuable.
As we crank up AsktheVC after a nice long hiatus, we are going to start putting up the VC Post of the day. There are now tons of VC blogs – some great, some ok, some meh, and some embarrassingly bad. But we’ll save you the trouble of reading them (if you want us to) by posting our favorite post of the day here.
Today’s post is from Jeff Bussgang of Flybridge Venture Capital titled Why You Should Eliminate Titles at Start-ups. Before Jeff was a VC, he was a co-founder, and before that he was an operator. He tells the story of both of these experiences – and how he learned that internal titles should be eliminated at startups.