Archives / May, 2008

What Kind of Benefits Can I Expect Working at a Startup?

Q:  What kind of benefits do start-ups typically offer? I don’t mean salary or equity: about which you already posted a lot of information. I am talking about health and life insurance, disability insurance – all of the typical benefits one receives when working for a large and established business. Do you recommend a particular…

Getting Into The VC Business

Fred Wilson has today’s great VC blog post up titled I Got Lucky.  It’s the story of how Fred got into the VC business – going back to 1986. I met Fred in 1996 the same day I met Seth Godin at Yoyodyne (which ended up being the first investment out of Fred’s new fund…

Should You Expense or Capitalize Your Engineering Costs?

Q: At RealNetworks we always expensed (vs. capitalized) engineering expenses (as does MSFT).  What is your philosophy on this engineering accounting practice. A: (Brad) Subject to approval by the auditors, I always encourage companies I invest in to expense their engineering costs.  Regardless of the accounting treatment, I think it’s a bullshit practice to capitalize…

Should I Be A Shareholder Representative?

Note:  This was actually a question that I received from a colleague via email, but thought I’d post it here given the content.  Q:  My company is close to signing a contract to sell the business.  Although I’m prepared to do the role, one of the board members has suggested that we consider using a…

Term Sheet Glossary

Gigaom’s FoundRead has today’s great post up titled F|R Crib Sheet: The Term Sheet Glossary guest written by Jay Parkhill.  While you can always entertain yourself for hours with the Term Sheet Series that Jason and I wrote several years ago, sometimes a crib sheet will suffice.

A VC’s View on Why Startups Fail

David Feinleib at Mohr Davidow Ventures has today’s great post up titled Why Startups Fail.  Given all the consumer web stuff that got funded between 2004 and 2006, we are heading for another wave of failure as companies run out of gas after their Series B / Series C rounds and their investors lose patience…

Should I Protect My IP Before I Try To Build My Product?

Q: I’ve got a software startup that has a novel approach to solving a market problem. However, the solution stems from the nature of the process, not from the code per se. In terms of trying to finance the venture, would this necessitate getting enough funding to be first to market and just try to…

Do VCs Fund Entrepreneurs Who Have Failed At Previous Ventures

Q: Are you aware of any VC’s that have funded founders that have failed at their previous ventures? A: (Brad) Absolutely.  Me!  Any many other VCs.  Failure is a normal part of entrepreneurship which I’ve written about extensively in the Failure section on Feld Thoughts. My favorite entrepreneurs to fund are those that have had…

Get Rid of the Friction

Josh Kopleman has today’s great post up titled How to "Ask for the Order".  After I read it, I thought a better title would have been "Lubricating Commercial Transactions", but then again, I’m not a titleist (one who is excellent at making up titles.)  I learn this lesson over and over again, especially after a…