Thoughts on startups by investors that
fund them & entrepreneurs that run them

How True Entrepreneurs Make Themselves Accountable

Everyone seems to like the aspect of being an entrepreneur that goes with “being your own boss” and “able to do things my way.” But sometimes they forget that this kind of freedom comes with a price of personal accountability. Accountability means “the buck stops here,” and “all the failures are mine.”

Too many people seem to do whatever it

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How often do investors take a meeting with companies that they have rejected when the company was in its early stages?

It happens, but it’s not typical, given their limited time and the large number of companies they need to process in order to find the “keepers”.

Things that increase their likelihood of being open to another meeting after having previously passed on an investment:

A case where the entrepreneur was specifically asked to “come back after they have more traction.”

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How do I shake off needy investors?

Does the company have a board of directors? Are there any investor representatives on it?  If there is a “lead” Investor with whom you have a good relationship, you might try having him act as your front man. Otherwise, you might try sending ALL your investors something like this:

High Performing Virtual Teams Have 8 Key Attributes

Almost every startup is a virtual team these days, since most don’t start out with dedicated office space, and some or all members of the team work part-time or out of their own home. It’s a small world, so these team members may not even be in the same town, or the same country. Outsourcing is just another extension of

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What happens when a company is acquired for less money than it raised in funding?

Every investment round in a company is made on the basis of extensivepaperwork (often upwards of 100 pages in total) specifying *precisely* what happens when it comes time to pay out the proceeds (if any) from the sale or dissolution of the company. And since all prior investors sign such agreements—or are otherwise legally bound by them—there is never any

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What are the best New York City events to attend to meet VC’s and Angel investors?

This is a somewhat tricky question. Although there are many, many excellent events each week in New York that it would make sense for a startup entrepreneur to attend (see Gary’s Guide, Startup Digest, or This Week in NY Innovation), the truth is that (a) VCs and serious investors don’t go to most of them, and (b) the odds are

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How To Turn Friction Into Value In Your Startup

Entrepreneurship is not a job for the Lone Ranger. Every startup requires building and maintaining effective relationships with people, including partners, team members, customers, and investors. That means giving and asking for feedback, and learning from it, especially negative feedback.

“Friction” is feedback mixed with emotion or drama, making it all the more difficult to sort out the value. There

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How do startups decide who sits on the board?

A company’s board of directors is technically elected by the company’s shareholders. So before a startup receives outside funding, the board is “elected” by—and usually consists of—the founders (although it may exist in name only.)

Once a company receives its initial seed, angel or venture funding, the documents prepared for the investment will include a Shareholders Agreement that gets signed

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10 Ways To Kill A Growing Business With Bad Hires

Every startup with any traction quickly reaches a point where they need to hire employees to grow the business. Unfortunately, this always happens when pressures are the highest, and business processes are ill-defined. At this point you need superstars and versatile future executives, yet your in-house hiring processes and focus are at their weakest.

The result is a host of

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What are some good things about Gust that some founders might not know?

As the largest global database of startups (bigger than Crunchbase and AngelList combined, and more than double the size of StartupGenome), searchable by keyword and location, and with all entries written by the startups themselves, it can provide a quick sanity check before you go around saying “we have no competitors”. Rest assured that your potential investors have already used

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