Archives: March 2009
Mar 31, 2009
Nobody “gives” you money (with the possible exception of your Mom, and unless she’s a mega-millionaire, she likely can’t fund your start-up)
When you’re looking for financing - rather from VCs, angels, banks, or alternative lenders - they ALL want to know how you’re going to spend the money. As one of my long-ago mentors used to say, “We’re not the Fresh Air Fund.”
In my role as a long-time advisor for the annual TVC Equity Capital Symposium, I see the “use of funds” headline a lot.
Mar 31, 2009
In my last “real’ job I worked for a technology start-up for which the founder raised $60 Million. Yes, that’s right 60, six-oh, followed by million. We had beautiful, custom designed offices, terrific marketing materials, a great support staff….and one customer. Sad (and needless) to say, my stock ended up being worth nothing.
So, here the three things you don’t need in start-up mode, if ever:
1. Cool Offices. If you’re two guys coding, you can do that at home. But DO have some
Mar 30, 2009
I once had a software client that was prepping for an IPO (Ah, remember those? The good old days!) The CEO brought me in as a general purpose “turn this into a viable business” consultant. One of the first things I did (the “troubleshooter” part) was to take the very, very long project plan and dissect it. They weren’t hitting the milestones, software was going out untested, and their (very large, market-making) customers were not happy.
Second thing I did was schedule a regular meeting
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- Stop “Educating” Your Customer.
- Nobody Cares What “I” Want or Think.
- “WHY CAN’T THEY JUST TELL THE STORY??!!!!”
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