Let me start off by saying that I have nothing against dogs and that in general, I think dogs are great. In fact, ever since we got our dog two years ago, I’ve noticed patterns in his behavior that suggest he might make for a great CEO. To set the stage, I never had any pets growing up. Sure, I had a few animals, but … Continue reading The Few Things I Admire about My Dog
Over the last week or so, I have seen quite a few pitch decks from VC fund managers who are either raising a new or follow-on fund investment fund. One of the interesting things about the majority of these meetings is not going page by page through the firm’s pitch deck in its entirety. It’s a small observation, but meaningful in a lot of ways. … Continue reading The “Un-Pitch Deck”
I was in the middle of reviewing some of our VC investment managers and I started to think about the difficulty VC managers have in finding and selecting good companies to invest in. Having worked with individual companies before, I can attest it is an extremely difficult task. Entrepreneurs have tough jobs too. For first-time entrepreneurs, starting a new company can be like driving a … Continue reading Picking Winners is Hard
It has been very interesting to read the many recent articles of prominent venture capitalists speaking out about the mistreatment of women in venture. Here we are in 2017, just 45 years after Congress passed Equal Rights for Women that outlined employers could no longer discriminate base on a person’s sex, and it is still a topic of conversation. Sigh… In the course of American … Continue reading We Need More Women In Venture Capital
As soon as I wrote the title of this blog post I jokingly thought to myself, “Wait, is there a such thing as a non-difficult entrepreneur?” The obvious answer to that question is yes, but for anyone who consistently works with entrepreneurs, it seems the really difficult entrepreneurs are the ones that are most memorable (and not in a good way). When you examine the … Continue reading Dealing With Difficult Entrepreneurs
I’m not big on clichés, but there are a few mottoes I live by that I believe have helped me quite a bit in life. I won’t list all of them here, but here are two I believe are worthy of sharing publicly. Motto #1: Incremental Progress Incremental progress is a methodology I adopted when I started learning Spanish 3 years ago. In short, incremental … Continue reading Incremental Progress + Purposeful Preparation = Positive Outcomes
In any given week I might have meetings with 5 to 10 different companies. Most of these companies are early-stage in nature and are often seeking one of two things: Advice and/or capital. If I had to guess, I’d say 10% are seeking advice, 85% are seeking capital, and just 5% are seeking both. For the overwhelming majority of those that are just seeking capital I … Continue reading The Importance of Validating Your Assumptions
Let me start by saying that I have a deep respect for entrepreneurs because they put it all on the line to make their dreams happen. But what I often wonder about is the underlying reason for why people want to become entrepreneurs in the first place. I’m sure there are many reasons, but I’ve narrowed it down to the three reasons that I believe … Continue reading Don’t Build What you Despise. Build Something Great.
One of the hardest things for some entrepreneurs to do is admit failure and move on. I view it as a sign of maturity and business intelligence, but all too often, many entrepreneurs do not see it that way. But the better question is “How do you know when it’s time to let go?” It’s not like there are manuals out there that tell you … Continue reading Saying “Goodbye” to Your Startup
My first job out of college was in the field of engineering (Structural Engineering, to be precise). I wanted to build buildings and work on complex job sites where I would wear a hard hat and boss people around. For some strange reason I thought this was what engineers did……..right out of college. After college, when I sat down at my desk for the first … Continue reading Can You Be a Good Investor If You’ve Never Been an Entrepreneur?