One man's opinion on Venture Capital Basics

are scientists bad entrepreneurs?

Don't really know the answer to this one.

But I was talking with a classmate of mine who was teaching scientists, and I realized what was encouraged in science could be detrimental in business.


She was teaching her students how to think by taking a group out to the beach and telling them that low tide was at 9:22 and to find the tidal zone.


she gave one group 2 1meter long sticks

another group got 2 meter long sticks and 100m long string

a third group she gave basic surveying equipment.


Self quotes

I was looking up quotes from a prospect, and realized that there would be a simple way to understand my thinking in 2015.


No Customers = No Company.

Better != Good


Big audacious goals

"Every little bit helps" distracts resources from the real solution


The NDA question

Do you sign NDA/NC?


Or If you sign this NDA/NC we can give you more.


This is a challenging question to ask and answer.


In part, because the perception can be that if you’re asking for an NDA/NC then you don’t know what you’re doing.  Or that you haven’t been asking professional/institutional investors for a while.  Since most all will say no.


Iceland decides to not join the EU


I did predict that one nation would abandon its application to the EU.  I wasn't thinking of Iceland at the time, But it is the first time something like this has happened.  I don't think it'll be the last.  We may see a country leave the EU, and the currency, economic entity might be abandoned and reformed to reflect the real economic realities underlying the entity.

It seemed like a good idea at the time

Every investment ever made came down to this sentiment.  It might seem a terrible idea 1 second afterwards, but at the time of investment, it always seems like the right thing to do.

You're Entertainment

When getting angel investment money, remember you’re dealing with discretionary dollars.  Don’t worry about the angel’s kid’s college fund, the 2nd house, 3rd car, 4th wife, 5th mistress.  That’s money you’ll never see.  What you’ll get will be the money that’s left over, the money for the cruise, or the casino.  This means you have to be at least as entertaining as the story that money would buy.

No Co-CEOs

Tell me who is in charge.  I want to know who’s head will roll if this thing goes south.  Don’t tell me that 2 or more of you are in charge, I want to know that if there’s a disagreement between the founders, that one person has the bigger voice.  They might have it because they invested more, that they went with less pay, or put more resources in.  But there has to be one person who can be pointed to for the success/failure of the venture.


Deserve to exist

As a human being, you deserve to exist.  You deserve food in your belly, a roof over your head and a shirt on your back.  You have the right to live.  As a company, you have no such rights.  The only one who can give you the right to exist is your customer.  The only way they give you that right is by purchasing your goods/services.  If they don’t buy, you don’t exist.              

Portfolio approach in VC

Venture investors have a portfolio of companies they invest in.  1 has to be a home run and cover all the sins and mistakes of the rest of the portfolio. Venture investors also have a time frame in which to make their money. This is usually 7 years with 3 1-year extensions.  Thus, since everyone one of their investments looked like a home run at the time they wrote the check, they will push all their portfolio companies to strive to be that huge return.

Sell To investor means Sell For investor

Once you get money from an investor into your company, the very nature of your business changes.  It goes from being a job to sell your product/service, to a primary job of selling your company.  The investor is only in this deal because they think it’s possible to sell your company for more than they paid.  The only way that happens is with an exit to another company, via an acquisition.  Or an IPO, which is a sale to the public.  Given the challenges of going public, many companies will end up exiting via acquisition.  But that terminal point is what th

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