September, 2012

Trending Sources

“Stealth mode” and other f’ing brilliant strategies

A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks

Here’s some of my super-secret winning strategies from fifteen years of building startups. Stay in stealth mode until the last minute. Satire

The Lean LaunchPad Online

Steve Blank

They’ve done an awesome job. The course includes lecture videos, quizzes and homework assignments. Sign up here. ——– Why This Class?

Lean 155

The Truth About Convertible Debt at Startups and The Hidden Terms You Didn’t Understand

Both Sides of the Table

This article initially appeared on TechCrunch  - with a minor update highlighted in red below. We’re back to discussing convertible debt again.


A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

Paul Graham has penned a longish and excellent essay in which he postulates that growth is the single defining characteristic of startups and the thing that all entrepreneurs must focus on. Paul is slowly but surely building a body of writing on startups that is as good as anything that has ever been written on the topic. This is another gem.

Screw the Black Swans: Ichiro is our role model, not Barry Bonds.

500 Hats

Put bluntly: we are both ambitious and we both play baseball, but YC is quite clearly the Yankees, while 500 is more like the Oakland A’s.

More Trending

The Misstep of Quora and The Importance of Trust Amongst Your Community

Both Sides of the Table

You know the old saying about trust … “It takes years to build and seconds to destroy.” Tred this line carefully. Of course not.


A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

The first great investment we made at USV was Indeed in the summer of 2005. Brad had been looking for a search engine for jobs and I saw this post on John Battelle's blog in late 2004. forwarded it to Brad and he reached out to Paul and Rony. It took two tries before we could convince them to take our money. They didn't need our money.

What Costs Are Considered Reimbursable To The Founders Of A Startup Company?

Ask The VC

Q: What costs are considered reimbursable to the founder of a start-up company? More specifically, if the founder has been boot-strapping his company since inception, and he agrees to a series a term sheet with a VC firm, are the operational costs incurred by the founder between this time and the closing of the round reimbursable to the founder? For

Cost 79

Entrepreneurship Is All About Taking Smart Risks


Most entrepreneurs think that risk is just an “occupational hazard” that can be minimized or eliminated by a smart businessman.

SkyDrive Is Great and No One Has Noticed

Feld Thoughts

In July I wrote a post where I was  Searching For A Collaborative Writing Tool. I got a bunch of suggestions – some people suggested their startups, some suggested Google Docs, and one person (a friend who works for Microsoft) suggested   Microsoft SkyDrive  . We’ve been using it for two weeks and it is awesome. Stunningly awesome.

Cloud 75

Why Too Many Startups (er) Suck

Steve Blank

This is a guest post by my Startup Owner’s Manual co-author Bob Dorf. ——————-. While statistics are weak on startup success rates, the worst one I’ve seen suggests that 2 in 1000 venture backed startups will ever achieve $100-million or more in valuation. Another stat puts that number at 2% rather than 0.2%. 

What Makes a Successful Startup Community? Is it Possible to Build One Where You Live?

Both Sides of the Table

This article originally appeared on TechCrunch. Think Fred Wilson, Tony Hsieh or Brad Feld. Here are mine: 1. And I really mean everywhere. Machinima.

Convertible Debt

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

Back in the summer of 2010, I wrote a post outlining why I don't like convertible debt investments. USV does a fair bit of seed investing and we have never done a convertible debt deal (although we have done bridge loans for our existing portfolio companies). We do this all the time. 2) When you set the price, both sides know what deal they got.

Don’t Let Lifestyle Entrepreneurs Be a Dying Breed

Startup Professionals Musings

Since 2008, the desire for profits has trumped passion in 54 percent of new startups, according to a recent study. Cobb and M. L. What do you think?

What is the “maximum” amount (%) of a startup an investor should have?


In general, and in a more-or-less-ideal world, companies should be prepared to give up roughly 20%-40% of equity for each round of early financing, where the size of each round is enough for the company to increase its valuation significantly. After Seed: 80%. After Series A: 64%. After Series B: 51%. After Seed: 60%. After Series A: 36%.

Introduction to Growth Hacking for Startups

VC Cafe

Paul Graham’s Startup Curve – avoid the “through of sorrow”! like/+1/follow? new and original) and interesting (i.e.

The State Of E-Commerce Checkout Design 2012

- select -. Books. eBooks. Job Board. Books. eBooks. Job Board. Facebook. Twitter. Newsletter. Search Go! select -. Books. eBooks. Job Board. Coding.

Is Going for Rapid Growth Always Good? Aren’t Startups So Much More?

Both Sides of the Table

I think I’ve read Paul Graham’s post on “ Startup = Growth ” three or four times now. And of course on Twitter I’ve seen the Tweets, ReTweets and superlatives on what a great post it is. Viewing the article through the lens of a venture capitalist there’s much to agree with under the mantra of “growth!”

Does Open Conflict With Making Money?

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

also think it is better to open up slowly, cautiously, and carefully rather than start out wide open and then close up every time an existential threat appears on the horizon. recall when Etsy first put out an API. It was a read only API. Then they made it read/write. Venture Capital and Technology

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10 Marketing Rules to Command Customer Attention

Startup Professionals Musings

Innovation in marketing is perhaps more important than product innovation. Don’t repurpose, re-imagine. Don’t just join the conversation, spark it.

Don’t Use Automatic Image Sliders or Carousels, Ignore the Fad


I’m sure you’ve come across dozens, if not hundreds of image sliders or carousels (also called ‘rotating offers’). Products.

Facebook Advertising / Marketing: Best Metrics, ROI, Business Value

Occam's Razor

Facebook has an incredible audience, 950 million strong and counting. This audience is immensely attractive to Brands and Marketers around the world.

7 Tips for Writing Tweets that Instantly Lead to More Blog Traffic

Blogtrepreneur | Entrepreneur Blog

How can you set yourself apart? How can you prevent yourself from being just white noise? Variation is the key. So vary your format accordingly.

Should Investors in the Same Round of Financing Ever Get Different Prices?

Both Sides of the Table

If you were on Twitter on Saturday you might have noticed a lively discussion with Dave McClure, Fred Wilson, Chris Dixon and myself. And a few others.

Two Must Read Books For The AVC Community

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

There are many themes that grace this page from time to time. And there are two books out this week that are must reads on these two topics.

8 Ways Entrepreneurs Can Master the Creative Mind

Startup Professionals Musings

An entrepreneur is literally “one who creates a new business.” But how does one recognize and nurture creativity in a person or team? Marty Zwilling.

Convertible Equity, A Better Alternative To Convertible Debt?

Startups. Mobile. Gadgets. Europe. Video. Enterprise. Venture. Social. GreenTech. Gaming. Opinion. Drama. Guides. Smartphones. Tablets. Laptops. Apple.

Mobile Marketing 2015: Rethink Customer Acquisition, Intent Targeting

Occam's Razor

I'm immensely excited about how completely mobile platforms impact our lives. They are still stuck, for the most part, in 1980s thinking. give up.

Social Networks Implode Quickly

Diego Basch

Friendster, Myspace, Bebo. They were huge not long ago. Do social networking sites tend do die faster than other types? Obviously it goes both ways.

The 7 Deadly Sins of Startups


Not all of these are quite "deadly sins", but the "47 common mistakes of entrepreneurs" didn't quite have the same ring to it. Enjoy. Toilers triumph.

Section 18 of the America Invents Act

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

Yesterday we hosted a conversation between David Kappos , the Director of the US Patent and Trademark Office, and a bunch of founders/CEOs of our portfolio companies. There was one thing that we discussed that is very important and needs to be publicized broadly. The USPTO has interpreted that provision and it is now fully implemented.

Everything you need to run your business… from your iPad

The Next Web

During the interview he mentions that he still uses his iPad a lot – so much so that it is still his favourite computer. Yes, he’s a journalist. Skype.

How to Divide Equity to Startup Founders, Advisors, and Employees

Call Us: +1-855-629-6200. About. Mission Statement. Locations. Our Team. Press. Community. Careers. Member Coordinator. Bookkeeper. Marketing Intern.

Too Many Small Businesses Still Ignore Social Media

Startup Professionals Musings

His business has since closed, but his mindset is still out there. What’s the problem? Don’t mix your personal and business profiles or messages.