Sat.Aug 08, 2009 - Fri.Aug 14, 2009

WTF is Traction? A 6-Step Relationship Guide to VC

Both Sides of the Table

This is part of my ongoing series “Pitching a VC&# – the outline is here. You’ve pitched several angels and VC’s. Everybody seems to like you but nobody seems to be getting out their checkbooks. Most of them are telling you that they just need to see a bit of traction before they’d be prepared to [.].

Burning Cash Is For Toasting Marshmallows [cartoon]

OnStartups

I’m going to go on a bit of a rant here. I’m miffed that the industry term for the process whereby startups invest. in building their businesses is called “burning cash”. If your startup is. burning cash (as shown in the cartoon above), you’re doing it wrong.

Trending Sources

Quick & Dirty How-To: Employee Stock Option Allocations

Christine.net

A great question came up recently in discussion with one of First Round's CEOs: how much equity should I allocate for hiring my next round of employees? For a company that has raised a first institutional round of capital, this question is important not only when making competitive job offers, but also when calculating what size option pool the company will need before raising the next round of capital.

Elevator Pitch

Market by Numbers

Note: Originally published at SANDIOS. Everyone has heard of the “elevator pitch” and all entrepreneurs know they need one. Right? I'm talking about the ability to tell your business story in the time it takes the elevator to get the

WTF is Traction? A 6-Step Relationship Guide to VC

Both Sides of the Table

This is part of my ongoing series “Pitching a VC&# – the outline is here. You’ve pitched several angels and VC’s. Everybody seems to like you but nobody seems to be getting out their checkbooks. Most of them are telling you that they just need to see a bit of traction before they’d be prepared to invest. Your friends and advisers tell you that this means you need revenue because in this economy VC’s will only fund businesses with revenue.

More Trending

Angel Funding Advice

Both Sides of the Table

This is part of my ongoing series Pitching a VC. Last night I attended a DealMaker Media (whom I love because they always host such great discussions) panel on raising angel money moderated by Dan Gould and with panelists Rob Hayes (First Round Capital, more seed or A round than angel), Scot Sangster (with OrganicStartup and [.].

Revisiting the Software Design Manifesto (and what's changed since.

Startup Lessons Learned

My recent article on technical debt and its positive uses generated a fair bit of controversy. One of the topics that raised heated debate was whether I had conflated technical design with product design, because I made the admittedly

I'm From the Government and I'm Here to Help You

Steve Blank

Apologies for a “Secret History” post that appeared today and now is gone from the blog. Those of you with a reader still have it.) It was a rough draft you'll see again when I can finish complete sentences

Software and Making Money (Presentation Slides Included)

Tony Wright dot com

(note: this is modified from a talk I gave at Seattle Tech Startups on Wednesday). The more I think about it, the more I’m impressed with software businesses that are great businesses (not just great software).

Angel Funding Advice

Both Sides of the Table

This is part of my ongoing series Pitching a VC.

To the Entrepreneur, Cash is Almost As Important As Breathing (But Only a Close Second)

Small Business Force

Business Master QuickTip - Cash Generation Cash flow, its generation, its conservation and, overall, its management is the single most important discipline an entrepreneur must learn to be truly successful. And of these, cash generation is the most important.

The Secret History of Silicon Valley Part IX: Entrepreneurship in.

Steve Blank

This post is the latest in the “Secret History Series.” They'll make much more sense if you read some of the earlier ones for context. See the Secret History bibliography for sources and supplemental reading.

Startup Weekend Teams Up With Venture 360

Don't Go South

The crew at Venture 360 (a North venture…) has just teamed up with Marc and Clint over at Startup Weekend to bring their throngs of ambitious entrepreneurs some valuable insight and to support Startup Weekend in their mission to foster more innovation around the globe.

What We Must Learn from Asia

Both Sides of the Table

I run a monthly meeting called the VCA that represents the majority of Southern California venture capital firms. My goal is to bring in informative speakers who stretch our collectively thinking on topics that will influence our investment strategies and use it as a way for us to share our experiences in ways that I [.].

Reversing Unintended Consequences From Regulation is Critical to Restoring Small Company IPO’s

Pascal's View

I liked the Friday, August 7 Wall Street Journal editorial, Washington vs. Silicon Valley , but it does not go far enough.

Touching the Hot Stove – Experiential versus Theoretical Learning.

Steve Blank

I'm a slow learner. It took me 8 startups and 21 years to get it right, (and one can argue success was due to the Internet bubble rather then any brilliance.) In 1978 when I joined my first company, information about how to start

Markup Factory Interview

Launch Any

Markup Factory Logo Wide. Nathan at Godbit has an interview with Markup Factory, a hosted CMS , which supports valid user generated HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Markup Factory offers a rich feature set including a blog, user database

What We Must Learn from Asia

Both Sides of the Table

I run a monthly meeting called the VCA that represents the majority of Southern California venture capital firms. My goal is to bring in informative speakers who stretch our collectively thinking on topics that will influence our investment strategies and use it as a way for us to share our experiences in ways that I hope benefit the Southern California technology ecosystem.

The Best Entrepreneurial Quotes

Visions from a Visionary

"Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat."

100% of Zero is Still Zero!

Small Business Force

In the early growth stages of your company, don't be overly concerned with the percentage of equity you retain.

Show Your Real Self - Cultural Transperency

Entrepreneur Success Blog

Each company has a culture, whether it’s old school thinking shrouded by huge mahogany desks or the quick and nibble start up who plays Halo at lunch. The good and the bad, the right and wrong, all companies think and act in their own way, and each company has its own unique culture.

Information Leakage and Improper Error Handling - Constantly.

Constantly Learning

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How much does Google really know about you? | Seth Levine

Seth Levine's VC Adventure

In case you were wondering what goods Google has on you check out [link] from the browser you typically use for web browsing and

Web 0

Wall Street Journal Opinion Column: Don’t Strangle Venture Capital With Miles of Red Tape

Pascal's View

The Wall Street Journal published a combined version of my letter to the editor in response to the Washington vs. Silicon Valley editorial of August 7 with letters from Harry Edelson (another First Boston alumnus from the ’80’s), and Ryan Phillips (whom I do not know). My blog post of yesterday is a longer version of the letter that I sent to the editor. Scott Austin has written a lively column today on this topic in Venture Capital Dispatch.

allensblog: IT Glory Days

Allen's Blog

Interesting column in last Sunday's NYT by Randall Stross. Continues a debate fomented by Larry Ellison (good summary of it here in the context of the Oracle/PeopleSoft merger) about whether IT is a "mature" industry (as

The Limits of Vertical Integration — Microsoft Clip Art vs Google.

Immersive Web

Microsoft created a vertically integrated product when they released Clip Art as an image repository for Powerpoint. For years, this integration worked beautifully, if for no other reason than there was no alternative or incompatible

A Little Trick to Expose More User Data on LinkedIn

Creative Distraction

Given the enthusiasm with which yesterday’s absurd Onion headline about Internet privacy was circulated, I decided to publish this slightly devious, slightly concerning, slightly useful little trick for circumventing the privacy constraints on LinkedIn’s search utility. In this post, I describe a technique that exposes additional user data about people outside your network whom you [.].

Web 0

Proposed International Tax Reform Carries Serious Negative Unintended Consequences for U.S. Companies and Damages U.S. Global Competitiveness

Pascal's View

The accounting firm KPMG recently issued a public policy alert with respect to new international tax regulations that were introduced in May for Congressional consideration. According to the report: Under existing U.S. tax rules, companies may defer paying taxes at rates as high as 35 percent on most types of foreign profits so long as that money remains invested overseas.

Links for 2009-08-10 [Digg]

VC Cafe

Fantasy football - WAGs. Footballers have enviable lives, they earn mega-bucks playing the game they love, they win the adulation of their fans and they also get hold of incredibly beautiful women. Check out this gallery of the hottest WAGs

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Too Much to Do

ExtendsLogic

Ok, I now have a couple of weeks left and I still have an incredible amount of work to do. I’m going to have to remove some incomplete features to make my deadline or I’ll never make it. The good thing is that a lot of the code is there so I have a head [.]. Before Launch

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Data on Start-up Success Says: Start Businesses Early and Often

Creative Distraction

For the entrepreneurs who might be reading this, let me first extend my apologies. to your spouses and families. The data I'm about to share suggests that the key to entrepreneurial success is how many times you try.

Setbacks in White House and DHS Organizational Responses to Securing Critical Infrastructure—a Troubling Trend?

Pascal's View

Organizational challenges and governance questions appear to be gaining the upper hand in faltering efforts by the White House and DHS to address America’s cybersecurity. Last week two respected leaders in the cybersecurity realm, Melissa Hathaway of the White House and Mischel Kwon of the Department of Homeland Security Computer Emergency Response Team (DHS CERT), announced their resignations.

Introducing the Lean Startup Cohort subscription program

Startup Lessons Learned

Over the past few months, I have been engaged in another customer discovery exercise with passionate early adopters of the lean startup methodology. I am now ready to move into the customer validation phase. This idea is the brainchild

Surviving the Boss from Hell

David Silverman

David Silverman ( dsilverman@harvardbusiness.org ) writes “Words at Work,” a blog at harvardbusiness.org, and is the author of Typo: The Last American Typesetter or How I Made and Lost 4 Million Dollars (Soft Skull Press, 2007) and the HBR Case Study “Will Our Customers Bail Us Out?”