How The SEC Is Violating My Wife’s First Amendment Rights

Feld Thoughts

Over the past 24 months, a deplorable activity in the money management business came to light. It got the name “pay to play&# , but was just another form of bribery. However, for some reason, the definition of this expanded to include any campaign contributions to any state or local officials, regardless of the size. It is now even more important to have a firm-wide policy against political contributions to these officials / candidates.

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5 Ways To Sample The Joy Of An Entrepreneur Lifestyle

Startup Professionals Musings

Unfortunately the success and lavish lifestyle of some current well-known entrepreneurs, including Richard Branson and Elon Musk , lead many who are not so well prepared to jump in with both feet, only to be shocked and severely tested by the unexpected rigors and high risk.

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What Local Businesses Need to Know About the State of Local SEO

Duct Tape Marketing

What Local Businesses Need to Know About the State of Local SEO written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing. What role does proximity play in search results? At what point does this all become pay to play? At what point does this all become pay to play?

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A Year of Reckoning for Angels and Seed Funds

A Crowded Space

All of these entities have been buying small pieces of preferred shares with $100K - $1M checks and have been doing phenomenally well when there was tons of Series A and Series B money to go around. The majority of the seed companies they funded went on to raise later rounds at often big markups. But, this year we’ve seen the greed of the last several years switch to fear. Given the fear by many investors, it’s getting harder for companies to raise more capital.

8 Reasons Why Startups Should Focus on Digital Strategies in 2017


Using a digital plan to support digital transformation and lead it towards your objectives is the first step to take. Here’s a rundown on what you can do to rise and shine online as a brand, and more importantly, why you do NEED a plan… Not sure where to begin?

A New VC Crop of Series A Firms


The list is also likely not complete (I’m not trying to create a comprehensive list), but ones I’d specifically cite in the Bay Area include Aspect, Defy, Bullpen, Felicis, Slow, Amplified, ENIAC, and Craft (list below).

5 Social Media Trends To Watch In 2019


As 2018 nears its conclusion, business owners and marketers should be thinking about what they can do to make their companies more successful in the New Year. Hopefully somewhere near the top of their priorities list is finding ways to leverage their social media channels more effectively.

The Silliness Of Recapping Seed Rounds

Feld Thoughts

Assuming equity is raised at or above that cap, the total dilution, before the new money, is 16.6% (equivalent to an equity financing of $1m at a $6m post money valuation. They go out to raise a Series A, but there are no takers. One of their angel investors, who happens to be a VC firm, decides to invest another $500,000 in the company. The new money comes in at a pre-money valuation of $100, but includes a complete refresh of founder equity to 40% of the company.

32 Questions Developers May Have Forgot to Ask a Startup Founder


Almost every day I'm talking to early stage startup founders (see Free Startup CTO Consulting Sessions ) about what they plan to do. I tend to ask a lot of questions, challenge aspects, make suggestions. It needs to be a conversation. How will you be taking this to market?

9 No-Nonsense Social Media Tips Your Business Can’t Ignore


With social media a marketing staple for businesses in all industries and across all parts of the globe, it has become more competitively critical than ever for brands to get their acts together. Do you want to position your company for all of the benefits social media can deliver?

How to monetize

Start Up Blog

I’ve never been a fan of the so called ‘Free’ business mode l, and often a bigger fan of the so called ‘pay to play’ business model. While catching up with Mick Liubinskas of Pollenizer fame I heard a much better way to describe what all business models on the web should do. It just reminds us that all startups must build something of value and then find a way to capture that value.

The macro view and the micro view

The Equity Kicker

The free-to-play model is far more effective for monetization than a pay-to-play model. My friends love Airbnb because they get to stay in cheaper and more unique places than what traditional hotels offer.

Thoughts on Facebook Slingshot

Eric Friedman

( cross posted to Medium to see what happens). At it’s core, it’s a photo and video messaging tool that lets you very easily create content to share with friends. Noticeably missing from this process is an easy signup with Facebook button that would connect you to your FB graph.

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The last money has the first say.


These include forcing early investors topay to play,” or invest their pre-rata amounts to keep their original percentages, or suffer the consequences of being diluted to the extreme and losing preferences in a liquidation. The reaction to bad news by VC’s controlling the board by virtue of their power to supply additional money, often includes the threat – or reality – of starting the process to find a replacement CEO.

Founder Interview: Felix Shipkevich and the Disruption in LegalTech

The Startup Magazine

His practice focuses on providing counsel to FinTech and financial services firms, including financial technology, payments and emerging digital currency space. Consumers rely on search engines and pay-to-play rating sites to find legal counsel.

Motivating Existing Investors


When a company has a bunch of investors (like the above hypo), it is important to understand that it is likely that not all of them will want to invest in future rounds (and this is particularly true with a mix of institutional and individual investors). Even is the Series B is an “up” round (simply meaning that the per share price of the Series B is higher than that of the Series A), some investors might not want to participate.

How to Use Social Media to Find the Perfect Employee for Your Business

Up and Running

At Bond Street , we’re experts in term loans , but we cover just about everything related to small business, including how to hire the perfect employees for your new company. For small business owners, committing to a new employee’s salary is daunting.

Entrepreneurs are Everywhere Show No. 25: Nigel and Vaughn Caldon and Kerry Frank

Steve Blank

Getting people to buy in to your startup vision takes a thick skin, perseverance and willingness to learn. Entrepreneurs refuse to take no for an answer. It follows the journeys of founders who share what it takes to build a startup – from restaurants to rocket scientists, to online gifts to online groceries and more. Listen to the full interviews with Nigel and Vaughn and with Kerry by downloading them from SoundCloud here and here.

Angel Investing 4 – Why You Need Deep Pockets to Win Big

Both Sides of the Table

This is the fourth article in a series on what it takes to be a great angel investor (and why this should matter to entrepreneurs). Part 1 – Access to Great Deal Flow – is here. Easier to start companies, yes. Pay to play.

Open Angel Forum San Fran – Team Calacanis Raises the Bar

Both Sides of the Table

Jason Calacanis started this initiative in response to the pay-to-play network of angel events that he despised. I’m a huge supporter of his initiative to help end this practice. would acknowledge – they needed to get to the demo more quickly.

Small Business and Startups: Net Neutrality? Done! (For Now)

crowdSPRING Blog

voted to place Internet Service under Title II of the Telecommunications Act, which means it will be governed as a public utility in the same way that telephone service is currently regulated. What a difference two weeks makes! This past Thursday, the F.C.C.

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Founders – Use Your Down Round To Clean Up Your Cap Table

Feld Thoughts

One of my favorite lines in buried in the middle: “I’ve heard enough companies say “we simply can’t cut costs or it will hurt the long-term potential of the business” to get a wry smile. ” Many companies have hired ahead of their growth rate because they had the cash to do so. “If you need to clean up your own cap table first – while very hard to do – it will make outside funding easier” Again, go read the post now – I’ll wait.

The 3 Facebook Changes in 2016 SMBs Need to Know

Duct Tape Marketing

The 3 Facebook Changes in 2016 SMBs Need to Know written by Guest Post read more at Duct Tape Marketing. Last year, advertisers only had the option to deliver ads on other mobile apps. This is likely to entice other kinds of businesses to test it out for other campaigns.

Angel Investing: Skill 3 – Relationships with VCs

Both Sides of the Table

This is the third article in a series on what it takes to be a great angel investor (and why this should matter to entrepreneurs). Part 1 – Access to Great Deal Flow – is here. And he argues that you need to have some “comparative advantage&# as an investor.

What Most People Don’t Understand About How Startup Companies are Valued

Both Sides of the Table

I’d like to explain as best I can my opinion on what is going on because most of what I hear from entrepreneurs is not only wrong but is reminiscent of what I heard in 1997-2000. ” and you can see that the balance of caution vs. optimism is 82% to 18%. Reversion to the Mean.

Keeping Commitments


The value is more complicated than some of the other ones we have, and although it is short, it has three components that worth breaking down: Making commitments: Goal setting, whether big company-wide goals, or smaller “I’ll have it to you by Tuesday&# goals, is the foundation for a well-run, aligned, and fast-paced organization. The prior two parts of this value statement are, in my mind, pay to play. More to come over time. Keeping Commitments.

17 Entrepreneurs Celebrate Summer Business Accomplishments


The time flew by and as school starts, the weather changes and the temperature drops, we decided to connect with entrepreneurs and business owners to see how their summers went and what were some of their accomplishments. We look forward to Cosmoprof every year! Summer is over.

Are Paid Content Distribution Platforms Cost Effective?

Duct Tape Marketing

In order for that content to be effective you need an audience, you need eyeballs and traffic. Social media is becoming an increasingly pay-to-play environment, especially on Facebook. Organic traffic to Pages is below 2%. Ask to be published as a guest blogger.

The Great VC Ice Age is Thawing (for now) – Part 1 of 3

Both Sides of the Table

When venture capitalists scale back investing activities it can be very swift and leave many companies that are in the process of fund raising hung out to dry. Just ask anybody who was trying to close funding the fateful week of September 11, 2001 or even March 2000.

Angel Investing: Skill 3 – Relationships with VCs

Both Sides of the Table

This is the third article in a series on what it takes to be a great angel investor (and why this should matter to entrepreneurs). Part 1 – Access to Great Deal Flow – is here. And he argues that you need to have some “comparative advantage&# as an investor.

What Does a CEO Do, Anyway?


I’d like to build on that premise by adding two other dimensions to the list. Fred was kind enough to offer me a “guest blogger&# spot, so this post also appears today on his blog as well. Setting vision and strategy are key…but in order to do that, the CEO must remember the principle of NIHITO (Nothing Interesting Happens in the Office) and must spend time in-market. Get to know competitors well. What Does a CEO Do, Anyway?

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Entrepreneurs Dislike Signaling; VCs Dislike Free Riders

Feld Thoughts

There were a bunch of good comments that caused me to realize that I wrote the post from the perspective of a VC, not an entrepreneur. Early stage VCs are often expected to play at least pro-rata in following rounds. But, when companies go sideways or struggle, the early investors are often expected, by their co-investors – to continue to participate pro-rata until the company either succeeds or fails. But to hand wave over the issue is illogical.

Venture Capital Term Sheets: Conversion Rights

Scott Edward Walker

Here are the issues I have addressed to date: common mistakes dealing with VC’s valuation liquidation preferences stock options exploding term sheets and no-shop provisions anti-dilution provisions dividends Board control protective provisions drag-along provisions pay-to-play and pull-up provisions In today’s post, I examine conversion rights of investors. A conversion right is the right to convert shares of preferred stock into shares of common stock.

VC Term Sheets – Investors’ Option to Walk

Scott Edward Walker

The Investors’ Right to Walk VC Term Sheets Are Non-Binding. It is important for founders to understand that VC term sheets are usually deemed to be “non-binding” (other than perhaps a few provisions, such as the “no-shop” provision and legal fees and expenses).

Know the Mindset


This sounds obvious – make sure to know the mindset of your investors. In addition to the “entrepreneur to investor” relationship, the “investor to investor” mindset relationship is critical. For example, if a co-investor (call it Fund Y) is a small fund and knows that it will not be able to keep up with it prorata investment share throughout the life of investment it would be critical for its co-investors to understand that going in.

SXSW Startups: DashTag Tracks Soccer

Austin Startup

The Dash wearable sensor turns field performance into FIFA-like stats to participate at competitions, challenges and paves the way to global recognition. What does DashTag hope to accomplish in 2018? We want to bring a new experience to U.S.

EMaaS: How Email Marketing Can Be Your Agency’s Most Profitable Service

Duct Tape Marketing

Thanks to John’s generous promotion of my content over the years, many of you probably know I’ve spent most of my career in search engine optimization. But from first-hand experience, I can tell you that neither of those is a good reason to ignore its effectiveness!

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Small Business Marketing Insights for 2020

Duct Tape Marketing

I wanted to close out the year with a solo show looking ahead to the next one; let’s talk small business marketing insights for 2020. While there have been some big trends in the world of marketing—things like AI—getting a lot of buzz, I’m not here to talk about those.

Why Foxtel is Doomed

Start Up Blog

I am a Foxtel subscriber and every day I get that little bit closer to turning off my $100 per month payment. Sure, their penetration in Australia might be growing, but we are on the precipice of disruptive change to Television, in a way that Foxtel must respond to if they want to survive. And their response needs to be before the impending disruption, or just like the music industry, they’ll be wondering what happened. I was happy to pay for it.

Transcript of What Local Businesses Need to Know About the State of Local SEO

Duct Tape Marketing

Transcript of What Local Businesses Need to Know About the State of Local SEO written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing. Back to Podcast. In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, we’re going to visit with Neil Crist. Hello and welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. We’re going to talk about their annual State of Local SEO , industry insights for a successful 2019. John Jantsch: It used to be so easy.

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Open Angel Forum NYC Recap

This is going to be BIG.

Last week, I got a chance to be the guy on the ground for Open Angel Forum NYC. First off, I have to thank those who made it possible—namely our sponsors and our host. Six companies and twenty angels were able to connect up without the friction and artificial scarcity created by the “pay to play” model and it was all made possible by the good folks at Joyent , Cooley , and Winter Wyman. Looking forward to doing at least two more of these in 2010!

Open Angel Forum and The Amazing Disappearing Funding Gap in New York City

This is going to be BIG.

First Growth Venture Network formed to mentor high potential seed and early stage companies. First Round Capital makes 11 new investments in NYC, hires me to be here fulltime, and announces a new NYC office in Union Square. I’m excited to announce that the Open Angel Forum is coming to NYC. Well, remember the dust up a while back with the backlash against “pay to play” pitch events where startups had to pay to meet angels?

No Mess (Too Much Liquidation Preference)


Instead of heading for my meeting (does not start for a few hours), I decided to hang out in the food court for a bit and watch. Continuing with the “No Mess” theme of commenting on things that give VCs pause, I thought it would be good to touch on liquidation preference. Yes, it is possible to issue preferred stock without liquidation preference, but that is rarely done. Yet, it is able to attract more investment capital. 3 million) to Series A LP. ($10