I was recently sent this video [Fireside Chat – Revenue Bootcamp Aug. 7th, 2009], posted by Building43, which features a Q&A session between:
– Guy Kawasaki – Garage Technology Ventures
– Mike Moritz – Sequoia Capital
– Paul Graham – Y Combinator
It is a very worthwhile video to watch if you are an entrepreneur involved in an eVenture. Guy hosts the forum and discusses early stage technology investing with Mike and Paul. At my personal stage in this business I found the segment on revenue the most insightful and helpful. I’ll leave the explanations up the experts.
Included below, is an outline of the questions asked and the time in the video at which they occur in case you don’t have 60+ minutes to watch the whole thing.
- Paul Graham introduces Y Combinator. (1:00)
- Mike Moritz introduces Sequoia Capital. (2:10)
- What do investors look for in a startup? (4:45)
- How does Sequoia & YC perceive entrepreneur’s projected revenues? (8:05)
- How does an entrepreneur present a competitive landscape? (15:00)
- Why does it seem that all startups founders are in their twenties? (18:20)
- What should entrepreneurs expect investors to do for them? (22:12)
- Is there a point when a startup should give up? (28:25)
- What makes a good board meeting? (32:55)
10. Audience Questions:
- What is going to be the next big wave of innovation? (37:30)
- How do you value a company and how much do you expect? (43:20)
- Comments on Socially Responsible investing and Patient Capital. (45:18)
- How do you feel about husband and wife teams? (49:18)
- Thoughts on entering the Chinese market for investing? (51:20)
- Guy – Do you have higher expectations for entrepreneurs to have a prototype? (56:15)
- Prognosis for the current economy? (58:20)
- What advice would you give an older CEO/Founder? (61:30)
11. Closing with Guy (63:50)
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Probably one of the most straightforward crash courses on startup funding I’ve read, Paul Graham has written a must-read article on How to Fund a Startup. It’s a good twenty-minute read, but if you are an entrepreneur looking to or thinking about funding this article will be well worth your time. And other than rambling on, I’m going to simply point you in the right direction and leave you with a couple of my favorite snippets from How to Fund A Startup:
“Fear of failure is an extraordinarily powerful force. Usually it prevents people from starting things, but once you publish some definite ambition, it switches directions and starts working in your favor.”
“Competitors punch you in the jaw, but investors have you by the balls.”
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I started reading blogs on a daily basis about 6 months ago and I am amazed at how much information is available through the Blogosphere. Even though there is plenty of noise (aka crap) out there, I continually find myself reading more useful information from blogs than I do through any other source. Even while searching Google for random topics on ‘Whether to bootstrap or Fund’, ‘Angel Investing’, ‘Venture Capital’ or whatever, it seems that somehow I always find my way to a blog post. I can remember even a few years back when I’d be researching a topic, and find myself on Wikipedia or this or that.com, but now 75% of the information I find is through blogs.
Great there’s a lot of information on blogs, what’s your point?
Point is, that out of the hundreds of blog posts I’ve read, Seth Godin consistently posts the best blogs. (The keyword I want to impress here is “consistently”.) Full of information and value, I have yet to be disappointed, or left without having gained something from one of his posts. What blows my mind is that he posts new blogs everyday, sometimes twice a day! How does he do it?
Regardless, if you haven’t subscribed to Seth’s Blog yet, do it. If you call yourself an entrepreneur this stuff is mandatory reading.
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