(clickbait) Founders, don’t trust your venture capitalists… or…

trustJosh Felser, formerly of Spinner (an internet radio and entertainment website bought by AOL), shares some stories about his startup and funding. To be sure, he mentions the terrorist tactics used by some investors.

If you don’t know what a “term sheet” is, you should learn.

If you don’t know what a “corporate structure” is, learn.



15 Things You Should Know Before Dating an Entrepreneur

Recently I signed up for Mark Cuban’s Cyberdust. I’m still trying to make sense of it. The nice things is you can talk to Mark, but don’t pitch him.

In any case, recently he sent this gem
heartbreak_by_anupamas15 Things You Should Know Before Dating an Entrepreneur

Here is the summary.
#1: Entrepreneurs are Very, Very Weird
#2: You’ll Either Make it or Bust
#3: They Need Solitude at Times
#4: They Don?t Live by a 9 to 5 Schedule
#5: They Usually Never Clock Out
#6: They Don’t Do Well with Ultimatums
#7: They Will Miss Event
#8: They Are Frequent Travelers
#9: They will Talk to Strangers Quite Regularly
#10: They Ask a Lot of Questions
#11: They Usually Attract the Spotlight
#12: Your Friends & Family Will Either Love them Or Hate Them
#13: They Have Strong Opinions
#14: They Despise Lazy People
#15: They Get Bored Very Quickly

John Stroppa’s Alternate Funding Strategies

On July 21, 2014, John and about a dozen persons meet in the classroom at HackerDojo. Starting promptly at 6pm, a few people were late. None-the-less, John pressed through giving his experience – drawn from his successes and exits in the video game industry in Vancouver, BC, Canada.

John outlined six (6) methods for capital besides bootstrapping or venture (or seed) capital, in short — without giving up equity.

    1. Strategic / Ecosystem or platform monopsony – in which a player needs a product or service by which they can continue to enhance their market position. An example is a search engine for walled gardens. A9, for example, started as a generic search engine, now it’s largest customer and investor is Amazon.
    2. Sponsored – sponsoring is a great to jump start a business. In this model another company or organization would pay to use your product for a demo or publicity event. For example, Coca-Cola might use your telepresence avatars for an international youth event.
    3. Factored – With this method, it does feel a bit like a pre-sale, but infact the money is fronted on expected sales. Also other terms are given, such as early exclusive sale or access to the product for a given period. An example would be a retailer that expects to sell other products with the early release of a game. As such, money fronted is drawn from the pre-sale until the money is “factored” back. You could also see it as a loan, payed back from sales.
    4. Philanthropic – An example of this is a large event being sponsored by a philanthropic organization that decides it needs some sort of unique service, such as an online game.
    5. OEM/White label – create a generic product for an industry. A good idea is doing want ads for electronic magazines, or monthlies that have turned to the web; such as trade magazines.
    6. Crowdfunding/Crowdsourcingkickstarter, indiegogo, fundable

Google: Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding.com lists – gofundme.com, kickstarter, indiegogo, youcaring.com, causes, giveforward, crowdrise, fundly, firstgiving, fundrazr

Forbes.com Top 10 Crowd funding websites kickerstarter, indiegogo, crowdfunder, rockethub, crowdrise, somolend, appbacker, invested.in, quirky (AngleList is not a crowdfunding website contrary to what the article implies.)

Grove – What Are Your Hiring Criteria?

help_wanted_signHiring is an unpleasant course for employees; they often feel threatened with thought “Will I be replaced?”. Even in fast growing companies, passing the hat (or a blank sheet of paper), gets sparse results. This article takes a slightly different, but better approach that finds it’s roots in agile.

FWIW: The use of “are” in the title is to reflect the plural use of You (or Your), which is correct in english, but often misused. That is to say, they title addresses multiple people at the same time, and not just one person. As such, the use of “are” is correct.

Important Tools to remember

  • Stickies and Sharpies
  • Qualifying & Disqualifying Criteria
  • Write it Down.
What Are Your Hiring Criteria?

Grove – Getting to No: The Key to Startup Selling

sequoia-274156_640Recently, I found a blog from Sequoia Capital. Articles appear to be random, and vary in usefulness.

If you are unfamiliar with the word Sequoia, the name gets it’s origin as the name of a tree genus. Generally, when most people think about the word they think Sequoiadendron giganteum or Sequoia sempervirens – both are the Redwoods native to northern California. But the Sequoia sempervirens, or the Coastal Redwood, is the only Redwood native to Silicon Valley. You can find it behind Stanford University and in Woodside, which is directly west of Redwood City – another VC haven.

Image complements of http://abebooks.com/

Image complements of http://abebooks.com/

The article below is from that blog. It promotes a sales strategy that varies (a bit) from a similar sounding title — Getting to YESIn “Getting to Yes”, it’s about building the synergy to get a YES answer. This article explains in plain english, why you want to get to NO, and how to get to it.


Getting to No: The Key to Startup Selling

johngreathouse.com – What This Dive Bar Can Teach You


Note the lack of a sign, and the rainbow colored flag. Clothing optional.


It’s worth noting San Francisco and Silicon Valley have similar establishments. Finding them is next to impossible. If you find them, DON’T Yelp! them. Blog yes, Yelp! NO. In San Francisco, the name to know is Hole in the Wall – two (2) pool tables, and mason jar to drink from – no glasses.

What This Dive Bar Can Teach You About (Not) Marketing