Rolling into a Crowded Market

Recently I was talking to an entrepreneur that was launching a new product and wanted to talk through a few ideas. As we drilled into his product it was clear that there were a number of well-funded competitors already in the market. When I mentioned this, he didn’t seem phased and said that they are…

Favorite Question to Ask Entrepreneurs

Every day I get the opportunity to interact with a number of entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs are great in that they’re always dreaming and seeking the next great idea to improve their business. After hundreds of these conversations, I’ve found one question that continues to be my favorite: what have you learned recently? Entrepreneur: We’re working hard to improve our…

Nice Chairs and Cheap Desks

Recently I was over at a friend’s new office. As expected, the office had fresh paint, carpet, and new furniture. Only there was a common, and serious, furniture mistake: nice desks and cheap chairs. Wrong. Chairs should be nice and desks should be cheap. Whether it’s an old door turned into a desk (Amazon.com style) or…

Equity Dilution in a Startup

After yesterday’s post Sell 20% of the Equity Per Round of Investment, I received a number of good comments about other factors that affect the equity splits between non-investors and investors. Overall, the main idea is that entrepreneurs often sell too much of their company too soon and should plan for multiple rounds of financing. Now, there…

Discuss the Ideal Exit with Investors

While I’m not a fan of putting much time into an exit strategy (see When an Exit Strategy Discussion is Required and The Best Exit Strategy is to Not Have One), it is important to align expectations with investors around the ideal exit outcome. Now, it might seem like investors want to make as much money…