Brian Watson, an associate at venture firm Union Square Ventures, just put up a great post called Post Money Evaluations about his two year experience working one of the tops firms in the country. Here are 10 key insights on startups from his post:
- VC is about story recognition. Remember the anecdotes (and how they’re resolved), because history often repeats itself.
- Raising money is a trade-off between valuation and control.
- Your reputation is everything. Only make an investment if you are committed for the long term.
- Operating a company is a balance between doing the right thing (strategy) and doing it right (execution).
- Good company culture is when the team feels accountable to each other, implicitly and explicitly.
- Being selective — doing less—keeps you focused.
- Once you have a core product, the goals should be growth, monetization, and happiness.
- When you’re interviewing someone, ask what they don’t/didn’t like at their current/previous job. It gives them a chance to go off on a rant, which can teach you about them and provide insight on whether or not they’re a good fit.
- A culture of collaboration is better than a culture of consensus. Get buy-in from the team, use proactive communication, set clear KPIs, and maintain a sense of alignment.
- Running a network is like urban planning for the internet. It’s a social engineering problem, not an electrical engineering one.
Go read Brian’s post if you haven’t done so yet as it provides a wealth of information.
What else? What are some other key insights from Brian’s post?