October 31, 2014

Twitter Squared?

UPDATE: Nicholas Carlson reported today that Sequoia’s Roelof Botha (investor in Square) tweeted, “To do two things at once is to do neither.” ~Publilius Syrus.  Soon afterward he deleted the tweet. I agree with him. Dumbest Idea Ever: Twitter (after raising more than $360MM) has decided to hire a part-time head of product. Second Dumbest [...]

Foot in Mouth in Technicolor?

Like almost everyone else I wrote a post about Color yesterday and couldn’t help but write another. The CEO of the much discussed $41M startup gave an interview with Matt Rosoff and explained that Color is not a photo sharing company, but instead “we’re a data mining company”. Wow. If Bill thought his ratings were [...]

59 Angels

Over the years I have compiled a list of angel investors and I figured that I would share that list with you. Before you pick up the phone or send an email I would spend a few minutes reading up on how and why angels invest in early stage companies. Dana Mattioli from the Wall [...]

How much should startup CEOs make?

More than a decade ago I asked for $145,000 as CEO of the startup I founded. The investors didn’t balk. I would have been embarrassed to ask for more, but I bet I could have asked for more. Ryan Roberts, the Startup Lawyer, suggests that $300,000 is an unreasonable yearly salary for a CEO to [...]

Thirteen Months of Hell

I run across people who want to start their own business all of the time. Sometimes I even hire them (typically a bad idea). Most people have no idea how much hard work and time it takes to create a new business. In most cases I think it is impossible to start seeing returns before [...]

Color: $98M Post-Money Valuation?

Alternative Title: How to get a lot of users for your app on day one: Raise $41M in Venture Capital. I’ll admit I was terribly curious when I read that a startup called Color had raised $41M to launch a social picture app of the same name. Wow. I even downloaded the app and used [...]

The VC Address of Choice: Sand Hill Road

The most active VCs in the world are located on Sand Hill Road in Menlo Park. Just take a look at the map above and you will get a sense of just how many firms are located on this one small street. FYI – the rent in this area is higher than Manhattan or London’s [...]

Picking an office location in the Bay Area

John and I have been looking around for office space in San Francisco for ShopSavvy and were surprised to learn that the City of San Francisco has a payroll tax. This unique tax for a municipality (San Francisco is the only city in the country who does this) levies a 1.5% tax on payroll. Really? [...]

Picking a VC is about picking the partner

(alternative title: Raising money is like fraternity rush) In this venture capital environment it is likely you will have two or more options for funding your startup and that means sooner or later you are going to have to make a choice. Simply picking the ‘best’ VC is not as easy as you might think. [...]

How to take a “NO” from a VC

Last night John and I had dinner with a rather prolific venture capital partner who was explaining that over the past 12 months he has met with over 300 companies, done deep dives with 30 and offered term sheets to 6. What struck me was the sheer number of ‘Nos’ he has to deliver each [...]