October 23, 2014

Update on ‘TEN’ my Mentoring Program

Back in April I announced my mentorship experiment I called ‘TEN’. The plan was simple, find ten entrepreneurs and spend a year working with them on their businesses. The idea was that by spending MORE time with FEWER entrepreneurs I could make a more significant impact AND have more time to work on my own [...]

Announcing ‘TEN’

For more than five years I’ve been actively involved in the Dallas startup community. During that time I have advised scores of entrepreneurs; however, I’ve often wondered how valuable my advice really was. For example, in the last thirty days I have ‘touched’ almost 100 different entrepreneurs. Touches include emails, voicemails, texts and face-to-face meetings [...]

Investor Referrals – HELP ME HELP YOU!

Remember that scene from Jerry Maguire where he tells his client, “HELP ME HELP YOU!” Each day I get a message from an entrepreneur asking for help finding an investor for his or her startup. The message goes something like this, “Working on the next big thing, can you refer me to a few local [...]

When should you raise money? NOW! [updated]

Garrett Camp, the co-founder of Stumbleupon, recommends, “Stay self-funded as long as possible.” I think I have been quoted saying the same thing, but over the past few years I have come to realize that you can wait too long to raise outside capital. When I founded LayerOne I raised money first and then built [...]

Is there a Series A Crunch?

There is a LOT of discussion about a so-called “Series A crunch“: startups who receive seed or angel investment not being able to raise their first institutional round of financing. I would argue there really ISN’T a Series A Crunch, but instead a proliferation of seed and angel deals and this is a GOOD thing. [...]

Don’t cold call Bill Gurley, ever. . .

Did you just cold call Bill Gurley from Benchmark? Shame on you. NEVER cold call a VC. That is so 1999. It is 2012 – have you heard of Google? Raising venture capital seems like a black box to most entrepreneurs, but it is actually pretty easy once you understand the rules. First, never cold [...]

Why is capitalism maligned by the Left?

Have you followed the latest meme started by Mike Arrington? It began with a post titled, “Startups are hard. So work more, cry less and quit all the whining.” The title seemed innocuous and content to of the post basically explained that startups have always been hard, highlighting a 1994 quote from early Netscape engineer [...]

We just raised $7M, now what?

Back in October I wrote a post titled, “Post Funding, The Real Work Begins…” We had closed on the first million dollars of our eventual $7M round and everyone was spending a lot of time congratulating us. Now that we have closed on the full round (read more about it here) I thought it might [...]

Post Funding, The Real Work Begins. . .

If you have ever attempted to raise capital for your startup idea you are in pretty good company. Once you have actually raised capital for your startup idea you are part of a relatively exclusive club. Your close friends and family (who know how long you have been working on raising a round) will congratulate [...]

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 [...]