What’s the best way to prioritize?

Armando Biondi (Cofounder & COO of AdExpresso)
From 0 to $1.2M RunRate (and profitability!) in just 5 quarters. 9 lessons learned in creating an impossible company

Does this contribute to hitting our month-over-month growth goal? If/when the answer is “yes” to several things, the following question is: Which one requires the lowest effort and the shortest time to generate the biggest impact with the highest chance of success?

What’s the best way to communicate with potential investors?

Armando Biondi (Cofounder & COO of AdExpresso)
#60 — Why communicate more with your existing investors (and how to do it efficiently) — Medium

There are two key benefits to sending your investors a monthly recap: a) you’ll give them a broad-enough but meaningful-enough perspective on what’s happening, b) you’ll give yourself a forcing function to generate relevant results in a reasonable amount of time. Here’s how: Short & sweet always win. Be numbers-oriented. Think actionable. Design matters. Use bullet points. Attach some multimedia content. Include cash position and burn-rate. Trigg… (read more)

What’s the best way to prioritize?

David Jackson (Founder, Seeking Alpha)
How managers can communicate more effectively | A Founder’s Notebook

Sometimes a manager identifies a problem that needs to be solved, without suggesting a solution or expressing an opinion. Being explicit can also help in that case: Is solving this problem important, urgent or both?

Gary Swart (General Partner at Polaris Partners)
Don’t make this mistake with metrics | A Founder’s Notebook

Figure out the metric that matters most for your company and understand that the more you measure, the less prioritized you’ll be. Don’t fall into the trap of trying to measure everything. What I’ve learned is that in the early days, what matters most is having customers who love and use your product. Figure out the one or two best measures to determine this.

Armando Biondi (Cofounder & COO of AdExpresso)
From 0 to $1.2M RunRate (and profitability!) in just 5 quarters. 9 lessons learned in creating an impossible company

Does this contribute to hitting our month-over-month growth goal? If/when the answer is “yes” to several things, the following question is: Which one requires the lowest effort and the shortest time to generate the biggest impact with the highest chance of success?

David Jackson (Founder, Seeking Alpha)
How to decide what to prioritize — a simple rule for startup CEOs | A Founder’s Notebook

In Seeking Alpha, we prioritize the project with the highest chance of success, not the project with the highest probability-weighted outcome. This is because we want to optimize for speed of learning, and you learn only from successes, not failures.

Seth Godin (Founder at Yoyodyne Entertainment)
Seth’s Blog: Big questions before little ones

Don’t finalize the logo before you come up with a business plan that works.
Don’t spend a lot of time thinking about your vacation policy before you have a product that people actually want to buy.

Slava Akhmechet (Founder at RethinkDB)
57 startup lessons

Working on the wrong thing for a month is equivalent to not showing up to work for a month at all.

Tomasz Tunguz (Partner at Redpoint Ventures)
Startup Best Practices 13 – Patience with Unit Economics

Mark Roberge, Chief Revenue Officer at Hubspot, recently shared with me how he instills patience in unit economics in his teams. 1. Adopt before you buy – develop a bottoms up product that people can try out and ultimately upgrade themselves without having to contact sales or support. 2. Product before people – focus on improving the product before hiring additional customer support or salespeople. The product has to stand on its own. 3. Individu… (read more)

Seth Godin (Founder at Yoyodyne Entertainment)
Seth’s Blog: Short order cooks rarely make change happen

Short order cooks rarely make change happen. How far in the future does your agenda extend? One way to tell: of the things you worked on last week, how many were due last week?

What’s the best way to communicate with potential investors?

Armando Biondi (Cofounder & COO of AdExpresso)
#60 — Why communicate more with your existing investors (and how to do it efficiently) — Medium

There are two key benefits to sending your investors a monthly recap: a) you’ll give them a broad-enough but meaningful-enough perspective on what’s happening, b) you’ll give yourself a forcing function to generate relevant results in a reasonable amount of time. Here’s how: Short & sweet always win. Be numbers-oriented. Think actionable. Design matters. Use bullet points. Attach some multimedia content. Include cash position and burn-rate. Trigg… (read more)

Jason Lemkin (Managing Director at Storm Ventures, SaaStr.com)
How many hours per week does a venture capitalist expect startup founders to work? – Quora

Email responsiveness. Most great CEO respond to key emails with shocking alacrity. Listening. I know VCs sometimes give you terrible advice. But if you don’t at least listen, it creates anxiety that there is no trust.

Paul Graham (Co-Founder & Partner at Y Combinator)
How to Raise Money

Be nice when investors reject you as well. The best investors are not wedded to their initial opinion of you. If they reject you in [seed/Series A] and you end up doing well, they’ll often invest in [the next fundraise]. In fact investors who reject you are some of your warmest leads for future fundraising

Paul Graham (Co-Founder & Partner at Y Combinator)
How to Raise Money

Introducing an investor to your cofounder(s) should be like introducing a girl/boyfriend to your parents—something you do only when things reach a certain stage of seriousness.

Reid Hoffman (Partner & Co-Founder at Greylock Partners)
LinkedIn’s Series B Pitch to Greylock: Pitch Advice for Entrepreneurs

Stay aboveboard so you keep trust with prospective investors. I was forthright with the first venture firm about my intentions, telling them that they received the first look, and that I would talk to a few more firms to put time pressure. And Greylock knew I had gotten a term sheet to accelerate their decision process.

David Cummings (Managing Partner at Shotput Ventures)
Entrepreneurs and Calls from VC Associates | David Cummings on Startups

In the end, most entrepreneurs shouldn’t engage with associates unless they’re going to raise money in the near-term and they’ve pre-qualified the firm to ensure it’s a good fit. If getting ready to raise money, associates can be a good testing ground and opportunity to practice the pitch or make an ask at the end of the call to be introduced to three portfolio companies that might be potential customers.

Jason Calacanis (CEO of Inside.com, Formerly “Entrepreneur in Action” at Sequoia Capital)
How To Demo Your Startup | TechCrunch

If you don’t have an answer be honest and say you don’t. The worst thing to do when you don’t have an answer is to b. s. the person. So, feel free to say you don’t know –- folks find it refreshingly humble and honest. There are many ways to say this including: “I’m not really sure, I’m going to have to think about that for a bit and get back to you,” or “I’m not sure to be honest. What do you think?” “I’ve never really considered that. Perhaps y… (read more)

Fred Wilson (Co-Founder and Partner at Union Square Ventures)
What Do I Wish Entrepreneurs Would Ask? – AVC

Entrepreneurs often feel that they have to be selling when they pitch. And many come in telling a rosy story that is all upside and no challenges. That can come off as naive and can be off putting. It is way better to start with the upside. As I like to say, “take me up the mountain and show me the promised land on the other side.” But after you’ve accomplished that, it is wise to explain where the tough spots will be on the way up the mountain a… (read more)

Fred Wilson (Co-Founder and Partner at Union Square Ventures)
Hailo – AVC

Another big factor in our investment process was the “I told you so”. In late 2011 as Hailo was just launching in London, the team came to see us and told us everything they planned to do in 2012. We were impressed by the team, their backgrounds, and their attitude and energy. But we had big concerns about everything they said they were going to do in 2012. A year later, they came back to see us and not only had they done everything they said the… (read more)