What’s the best way to understand investor behavior?

Paul Graham (Co-Founder & Partner at Y Combinator)
Default Alive or Default Dead?

Kill-or-cure strategies are optimal for VCs because they’re protected by the portfolio effect. VCs want to blow you up, in one sense of the phrase or the other. But as a founder your incentives are different. You want above all to survive.

What’s the best way to respond to a VC partner?

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

Even if you get an email from a partner you should try to delay meeting till you’re in fundraising mode. They may say they just want to meet and chat, but investors never just want to meet and chat. What if they like you? What if they start to talk about giving you money? Will you be able to resist having that conversation? Unless you’re experienced enough at fundraising to have a casual conversation with investors that stays casual, it’s safer t… (read more)

What’s the best way to know if an investor is interested?

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

If some investor isn’t returning your emails, or wants to have lots of meetings but isn’t progressing toward making you an offer, you automatically focus less on them. You have to be disciplined [about this]

What’s the best way to form your initial team?

Paul Graham (Co-Founder & Partner at Y Combinator)
Before the Startup

You can, however, trust your instincts about people. And in fact one of the most common mistakes young founders make is not to do that enough. They get involved with people who seem impressive, but about whom they feel some misgivings personally. Later when things blow up they say “I knew there was something off about him, but I ignored it because he seemed so impressive. “

What’s the best way to do outreach to investors?

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

Understand your audience. Research prospective investors thoroughly. What kinds of businesses are they looking at? What model/criteria/triggers do they use to judge whether a project will be successful or not? If you don’t have some sense of their points of view, your likelihood of making the pitch go well is more random

What’s the best way to do outreach to investors?

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

You should always talk to investors in parallel rather than serially. You can’t afford the time it takes to talk to investors serially, plus if you only talk to one investor at a time, they don’t have the pressure of other investors to make them act.

What’s the best way to do outreach to investors?

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

Identify the investors you most want and the investors who are most likely to say yes. These are not necessarily the same people (though it’s excellent if they are). Approach your likely investors and your ideal investors at the same time, because your likely investors provide a temporal forcing function by which you might end up with your ideal investors