What’s the best way to run your board meeting?

David Jackson (Founder, Seeking Alpha)
How we run board meetings at Seeking Alpha | A Founder’s Notebook

No dial-ins because it kills the conversation. If someone can’t attend, call them the following week to update them. Don’t go through the board materials during the meeting we assume everyone read them in advance. No texting or emailing during the meeting so we provide a break for people to make calls or email. Never make decisions during the board meeting group dynamics are unpredictable and an unreliable decision making mechanism.

What’s the best way to run your board meeting?

David Jackson (Founder, Seeking Alpha)
Don’t waste your board meetings on updates | A Founder’s Notebook

Don’t waste your board meetings on updates. We take an extreme approach to board meetings in Seeking Alpha — there are no updates. The updates are in the board letter and time series charts, which we send to the board and expect everyone to read before the meeting. The entire meeting is devoted to discussion, and lasts no longer than three hours.

What’s the best way to raise the right amount of money?

David Jackson (Founder, Seeking Alpha)
Why your VCs want you to raise a large round | A Founder’s Notebook

Since the size of a round is always proportionate to its valuation, this means it’s in your VCs’ interests to have you raise a large round. A large round has many advantages — capital can be used as an offensive strategy. But a large round is not always best for the company, the founder or the team. As Rob Go says, “modest sized rounds focus a team and establish discipline”.

What’s the best way to prioritize product features?

David Jackson (Founder, Seeking Alpha)
Facebook’s most important advice for product managers | A Founder’s Notebook

Adding features doesn’t add users; focusing on your best features does. Every added feature adds complexity for new users to struggle with. Leaders must pare products down so new users can comprehend them.

What’s the best way to prioritize?

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.