Understanding Control and Power in Your Startup

As founders, our companies are like our children, and we don’t want some stranger to take them away from us. Without control, someone might be able to replace you or overrule some key decision. It is completely natural to want to keep control of your businesses, which often leads to an intense focus on keeping 51% ownership of the company.

Understanding stock options from the employee perspective

I have seen few topics generate more confusion than stock options. People with options in fast growing companies like to brag about them but often don’t actually understand them. Employees don’t understand what they are getting, so the option grant is less impactful. Here are the basics of what workers need to know about their stock options.

How to get funding for your startup company - answering a viewer question

In this post, I answer a reader’s question. He said that he has been frustrated with his attempts to raise capital for his business and wants to know how he can get that initial funding.

He spent the last year an a half trying to raise a tiny amount of pre-seed capital. He has done about fifty pitches, often to somewhat weak prospects. So far he has gotten nothing, and he is starting to wonder whether the fact that the business is a bit niche could be part of his problem. 

The two pitch decks you need to get angel investment

Your pitch deck is a critical step on the way to acquiring funding for your business. Almost every startup I have encountered already had a pitch deck completed. It is the first thing investor see about your company, and it is often your only chance to set the hook and get followup meetings. However, you don’t always have control of the way in which your deck will be seen.

Are angels greedy to demand a massive 20X return on investment?

Many of the entrepreneurs I advice are surprised that angel investors will not even look at a deal unless there is a clear path to making at least twenty times their money. They often ask “Why are angel investors so greedy?”

The reality is that Angel investors are, just looking to make even modest returns. It turns out that is easier said than done and the reason comes down to statistics.

Why I don’t care about your technology!

I don’t care about your technology when you are pitching me as an angel investor.

At least I don’t care yet.

Leading with, and focusing on, technology is the biggest mistake I see many engineer entrepreneurs make. The technology is often what they are most passionate about and was the reason they created the company. Technology is also where they feel most comfortable and can speak most confidently. Unfortunately that comes at the expense of focus on customers and their pain points.

Is your passion project worth a day of your vacation time?

I have been working on getting this channel and website up for a while, but a few months after the initial announcement, I had not started posting content. I tried to pack in an hour of creative thinking and work in the evenings after dinner but it was not enough.

This projects was simply not happening. I produced some notes and ideas, but nothing finished. No written blogs and No video.

Obviously I worked out a solution.