blinders
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Measure and Question Everything

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This almost was broken into two separate posts, but since they’re so related we’ll just roll with one broken into two parts.

On Measuring:

If you’re not measuring everything that you do as a company, you’re doing it wrong. In fact (errrr, IMOP) – if you aren’t measuring it, you might as well not be doing it at all.

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VC vs. Angel: Choose your own adventure

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There is no right path, only the path you take, so choose your own adventure.

Let’s start with VC:
I’ve been shocked to hear how many first time entrepreneurs (myself included) assume VC is strictly reserved for later financings, or that if you take VC, you’ll be ejected from your company and screwed on terms.

I’m not wholesale disagreeing with this sentiment, but this is a very old school way of thinking, and so long as you’re not an idiot, and do just as much diligence on the firm you work with as they do on you and your company – I think you can mitigate much of the assumed risk.

In my experience thus far, here are the pro’s and cons of VC:

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Starting and Running a Company: The Instrument Panel

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I was drinking bourbon with a friend of mine who runs a company in town (~200 FTEs), and at some point in our conversation a visualization came to mind of what it’s like to start and begin to scale a company. I thought it would be fun to try to sketch out the concept that came to mind.

The key idea behind this is that if you boil companies down to several stages of growth, there are only a handful of things that actually matter. It all becomes about the ability to focus.

*The drawings are supposed to represent an airplane cockpit, but I suck at drawing.*

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Venture Finance Part II: When raising money, notes come second.

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Twelve months ago, venture financing was as foreign to me as crocheting.

You start with some yarn (or something like that) and then using some stick things you end up with a scarf (or something like that). For financing you start with a business proposition, you find some investors, and out pops a check.

Fifteen angel pitches, and twenty seven venture pitches later– I now know that raising money is in-fact much more complicated than crocheting (or perhaps more accurately– at least you don’t need an attorney to help you finish that scarf).