Jason Calcanis on finding investments
Jason like Money. He believes it’s the fuel that make product and services that change the world. Looks for someone understand the customer, the product and the compound annual growth rate. Usually funds USD1 million for USD25K revenue?!? Is concerned about people who are high on the entitlement spectrum. Always prefer founders who are biased towards action instead of procrastination.
When dedicated event is created for under represented demographics, the diversity of founders brought into the pipeline increases.
Always ask how much have you raised and how much did you make last month.
He ensures his operation are cost effective and looks for founders who are equally scrappy.
Stay focus. The founder needs to be relentlessly focused on consumers and product.
Happy to start the conversation when already have 3-4 customers.
Jason Calcanis on PodCast
Create 2 pod cast per week where he interview founders. He builds an audience of startup tech listeners who want to find out how other founders succeed while stroking the ego of the interviewed founders.
Experiment with selling ad placements during within podcast.
Once its been the viability has been proven, hire a sales representative to do the selling.
For every 10 emails sent out 1 company will respond. For every 10 companies that responds 1 will sign up to do an ads placement for USD7500. That equals to a USD120,000 per month cashflow with a by-product of further entrenching Jason into the angel investing network.
Donna Boyer, VP Product Stitch Fix
Always ensure process is set up to allow for inclusion Pixie Dust. A process can scale if as it includes more users, you don’t need to manage larger excel sheets.
Always keep in mind why you are doing something – the vision.
Crystal, CEO Ruby Love
A financial controller by profession. Uses the same approach for interacting with people. Never took on any personal debt.
For bootstrapping use disadvantaged as advantages. Always do the math.
Watch what you are spending on.
Understand that potential users are searching for information on the web so use SEO to acquires users free.
Ignore media coverage on the competition. Everybody has issues. Just focus on ur product and not get distracted.
Focus on you people believes in you and ignore those that don’t.
You don’t need a cofounder if you do feel you need one.
Always think bigger.
Kept the efficiency while driving revenue during the first phase. Once the organization scales you need to build up an organization. Never loss sight of your customers along the way.
Don’t hire someone to interface between you and the customer. Always understand her emotional needs. The chat window she responds 24 hours a day. That is what drives her roadmap.
Hire using Fiverr all the time. First time hire was only done after hitting USD10 million revenue.
- Potential product video: Voice Jungle
Zander Lurie, CEO, SurveyMonkey
Markets are volatile with trade war and recession coming soon. WeWork is an Enron like environment. Companies with bad governance will be punished by the public markets. IPOs are going to pull back now.
When building the board determine what is the role of the board of directors?
- for younger companies, maybe use them for marketing plan
- they play fiduciary type role as you mature
Very important to build trust as the CEO. You are asking people to work for you and people to invest in you.
Founders who ask for total control of board and then subsequently blow up is a failure of governance.
We are in an environment with endless capital for great ideas.
USD47Billion is a valuation that requires 10 plus years of successful execution. USD1 billion is probably a more reasonable IPO valuation
VC payout 2% management fee, 20% carry. That structure requires growth. So the gross profit (revenue – operating cost) is very import.
We need to institutionalize the systematic use of listening. The web is a really efficient place for feedback to surface.
99% of in-house designs within Apple never made it to the public.
Mar Hershenson, Pear VC
Need to show that a product is really sticky amongst a pilot user instead of having a few pilot users that try and leave.
Need to come to the VC with a team with the necessary skill set to execute on
If app is changing UVP to acquire or retain a customer, it is a 0.5% criteria for seed round. The next 0.5% is showing that you have a growth engine that works.
5K-10K revenue MRR to raise USD1million round.
To show a few thousand users that have high retentions. Doing cohort analysis.
Need to have really scrappy operations and iterate fast.
Ignore fake signals
To prove if I spend $X in Ads, I will get Y number of new users and $Z increase revenue.
Series A investors do not want to have product risk. So there needs to be a strong product manager.
Growth alive. If shut down acquisition, then
3-5X growth in the next 18th months. Venture wants to be able to get investment money back within 12months.