Posts Tagged ‘Tips’

May 22 2014
by Scott Johnson

The Four Rules of Setting Expectations

When you see a public stock being crushed, or a public company CEO being fired, it is nearly always due to a failure to meet expectations.  This is the main reason companies stay private – they don’t want to have to apologize to sell-side analysts for missing earnings by a penny, or explain to wall […]

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April 15 2014
by Scott Johnson

Your Pitch Should Be Ten Minutes

I was in a pitch meeting yesterday, and after the customary preamble, the presenter opened his laptop and said, in a very energetic tone, “I have a ten minute pitch, and then we can have a conversation.”  I can’t think of a smarter way to set the tone of a pitch meeting.   I don’t […]

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February 10 2014
by Scott Johnson

Create an Experience, Don’t have a Meeting

I was chatting with a VP of sales candidate for one of my companies last week when he uttered a gem that stuck with me all weekend.  He said “If  you are out pitching, and you want to be the one meeting that week that gets remembered, then don’t have a meeting at all, create […]

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January 27 2014
by Scott Johnson

After the B Round – Watch the burn!

This post first appeared in Pando Daily Gather round and listen to an untold story that is happening right now all over startup land. I can’t name names but have seen it play out in two acts. Act I. A company has one positive press release after another, announcing successive rounds of fundraising, new customers, […]

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June 3 2013
by Scott Johnson

Revenue Quality, Not Just Quantity!

Revenue growth (or sometimes active user growth) is an obvious necessity for venture backed companies.  But life is never quite that straight forward.  Just as all site traffic is not created equal, there is good revenue and great revenue (there is no such thing as bad positive margin revenue).  Importantly, prospective revenue “quality” can dramatically […]

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April 24 2012
by Scott Johnson

Yes, You Really Need That Revenue Ramp Slide

I advise entrepreneurs all the time about their pitch decks, and one of the more common complaints I hear is “if we all know that it is complete BS, why do investors insist we show a revenue ramp slide with a $50 million top line in four years?”  And I admit, on the surface, it […]

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May 31 2011
by Scott Johnson

Way Too Early – On Market Timing

Market timing is a necessary (but not sufficient) condition for venture success.  Obvious, right?  The problem is that timing is obvious only in retrospect.  Predicting how markets will evolve is an art, and probably is the single most important job of a venture firm.  Boiled down to its essence, our role is to help companies […]

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May 2 2011
by Scott Johnson

Waste = Opportunity

Waste is something I abhor.  Waste of time, waste of resource, I love funding businesses that help others be more efficient and stop waste.   Time wasters are fertile ground for new business ideas.  If anyone is wasting your time, think about how that happened and create a solution for it. Resource wasters are also […]

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March 12 2010
by Thanasis Delistathis

Pitching your business? Keep it simple!

Back in elementary school, we all had to buy these school notebooks with the school insignia in the front.  On the back of the book there was a quote in three languages.  It was a famous quote from Pascal Blaise that went something like: “I made this letter longer than usual because I did not […]

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February 25 2010
by John Backus

VC Tips for Entrepreneurs: How to manage the VC on your Board

Venture Capitalists love giving advice to startup entrepreneurs.  We especially love doing it while in the boardroom, before, during, and after that 40-slide powerpoint presentation that you and your management team spent a week preparing.  With a VC on your board of directors, you never know if you are going to get The Good, The […]

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