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How Star Wars Will Help You Raise Capital for Your Company

When you’re raising money, you’re telling a story.  So who are some of the best stories and storytellers?   Greek mythology, the Bible, and in modern times, George Lucas and the Wachowski siblings. Star Wars and the Matrix are both modeled on Joseph Campbell’s wildly influential book, The Hero [...continue reading]

Should You Co-Found Your Company With a Software Development Shop (2 of 2)?

You've got a great idea and domain expertise, but limited money and insufficient technology resources.  Should you co-found your company with a software development shop?  I wrote a summary of my thoughts in Part 1 of this series; I've written below in more detail what some industry players [...continue reading]

Should You Co-Found Your Company With a Software Development Shop (1 of 2)?

You’ve got an amazing idea. You’ve got everything it takes to bring a start-up from nothing to something that really makes a dent in the universe. … and if you’re like most of today’s startups -- you need to get an app in the hands of customers. Once customers love your app and you show [...continue reading]

18 Ways to Make Your Financial Model Stand Out to Investors

The median investor looking at your proposal is in her 40s.  Her eyes are going, not to mention her brain.  I look at a lot of spreadsheets and analytic reports, and way too many are difficult to read and therefore hard to understand. In an effort to make my life easier, I’ve summarized here the [...continue reading]

Sales 2.0: Why Can’t Sales Be As Efficient As Online Dating?

I’m teaching a class for Founder Institute July 8 on accelerating sales with technology.  This has been a passion of mine for well over a decade, ever since I realized how inefficient sales was and how technology could be used to speed up the process.  This is a core theme of my book, The Virtual [...continue reading]

How Large Corporations Can Learn From the Innovation Economy

One of the core functions of a VC is to identify the next generation of disruptive companies.  I presented last month to a Microsoft senior executive offsite on how large corporations can do the same, to inform their investing, M&A, and competitive intelligence.  My presentation was based on my [...continue reading]

Top 9 Easy Career Hacks That Most People Don’t Do

I agree with Brad Feld: Most people flake.  If you’re not a flake, you are far more likely be trusted, promoted, and funded.  If you execute on the steps below, you’re well on your way to being a top quartile performer. I gave a presentation to Womensphere a few months ago on the most valuable [...continue reading]

Venture Capital Superheroes

CB Insights just included ffVC in 13 Micro VCs We’re Watching, along with a (highly inaccurate) superhero graphic.  CB Insights has become a very influential data source in the industry.  In fact, I recently had dinner with a well-known VC who said that he was surprised to see the CB Insights [...continue reading]

A Checklist For Writing Code

Ever since I studied Total Quality Management in college, I’ve been a bit obsessed with documenting processes.  I was particularly influenced by Dr. Atul Gawande’s “Checklist Manifesto”, which underlined for me the value of collecting, documenting, analyzing, and continually re-optimizing best [...continue reading]

How ff Venture Capital Works With Universities And Students

I meet with a lot of people from the academic world, so I thought it would be helpful to summarize how ff Venture Capital works with universities.  Our main goals are: to understand the cutting edge of new disciplines; meet potential founders/employees; and also to help the broader technology [...continue reading]

How to Create Competitive Market Maps With

At least ¼ of the investment proposals I get have a "market map" of some sort: a graphic analysis of the competitive landscape.  I think competitive analysis is critical.  Any useful startups is trying to perform some useful job for a client, and you have to understand what people are currently [...continue reading]

Ten Experiments To Test Your Startup Hypothesis

You know that a new idea has gained dominance when it becomes practically a cliché.  That is what I’ve seen happen with the “Lean Startup” philosophy of viewing your startup as a scientific experiment in search of a business model.  This started as a new idea, then became popularized, and now people [...continue reading]

Feedback Is A Gift; Should You Ask For It?

It’s rare to find someone who is insightful about you and your business ... and rarer to find someone confident enough in their relationship with you to give you honest feedback.  I treasure these people, and have paid a coach to do this for me personally. When you’re meeting with your board, I [...continue reading]

Please Don’t Pitch A Venture Capitalist Without This Checklist

I’m surprised at how many funding pitches I get which lack some of the basic information which investors require before funding.  I think this stems from two causes: 1) Lack of basic knowledge of the information investors require.  But I would hope that a reasonably competent founder could easily [...continue reading]