How Do You Reference Check a VC?

Both Sides of the Table

How do you then reference check your VC to be sure that you’ve chosen a good firm and partner? First, I would say that most entrepreneurs do almost no reference checks or at least do them very informally. Happy reference checking.

Is Your Wireless Infrastructure Provider Delivering?

Southern California Edison Blog

The most obvious, of course, is when a wireless infrastructure provider doesn’t have enough fiber inventory where the TSP needs it or if connections are too slow to support end users. References.

How to Out Amazon, Amazon

Both Sides of the Table

Many of us learned about substitute products in undergrad economics courses. Of course branding is many things and this post doesn’t attempt a master class. We of course all instinctively know when we see a brand that is well established what it stands for?—?Warby

The Case For & Against Cryptocurrencies (for those tired of all the noise)

Both Sides of the Table

The crypto in cryptocurrency is of course referring to cryptography on the ability to encrypt your transactions so they can’t be modified after they have been written to the blockchain. Of course anybody who says this publicly gets lambasted.

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Please Help Me Congratulate Jordan Hudson as @UpfrontVC’s Newest Investment Principal

Both Sides of the Table

Ability to source information easily to help build a thesis around companies / industries / competition. Great networking skills, which are critical when you want to be about to reference entrepreneurs & concepts and bounce your ideas off of other people in the industry.

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One Weird Trick to Build a Personal Brand

Both Sides of the Table

And as I’ve written about before – building a personal brand is extremely important in today’s competitive job market. I reference to the fact that I had walked in entrepreneurs shoes but now found myself on the other side. Jason charted his own course though.

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In 15 Years From Now Half of US Universities May Be in Bankruptcy. My Surprise Discussion with @ClayChristensen

Both Sides of the Table

Today’s higher education is responding by making more courses online and available to people outside of physical boundaries. ” But I pointed out a professor at HBS ( Tom Eisenmann ) who teaches a course where blogs are a part of the classroom reading material.

Why VCs Should Stop Trying to be Perfect

Both Sides of the Table

If the deal is from out of your geography and/or out of your focus area or a deal is being referred by a well-know investor who normally co-invests with similar syndicates – at least ask yourself, “Why am I so lucky to be getting this call.”

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To Sell Anything You Need to Know What Makes You Unique

Both Sides of the Table

The reason for this is that the executives who founded the company have so much tacit knowledge of how to position their product relative to the competition that they can easily win campaigns when they’re involved.

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Helping Startups Understand Salespeople & the Sales Culture

Both Sides of the Table

They like a solid product, well defined pricing, good references to sell against, a clear quota and well defined competitors. Customer also buy social proof because others are acting as strong references. Sure, you need to be competitive on price. Of course that’s not true.

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What I Would Look for When Choosing a VC – Knowing What I Know Now?

Both Sides of the Table

It’s insanely competitive to get into our industry so most have degrees from institutions like Stanford, Harvard, Wharton and University of Chicago (blatant plug ;-). If I were looking at which VCs to choose I would reference strongly for which ones are supportive in good times and bad.

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Planning Your Fund Raising — “Measure Twice, Cut Once”

Both Sides of the Table

There is an old management saying, “measure twice, cut once” which refers to the benefit of doing some planning. The next pass is the “competitive pass”?—?have All of this, of course, is Sales 101.

The Coming Shift in Enterprise Software

Both Sides of the Table

So riffing off the famous Andy Grove statement that “only the paranoid survive” and believing that “only the most exceptionally talented startup teams survive” — most get washed out by the constant cycle of change and competition. And of course we welcome Microsoft Ventures.

When Should You Allow Exclusivity in Deals?

Both Sides of the Table

The initial Apple/AT&T deal was of course limited to the geography in which AT&T operated and thus after its initial success Apple had a template for exclusivity agreements in other countries. Of course you’re not going to give them unlimited exclusivity in time or in scope but I’ll come to that in the section on how to craft exclusivity agreements.

Some People Are Indispensable, But No One Is Irreplaceable


He was also often referred to as a “hotdog” for his self-promotional antics and lackadaisical on-field play. He is a member of the University of California at Santa Barbara’s Faculty where he teaches several entrepreneurial courses. _. —

Hands-on Techniques To Avoid Hiring Wantrepreneurs


When I say “get personal,” I am referring to non-typical questions designed to determine who the candidate really is. Did you play any team or individual sports competitively? Note: This is Part IV in the Startup Team Building series. Read Part I HERE , Part II HERE and Part III HERE.

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Improving Sales: The Excuse Departement is Closed

Both Sides of the Table

They like a solid product, well defined pricing, good references to sell against, a clear quota and well defined competitors. Customer also buy social proof because others are acting as strong references. Sure, you need to be competitive on price. Of course that’s not true.

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Ten Startup Tips From Steve Jobs


In the course of my recent interview with Guy Kawasaki , author and former Apple Evangelist, Guy describes Steve Jobs as: “… the world’s greatest CEO, ever. I shall refer to the photographer as “Mac” for the remainder of this article.

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How to Develop Your Fund Raising Strategy

Both Sides of the Table

Of course much of it is conflicting. And of course I’ve sat on the other side of the table: As a VC. And of course you’re meeting people who can give you money. prepare a list of reference clients and a reference list of people they could call to ask about you.

Lead Developer to CTO at a Startup


While I do fill that role at the moment, I'm a little hesitant to refer to myself as a CTO as we still haven't launched a product, acquired a single user, or turned or a penny in profit. How do we need to structure the systems to get ahead and stay ahead of the competition? This can take the form of a local university, online courses, going through relevant books, etc. I received a great question via LinkedIn: I'm the founding engineer and working hard to launch my startup.

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One Book Every Entrepreneur Should Own

Both Sides of the Table

It’s an enjoyable read and one I’ll bet you refer back to rather than read once and file away. And of course it happened while I was on the road and unavailable. Brad & Amy refer to it (and many other influential works) in their book.

Time is the Enemy of All Deals

Both Sides of the Table

We were trying to optimize around a few criteria: price, size of round, number of syndicate partners and, of course, terms. Don’t over shop – If the deal you’re involved with involves raising venture capital or selling your company you naturally want some competition.

Top 30 Startup Posts for July 2010


Graphs - Chris Dixon , July 22, 2010 It has become customary to use “ graph &# to refer to the underlying data structures at social networks like Facebook. Computer scientists call the study of graphs “ network theory ,&# but on the web the word “network&# is used to refer to the websites themselves). No, that IS NOT a competitive advantage - A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks , July 12, 2010 This is part 1 of the series: 5 Lessons from 150 startup pitches.

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How Many Investors are Too Many?

Both Sides of the Table

These are all dumb reason to invest – of course. So let’s consider a bad (but likely) scenario where either you don’t hit your targets, the market sours or competition is kicking your butt making it hard to fund raise. This post originally ran on TechCrunch.

Why I’m Doubling Down on the Twitter Ecosystem

Both Sides of the Table

And of course in my 700 are people like Bill Gates and Barack Obama, neither of whom follows me just yet Asymmetric works both ways. DataSift = platform for companies to develop cost-effective applications using this Twitter data to gain advantage relative to their competition.

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Get Inside the Mind of an Angel Investor

Both Sides of the Table

The best proof of a soft circle is whether an angel will email someone else (refer another investor) and start off that email with “I’m investing in…”. The team, of course, is just as important as the product or idea.

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How to Work with Lawyers at a Startup

Both Sides of the Table

If you don’t follow the image reference above or the tag line, “ You don’t need double talk; you need Bob Loblaw “ (try saying it out loud) , and if you care! Oh, they didn’t cover that in your Stanford CS course? But make it competitive.

What Are We Talking About When We Talk Valuation?

Tech Zulu Event

Valuation is one of those ubiquitous words: at least when it comes to discussions around startups — and, of course, stock market multiples. For example, there are the private company valuation figures that get bandied about: think the numbers people reference for Uber and AirBnB for example.

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Innovating Telecom – Emir Aboulhosn (CEO) of Ready SIM

Tech Zulu Event

Ready SIM’s scenario instantly recalled memories of Inspector Gadget’s exploding messages (the cartoon of course, not the terrible live action rehash starring Matthew Broderick *shudders*). From Ready SIM’s PR desk: “ Ready SIM is the James Bond of SIM cards.

Dallas Day of.Net | Training and Trends on Microsoft Technologies

Tech Zulu Event

Hilariously simple tutorials, gaming, Windows 8 real-time, Windows Azure as a virtually unlimited scaling mechanism, and of course, awesome web and mobile possibilities are just a few of the examples you’ll see demonstrated.

Roping in the Legal Eagles


The reference may be well-intentioned, but the lawyer’s allegiance may be divided between the investor and you. If taking part-time evening courses is not possible, seek out an online curriculum. Some companies use lawsuits as an arrow in their competitive quiver. You can also greatly reduce the risk of employee lawsuits with a few simple preventative steps: Employ consistent and disciplined hiring procedures, including background checks, backdoor references (i.e.,

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Retro: My Favorite Blog Post on Raising VC

Both Sides of the Table

It included one firm who I asked not to call as a reference (they were our largest pilot customer) and in their kindness they called Marc Benioff (the CEO) and asked his opinion. Dare I steer off the course from the tried-and-true PowerPoint ritual? Page 3: Competition. Tim handled the product management, vision, roadmap and competitive questions like a pro.

INNOVATION - A Scientist's Perspective

AeA Los Angeles Council

One, the Executive Office of the President (EOP) has an office called the Office of Science and Technology Policy, or OSTP, which heads up the American Competitiveness Initiative (ACI) ( [link] ). academic scientists, which is necessary to a point, of course. It was referred to the Labor/Education Committee and was there left for dead. Innovation is the heart of national competitiveness.

SolarFlare's Stern Talks Network Adapters


Russell Stern: Most semiconductor companies have to have to do board designs anyway, for reference designs, and to further qualify them, certify them, and get them through agency approvals. We were originally calling on those guys in order to get them excited, and to provide a reference base to our OEMs, but what we ended up finding was that they didn't care if necessarily came from an OEM, and in some cases specifically wanted to buy directly from us with support from SolarFlare.

Interview with Adam Lieber, Webtide


We give them options and advice on the best course to reach their goals, such as responding quickly and getting to market faster. On top of that, we build components that can be included in applications, such as Cometd a messaging service, which we've done reference implementations for, we do AJAX push, to do live events across the Internet, and provides reliable, face communications to large numbers of people across the world.

IBM 100