How to Make Better Reference Calls

Both Sides of the Table

Reference calls. Ask for at least 5 references. As your candidate for at least 5 references. Don’t worry about the fact that these are the references that the candidate has hand-picked – that’s part of the process. Getting off-list references.

Coach 327

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.

Framework Benchmarks


Authors Note: Were using the word "framework" loosely to refer to platforms, micro-frameworks, and full-stack frameworks. About What we do Portfolio People Blog Contact. You are viewing a single entry. Please also check out the most recent entries. March 28, 2013. Framework Benchmarks.

Obtain Impactful Recommendations And References Leverage: Social Norming To Get Into Graduate School Or Score A Job


The reference was in the form of a gold tablet that stated, “By the strength of the eternal Heaven, holy be the Khan’s name. This golden reference effectively communicated the Emperor’s sentiments in absentia. Such references tend to be generic and unimpactful.

.Net 141

Frameworks Round 1


Authors'' Note: We''re using the word "framework" loosely to refer to platforms, micro-frameworks, and full-stack frameworks. You are viewing the first round of web application framework benchmarks.

Greatly exceed early customer expectations.


Your first customers for any product or service form your reference base, the important group of allies that your marketing and sales people rely upon when attempting to create buzz and make a mass market for a new product. First customers are critical.

Custom 263

Hire slowly. Fire fast.


And of course sometimes, a person leaves the company, creating a need to fill a hole. It is human nature to hire as quickly as possible, to reduce the time taken from a busy day for interviews and reference checking.

Course 216

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

Best Buy’s New “Wizard” Learning Center (hypothetical)

Eric Greenspan

Per course: $9.99. They are often referred to as “Best Browse or “Amazon’s Showroom.” Use at home or come in for advanced courses (operated by presenters remotely) where you can interact and ask questions live.

Course 151

How to Shorten Your Sales Cycle and Avoid Wasting Time

Both Sides of the Table

The most likely outcome if you manage to interest the senior exec (for the sake of this post let me call her the CEO) is that she will refer you down the organization to somebody who would be involved in the decision. Not always, of course.

Sales 390

Keep constant contact with key customers.


As a group, we set a bar of fifteen percent as the minimum amount of time each week that a good CEO should spend reaching out to the company’s key customers in a proactive attempt to find issues, trends, unmet product needs, and of course create bonds that make their jumping to a competitor more difficult. But it was Henry Ford who famously said, “If I’d asked my customers what they wanted, they would have said ‘a faster horse’.” Some new products arrive with no frame of reference.

Custom 146

Why It’s OK to Show Your Anger

Both Sides of the Table

Clinton, of course, has never called for a gun ban — just common sense controls) He has regularly encouraged violence on the campaign trail saying, “Guys like that would be carried out on a stretcher” and “I’d like to punch him in the face.”

What Jonah @Peretti, CEO of BuzzFeed, Sees in the Future of Digital Media

Both Sides of the Table

Some, of course, agree with me that BuzzFeed has been and continues to be the gold standard innovator in digital media to emulate. Of course we all had the Utopian view as technologists often do but the laws of unintended consequences takes over. BuzzFeed.

Putting Tom Perkins Comments into Context

Both Sides of the Table

Danielle Steel of course being Tom Perkins ex wife. So perhaps his king reference was fitting. In tech circles one refers to the firm as either Kleiner Perkins, KP or Kleiner. Of course not.

UCSD 427

When the Good Guys in Venture Change Roles

Both Sides of the Table

Here is some help for the young ones if you don’t follow my old school reference ;-)). Of course Kleiner has had a difficult couple of years. I guess it was time for Matt to get and chart a course at a smaller firm where he could build Phase 2 of his career and I respect that.

Gogii 317

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.

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

Both Sides of the Table

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. Happy official New Year’s, all. It’s that time of year where we think about new beginnings.

Help 383

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.

SMTP 335

One Weird Trick to Build a Personal Brand

Both Sides of the Table

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. And was fortunate enough to get a reference call from an LP asking me this very question.

SaaS 344

Here is Why Non-Obvious Startup Ideas Can Yield the Largest Results

Both Sides of the Table

It has become so synonymous with Internet companies that the French have invented a disdainful term including Amazon: “les GAFA,” which they refer to as Google-Apple-Facebook-Amazon to talk about American dominance of the Internet. Of course they are. Amazon.

Ideas 381

Why I’m Now Long NPR

Both Sides of the Table

And of course there are virulent debates about whether publicly funded media should exist at all. Unbiased of course doesn’t exist since we all have biases.

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.”

Ideas 357

The Magic Moment of Meerkat

Both Sides of the Table

Of course I spotted it early like many because I noticed people I’ve long followed like Ryan Hoover, Danielle Morrill at Matt Mazzeo somewhat obsessed with it. Matt made references to products like Twitch (captures live video while you play video games and bought by Amazon for $1 billion) and how products like Meerkat could take off. Of course the tech existed to do all this before. And of course Mike Isaac said what we were all thinking. *. Ok.

Course 292

What are the Technical Performance Requirements for your Startup?


To get us started and to grossly oversimplify performance, conceptually we can think about the system as consisting of the following elements that I’ll refer to throughout the post. Of course, response time is quite a bit more complex than this.

SEO 195

What is the Right Burn Rate for your Startup?

Both Sides of the Table

Of course there is no right answer but it’s a function of how much capital you have raised, your prospects for raising more capital in the future, your growth rate and your company’s risk tolerance. Sometimes, of course, reducing burn means cutting costs which usually means cutting staff.

.Net 275

Startup Advisors: The Good, The Bad And The Commandos


Ultimately, this simple assessment became known as the “Old Gray Whistle Test” (OGWT), a reference to the doormen''s preponderance of gray hair. This will result in multiple points of view that you can distill into a single course of action.

Changes in the Venture Capital Funding Environment

Both Sides of the Table

This led median valuations to triple in 3 years and led to this stupid phenomenon that people refer to as “unicorns ,” which I am convinced will the the thing most historians laugh most about in this era. The fact that I still see it referred to in pitch decks is farcical.

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

Both Sides of the Table

Of course it is super helpful if a VC can drop you in to important people for business development, recruiting, PR, sales and eventually M&A. If I were looking at which VCs to choose I would reference strongly for which ones are supportive in good times and bad.

Coach 381

Bolstering the Partner Ranks at GRP

Both Sides of the Table

Like any firm we of course invest in the San Francisco Bay Area where 33% of my personal boards are. I made some reference calls. It is with great pleasure that I can finally announce that we have added Greg Bettinelli as a partner at GRP Partners.

How to Solve the Biggest Frustration Marketers Have With Social

Both Sides of the Table

And of course you could add up impressions by counting your the followers of everybody who had retweeted plus your own. It is what is commonly referred to as “vanity metrics” as in, “Look at how many more followers I got us!

Epic Sciences Raises $52M to Expand Cancer Diagnostic Portfolio


The San Diego-based company, which announced the close of the Series E round Wednesday, said it will use the proceeds to create additional blood tests, often referred to as liquid biopsies, to help guide clinicians in selecting the best course of treatment for patients who have been.

Guide 44

Why Computer Vision Has Become a Major Investment Theme for Me

Both Sides of the Table

My thesis is that it will become a major I/O computing metaphor or as this field is sometimes referred to HCI ( human-computer interaction ). Of course in recent years voice as I/O is becoming mainstream. And of course Nanit is securely encrypted and HIPAA compliant.

Invest 246

Don’t Cede Control: Why You Need to Cut out Middle Men in Negotiations

Both Sides of the Table

Often recruiters want to handle the final negotiations on package and/or do the reference calls. I’m also reluctant to hand over reference calling. But I doubt they’ll dig in as deep as you will in the reference checks. VCs often do this for reference checking.

Doc 341

32 Questions Developers May Have Forgot to Ask a Startup Founder


Of course, it's way more complex than just these questions. Refer a friend? Almost every day I'm talking to early stage startup founders (see Free Startup CTO Consulting Sessions ) about what they plan to do. I tend to ask a lot of questions, challenge aspects, make suggestions.

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. Of course that’s not true. Please call our references.

Help 397