Tag Archives: Tech

Why I Just Invested in ProsperStack

You work hard to get new customers. So why let them slip away?

ProsperStack lets you provide custom offers when a customer tries to cancel. They can even segment your customers and give the best offers to your top customers.


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You can also A/B test different offers to see what works best. And you can do all this in a beautiful, no-code interface!

Only the largest companies, like Netflix, have special programs to stop churn. But why shouldn’t your company have it, even if you’re not a giant?

ProsperStack can also help you understand why customers leave. They can tell you “you lost $10,000 in monthly recurring revenue because you don’t have a Salesforce integration.”

That gives your company amazing direction. It’s time to put that Salesforce integration at the top of the list!

But the thing I like most about ProsperStack is that you can easily see how much revenue ProsperStack stopped from churning. This makes their value proposition crystal clear.

I’m delighted to be an investor in ProsperStack’s recent seed round! Book yourself a demo and crush your churn today!

What issues do you see with subscription churn? Leave a comment at the bottom and let me know!

There will be no blog on Monday. I have an acting gig!

See you on Tuesday. Have a great weekend, everyone! 👋

More on tech:

Q3 Venture Funding Slows to a Crawl

The Startup Red Flags

You’re Doing Investor Meetings Wrong

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Fundrise

This platform lets me diversify my real estate investments so I’m not too exposed to any one market. I’ve invested since 2018 with great returns.

More on Fundrise in this post.

If you decide to invest in Fundrise, you can use this link to get $100 in free bonus shares!

Misfits Market

I’ve used Misfits for years, and it never disappoints! Every fruit and vegetable is organic, super fresh, and packed with flavor!

I wrote a detailed review of Misfits here.

Use this link to sign up and you’ll save $15 on your first order. 

Q3 Venture Funding Slows to a Crawl

Venture funding in the third quarter slowed to a crawl, according to a new report out this morning from Pitchbook:


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Estimated deal count in Q3 (4,074) is off by almost 20% from the quarterly record high recorded in Q1 (5,049) and is the lowest count seen in any quarter since Q4 2020 (3,364). Q3 saw $43.0 billion invested in VC deals across all stages, a nine-quarter low, cementing a tone of investor hesitancy and increased focus on business fundamentals amid the global economic downturn, even if the numbers remain high on a historical basis.

Exits were just $14B in the entire quarter. This is in line with figures from 8 years ago.

Meanwhile, venture funds continued to raise huge sums:

US-based VC funds have raised $150.9 billion, surpassing last year’s previous record and taking the 21-month fundraising total above $298.1 billion.

As an angel investor, I found July and August particularly slow. That’s usually vacation season anyhow, but this year the market was even colder than usual.

At the end of August, I spoke with the head of one of the most active VC’s in the US. He predicted a busy fall.

I was skeptical.

But sure enough, I started to see activity pick up in September. Those deals will probably take until at least Q4 to close, so they’re not reflected in Pitchbook’s numbers.

Personally, I made four investments in Q3, right around my usual pace. A down market is no time to back off — if anything, we want to be making it rain to take advantage of lower valuations!

But nonetheless, a lot of investors got spooked. I saw some great deals I was in only raise half as much as expected as investors pulled back.

Especially at seed stage, the market we’ll exit in will be totally different from today’s. So we should always be investing in great companies.

Warren Buffett said it best in his 1986 letter to shareholders:

What we do know, however, is that occasional outbreaks of those two super-contagious diseases, fear and greed, will forever occur in the investment community. The timing of these epidemics will be unpredictable. And the market aberrations produced by them will be equally unpredictable, both as to duration and degree. Therefore, we never try to anticipate the arrival or departure of either disease. Our goal is more modest: we simply attempt to be fearful when others are greedy and to be greedy only when others are fearful.

Where do you think the venture market is headed? Leave a comment at the bottom and let me know!

More on tech:

The Startup Red Flags

You’re Doing Investor Meetings Wrong

Shopify’s Tobi Lutke on Layoffs and Building for the Long Term

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If you found this post interesting, please share it on Twitter/Reddit/etc. This helps more people find the blog! 

Save Money on Stuff I Use:

Fundrise

This platform lets me diversify my real estate investments so I’m not too exposed to any one market. I’ve invested since 2018 with great returns.

More on Fundrise in this post.

If you decide to invest in Fundrise, you can use this link to get $100 in free bonus shares!

Misfits Market

I’ve used Misfits for years, and it never disappoints! Every fruit and vegetable is organic, super fresh, and packed with flavor!

I wrote a detailed review of Misfits here.

Use this link to sign up and you’ll save $15 on your first order. 

Photo: “dead slow sign” by satguru is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

The Startup Red Flags

You’re busting your butt to raise venture capital. But what if you’re raising red flags with investors without even knowing it?


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I see several thousand startup pitches every year.

Sometimes the founder has a great idea and an awesome story. But one little detail gets my spidey sense tingling.

Here are a few things that raise an instant red flag:

1) You won’t share information. When a founder won’t give me a straight answer to a question, that’s a huge red flag.

In my experience, the most successful founders are very forthcoming with information. Whether it’s revenue numbers, cash in the bank, or challenges the business is facing, they give it to you straight.

When a founder won’t give me information, I suspect they’re hiding something. If I ask for revenue numbers and don’t get them, I assume there is no revenue.

When you don’t share info, you leave investors to assume the worst. Don’t let that happen to you!

And don’t worry about competitors.

I’ve met founders of billion dollar companies that shared detailed financials. It hasn’t hurt them yet!

2) You’re scared of someone stealing your idea.

You might have an amazing idea. But building a startup requires a lot more execution than inspiration.

So don’t worry about people stealing your idea. Instead, share it with as many people as possible and get their input!

When a founder is secretive, it tells me they don’t know how startups are built. Just like #1, it also leaves me to assume the worst.

One form of this is an obsession with patents. Don’t bother mentioning these to investors unless you’re a deep tech startup.

3) You’re not launched.

Some founders have incredible stories about the amazing things they’re going to do. But when you talk to them a few months later, it’s still just stories.

Launch your product as soon as possible. This lets you start learning from customers and refining your product.

It also shows investors you’re serious about what you’re doing. Be a walker, not a talker!

4) You’re an LLC. Founders try hard to project competence when they’re raising money.

Unfortunately, nothing shatters that image quite as fast as finding out you’re not properly incorporated. To raise venture capital, you need to be a Delaware C Corp.

Avoiding some of the biggest pitfalls in fundraising is easy! Just be prepared and be willing to share everything with investors.

Investors want to believe! And they want to give you money.

But they need information in order to give you that “yes.”

What red flags do you see in startups? Leave a comment at the bottom and let me know!

More on tech:

You’re Doing Investor Meetings Wrong

USV’s Albert Wenger on Climate and the Post-Capital World

Shopify’s Tobi Lutke on Layoffs and Building for the Long Term

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If you found this post interesting, please share it on Twitter/Reddit/etc. This helps more people find the blog! 

Save Money on Stuff I Use:

Fundrise

This platform lets me diversify my real estate investments so I’m not too exposed to any one market. I’ve invested since 2018 with great returns.

More on Fundrise in this post.

If you decide to invest in Fundrise, you can use this link to get $100 in free bonus shares!

Misfits Market

I’ve used Misfits for years, and it never disappoints! Every fruit and vegetable is organic, super fresh, and packed with flavor!

I wrote a detailed review of Misfits here.

Use this link to sign up and you’ll save $15 on your first order. 

Photo: “red flag” by freddie boy is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

You’re Doing Investor Meetings Wrong

You’ve sent out hundreds of cold e-mails. Now you’re finally meeting with that big shot VC. How can you make sure you don’t blow it?


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Many founders I meet with make the same mistakes over and over during meetings. Here are a few of the biggest flubs, so you can avoid them!

1) Not leaving enough time for questions. Leave at least half the meeting for questions.

If you have a 20 minute meeting, leave the last 10 for questions. If you have an hour, 20 minutes presenting and 40 minutes answering questions is a good balance.

So often, I see founders spend almost the entire time presenting, leaving maybe 2 minutes for questions. Since I usually have 5-10 questions, that’s not nearly enough time!

Investors have certain objections you need to overcome to get a check. Answering their questions helps overcome those objections and get you the money you came for!

2) Don’t take too long to answer a question. When you answer a question, take about the same amount of time to answer it as the investor took to ask it.

If the question asks for a number, don’t respond with a story. This is a big red flag to me that the founder is hiding bad news.

Here’s an example of the wrong way:

Question: What’s your customer acquisition cost?

Answer: We’ve been trying a ton of different campaigns this year, and we’re having some really good luck with them! YouTube has been a great platform for us, we’ve gotten a lot of customers from there.

Instagram was not as effective until we started doing partnerships with influencers. Molly Cooks, who has 10,000 followers, did a collab with us recently that did great!

This is long, meandering, and doesn’t answer the question. Instead, try this:

Question: What’s your customer acquisition cost?

Answer: Our CAC is $37.

3) Don’t assume the investor knows anything about your company. For many angels and VC’s, their calendar is one 30 minute meeting after another, all day long.

This doesn’t leave much time to research each company before the meeting. And of course, sometimes we’re just lazy and entitled! 😂

So never assume the investor has looked at your deck, tried your product, or knows anything about your industry.

4) Be ready to present or just talk.

Some investors like to see you go through the deck and present the company formally. Others just want to have a conversation.

Even though I always look at the deck before a meeting, I still like to see the founder present it.

Reading a document on my own is one thing. Hearing what the founder has to say about it is quite another.

So be prepared to run the meeting as a presentation or just a conversation, depending on the investor’s preference.

If you can run a tight meeting using these principles, your odds of getting a check skyrocket. The investor clearly understands what your company does and you’ve addressed all her concerns.

What questions do you have about investor meetings?

Leave a comment at the bottom and let me know!

There will be no blog tomorrow. I have an acting gig.

See you on Wednesday!

More on tech:

When Are You Ready to Raise a Seed Round?

USV’s Albert Wenger on Climate and the Post-Capital World

Shopify’s Tobi Lutke on Layoffs and Building for the Long Term

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If you found this post interesting, please share it on Twitter/Reddit/etc. This helps more people find the blog! 

Save Money on Stuff I Use:

Fundrise

This platform lets me diversify my real estate investments so I’m not too exposed to any one market. I’ve invested since 2018 with great returns.

More on Fundrise in this post.

If you decide to invest in Fundrise, you can use this link to get $100 in free bonus shares!

Misfits Market

I’ve used Misfits for years, and it never disappoints! Every fruit and vegetable is organic, super fresh, and packed with flavor!

I wrote a detailed review of Misfits here.

Use this link to sign up and you’ll save $15 on your first order. 

Photo: “Wrong Way” by Elaine with Grey Cats is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

USV’s Albert Wenger on Climate and the Post-Capital World

Most of human history has been defined by a lack of capital. We struggled to scratch out a living from the earth and stay alive long enough to enjoy it.


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Today, our world is one of abundance. But what if the ice is melting right underneath our feet?

That’s the view of Albert Wenger, Managing Partner of Union Square Ventures, . In his new book, The World After Capital, Wenger argues that what we really lack today is not capital but a focus on key issues.

Wenger is particularly concerned about the climate crisis. On a recent interview on This Week in Startups, he argues that society has to undergo a transformation on the scale of the shift from hunting and gathering to farming in order to beat climate change.

The threat is real and shows up more prominently every day. One day it’s massive floods in Pakistan, the next a devastating hurricane in Florida.

Wenger and his legendary firm are fighting this battle by doing what they do best: investing. And unlike some VC’s, they’re not afraid to plunge into difficult hardware projects that could make a difference.

Wenger argues that software can’t solve most of the climate problem. I agree — we need solar panels, geothermal, and wind, not just computer systems.

Early VC’s successfully invested in hardware by taking a larger percentage of the company in early funding rounds. This model could work again for climate investments.

However, hardware is tough to scale and often has poor margins. So for now, I’m sticking to SaaS solutions.

While the climate crisis is urgent, I disagree that society must change fundamentally to address it.

The shift from hunting and gathering to static, agricultural societies was massive. But to address climate change, all we really need is some solar panels and wind turbines.

We’ll continue to live much as we do today. Our energy will just be coming from a different place, and we may be only dimly aware of it.

The biggest change may be geopolitical.

Would we care about Saudi Arabia if we didn’t need oil? Would we accommodate Russia in any way if we didn’t need gas?

Freed from resource dependence, countries may turn inward. If this avoids disputes and wars, I’m all for it.

I also disagree with Wenger about capital’s abundance. If you’re a white man on the US coasts (hi!), he’s definitely right.

But if you’re a woman, minority, or live in the developing world, scarcity is still the rule. From financial capital to roads and bridges, most of the world remains poor.

What do you think of climate investing? Leave a comment at the bottom and let me know!

More on tech:

SHOPIFY’S TOBI LUTKE ON LAYOFFS AND BUILDING FOR THE LONG TERM

WHEN ARE YOU READY TO RAISE A SEED ROUND?

HOW TO AVOID SCAMS, FIND INVESTORS, AND LEAD LIKE THE BEST

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If you found this post interesting, please share it on Twitter/Reddit/etc. This helps more people find the blog! 

Save Money on Stuff I Use:

Fundrise

This platform lets me diversify my real estate investments so I’m not too exposed to any one market. I’ve invested since 2018 with great returns.

More on Fundrise in this post.

If you decide to invest in Fundrise, you can use this link to get $100 in free bonus shares!

Misfits Market

I’ve used Misfits for years, and it never disappoints! Every fruit and vegetable is organic, super fresh, and packed with flavor!

I wrote a detailed review of Misfits here.

Use this link to sign up and you’ll save $15 on your first order. 

Photo: “Albert Wenger” by Joi is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Shopify’s Tobi Lutke on Layoffs and Building for the Long Term

Few people did better during the pandemic than Tobi Lutke. The Shopify founder signed merchants to his e-commerce platform at a record pace, doubling revenues in 2020.

It was all systems go. Lutke hired like crazy to meet demand and locked up every server he could.

Meanwhile, Shopify’s stock price more than quintipled, putting the company’s valuation at over $200 billion.

In an excellent episode of This Week in Startups, Lutke tells us what it was like to guide his company through these heady times.

Employees were so distracted that Lutke had to make a rule: anyone caught checking the stock price had to buy donuts for everyone. Tim Horton’s, if you please.

But as the pandemic receded and stores reopened, consumers retreated from e-commerce. This left Shopify overbuilt and overextended.

Lutke was in a position he’d never been in throughout Shopify’s heady expansion. He had to do layoffs.

Shopify laid off 10% of the company this summer. For Lutke, the decision was wrenching.

“They were some of our hardest days.”

Tobias Lutke

Because Shopify had expanded ahead of demand. When demand dropped, that left Lutke with no choice but to lay off workers.

However, many of those workers would’ve never had the job in the first place had Lutke not expanded aggressively. And as well-paid tech workers, they’re likely to land on their feet.

Shopify’s tough times show how even large businesses struggle. A company with a $200 billion market cap can see its stock crushed and be forced to do layoffs just months later!

Take heart, early stage founders! The big boys face huge challenges too, just like you.

In all, I think Shopify is well positioned for the long term. It focuses on providing amazing service and doesn’t copy merchants’ products like Amazon.

When your livelihood depends on a platform, you want someone you can trust. Shopify fulfills that role better than Amazon.

I also commend Lutke for building a more honest culture at Shopify than most companies. He calls Shopify a team, not a family.

We all know the “family” rhetoric is nonsense. I have to give Lutke credit for telling it like it is.

I think his employees will too!

What do you think of Lutke’s leadership during the pandemic? Leave a comment at the bottom and let me know!

More on tech:

When Are You Ready to Raise a Seed Round?

How to Avoid Scams, Find Investors, and Lead Like the Best

The Founders: The Story of PayPal

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If you found this post interesting, please share it on Twitter/Reddit/etc. This helps more people find the blog! 

Save Money on Stuff I Use:

Fundrise

This platform lets me diversify my real estate investments so I’m not too exposed to any one market. I’ve invested since 2018 with great returns.

More on Fundrise in this post.

If you decide to invest in Fundrise, you can use this link to get $100 in free bonus shares!

Misfits Market

I’ve used Misfits for years, and it never disappoints! Every fruit and vegetable is organic, super fresh, and packed with flavor!

I wrote a detailed review of Misfits here.

Use this link to sign up and you’ll save $15 on your first order. 

When Are You Ready to Raise a Seed Round?

It’s a huge moment in a startup’s life: you shake hands with VC’s and seven figures hit your bank account. But when are you ready to raise a seed round?


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One of the biggest mistakes I see founders making is trying to raise money before they’re ready. They wind up beating their heads against the wall, simply because they’ve put the cart before the horse.

Here is how you know if you’re ready to raise a seed round:

1) Your product is launched. Believe it or not, companies try to raise seed rounds all the time without even having a product in market.

Sometimes they don’t have anything built at all!

If that’s you, your time would be much better spent finishing your product and launching it. Few people will invest pre-launch.

2) You have real customers and revenue. In addition to being launched, you want signs that you have a real, viable business.

And you can’t have a viable business without paying customers!

Most companies that successfully raise seed rounds have about $3,000 to $25,000 a month in revenue. Less than that, and you may not be ready to raise yet.

Meanwhile, when your annual revenue tops $1 million, you’re getting into Series A territory.

3) You’re growing fast. You want to be growing revenue at least 10% month over month in order to raise a seed round.

I generally look for the most explosive growers, who are scaling at 20% a month or more.

If your revenue is flat, raising capital is tough. People want to be on a rocket ship!

4) You have a strong team. You want around 4-6 people, at least half technical.

If you’re a solo founder or you don’t have anyone technical on the team, you’ll struggle to raise. You’ll also struggle to build a product and iterate on it.

Those two are not unrelated. 🙂

5) Your valuation is reasonable. Seed valuations are around $8-10 million post money these days.

Startups generally raise $1-2 million in their seed round.

6) You’re incorporated properly. I know, I know, I keep harping on this!

But make sure you’re a Delaware C Corp if you want to raise venture capital. More on why here.

I’ve had founders tell me that fundraising is the hardest thing they’ve ever done in their career. One of the biggest reasons for that is companies try to raise money before they’re ready.

You’re better off building your company up a bit first! Then, fundraising becomes way easier.

Show us a company with delighted customers and rapid growth, and we’ll be knocking each other down to get in!

What questions do you have about raising a seed round? Leave a comment at the bottom and let me know!

More on tech:

Why Your Startup Shouldn’t Be an LLC

How to Avoid Scams, Find Investors, and Lead Like the Best

The Startup Metrics That Make Investors Drool

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If you found this post interesting, please share it on Twitter/Reddit/etc. This helps more people find the blog! 

Save Money on Stuff I Use:

Fundrise

This platform lets me diversify my real estate investments so I’m not too exposed to any one market. I’ve invested since 2018 with great returns.

More on Fundrise in this post.

If you decide to invest in Fundrise, you can use this link to get $100 in free bonus shares!

Misfits Market

I’ve used Misfits for years, and it never disappoints! Every fruit and vegetable is organic, super fresh, and packed with flavor!

I wrote a detailed review of Misfits here.

Use this link to sign up and you’ll save $15 on your first order. 

How to Avoid Scams, Find Investors, and Lead Like the Best

Happy Monday everyone! I wanted to share an interview I did recently on startups and fundraising with the Finance Videos Network.


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We cover a lot of great topics, like leadership, finding investors, and red flags founders should look out for.

Here are some interesting points:

2:40: What great leadership looks like in early stage startups.

5:02: How to find investors.

6:30: What if you didn’t go to Harvard or Stanford?

8:18: When is the right time to raise money?

9:30: How to do a first meeting with an investor.

10:26: Signs that an investor is a fraud.

11:48: Should founders move to a tech center?

What do you think of today’s funding environment? What did we miss?

Leave a comment at the bottom and let me know!

More on tech:

The Startup Metrics That Make Investors Drool

How Startup Founders Get Scammed

The Founders: The Story of PayPal

Get the blog before anyone else…subscribe!

If you found this post interesting, please share it on Twitter/Reddit/etc. This helps more people find the blog! 

Save Money on Stuff I Use:

Fundrise

This platform lets me diversify my real estate investments so I’m not too exposed to any one market. I’ve invested since 2018 with great returns.

More on Fundrise in this post.

If you decide to invest in Fundrise, you can use this link to get $100 in free bonus shares!

Misfits Market

I’ve used Misfits for years, and it never disappoints! Every fruit and vegetable is organic, super fresh, and packed with flavor!

I wrote a detailed review of Misfits here.

Use this link to sign up and you’ll save $15 on your first order. 

The Startup Metrics That Make Investors Drool

Many entrepreneurs can tell an amazing story. But what about the hard numbers you need to back it up?


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Here are the type of figures that get me salivating:

1) Revenue growth. I like to see startups signing up customers at a rapid clip.

Companies I invest in usually are growing their revenue at least 20% month over month. These represent the cream of the crop of seed stage companies.

As startups mature, that benchmark goes down. For a company at Series A or later, 10% month over month growth is excellent.

You can calculate your growth using a tool like this.

Growth is critical because the best startups tend to catch on fast. Google, YouTube, PayPal and countless others grew at incredible rates shortly after launch.

2) Gross Margin. It’s not hard to grow if you’re selling a dollar for 90 cents. Knowing your Gross Margin makes sure that doesn’t happen.

Here’s how to calculate it: take the money left over from a sale after variable costs (marketing, etc.) and divide it by the revenue from the sale.

A SaaS business should shoot for a Gross Margin of at least 75%.

3) Burn Multiple. Many startups lose money to fund growth. But how do you know if you’re losing too much?

That’s where the Burn Multiple comes in. It measures how much money you burned in the prior month divided by how much new revenue you signed.

Seed stage companies should have a Burn Multiple of 3 or less. More on the burn multiple here and here.

4) Runway. This is how long you have until you run out of cash.

If you’re burning $50,000 a month and you have $300,000 in the bank, you have 6 months of runway.

I want a startup to have a bare minimum of 18 months of runway after the round closes. In today’s down market, I’d prefer to see at least 30 months runway.

This way, you have plenty of time to wait out a difficult market.

And if you’re “default alive” (break even or better), congrats! Burn Multiple and Runway don’t apply to you and you’re in an exceptionally strong position.

Is it hard to hit all these benchmarks? Absolutely!

That’s why I have to look at 150-250 companies to find a single investment. Performance at this level is rare.

But if you can hit these hurdles, you’ll find investors breaking down your door. And I’ll be one of them. 🙂

What key stats do you track as a founder or investor? Leave a comment at the bottom and let me know!

Have a great weekend everyone! 👋

More on tech:

How Startup Founders Get Scammed

The Founders: The Story of PayPal

Midas Speaks: Sequoia’s Don Valentine at Stanford GSB

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If you found this post interesting, please share it on Twitter/Reddit/etc. This helps more people find the blog! 

Save Money on Stuff I Use:

Fundrise

This platform lets me diversify my real estate investments so I’m not too exposed to any one market. I’ve invested since 2018 with great returns.

More on Fundrise in this post.

If you decide to invest in Fundrise, you can use this link to get $100 in free bonus shares!

Misfits Market

I’ve used Misfits for years, and it never disappoints! Every fruit and vegetable is organic, super fresh, and packed with flavor!

I wrote a detailed review of Misfits here.

Use this link to sign up and you’ll save $15 on your first order. 

Photo: “drool dog” by sashafatcat is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

How Startup Founders Get Scammed

Startup founders sometimes tell me about mysterious “services” they’re thinking of paying for. That’s when I get out my megaphone and shout into their ear “Never pay for that!”


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Entrepreneurs are hopeful people. They have to be.

But some scammers take advantage of that optimism to make a buck. And sadly, they like to prey on women and minorities.

They know that these folks have a harder time raising money and may be more desperate.

Let’s avoid you getting scammed. Here are some things you should never pay for:

1) Pitching investors. Investors like me listen to pitches all day, every day.

We don’t expect to be paid for it. We get paid when we invest, you grow your company, and go public!

Never pay to go to a pitch event. Ever.

Real investors will never charge you. Anyone who’s charging you is pretending to be a VC and isn’t worth your time.

2) Investment. Some so-called venture funds will charge you mysterious fees to get the investment.

Sometimes it’s a “syndication fee,” whatever that is. Sometimes they choose another name.

It’s like the Nigerian prince who needs $300 so $1 million will be released to him.

Whether it’s a Nigerian prince or a bogus VC fund, you should tell them to talk to the hand.

There are real costs to making investments: SPV incorporation fees, wire fees, etc.

But guess who should be paying those? The investors!

3) “Advice”. Don’t give up cash or precious equity for some amorphous “advice.”

If you want to give advisor shares to someone who has put cash into your company, feel free. Just be sure they’re spending at least several hours a month on your startup.

But if someone doesn’t believe in your company enough to put their own cash on the line, why would they want to be an advisor?

4) Introductions. Some scammers want to charge you for introductions to some magical list of investors.

This is a cousin to #1, the pay to pitch. And you should run away from both, as fast as you can.

Let me tell you how intros really work in venture capital. I invest in a company, then I e-mail my friends at a few funds I regularly co-invest with.

I tell them what I’m investing in and why. And I ask if they want to meet the founder.

How much do I charge the founder for this? Zero!

It’s part of the value I try to add at every company I invest in. It helps me win deals and helps the companies I’ve bet on.

I don’t want to see any of you guys get scammed. So be on the lookout for vultures circling trying to peck at your precious capital.

Real investors are happy to meet with you and help out for free. That’s what they do.

Anyone else is a clown who isn’t worth your time.

What other scams have you seen in startupland? Leave a comment at the bottom and let me know!

More on tech:

The Founders: The Story of PayPal

Why Drone Delivery Will Be an Awesome Business

Giving Investors What They Need to Say Yes

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Fundrise

This platform lets me diversify my real estate investments so I’m not too exposed to any one market. I’ve invested since 2018 with great returns.

More on Fundrise in this post.

If you decide to invest in Fundrise, you can use this link to get $100 in free bonus shares!

Misfits Market

I’ve used Misfits for years, and it never disappoints! Every fruit and vegetable is organic, super fresh, and packed with flavor!

I wrote a detailed review of Misfits here.

Use this link to sign up and you’ll save $15 on your first order. 

Photo: “The scam truck” by jepoirrier is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.