Do More Faster – Part II

by Scott Edward Walker on April 28th, 2011

Introduction


This is part 2 of 2 of my post regarding the excellent book Do More Faster, which is a collection of articles/blog posts by successful entrepreneurs and investors, including the editors David Cohen, the founder and CEO of TechStars, and Brad Feld, the managing director of Foundry Group.

As Brad noted on his blog: “Our goal was to write a unique book full of useful information for any early stage entrepreneur.  Rather than give advice or simply tell an entrepreneurial success story, we decided to blend the experience of the TechStars entrepreneurs and the TechStars mentors in an organized fashion.”

Below are ten solid quotes from the second half of the book; you can review the first-half quotes here.   One quick correction, which I tweeted about recently:  Entrepreneurs seeking venture funding should form a corporation in Delaware, not an LLC.  Indeed, as I noted in my post, “What’s Wrong with an LLC?”:

There are also three major disadvantages to utilizing an LLC, the most significant of which for entrepreneurs is that VC funds and other institutional investors usually do not invest in pass-through entities such as LLC’s.  Accordingly, if a venture will be seeking VC funding, an LLC is generally not a good choice of entity; and converting an LLC to a C corporation (which is the typical entity in which VC’s invest) can be tricky and expensive.  In fact, a new client of mine ended-up paying tax attorneys close to $15,000 in legal fees to effect such a conversion.

Thus the comment on page 246 by Brad Bernthal is incorrect — i.e., that “the conversion from something like an LLC to a C-Corp is relatively straightforward.”

Quotes

  • “If you are a technical founder, please listen carefully: You don’t need to build a bunch of new features to make your startup successful. Trust me, I know.” –Andy Smith, co-Founder and CEO of DailyBurn (p.161)
  • “As my friend Josh Newman says, there are only two steps to entrepreneurship: start, and keep going—and you lose most people at the first step.  That’s because talk is easy.” –Ben Casnocha, entrepreneur and author (p.165)
  • “Always trim away what you don’t need to be doing and ask yourself, ‘What is the thing that matters most to making progress right now?’” –Dick Costolo, CEO of Twitter (p.182)
  • “What’s really hard is simplifying your product and building a great user experience.” –Dave McClure, venture capitalist & founding general partner of 500 Startups  (p.183)
  • “There is one thing that the hundred of founders I meet each year have in common, and that is that their plan is wrong…Founders who can pivot to a new idea given what they learn will survive….” –Rob Hayes, partner at First Round Capital (p.201)
  • “Beware of angel investors who aren’t.  They’ll put you through endless diligence, play bait-and-switch with your financing, and generally waste your time.” –David Cohen, founder of TechStars (p. 217)
  • “You either have users (alpha, beta, gamma, whatever you call them doesn’t matter) or you don’t.” –Jeff Clavier, founder of SoftTech VC
  • “So, to be successful at fundraising, I practiced like crazy.  I must have rewritten our pitch 100 times and practiced it 500 times…. People want to invest in winners.  Winners are confident, and confidence comes from practicing like you play.”  –Alex White, co-founder and CEO of Next Big Sound (p. 224)
  • “Show, don’t tell….I don’t want to hear you describe what you are going to do; I want to see it.”  –Brad Feld, Managing Director at Foundry Group (p. 231)
  • “Because we neglected to send in a very simple document [i.e., an 83(b) election], we ended up paying a lot more tax than we needed to when we sold our company.” –Matt Galligan, co-founder & CEO of SimpleGeo (p. 271).

Conclusion

Kudos to David and Brad for pulling this book together and for their success with TechStars.  Cheers, Scott

 

 

 

 

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