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The future of venture capital in one chart

The future of venture capital in one chart | Ideas for entrepreneurs | Scoop.it
The dramatic drop in the cost of creating a company over the last decade ($2 million in the late '90s to maybe $5,000 today) has had an obvious effect on the venture capital world.
Guillaume Decugis's insight:
Interesting chart (followed by a great analysis and example) by Erin Griffiths on Pandodaily though a little misleading as only focusing on seed rounds. While seed rounds have definitely become cheaper, they're only part of the money a company will need over time. Still, the world of VC's have changes as startups evolved from being hardcore tech projects to apps and websites. This by the way reinforces the objections of those who believe Silicon Valley (and tech hubs all across the world) are not focusing on the real problems anymore : the ones Space X, Tesla or the Gates Foundation embrace.
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Serial entrepreneurship is constant learning. Here's what I found impacting.
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Startup Metrics, a love story.

Everything you need to know about Startup Product Metrics.

Guillaume Decugis's insight:

I've seen many decks on startup metrics including Dave Mc Clure's very rough but great 'startup metrics for pirates' but this deck by Andreas Klinger is juts awesome. It is comprehensive, precise and actionable. Plus there are tons of great benchmarks in there. 


Read it and I'm sure you'll find at least a couple of things you'll want to immediately experiment with to make your startup product better. 

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Real Engines Of Growth Have Nothing To Do With Growth Hacking

Real Engines Of Growth Have Nothing To Do With Growth Hacking | Ideas for entrepreneurs | Scoop.it
Imagine you're a 17-year-old girl at a well-to-do high school in Los Angeles, and you just discovered Snapchat. Until that moment, every time you thought..
Guillaume Decugis's insight:

Very interesting analysis debunking the myth that one single growth hacker could fix any startup's lack of growth. The secret of LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or Snapchat? A deep understanding of their users' psychology and motivations. Plus a perfect execution to make it frictionless and simplement to understand and tell. 

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Why There's Never Been a Better Time to Found a SaaS Startup

Why There's Never Been a Better Time to Found a SaaS Startup | Ideas for entrepreneurs | Scoop.it
Guillaume Decugis's insight:

Consumer Apps used to be all the rage and WhatsApps + Instagram and others showed it was justified. But SaaS could be the new black and with consumerization of IT, there are interesting models to explore.


When 10M users is the new 1M users in consumer Web, 11x revenue valuations are definitely worth considering.

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Numerogeek's curator insight, March 12, 8:57 AM

Toutes les stats montrent que les temps n'ont jamais été aussi propices pour lancer un produit en mode SaaS.

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How the AppStore model made WhatsApp's valuation possible

How the AppStore model made WhatsApp's valuation possible | Ideas for entrepreneurs | Scoop.it

From zero to $19B of business value in five years; WhatsApp's sale to Facebook is an important moment in the history of the consumer web. The deal proves distribution, reach and large user bases aren't the competitive moats they once were. Apple's App Store and Google Play have leveled the playing field to such an extent that a startup can command 10% of the market cap from a $200B company.

Guillaume Decugis's insight:

Interesting point of view of Tomasz Tunguz on what the AppStore model had to do in WhatsApp's massive valuation.


I'm not sure I agree with everything he writes though. Yes, the AppStore is very competitive and the old tricks don't work there. Yes, increased competitions and a short-tail distribution means higher outcomes and rewards for those who make it. But I'm not sure the model is that virtuous:


- first, I'm not sure it favors innovation that much: web sites are optimized on a daily basis (or actually often multiple changes per day) while Apps need to go through approval processes and tests, etc...


- second, as Andrew Chen pointed out, this hit or miss market the AppStore is means that mobile startups are failing without a second chance to iterate and come out with the right product. 

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Guillaume Decugis's curator insight, February 24, 6:52 PM

Interesting point of view of Tomasz Tunguz on what the AppStore model had to do in WhatsApp's massive valuation.


I'm not sure I agree with everything he writes though. Yes, the AppStore is very competitive and the old tricks don't work there. Yes, increased competitions and a short-tail distribution means higher outcomes and rewards for those who make it. But I'm not sure the model is that virtuous:


- first, I'm not sure it favors innovation that much: web sites are optimized on a daily basis (or actually often multiple changes per day) while Apps need to go through approval processes and tests, etc...


- second, as Andrew Chen pointed out, this hit or miss market the AppStore is means that mobile startups are failing without a second chance to iterate and come out with the right product. 

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What I Learned Building Medium (So Far)

What I Learned Building Medium (So Far) | Ideas for entrepreneurs | Scoop.it

We’re now eight months into building Medium, having started in earnest in February of this year (...) We haven’t opened up, tried to grow, or, certainly, proven we have product/market fit (...) Still, it’s been educational. Here are some of my observations this time around.

Guillaume Decugis's insight:

Are you guaranteed success when you have unlimited resources and luxuries from being one of the most successful startup founders of these past 10 years? 


No.


These insights are a great answer to all those who think that they key to success is just getting funded or having a track record.

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4 lessons every VC should know before investing in pivoted startups

4 lessons every VC should know before investing in pivoted startups | Ideas for entrepreneurs | Scoop.it
We all know about the perfect pivot, but what about participating in a "pivot" round?
Guillaume Decugis's insight:

Not all startups or startup teams are meant to pivot. I went through a pivot myself and I found this list of criteria pretty insightful. 

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Marc Kneepkens's curator insight, January 18, 1:00 PM

Good advice, makes a lot of sense.

Good read for startups to be aware of this option.

Marshall Van Fleet's curator insight, January 19, 12:12 PM

Good Advice For The Start-up Entrepreneur As Well

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Evernote - The $0 Growth Engine

Evernote - The $0 Growth Engine | Ideas for entrepreneurs | Scoop.it
Evernote has never been sexy, almost ran out of money, and doesn’t benefit from the network effects that drive many of today’s successful companies.

Via Mounia RKHA
Guillaume Decugis's insight:

The idea of having a growth engine is essential to startups. Yet, I often see entrepreneurs thinking they can only rely on a great product - or sometimes not even as much: a great idea. Value for startups only come from growth and some great product will simply not make it because they lack a growth engine. 


There are various types of growth engines, including:


- virality (your current users' actions bring your next users)


- stickiness / increased value over time (your users don't do much beyond simple word-of-mouth but as they never leave this ends up in growing usage)


- ad-funded user acquisition (you make enough advertising/premium money from current users to acquire the next users through advertising)


- sales-funded revenue (you make enough sales from current customers to recruit more sales people or fund distribution channels to get the next customers).


What's not a growth engine?


- word-of-mouth


- PR


These are typically not enough to get accelerating growth/traction.


In short, if you don't have a growth engine, you don't have a startup.

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7 Signs You’re Fundraising Too Early

7 Signs You’re Fundraising Too Early | Ideas for entrepreneurs | Scoop.it
Perhaps it’s the new ”American dream” of scaling like Zuckerberg or selling like Systrom, but every entrepreneur seems to think that if they’re going to make it big, they have to raise money asap.
Guillaume Decugis's insight:

I'd say this is debatable as raising early can also give you a lot of options. Sometimes though you don't have that luxury and this post is worth reading for the signs it describes that your startup might not be VC-ready. If that's the case, hyper focusing in fundraising is a sure way to fail. Money can come from customers too...

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Marc Kneepkens's curator insight, December 13, 2013 2:19 PM

Get ready first, the more ready you are, the easier money will follow.

This is a great article from a real entrepreneur. Great read, but don't just read, apply his conclusions to your fundraising.

Better even, take a look at the video 'Why are you doing this?' right above this window.

Marc Kneepkens's curator insight, December 13, 2013 2:29 PM

If you are serious about succeeding with your Startup, including Fundraising, building a great company, and exiting that company when the time is right, take a look at this video. This is Startup School at its best!




Why are you doing this? Why are you an entrepreneur? Watch this video! https://growthink.infusionsoft.com/go/gic/gt4045/


Lori Wilk's curator insight, December 15, 2013 8:50 AM

As we launch, we want to build on a structure and a solid foundation, most of us have lots to learn.

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How much does it cost to build the world’s hottest startups?

How much does it cost to build the world’s hottest startups? | Ideas for entrepreneurs | Scoop.it
Could $100,000 and the right developer skills make you an overnight billionaire? How much does it really take to build a product like Twitter or Instagram? With mobile development ...
Guillaume Decugis's insight:

Very questionable analysis but which makes one point clear: web consumer startups are not technology challenges anymore. 

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Michel CEZON's curator insight, December 4, 2013 12:07 AM

Nice aoverview about web successes. I wonder if people would have invested so much if they knew right from the beginning the real cost and the chance of succes :-)

Luis Cano's curator insight, December 4, 2013 6:00 PM

A real hot one...

Lori Wilk's curator insight, December 23, 2013 7:35 AM

As we read this article there is someone out there who has the idea and will make this question their reality. The odds are that we will read their story in the next 24 months to 36 months.

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Stop Complaining about Your PR Firm. Here’s How the Media Works

Stop Complaining about Your PR Firm. Here’s How the Media Works | Ideas for entrepreneurs | Scoop.it

“Journalists are biased.” “Our PR firm just doesn’t ‘get’ our message.” “We need at least one media hit a week.” Oh, and my personal favorite: “Can we review and edit quotes before the piece is published?”

Guillaume Decugis's insight:

If your startup marketing strategy includes getting press coverage, you should read this. And also this.


But I also encourage you to think whether that's actually something you need, how badly you need it and for what reasons. If the answer to the latter is "to get traction and grow my user base", that's probably wrong as I explained here.

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Less is more: the startup pitch deck version

This is the pitchdeck we used to raise half a million dollars from Angel investors.
Guillaume Decugis's insight:

Simple is beautiful, less is more: here's a great example of how this can be applied to securing funding for a startup. From Joel and Leo the founders of Buffer - a service we partner with at Scoop.it - and great guys too. Additional comments from Leo here.


This is a good complement to LinkedIn Series B deck. A later stage company will have a more complex story but an early stage pitch should focus on a few things including: 

- the investment thesis

- the demonstrable traction

- the vision

- the team

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Marc Kneepkens's curator insight, November 9, 2013 7:53 AM

This is as simple as you can make a pitch. What counts? Presenting the message to create results.


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Solving Blogging for Startups

Blogging is a pain point for many startups and small teams because it takes a lot of time and effort. This presentation by @Arabella Santiago shows how to solve that.

Guillaume Decugis's insight:

Startups need to blog, say a lot of people including entrepreneur/VC/blogger Mark Suster in this great piece. But what most entrepreneurs struggle with is how to really make it happen in spite of all the things they already have to do. This was this precise frustration that made us want to start Scoop.it as a way to help many people become media publishers and particularly entrepreneurs.

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LinkedIn's series B pitch deck made public together with awesome advice by Reid Hoffman

LinkedIn's series B pitch deck made public together with awesome advice by Reid Hoffman | Ideas for entrepreneurs | Scoop.it
At Greylock, my partners and I are driven by one guiding mission: always help entrepreneurs.
Guillaume Decugis's insight:

People, this is gold.


Reid Hoffman made public the deck he and the LinkedIn team used to raise their Series B back in 2004. Of course this is huge because LinkedIn became LinkedIn but more importantly, Hoffman added precious insights and advice on what he would do differently now.


Key point to me is how to artciulate the investment thesis. To elaborate on that, solving a problem is not the investment thesis. Of course, it's needed b ut on top of that you also need to show how that problem can be worth enough to your customers so that it can become a big business. Hoffman says he didn't articulate this well enough opening with a slide that simply put the value proposition forward but failing to artculate how value would be created and defended on the long run by delivering it.


There are a ton of other valuable points on how to pitch by analogy, how to deal with risks, how to look at explaining business model and revenue streams, etc...


A must-read for anyone willing to pitch VC's.

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Arabella Santiago's curator insight, October 16, 2013 5:09 PM

Thanks to the bossman @Guillaume Decugis for this awesome find@

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The biggest risk is to not take any.

The biggest risk is to not take any. | Ideas for entrepreneurs | Scoop.it

This was going to end badly.My boss screamed at me in front of my colleagues. I had done something wrong of course. I had sent a product to the client without debugging it thoroughly. It was my fault.

Guillaume Decugis's insight:

James Altucher might have Woody Allen style neurotic accents but he makes a lot of good points in there. Bottom line is that the "safe" career path that worked for your parents or grandparents is a thing of the past. 


Time to think seriously about that startup project.

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Does your startup story stick to your RIBS? The Best PR Advice You’ve Never Heard

Does your startup story stick to your RIBS? The Best PR Advice You’ve Never Heard | Ideas for entrepreneurs | Scoop.it
“Imagine you’re sitting across from a reporter at lunch. You’re telling them what you do, your story, why they should care about your product. You have to convince this reporter to not only write about you, but that what you’re doing matters.
Guillaume Decugis's insight:
One of the common myths in Silicon Valley is that startups don't need marketing. But as shown by this long but excellent series of insights by Caryn Marooney, Head of Technology Communications for Facebook and co-founder of OutCast - the prominent SV PR agency, this couldn't be less true.
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Marc Kneepkens's curator insight, March 14, 6:15 PM

Very detailed, step by step self inquiry test for your startup. Highly recommended.

I took her advice and created a tagline while reading it: "Know how to get funded". It's on my site now at www.Business-Funding-Insider.com

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Forget about the technical co-founder (and don't learn how to code)

Forget about the technical co-founder (and don't learn how to code) | Ideas for entrepreneurs | Scoop.it

Over the years I’ve heard and read a lot of advice on how to get a technical co-founder. Having a mostly non-technical background myself, I’ve been facing the issues of having a “great” startup idea without having the technical chops to build it myself.

Guillaume Decugis's insight:

This is an interesting response to Elizabeth Yin's post on why you can't find a technical co-founder that she wrote on Andrew Chen's blog.


She claimed your best chance was to learn to code and build your MVP on your own: this will not only ensure your MVP will be an MVP but also that you learn from it and in the process be more credible to and respected by your future CTO. Thomas Kjemperud doesn't disagree with the second part but claims there's no need to learn to code to do so: with all the open API's and existing tools out there, you should be able to build something semi-automated without even having to learn to code.


He's got a good point: to get 50 users to really love your service or product, do you really need a completely automated piece of software? Or do you need tools that let you deliver the value prop and makes sure it makes those 50 people happy?


It probably depends but the important thing is that you have to learn from these 50 before you do anything else anyway.

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How to nail your seed round

Primer on raising seed capital for first time and experienced startup founders and employees.

Guillaume Decugis's insight:

Lots of very useful insights in that must-see very detailed slideshare by Steve Schlafman from RRE Ventures.


I wish it described a little more the conditions that a startup need to reach to become interesting for VCs. To build on slides 58-60, I would add:


1. Team: there's little hope in seeing seed VC's with the hope they'll help you complete it.


2. Growth model: traction is cool but mean different things to different people. I'd rather talk about a growth model that explains how the company will grow fast and that is backed by min 8-12 weeks of solid data. 


3. Market ambition: while business plans are mostly useless at seed stage, it's important in my opinion to show there are adressable markets within reach if #2 works well to justify raising from VC's and providing them with a return.

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Marc Kneepkens's curator insight, February 4, 1:54 PM

This is a great deck including all the steps of raising seed funding for a startup. It's very detailed, and presented by a venture capitalist. It's the most complete step-by-step guide that you'll find. Of course, guidelines like this are not going to create it for you, but at least, you get some idea of the process and what it involves.



Read more about funding at www.Business-Funding-Insider.com

  • Tools and articles to help get funded
  • Free Listing of your Investment Proposals & Crowdfunding Campaigns
  • Learn what investors are looking for
  • Deal Flow
  • Free Business Plan Template
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Why Startups Should Care about Building Community | 500 Startups

Why Startups Should Care about Building Community | 500 Startups | Ideas for entrepreneurs | Scoop.it

I know, it’s a bold request to ask a startup to focus on anything other than their product and growth. I know, I’m a startup founder myself. I know that time is our most limited resource and that you have to say no to a lot of things in order to maintain your focus, and sanity. So why am I writing a post telling you to focus on community? Because I’ve seen first hand, and in the example of many other startups, the power that community can wield even at the earliest stages of your growth.

Guillaume Decugis's insight:

Excellent post by David Spinks who's the founder of Feast and former community manager of LeWeb. Startups are not just about products - they're about people around them too. If you're not convinced yet, here are 7 good reasons to include community management as part of your early marketing strategy (and yes you need one). 

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Terrence Bristol's curator insight, March 14, 10:22 AM

I think this should apply to any business especially when in early phases of starting.  A community helps you get over those rough spot when your doubts are high and confidence is low.

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Netflix: The Red Menace

Netflix: The Red Menace | Ideas for entrepreneurs | Scoop.it
Just when Hollywood thought it had Netflix figured out that red envelope company flipped the script creating a playbook for any business that aspires...
Guillaume Decugis's insight:

Great read for any entrepreneur who's thinking about disrupting an industry. The way Netflix is beating Hollywood at its own game and hen changing hose rules is impressive. Of course, this is the doing of a large established startup but even earlier stage startups can learn from that story. 

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Marc Kneepkens's curator insight, January 18, 11:43 AM

Wow, great article. It tells the Netflix story, and makes you understand that whole 'streaming videot' business and "Hollywood" in a completely different way.

Startups can learn what 'disruptive' really means, and what the risks and challenges involve.

Long article, but worthwhile read!

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10 reasons it's never been a better time to be a startup entrepreneur

10 reasons it's never been a better time to be a startup entrepreneur | Ideas for entrepreneurs | Scoop.it
There is additional encouraging news for aspiring entrepreneurs on many fronts, just in case you are thinking about joining the existing ranks.
Guillaume Decugis's insight:
Martin Zwilling makes a good case on Forbes on how conditions for being an entrepreneur have never been so great. He's right: lots of things are better now than they used to be. Both in the US and Europe. However I can't help wondering as well: with that much competition it's likely to also be the time where a record number of entrepreneurs will be disappointed. Because no matter how easy and great it is to start companies, there are not so many which can become successful at any given point in time. I happenned to become an entrepreneur right after the 2000 bubble burst and I don't envy the bubble startups: yes going was tough but for those who survived, the results were spectacular. Remember the 90's?
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dan's curator insight, December 26, 2013 10:35 AM

Why Not Start Now Then!

Marc Kneepkens's curator insight, December 29, 2013 5:57 PM

Entrepreneurs/Startups are the engine of the economy. Be part of it. Create your own business, be your own boss. It's never been easier, so many tools, so much information...

Sabra Kay's curator insight, March 3, 3:16 PM

I wholeheartedly agree, and adding to that, I think now is a great time to start something small. To work for yourself, in any niche you choose and to make something of it. It doesn't have to be a high-tech, VC funded startup, it can just be your "thing." If there was ever a time to do it, it's now.

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What I’ve Learned in My First Month as a VC

What I’ve Learned in My First Month as a VC | Ideas for entrepreneurs | Scoop.it

After 13 years at startups—the last four at Twitter—I’ve made the transition into venture capital as a partner at Redpoint Ventures. It has been just over a month since I began spending my days on Sand Hill Road and in that short time, I’ve learned quickly about working in a tight, seasoned partnership as well as having listened to some of the smartest, most interesting startup pitches.

Guillaume Decugis's insight:

A candid list of lessons learned from Ryan Sarver that gives interesting insights on how VCs will look at an investment opportunity. Useful to craft the perfect pitch. 

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Marc Kneepkens's curator insight, December 7, 2013 8:17 AM

Whether you are a Startup looking for funding, or an investor, looking for the right investment, there is a lot to learn from this article. It's and inside viewpoint that examines the process of funding the right idea and team.

Lori Wilk's curator insight, December 23, 2013 7:30 AM

It's great to learn from what others have tried and experienced so that you can be better prepared.

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Anyone Anywhere Can Build The Next Google -- There Are No Barriers

Anyone Anywhere Can Build The Next Google -- There Are No Barriers | Ideas for entrepreneurs | Scoop.it
A common excuse that entrepreneurs make for not being able to innovate is the lack of venture capital in their region.

Via Marylene Delbourg-Delphis
Guillaume Decugis's insight:

Several good examples that show how dramatically the cost of creating breakthrough innovations has decreased.

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Lori Wilk's curator insight, November 22, 2013 10:48 AM

Celebrate the possibilities#entrepreneurship

 

Alba Redin's curator insight, December 1, 2013 4:07 AM

Successful entrepreneurship, who succeed? THose companies who are different, Game changers (they aim to compete on different terms), market entry and tey are in essense guerillas.

Ranjit Kovilinkal Ramakrishnan's curator insight, December 2, 2013 8:08 PM

The culture of big risk taking has to fall in place in India for something really big to emerge! Any comments?

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A VC expects you to fail 40% of the time. And that's when they invested.

A VC expects you to fail 40% of the time. And that's when they invested. | Ideas for entrepreneurs | Scoop.it

When I was early in my career, I casually mentioned to an older VC that I had yet to lose money on an investment. He replied "that's not good, you aren't taking enough risk." I have gone on to lose...

Guillaume Decugis's insight:

Fred Wilson discloses interesting figures about his loss ratio which is close to 40% for his 2004 fund - the most promising one he says.


I've seen several entrepreneurs make the mistake of thinking their VCs will do anything to refinance them to avoid making losses. While good ones will definitely put a fight for you, you should also not expect them to fund you beyond reason. After all, some of their portfolio companies will fail and they live with that.

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Marc Kneepkens's curator insight, November 20, 2013 6:32 AM

Good to know before you start with a vc that they may take losses on you...

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Welcome To The Unicorn Club: Learning From Billion-Dollar Startups | TechCrunch

Welcome To The Unicorn Club: Learning From Billion-Dollar Startups | TechCrunch | Ideas for entrepreneurs | Scoop.it

Many entrepreneurs, and the venture investors who back them, seek to build billion-dollar companies.

Guillaume Decugis's insight:

Impression study of the 39 billion dollar software companies that we're created in the US over the past 10 years. What they have in common, who their founders were and whether or not they pivoted to become successful: lots of great data points. 

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Samu Tuomisto's comment, November 6, 2013 12:44 PM
Trust on your vision? No pivot made in 90% of One-Billion Dollar Software Startup Companies.
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The Secret to Making Board Meetings Suck Less

The Secret to Making Board Meetings Suck Less | Ideas for entrepreneurs | Scoop.it

“If you think of your board members as working for you, there’s no reason to lie or fudge things to look a certain way or prove your competence. If you do those things, your board can’t help you effectively."

Guillaume Decugis's insight:

While I don't think all of this (long) list of advice is applicable to all companies, I do believe the above quote is fundamental to understand and apply.


I've been at board meetings every month or so for more than 10 years (for my own companies and as a board member of others). While we're fortunate to have a great board at Scoop.it, I've seen my share of highly dysfunctional meetings where entrepreneurs are putting their fate (and their companies') in the hands of the board every other meeting. Repeatedly judging a whole company in a couple of hours over and over is not what board meetings should (only) be about. 


Thinking of your board members as partners who will share your pains and your successes totally changes the dynamics of board meetings.


(Above picture is a before and after of Xobni's Jeff Bonforte's board decks whose experience inspired this article.)

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Lori Wilk's curator insight, November 7, 2013 7:36 AM

Direct and clear. I like that