In Praise of the Business Plan, Jerry Neumann, a venture investor and startup instructor warns that VCs who focus too much on the product demo, are doing entrepreneurs a disservice. He says they should ask founders to write a business plan that takes into account the customer, the market, and how their company will “solve pain and endlessly scale”.
Tag: Fred Wilson
AngelList’s role in the metamorphosis of the venture capital business. I think they are the new Rome of tech startup venture capital, because “all roads lead to it”. Whether you are a startup raising or planning to raise money, or a venture capitalist looking to invest in startups, you probably won’t complete your next transaction without some discussion at least, about whether AngelList is part of it or not. I was first introduced to AngelList in December 2011 by Fred Wilson, as he gave us his first investment commitment for Engagio. He introduced me to Naval Ravikant, who asked me to register on AngelList to get the process going.
Startup CEO: A Field Guide to Scaling Up Your Business is a monumental book that comes from the heart of Matt Blumberg. You can tell by the author’s self-effacing and genuine style that he had the reader in mind, as he pours it all for you. It doesn’t get more authentic than that. Matt never put himself at the center of the book; yet he draws on the depth of his 360 degrees of experience, having founded Return Path in 1999, and grown it to over 400 employees, across 12 global offices, and $100+ million in revenues.
“It is the customer who determines what a business is.” — Peter Drucker, The Practice of Management The product is only the beginning, yet many startup CEO’s make the mistake of remaining glued to the product and its evolution, even in their post-Series B or C stages and with millions of users under their belt. Their problem is they haven’t been able to cross the chasm into business model evolution. I’ve already talked about the syndrome of the founding CEO who doesn’t appreciate marketing until much later because of their organic engineering or product focus. But there’s also the case of the founder who hasn’t been able to focus on a business model that is properly validated by the right business strategy.