What actual activities do you want to do?
- Deep market analysis?
- Be in the flow of information and people?
- Make deals?
- Work closely w/ founders over time (e.g take board seats?)
- Manage capital?
- Benchmark (Lead series A/B - couple investments a year)
- First Round (Lead seed rounds, partner w/ a few companies a year)
- SV Angel (Make lots of seed investments)
Expa - Incubate companies
YC / Village Global - Build a platform to help entrepreneurs at scale
Do you want to join a firm or start one? There’s a lot to consider.
Different paths will require different skillsets & sets of experiences.
“Is this person going to help me to invest in companies that I otherwise would not have invested in without him/her?”
How do you do this?
Why will you see great deals?
- You worked at Stripe or Palantir and run their alumni group (Company)
- You went to MIT and ran their on campus fund (College)
- You ran Waterloo’s startup community and you know all the great projects (Location)
- You host the signature AR/VR conference (Vertical network)
- You run a community like "Interact"—top technologists under 25 (Horizontal network)
- You’re the best writer in, say, crypto—or more specifically, privacy coins (Legible expertise)
- You worked at Product Hunt or in journalism (can help startups with distribution/PR)
- You host "The 20 min VC" (can help startups raise money)
- You run a podcast called "The 20 min Blockchain Engineer" (can help startups recruit)
Here are other things you can do to add value to VC firms:
1. Send them good deals
2. Send their companies customers or talent
3. Invite partners on your podcast or to your event (or any of the assets mentioned above)
How do you get access to customers in the first place? Host a VP of Sales Event once a quarter, or an event for another core buying audience.
Talent? Start a job board site for engineers, or a regular happy hour for top designers.
More from Erik Torenberg
Please add your own.
2/ The Magic Question: "What would need to be true for you
3/ On evaluating where someone’s head is at regarding a topic they are being wishy-washy about or delaying.
“Gun to the head—what would you decide now?”
“Fast forward 6 months after your sabbatical--how would you decide: what criteria is most important to you?”
4/ Other Q’s re: decisions:
“Putting aside a list of pros/cons, what’s the *one* reason you’re doing this?” “Why is that the most important reason?”
“What’s end-game here?”
“What does success look like in a world where you pick that path?”
5/ When listening, after empathizing, and wanting to help them make their own decisions without imposing your world view:
“What would the best version of yourself do”?
Why is this the most powerful question you can ask when attempting to reach an agreement with another human being or organization?
A thread, co-written by @deanmbrody:
Next level tactic when closing a sale, candidate, or investment:— Erik Torenberg (@eriktorenberg) February 27, 2018
Ask: \u201cWhat needs to be true for you to be all in?\u201d
You'll usually get an explicit answer that you might not get otherwise. It also holds them accountable once the thing they need becomes true.
2/ First, “X” could be lots of things. Examples: What would need to be true for you to
- “Feel it's in our best interest for me to be CMO"
- “Feel that we’re in a good place as a company”
- “Feel that we’re on the same page”
- “Feel that we both got what we wanted from this deal
3/ Normally, we aren’t that direct. Example from startup/VC land:
Founders leave VC meetings thinking that every VC will invest, but they rarely do.
Worse over, the founders don’t know what they need to do in order to be fundable.
4/ So why should you ask the magic Q?
To get clarity.
You want to know where you stand, and what it takes to get what you want in a way that also gets them what they want.
It also holds them (mentally) accountable once the thing they need becomes true.
5/ Staying in the context of soliciting investors, the question is “what would need to be true for you to want to invest (or partner with us on this journey, etc)?”
Multiple responses to this question are likely to deliver a positive result.
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I was standing outside, waiting for a lyft to get home, when two cis men came out of the bar to smoke cigarettes. They're discussing the masks that folks are wearing in California at the moment because of the very dangerous air pollution from the fires happening.
I happen to be wearing one of those masks, because I think lungs are important and I like breathing. I dunno. One of the men notices me standing there, and says, "Like this f*cker right here. What is this shit?"
He goes on a homophobic rant about me, the pansy with a mask, and what a Very Manly Man he is because he's not afraid to smoke a pack of cigarettes while California is on fire. He doesn't need a mask, because something-something-heterosexual-something.
And part of me is just... impressed by the fact that this dude thinks he's Owning The Gay Libs by not wearing a mask to protect his lungs from smoke and particles in the air that are literally DANGEROUS... while chain-smoking. Outside of a bar.
Below a list of business/product ideas I had or read about.
They are worthless if they remain ideas and if you don't overcome the challenges in building them, so feel free to copy / tweak / implement them!
Better: use one and make a MVP during the #24hrstartup challenge!
😻 Product Hunt Time
A clock that displays the time it is @ProductHunt
Also displays what you should do and where you should post, at each specific time during your launch
🚧 IndieCrunch - VC free tech news
Techcrunch but only for bootstrapped companies
🎧 Kickstarter for audiobooks
A lot of awesome books are not available as audio.
Crowdfund the money to buy the audio rights + a voice actor
So Heinlein had always been very interesting in the short parts of his novels, like the little snippets inside chapters. He had a very fun writing style, and wrote some fun dialogue with fun characters, right?>
It probably comes from how much of his early stuff was short fiction
And I think what happened with a lot of his longer works is that he'd just start writing fun bits and hope it would end up going somewhere or having a bigger plot by the end. like eventually he'd figure out where this was going, then go back and rewrite it into a cohesive whole
and I'm sure he had editors that'd help this process. No editor would let you publish something as rambly and changing-gears-every-other-chapter as The Number Of The Beast, for example... unless you were God-King Of Science Fiction 1980s Robert Heinlein.
so basically I think what happened is that by the 80s (when he was in his seventies!!) he lost the drive to go back and rewrite and he was too Untouchable for editors to make him.
Just added Telegram links to https://t.co/lDdqjtKTZL too! Now you can provide a nice easy way for people to message you :)
Less than 1 hour since I started adding stuff to https://t.co/lDdqjtKTZL again, and profile pages are now responsive!!! 🥳 Check it out -> https://t.co/fVkEL4fu0L
Accounts page is now also responsive!! 📱✨
💪 I managed to make the whole site responsive in about an hour. On my roadmap I had it down as 4-5 hours!!! 🤘🤠🤘