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
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.
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”?
More from Startups
2/ Stay focused! Ignore things that are a waste of time: meetups & conferences, meetings with no clear agenda, fundraising if you're not fundraising, reading lots of tech media articles, etc. Every week should feel like significant progress in the first year.
3/ Your first 5 hires will be the difference between life or death. Choose carefully. Be picky. Many of the things we do at the company still are a result of those early hires' legacy. Have fun as a tight knit team. It will change & evolve as you get bigger so enjoy this moment.
4/ Growth may be flat for the first 9 months. It's gonna be okay. Almost every company has experienced this: Airbnb had to sell cereal in-between, Slack failed as a gaming company first, Tesla sold only 147 cars after 6 years! You probably won't be an overnight success either.
5/ In the beginning, do customer support yourself. You will learn a lot about why your product sucks. I did 5,000+ support tickets when it was the two of us. Delight customers & fix things fast while you learn. It will help you build an amazing intuition about your customers.
MRR: $13475.49 (+6.90%)
Organic: 4633 (+7.47%)
Trials: 237 (+21.54%)
New Customers: 146 (+5.0%)
If you're just getting started Indie-hacking, this thread is for you.
I'll tell you how to get here.
The market you chose is the most important facet of your Indiehacker journey. It doesn't have to be the best market, it just has to be right for the thing you want to build.
Pick a market that is growing, has needs that are paid for, and has demand for your product.
Start with your MVP and iterate slowly and intentionally. Introduce features at a good clip, but don't sacrifice quality.
Do your testing. Ship excellence. Write your documentation. Design with the user in mind.
Your customers will trust you.
It's true, ideas are worth nothing. Execution is all that matters.
However, your product idea(s) should solve problems.
It should make your customers more money, save them time, or both.
Make things that give them more of what they care about.
It has taken me 3 years to learn the skills I needed to make this product (business). And another 1.5 years to get the product to the revenue it's at now.
This is a long-term game. Build valuable skills. Put your head down and execute.
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- Have a lot of emails in the waiting list
- Become #1 on PH
- Become #1 of HN or Reddit
- Have people that saing "I'll pay"
- Have a lot of free users
The best way to know if they're actually pay for it.
The only thing that matters is your product providing a value, and you can't know this until people will pay money for it.
We can have a first signal of a product/market fit after the launch by check how many sales we've got in the first 24h. Some scale:
200+ This has a high potential.
100+: This has a potential.
50+: Some people need it.
10+: People almost don't need it.
0+: People don't need it.
This is for a single time payment product. For a subscription probably it should be less because people hate subscription.
And obviously, you should have a lot of traffic like 3-5k+.
Here is a stat for my products (macOS apps) for the first 24h after the launch:
We're basically fucked.
The tech world has gotten so huge, self-reinforcing, and insulated from reality they can no longer even vaguely look at themselves (and their actions) as others do. They just live on a different planet than most people.
Conversely, the average tech consumer doesn't understand the technology that has slowly taken over their lives, and their designated emissaries to figure it out--politicians, pundits, regulators, journalists--understand it barely better than they do, and have their own agendas.
To say more than generalities for a moment, here's what I think is likely the core problem.
Techies take weird, improbable visions, and make them realities: some BS pitch deck to a VC, mixed with money and people, really does turn into some novel thing.
Most people work inside a legacy industry that's evolved that way over time (usually for good reasons), and they think about the future via some analogy with their present (which is a function of a long-ago past). The interruption that tech will introduce is often hard to grasp.
There's a deep-rooted psychological (and biological) reason why.
And today, I'm gonna to explain all of it so you can start profiting off of this knowledge 💰💰
*Now, this thread is going to be long and in depth. Make sure to favorite the top tweet now so you can come back to it later.
So. Down to the very core of every living being (humans, dolphins, bacteria, aliens), there are only two drivers:
1. To survive
2. To reproduce
Right off the bat, we know that sex is a primary driver to human behavior.
This would also mean that each gender has its own insecurities regarding sex.
Men have a subconscious fear that their woman will leave them for someone more successful
Women have a fear that their man will leave them for someone younger & better-looking
We can conclude that men are attracted to looks, and women are attracted to status.
This is human nature down to its very core.
Crazy, blue-haired feminists will try to argue and say otherwise.
But, 50 years of feminism DOES NOT OVERRIDE millions of years of evolutionary biology.
Here's a quick visualization exercise so you can see how true all this is...
Yahoo, who bought Tumblr years ago, used to have a huge adult presence on the early net. They allowed adult groups and what not.
However, people and bots (just like now) misused the service, and Yahoo were forced to make a choice. They made private the groups (and later closed them down and sold some of it to other companies) and then ended their chatrooms on yahoo messenger...
after a incident with one of the chatrooms vid cams. The damage was done, Yahoo Messenger lost a lot of people - and with the closing of the groups - backpage and Craigslist came more important.
Now backpage is no more and Craigslist is slowly passing away. Tumblr had a semi strong community, but once 2014 came around and both porn, and political bots exploded the quality started to go down,