Saturday, May 31, 2008

Entreprenuer Questions

Chris Gammil and I just spent some quality time together with a new, private group that is advising start-ups in Los Angeles. The goal is to have start-ups learn from each other and from others who have been through the experience. So, far it's turning out great. The primary question we ask is:
What's Keeping You Up at Night
Chris provided a list of common issues:
  • How much is enough? - how much 'traction' is enough for investors? and how much is enough to build solid traction to drive the right valuation to go for large money?
  • Who should I get involved? - beyond the obvious 'more great engineers' who do I invite to the party and when - when do I need legal, when do I bring in complementary skill sets, how do I decide between employees vs contractors, which roles need to be core and what can be outsourced.
  • What is 'good enough'? - when should I open the doors and let people in? how much product development is enough to get in the market and start getting feedback and what should I focus on in the early stages of the product?
These were certainly front and center yesterday for the primary presenter. Great questions Chris.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Start-up Advisors

Andrew Warner from Mixergy posted - Before Looking for Funding, Get an Advisor. He recommends that early stage companies get input from people who know the funding process, know the vertical, etc. That's great advice. Of course, it's sometimes hard to find advisors.

On the flip side, as a person who regularly advises early stage start-ups, I often have a hard time finding interesting start-ups. Like Christian Gammil (who I recommend as an advisor) working with entrepreneurs is something I really enjoy.

I've recently begun a round table that I'm hoping will help in a small way, but even there it's going to barely scratch the surface.

Maybe Andrew, Chris and I will figure out a way to address the friction around this. Actually, the friction is even higher trying to find a partner for a start-up. eHarmony for start-up / advisor relationships?