10 Tips from a VC

27 Feb ’05

Via Dane Carlson, a Globe article on 10 tips for entrepreneurs from an experienced VC.  The 10 (with lots more detail in the article):

  1. If you can’t write it down, or don’t know how, don’t start.
  2. Can you take it? Day after day?
  3. If you want a partner, find someone who is good at what you’re not.
  4. Figure out exactly how slowly you can make money.
  5. No one will give you money for a bad idea, and they’ll want the moon for a good one.
  6. Big names don’t make the best advisers or business partners.
  7. Persistence, bobbing and weaving, and luck mean more than an MBA.
  8. Don’t sell an "If we get just a 1% market share" story.
  9. Your spouse and friends can only take so much.
  10. If you’re doing it properly, you should be going home four or five days per month hating what you’re doing.

I’ve seen #6 and #8 in particular – over and over again.

#6 is really just another side of #3: find talent – real, hard-working, done-it-before, smart, look-you-in-the-eye talent.  Avoid names like the plague.  You need people who get off on making it work.  Not people who get off on being known.

And as for #8 – as soon as you start thinking "if we just get ….", get real, then get real again.  Take the projection, divide it by 100, then divide it by 10, then cut it in half.

Previous post:

Next post: