Let’s assume you have the vision for a great new solution to a customer pain point in a very big market and you have the ambition to run fast to grow a company to develop and sell that solution. What are some of the things to watch out for when raising venture capital? This is a big question of course, and way beyond the scope of this article, but having been on both sides of the table (both as an entrepreneur and a newbie partner in a venture firm) I’ve seen some bad patterns and will walk though some of them here, in no particular order of badness.
Growth in your career, like in business, is a trade-off; places, where you’re likely to learn most, are also likely to be the most precarious. When you optimize for growth, you take on an element of risk. This level of risk creates binary outcomes in business: you’ll rarely see businesses optimized for hyper-growth do just ok — they either implode or do incredibly well.
… directed at the team, and not quantifiable enough to imply the investor can be proven wrong later. That said, at Frontline we take the “early” in early stage investing very seriously. We have multiple ex-entrepreneurs and operators on our team who understand that finding that first cheque to start your business is both critical and incredibly hard. Since we started Frontline five years ago, 50% of our investments have been pre-product and 70% pre-revenue. When we say we like early, we mean it.
…nd anxiety accounted for 49% of all working days lost due to ill health, and 25% of employee churn. Stress related absence is estimated to have cost the UK alone £26bn last year; in the US, the figure is $300bn. Imagine what our economies could do with that amount of money.
The biggest one is probably marketing. Many technical founders don’t realize that the marketing aspect of a business is often a bigger challenge than the underlying tech. Even if you’re building something complex like a new database or piece of cloud infrastructure, fin…