Essay


Don’t Over-Optimize Fundraising

Fundraising is never the deciding factor in the success of a company, founders should instead look to use a regret minimization function when fundraising. Essentially, they should get what they need, avoid doing stupid things, and move on.

A Guide to Preemptive Funding Offers

Unprepared founders can get trapped by the dynamics of a preemptive offer and forced into suboptimal outcomes. If you find yourself in a situation where you think you are getting preempted, here’s what to do.

On Shutting Down

Founders lack a coherent way to think about when to shut down. Founders do not always get to choose to shut down. However, most of the time, it is the founder’s choice. It’s a personal decision. It’s a hard and painful decision. It’s an emotional, fraught decision. However, shutting down doesn’t have to be a blind decision.

YC Has Changed

As YC grows, founders are wondering how it’s improved over time. Having done YC in 2007 with Justin.tv/Twitch, in 2012 with Socialcam, and joining as a partner in 2014, I thought it would be helpful to describe how YC has changed since I first took part in the program.

Toy Markets

Many of the largest companies in the world started in markets so small they looked like toys. Over time, each of these companies grew their markets or created new ones to dominate. Founders in toy markets who want to raise money need to find the right investors, and tell those investors the right story.

What to Do with Too Much Advice

There are now hundreds, probably thousands, of people with at least some experience in startups. Most of these people are willing to help/advise some number of the people who ask. This is a blessing and a curse.

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Why Does Your Company Deserve More Money?

The hardest conversation I have to have with a founder is when they’ve spent their 1-2 million dollar angel round but haven’t found product market fit. Unfortunately, I have to ask them a very unforgiving question: why does your company deserve more money?

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