these things work.
Ola: How many frames do you get hit by as an American?
Depends on how engaged you are.
Some people go days or weeks.
Others listen to talk radio.
Let me come back to this broader point.
Train yourself to be attuned to \"framed way\" of viewing things.
2/ Notice you can't refute it.
Can't say you are against tax relief.
Another way, facts don't seem to matter. Take health care reform.
\"Market will be most efficient provider.\" No place for fact in that assertion.
Adriana: Hit with something that doesn't have facts.
Dialog on interests as opposed to positions.
A: Not a response to \"market will take care of health care\"
They are stating that to support their position - but what is
interest behind that position.
Way to get around frame. Yes.
Jorge: I don't see ways of - be aware of frames. My point is, how do you make yourself aware of frames. I don't tend to find the frame.
I look for cause / effect to spot assumptions.
Sometimes, very subtle.
David B: How do you detect these?
Jorge: The way I look through policies is through
Theory of Constraints.
Try to see if cause and effect makes sense.
Tap assumptions that are behind
How do you do that? to make yourself aware of frameworks?
Example here is clear.
Other times, hard to detect.
David B: Ask, what are presuppositions.
What has to be true for what somebody is saying to make sense.
If they are saying, \"we shouldn't change the health care system because the market should work it out\"
Leads me to unraveling -
When WOULD the market be the right answer.
Everyone spend money the way they want -
Presupposes knowing costs ...
Ola: How handle - state governments saying, \"Do not go to Africa due to gun shots - despite gang shootings in US. Die from bad water?\" How do you handle that. Talk in 24 hours.
The other thing that is really helpful.
Pay attention to your gut feeling.
This is a very bright, intellectual crowd.
We actually store feelings with our memories.
When you hear a phrasing, get tight feeling in your gut
Sounds dangerous ...
Ola: That's a frame.
You've always been told dark skinned person.
Why are you dark? Why are you black?
You've been framed to believe only your kind are the only people on earth.
Listen to CNN. They say negative things about other parts of the world.
So when you come across a person like myself - give him space.
Even that, when you listen to your gut feeling - could be wrong ones.
David B: Your gut can mislead you.
When working on public policy issues.
If you are left brain person, you are in more danger of not being led by your gut. To your peril, you ignore the queasy feeling.
Erika: You need to listen to your gut, but you need to question your gut.
Ola: How do you question your gut feeling? Sometimes so comfortable.
Erika: That is the intellectual challenge.
Candice: Just having awareness - consider the possibility that your are leads you to questions. Not far down path.
Ola: I know that. But sometimes it is a lot easier to just not question.
Candice: Personal accountability. If you've been made aware, ...
ultimately we are all subjective. If you choose to turn a blind eye, what can you do about that.
Jorge: If you are alone, OK. But if you manage to find people with different frame.
Jorge: International. You need people to do that.
My intution tells me something. You just don't see it.
When you talk to people, they give you maybe their own frames.
David B: How to deal with negative frames about Africa.
Think it through in advance - extending invitation. How do you
want to present a positive frame of your own.
In general, when confronted with frame, need to avoid repeating it to refute it.
Don't say, \"Africa is not as dangerous as you think.\" You step into the idea that way.
Have your own story to play instead.
With tax relief.
Say, \"Taxes are the way people pay for things that people value.\"
JG: \"Africa has tremendous opportunities for growth and development\"
David B: \"Where I live is safer than New York.\"
Jorge: Why, why.
Don't try to get into it.
Asking the questions, \"Why do you say that?\"
Assumptions come out. Some are wierd.
10:54 5 minute break.
Some non-US perspective.
Some humanitarian perspective.
Two key challenges regarding innovation.
1. economci success breed
- Time Lag
Industry becomes successful >
Convert Money Power to Political Power >
Rewrite Market Rules >
Maintain success artificially
[Chart of lobbying - $1 b per year for past decade]
On single bill, $200 to $250 m spent on one issue -
Influence people in key districts.
Amount that goes into this is really big - given only 500 people
in Washington making these rules.
Money spent on influence.
This is registered lobbying spending.
A: Money spent to hire lobbyist.
Erika: Includes ads?
Includes advocacy money.
Ola: Goes to politicians.
Illegal to bribe directly.
Ola: We call it corruption. In america it is pork.
Candice: Persuasion. Just trying to get in my head.
Example of how close it gets.
Politicians create campaign funds.
Company cannot give to politician directly.
But they can contribute to fund.
Ola: contribution [laughter]
Just had Supreme Court case - essentially unlimited spending allowed.
People who can put money into the process have enormous ability to influence outcome.
- Free Market Story Hurts Innovators
*Too much money goes to legacy industries
*JG: Clean coal
*We don't support strategic growth industries
*Structural restrictions on innovation
*Weak negotiation behavior
*Failure to maintain \"fertile soil\" - like teachers unions
- Military Industrial Complex
U.S. spends more on defense than other leading countries COMBINED much of it on secure access to oil.
President Eisenhower in 1952 warned this was happening.
This is basically the size of the bank bailout - each year.
- US spends est $140 bn per year protecting oil imports
So, price of gallon of gas is well north of $3 / gal
Erika: I'm a climate change attorney.
Senate has pulled the plug on having any price on carbon.
People just don't get this.
Candice: Carbon price situation is a global issue.
Some people don't value it. Can't drive anything.
Until entire world gets on board to treat it as a commodity.
You don't have everyone on board.
Jorge: I see your frameworks going on here.
Would like to see gap minder study.
David B: We may be paying $8 / gallon, but we think we are paying $3.
As business people we need to educate people about the real cost of things.
This needs to be brought out.
[Used Google http://bit.ly/c4zFxt to provide animated graphic
showing US military budget as % of GDP has been consistent
and lower than other countries.
Bigger on an absolute basis - but proportional to GDP of US.]
- Health Care - another area.
- Agricultural Subsidies -
Direct about $23 bn, indirect about $72 bn
- \"The government can't pick favorites\" Really ????
Hamilton made it a strategic imperative - protectionist 25% tariff on imported goods.
- Building the Railroads
Gave away land
- Building the Interstate Highway system
equivalent of $450 b spent to build
move troops across the country if that were necessary
- Building Computer Technology
50% of R&D in semiconductor industry was US government
Subsidies through university research grants
Creating the Computer, Kenneth Flamm, Brookings Inst
- Structural Barriers to Innovation
Acoustic coupler to get phone to talk over phone system
Carterfone Case (1968)
Broadband speeds around the world
South Korea leads the way with 14 mbps in 2009
US is 4
Source: Akamai State of the Internet report
- Free Market Story Hurts Innovators
End this with a plea to get involved.
Most of you will be out there starting companies,
Watch out for US Chamber which only talks for dominant companies from an earlier era.
- Get Involved
Question the \"force of nature\" - don't accept dinosaurs
New organizations - sustainable businesses
Politicians not used to hearing these messages - that business
community is divided. Makes it possible for people to do the right thing.
You have personal cred - you are doing more of that. Use it.
Help people understand these issues.
We need 4 - 6 planet earths to get all the people into the developed world.
sometimes more clever and creative than an airplane.
Example: no fruits and veg. fresh
Why don't we take trains and turn them into moving greenhouses.
Even fresher - pick tomatoes right off the train.
My Name is:
Come into class first day - look around at things to redesign.
I hate name tags.
I want you to redesign \"an introduction device\"
Make \"name tag\" bigger, pink.
But reframed, open up frame of possibilities, innovative solutions
how do I solve a problem.
Only one of a zillion possibilities.
Give them pictures. A patent picture.
Look at this. What scale is this. What angle is this.
what if it is nano scale or size of moon.
- SPACE MATTERS
Chris - you thought of having a slide, flexibility, natural light.
Space we work in matters a lot.
Kindergarten - lots of manipulatives.
Room of desks
room of cubicles.
Workshop on creativity - what is space you might be in.
One said, \"We should get out of our offices to brainstorm\"
Seems crazy to have to leave the place you normally work to do something creative.
typical for students - sofa,
Modo - making foods using dry ice.
Getting out there doing things.
- TIME MATTERS too
Types of time pressures
like being on treadmill
Apollo 13 - the Mission. This pressure is literally - put together the device
OK. Take the manual, rip off the cover. It becomes the cover rather than the content.
Feel like a mission - different from treadmill.
Feeling like you have a focused goal - incredible
- CONTROL v FLEXIBILITY
how much freedom. How many rules are there.
In doing this, wanted to come up with a model where there is a perfect balance
between creativity and control
If you were thinking of this balance - no right answer.
Dean Kamen - use good judgement
Theatre/Arts/Music - certain number of notes, amazing combinations
Deck of cards - endless games
Cooking - wide range of ingredients with loose controls.
I came up with Scrabble version.
Really good model. Board is always the same.
Incentives are put in place - further out you go.
Every time you play, pull more letters out.
So, what I did in my class. Put out boards.
Every 10 minutes, changed the rules.
Tighten - to 4 letters.
Or you have to build a word on the word before.
9 letters instead of 7.
Foreign words allowed.
People delighted to opening of rules.
People dejected by tightening of rules.
Higher scores with higher constraints?
Creativity - people had to do more creative things to be successful..
Competition broke down.
Build word on one before - you put word to help me.
Loosen rules - really interesting.
Became sloppy - put down the first thing. Dissent on teams.
Sloppiness due to too many resources.
So, thinking about this is really important.
If you are putting together team, coming up with the right constraints.
A few, like in Scrabble.
Helps to constrain things in a really positive way.
Apollo 13 - creativity was amazing due to limits of time and materials.
In addition, incentives.
- Daniel Pink's book.
I have found and
Internal - much much more creative.
I hate giving grades. I essentially don't give grades. I give A's.
- NO GRADES
If people ask - 200 people looking for 30 spots.
Set bar really high.
Just going to get higher with each project.
People keep jumping over it.
650 blog posts. They just kept blogging after course was over.
Had nothing to do with the course.
If I give assignment in class and outside - the ones outside do better.
If you are doing it for ME, all of a sudden your internal motivation goes up.
So the key is to tap into how to help people reach their internal goals.
Can get amazing results.
Cultivating an attitude of innovation.
Means saying, whenever you get to a challenge you know there is a creative solution.
[great wall photo]
So, I was in China, at Forbidden City. Bumped into students going to Great Wall at sunrise.
Before I leave Beijing, I told friends I would do this.
Started with Hotel.
Leave at 3AM.
Then colleagues - no, no, no.
Everyone was waiting.
Called cabs, limos.
I'm just going to fail here ... but I said, I teach creativity.
There has to be a solution right under my feet.
4 PM the day before.
What here in my environment is going to help me.
Pick some random object and figure out how it will help.
Student- move furniture.
How is this case of wine going to help me get my furniture moved.
On Craig's list ..
Within 2 hours was moved.
So I went to school. Talked to student.
Chatted up student - Oceanis. Told him. You are a prof at Stanford.
If you help me and my group, I will write a letter of recommendation for you for college.
Tell the story of how you helped me solve my problem.
Native. Spoke chinese. Found cab driver. Became interpreter.
Just got e-mail from his last night. One of my closest friends.
We did it.
Having an attitude that you can solve your problem is one of the most powerful things.
10 things to ramp up creativity.
- OBSERVE - you will do. Most don't
- CONNECT - remember the cigar, crossroads
- CHALLENGE ASSUMPTINS - when you lined up for birthdays
- EXPERIMENT - as much, rapid prototype, re-search
- CHANGE RULES - scrabble game - modify rules to extract
- REFRAME - name tag - if dealing with some issue
The embrace thinking bag. Went to India. Help baby incubators.
Went to help with that. They said, crazy, most babies not born in hospital.
Most babies just need to be kept warm. Reframing - keep babies warm.
Made $20 baby sleeping bag. No electricity. Wax in boiling water. Wax phase change at body temp.
Keeps baby warm for 4 hours.
- SPACE it does matter. I always love my architect friends. High ceilings.
- TIME pressure you are putting on people
So, all of that - you end up with InGenious solutions.
This was my prototype.
What things did you like the best?
SN: Stand up
Anders: Change the rules - first impression was different
Erika: Discuss educaiton - x + y = 10
That was an Aha moment.
That's what we are trying to do.
How may times in your day jobs does someone give you a question with an answer.
Teaching Kids to Cheat.
All the ways kids cheat in school.
Why tell people not to talk, not to use all the resources
Makes it easy for people to grade exams.
D: Used to teach monks. First time I gave test. Everyone was cheating -was collaboration.
How many of you love multiple choice test.
Test what you don't know.
Assumptions of person.
Favorite story - PhD - med school friend taking.
First place where information from two eyes comes together.
I could give you a lecture on anatomy, but what was the answer?
It doesn't test what you konw, but what you don't know.
Sasha: would like to see connections between them - or one example throughout the program.
Add them together ..
Maybe one story at the end that ties it together -
Sasha: or build incrementally.
Nice to see these other stories.
V: I agree. Context is great. Points you make - put up slides that make you visualize them.
Wall of China.
Not just words.
Would not repeat at end.
SN: Put up numbers.
V: Talk is not that long.
SJP: Just going back to 10 points .7 I remembered. Didn't have the visual cues to link back.
Would be strengthened by visual cue.
Story and visual cue.
With this book - had talk first, then book.
Lots more stories.
this time, first rev.
Will have more stories to amplify it.
Glad this works as a base.
E: Not just business. Life in general.
J: Transitions were flat in Prezi
S: Appreciated story from China.
Description of mission with rocket.
Other workshops - why weren't we doing it.
Did you like me telling what I did in my classes.
Erez: As many demos as possible.
Bryce: What is the central thesis.
What you start of with is - rethink pedagogy.
Coud explicitly do that.
Two ways of phrasing - classroom examples prove creativity through lens of you as a teacher.
This is how creativity is taught.
Tie back to idea - you can teach creativity and this is what we do.
V: Ken Robinson's talk.
He and I spoke together recently.
10:25 Come back and do project [applause]
David Rose: Folks. Ten hut.
Ten tracks of exponential technology
Best possible presentations and bribe you.
You get a copy of Tina's book.
About applying innovation to Entrepreneur
Do Tina's presentation earlier in the semester.
All get copies. [applause]
We have your names.
Tina: Thank you.
I think about idea generation.
How many of you have spent time in the perfect brainstorm.
How many have been in a brainstorm that sucks. That is a technical term.
Workshops with brainstorming?
Most important things.
SJP: No rules.
Not true. No judgement.
E: Everyone speaks.
I'm writing it down.
Erez: No limits - no constraints.
Can we say \"wild ideas are OK\"
: Build on other ideas
Flow should be - jump to something else.
V: Small groups. Not more than 6.
Two pizza teams.
Anders: Stay focused.
What do we stay focused on.
How do we know what the problem is.
This is really really important.
Framing the problem dramatically effects the outcome.
Name tag or introduction device.
If I say \"World Peace\" or \"What color marker do I use\"
Draw. Who -
That's not intuitive.
Everybody has a pen.
You said no limits, I wrote wild ideas.
I bet you have ideas and - people could be writing while someone else is speaking.
If you have someone in the front with a pen, they control discussion.
Bryce: Picking where in area. Also the level. How to define this thing. Or how do we get water to this group of people. How abstract.
If I solve that problem what would that do for me.
\"I need to build a bridge.\"
Problem is how to get to other side.
To visit mother.
What would that do for you?
Bryce: Agree to operate on same level of abstraction.
For some people, World Peace is \"what is Peace\" others
touch on \"What UN resolution to pass\"
I could argue there might be some low hanging fruit.
Big ideas might inspire small ones.
Forget anything important?
: No \"yeah, but\"
I've asked people -
My father said, you are allowed to criticize so long as you have an alternative.
: Take notes
Number the ideas.
Saturate the space - words, pictures, photos.
What was that idea.
How many ideas do we want?
: As many as possible.
Flavors of ice cream.
Lots and lots of ideas.
: Divide in groups. Compete on quantity.
: Change - reframe.
Frame and reframe.
SJP: Portait, Landscape, Still life.
Love that. Zooming in and out. Different lens.
Bryce: Set amount of time.
: 5 min
: 1 hour.
I've been in brainstorm that goes so long, you feel like you will die.
Know how much time ... next 2 hours brainstorming on this.
Or \"I need a quick brainstorm\"
Need caffine, chocolate. Food. Really important.
Dhuval: Maybe beer. Playdoh. Lego.
Things you can rapidly prototype.
Important not to be in sterile space.
Bryce: Good not to have computers.
If used with care ...
Who should be in the room.
: Diverse group
People who are users as well.
Designing a car.
Do people in room make decision about which ideas are implemented.
There is a huge difference between exploration and exploitation stage.
You need a Chinese wall between these things.
If you start trying to implement, you cut brainstorming off too early.
vote on best ideas?
Give everyone a sticker.
One problem. You might be looking at feasible.
You, as the customer, is looking a favorite.
Someone else looks at impact.
Three different colors -
low hanging fruit = blue
favorite = red
Impactful = yellow
Get all this data. Don't make people choose.
Expansion of commitment.
Alison: Time. Ending.
Brainstorming? Groups of 5/6.
*4.6 Blue hat \u2013 The Big Picture
Bryce: How to bring in evaluation?
Time for black hats.
Or, go through hat colors.
Jim Hurd: Founders are relentless optimists
When I put together teams, I make sure different hats are represented.
Meyers Briggs - and others.
Great for getting conversation started.
When you say you are a black hat, I can expect that from you.
Look at the energy, laughing. Best brainstorms - you come out feeling taller than you were before.
Meaningful and provocative conversations reverses depression.
You should have your mood elated when you finish.
: How do you initiate this?
I find it really interesting.
Say, \"That was a good idea.\" You see that person smile.
You can feel yourself feel better.
Nothing better than people building on people's ideas.
Everyone feels like they have birthed a baby.
Don't feel you have to make a decision at the end.
Process should be generative and exciting.
: Facilitation. Need for leadership.
How many have done it? Hear different points of view.
Anders: One point - be neutral. Focus on process, not content.
Sharon: Be positive.
Jim Hurd: Be provacateur. Cause smarts - bring out passions/talents. Can be lowest common denominator.
: Get people engaged.
Brainstorming on your own.
Alison: If we just get down, not asking permission.
Then when we went around, found different.
Here is what works, what doesn't.
When I've done this = no early anchoring.
But what ended up happening - competitive sport.
You have 20 and I have 5.
Blue and Green - more of yours than mine, I feel a bit bad.
Limit to JUST those ideas, don't build as much.
If put out raw ideas, gets more collaborative and generative.
If all have same idea, we all said this.
K: Similar ideas came out. But synthesized. See different perspectives.
: It is about time. Can make too many ideas.
Gave you a direction to go.
Created landscape - could pick one and run from that.
: Starting from blank sheet. For us, worked great.
Anders: Not only face of the brainstorm - the 3rd third.
With yourself, only top of mind ideas.
How do you get beyond those ideas.
: Second excercise was this - a context. A problem.
Start with a rule.
Why use bad idea to generate good idea?
: Sometimes ...
Even something really crazy can be the root of something really good.
You've opened the frame to come up with really crazy ideas.
When you had to come up with bad ideas, people had to think of them as stupid.
\"Only recycled food\" - stupid idea.
BUT, if supposed to come up with bad idea -
Claudia: Good/bad ideas mixed.
System - write on post its - write / vote.
Don't build. You want to build on your own.
Another way - explore one idea - discuss it, leave it.
Really, really good point.
Taking someone else's idea - you don't have ownership of it.
Worst - favorite example - the Apprentice.
At the beginning, given some challenge.
If at the end they fail, would say - well, was THEIR idea.
At the end of a good brainstorming session, it should be \"I don't know where that idea came from.\"
Is that your experience?
Whole greater than sum of parts.
Claudia: Changing pace.
Bryce/Alison - stop watch - 15 seconds / person.
Shaking things up. Doing things differently.
Erez: Optimal sequence of hats. Grand ideas to facts to devils advocate.
so, this is a really fun tool for you to use at the D school
At the end of the session.
I like ..., I wish ..., what if ...
Go through really quickly.
The last exercise
The topic of food
Really crazy ideas from worst idea
Different hats - opened my eyes a bit
A computer program for brainstorming
Everybody would use these techniques
Time for our own projects
For you to come to SU to help with team projects
Write brainstorm for our group
colored pencils and props
Would like your presentation
we stay here
you participate in sessions
brainstorm during lunch
got to see your new book when it is done
took - presentation / prototype
Last year, just a talk. Asked to do workshop
Sitting on floor
not at tables
Workshop, then talk
You were fabulous.
David Rose: Let this sit, percolate.
2 hour break for lunch and enjoying.
Hi. Beverly. Welcome to Kicklabs.
Tina: Met on plane. Keep connecting.
Beverly: Where you are. You lunches are on round table downstairs.
South Beach / Mission Bay.
Embarcadero to left. Magnificent.
Down 2nd to AT&T SF Giants play.
Check your watches.
David: Lots of cool stuff.
SN: Ferry building?
Not far. Farmer's market day.
Ferries come in from Marin.
Enjoy our community.
Sash: Can we leave bags?
"Thurs, August 5, 9 am - 12 noon
How to Create a Global Phenomenon FEE B.583C Atrium
9:08 David Rose:
- Financing Your Singularly Brilliant Venture
9:12 Another 5 minutes.
Give you some high octane
Money is what it takes to get your venture off the ground.
Money grows on trees.
There is a little bit of money that grows on trees.
Grants = Free money.
Charitable ventures do this.
Government also provides free money to start companies and spur the economy
SBIR/STTR - passed by congress, every government org. must spin out its tech to help out start up companies
NASA Program Site:
SBIR Gateway (contains all Agencies SBIR programs, news, events, etc...):
Pase 1: up to 100,000
Phase 2: up to 750,000
Phase 3: Go raise money yourself
Best way to raise funds for your start-up:
Bootstrapping is best!
The discipline of doing this will give you the skills and get you ready for running the company.
By actually funding yourself you won't need to be diluted
If you can't boot strap?
Banks are not in the business of helping start up companies, very risk averse
Banks are not in the risk business. Start-ups are too risky for them. Banks are in the business of renting money. Only start-ups that can get a bank loan are ones that have your personal gaurantee, so you are held liable if your venture fails.
[ See also:
Obtaining a Loan for Your Startup
Getting money for your new business is easier than you think--once you dispel the three common myths of bank financing.
1. If you need money, you can get a loan from the SBA. WRONG.
SBA Program Office
The Microloan Program provides small, short-term loans to small business concerns as well as not-for-profit child-care centers. SBA makes funds available to specially designated intermediary lenders, which are nonprofit community-based organizations with experience in lending as well as management and technical assistance; these intermediaries make loans to eligible borrowers. The maximum loan amount is $35,000; the average loan is about $13,000.
What It Is: Term loans from a bank or commercial lending institution of up to 10 years, with the Small Business Administration (SBA) guaranteeing as much as 80 percent of the loan principal.
Appropriate for: Established small businesses capable of repaying a loan from cash flow, but whose principals may be looking for a longer term to reduce payments or may have inadequate corporate or personal assets to collateralize the loan.
Supply: Vast. The SBA guarantees some $12 billion per year in loans.
Raising Equity: selling a part of your company and getting a partner
1st investor in your company is YOU! No one will invest in your company if you haven't invested in it. You are betting on YOU! So others are also betting on YOU!
Investors want to see you put in your money before they put in any money.
The key here is relative. Does the amount you put in mean something to you? Investors want your 'skin in the game', so it will hurt you if it fails. Insurance that you will put in your best to make it a success if your 'skin is in the game'. Is this important enough to you to invest in it yourself. If not, why should others invest?
2nd investor(s) is friends and family. These people are betting on you and KNOW you.
3rd investor is Angel Investors. Small investment to get you going (early stage deals ~55,00 deals/year). Angels are rich(-ish) people who invest their own money for economic and other reasons. Generally not a high net worth individual.
4th investor is Venture Capitalists.
Big investment for big return. VCs are professional money managers who manage someone else's money for an economic return. VCs are compensated with 2% of the funds raised in a given year to pay for their salaries, etc. 98% goes back into investments. VCs mostly do later stage deals ~5000 deals/year)
Alan Patricof's blog post on what it is like to be a VC.
helped organize Angel investors as they were the only ones investing in start ups
VCs now primarily fund late stage companies
Angels do about 10x the amount of deals at early stage
Typical Chart of funding amount vs. stage of business:
Friends, family and fools get you 0-100K; at the idea & plan stage
Angels 0-500K; idea, plan, prototype, beta
Grants: 100K - 750K; plan, prototype, beta
Angel Groups: 110K-1.2M; prototype, beta, sales
Strategic Partners: 50K-50M; prototype, beta, sales, profitability. Companies who purchase innovation by making strategic investments into relevant start-ups.
VCs: 1M-12M; beta, sales. 10x-20x return in investment (for equity).
Banks: 5K-40M; profitability only come into play when you are already profitable.
IPO: 15M-100M+; late profitability. selling equity to the public when you are really profitable.
Giving up roughly 20%-40% equity/round of investment. In theory the value of the enterprise is growing with each successive round of invesment. So your percentage decreases but the value of your percentage increases (ideally).
[ See also http://www.lgprogram.energy.gov/
The U.S. Department of Energy's Loan Guarantee Program paves the way for federal support of clean energy projects that use innovative technologies.
- for example, Secretary Chu Announces Closing of $117 Million Loan Guarantee for Kahuku Wind Power Project July 27, 2010 ]
Government Grants $2B
10 investments (roughly 1 investment/year - which is kind of low)
2 exits/closures so far
10% of wealth in angel investments.
US Federal regulation: $1M in assets (not including home) or $200,000 annual income in the past two years and reasonable likelyhood of similiar income level for current year.
Secret Economics of the Angels
What's an appropriate return for an angel
[ Penalty: 150 years imprisonment and forfeiture of $170.179 billion ]
Angel Investor returns:
[ historical returns in the business angel market. The average return across all these studies was 27.3%
These studies further reveal that most of the returns came from only 5% to 10% of investments.
52% of all investments resulted in a negative return, most of these with a total loss of invested capital. 7% of investments returned greater than 10X to investors. ]
$1M for angel investments
Distributed over 10 deals
1.25e6 = 3.8x ROI (over a 6 year time period)
5 = 0X ROI, roughly 5/10 investments are going to go under! This is a risky business.
2 = 1X ROI, 2 of the remaining 5 will likely give the money back.
2 = 3X ROI, will likely make it good.
1 = 30X ROI needed to hit RI target set by the angel investors internally!!! This is why angels are all nuts!
IDEA (scale of valuation) x (Execution)
Awful = -1 ($1)
Weak = 1 ($1,000)
So-So = 5 ($10,000)
Good = 10 ($100,000)
Great = 15 ($1,000,000)
Brilliant = 20 ($10,000,000)
Execution is critical.
brilliant idea x so-so execution = $200,000
so-so idea x brilliant execution = $50,000,000
COMMUNICATION is key
Components that you need:
1. Business Plan - tells you where you are going. (VCs will generally not read the full thing...they will likely read the Executive Summary 1-2 pages, primarily text with some graphics). AngelSoft requires 1pg 'Executive Summary' when approached by a start-up.
2. Executive Summary (or One pager by AngelSoft)
3. Email (very short elevator pitch in writing)
4. Network - personal contact to find VC. Being intelligent about who you know and asking everyone if they know someone who might invest in your venture. Use your social network resources INTELLIGENTLY. Keep it with people you know and relate with.
5. Elevator Pitch - 30 secs to get someone excited!
i. what's exciting.
ii. what do you do. tell them what the hell you do. we are the X for Y.
iii. who you are.
iv. keep it simple
v. aim for 30s.
vi. know it cold
6. Video (include a video in your initial applicaiton, can you should model working which you can't show in a presentation)
7. PPT presentation
Notes from Steve:
SBIR = Small Business Innovation Research
SMTT = Small Business Innovation Research
Phase I: up to $100,000
1 in 4 receive this
Phase II: up to $750,000
Phase III --> you have to get it yourself
Bootstrapping is the best way to finance a company!
Banks aren't in the business of funding startups --> they don't want to take the risk.
Startups can't get loans!! --> only if you personally promse to pay back (can't get an unsecured loan).
Raising equity: selling part of your company and gaining a partner --> this is really risky, close to selling your soul.
YOU will be your first investor...
Friends, and family should be second...
Angel investors should be third...
Venture capitalists are next
Venture capitalists --> professional money managers who invest large pools of other people's money for an economic return.
LP ==> Limited Partners (losses limited only to the extent of the money they lose)
GP ==> General Partner (responsible for any debt incurred by the firm)
Angel Investors --> Rich(ish) people who invest their own money for economic and other reasons (but not billionaires typically)
VC's get 2% of the committed funds for running the fund for fancy dinners, etc plus 20% of the upside in returns
After the dot-com crash, tons of LPs lost money and talked to the VC fund.. where's my money! don't lose my money! then VCs stopped leading money, thus there was almost NO VC money available after the dot-com crash.
Early, Late ---> Angels 55,000 deals mostly early-stage
Idea ---> Plan ---> Prototype ---> Beta ---> Sales ---> Profitability
Friends, Family & Fools $100k --> Idea, Plan
Angel Investors $300k to $500k --> Idea, Plan, Prototype, Beta
SBIR/STTR Grants --> $100k to $750k
Angel Groups $500k to $1-$3 million
How to create a global phenomenon.
Thank you all for taking the time.
Hopefully this will contribute to your projects.
How many from outside US [most]
How many clear on approach [some]
How many could pitch the NY Times.
I was working on good/bad pitches this morning.
Cause driven human impact.
[slide of children on floor in kindergarten]
Using Wordpress.com - find it fashionable to donate to education
- The Guiding Principle
\"Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it's time to pause and reflect.\" - Mark Twain
Taking the most common approach - chances are you are missing some opportunities.
- The 4-hour workweek?
Going to address this right away.
A blessing and a curse since the book came out.
Not the first choice of title.
Was \"Drug dealing for fun and profit\"
Sold business in 2009 -
Walmart vetoed that title
Used Google Ad-words.
I said, why not use $150 and 1 week.
Escape ... by far, by far above anything else.
Book turned down by 26 out of 27 publishers.
In 35 languages now.
#1 NY Times and has been on the list for 2 years now
#1 WS Journal
Best selling authors different from best writing authors.
Consistent: radio and blogs
Books fail or stick 1-2 weeks on best seller lists.
TV, radio preserved poorly
Online suggestions can appreciate over time (blogs)
20,000 \"earlyvangelists\" from Reis lean startup, also Steven Blank
If you can redistribute what you have already done
and increase 20% thats \"pretty fucking awesome\"
- Video and Photos
Blog - specific, media general.
How to \"Peel\" hard-boiled egg - viewed 4 m times.
One take wonder.
Text under the video.
If you do not host own video -
If there is no way to capture those people on YouTube - add more, people will link to the post, not YouTube.
How to Be Jason Bourne: - most popular post on StumbleUpon
cheapest qualified traffic -
more than FaceBook and Twitter combined after taking out 3rd party apps.
Search by creative commons - never pay for stock photo ever again.
Zero tolerance. Delete novels, idiots.
In terms of reader quality - smartsheet - top 20/30 tech blogs,
I was #1 on that list.
Broken Window theory - how NY City was resurrected.
It was observed that if you allow something very small to become prevalent - prevent little things from the very beginning.
Not blog specific.
Here is the FOLD - at 15 inch monitor here.
Despite mistakes --
have to have blog - be sure you are not taking people there FROM your most valuable property. Should be other way around.
Reduce clickable elements.
Took OUT entire navigation bar - improved 21.1% in test.
Conversion from landing -
People have to complete the sign up process.
Google website optimizer.
I contacted optimizer people - I have this startup - could be a great case study. Could do a case study on the blog. They said sure thing. Got high-end consultancy - gave 2 person team a team of 15 people for split-testing their site.
Led to another 16% improvement.
This is where they ended up - ended up selling.
That's a case of reduction - really simple things.
Take sign up button - making it a different color and sticking it in the middle of the page. Works really well.
One of fastest web hosting. More blogging.
You write. They put it up. It looks pretty.
When I came - no credibility indicator.
And this - \"Who's it for?\"
How will I use it.
Very few address this well.
When you rolled over - asked question, gave benefits.
For top 4/5 demographics.
Give 1/2 benefits.
Took afternoon to do.
Led, over time to 80%+ conversion.
Needs doing a down round, selling ...
Faster way to 1 bn.
Last for profit example:
Build stores. Very simply, cheaply.
Signup to righthand side. Same color.
Now changed - moved credibility testimonial, cnet.
Sponsors moved up. Made signup different color.
Infographic showing where things moved.
Took marquee customers, moved them to the top.
Fewer options for what to click on - focus on Sign Up Now
Competition - search
Built 1000 companies.
some pulling in $300,000 per month, $500,000 per month.
- Plan Big.
BUT test your assumptions.
Basics of basics.
Doing the unthinkable
is easier than you think.
That's it guys.
What we are going to do. Take 5 min break.
Come back, we'll do Q&A.
Notes from Steve:
The 4-hour work week
The Guiding Principle:
Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority; it's probably time to think and reflect about what you are doing!
Book was turned down by 26 out of 27 publishers.
consistent suggestions: radio blogs, most stuff doesn't make it
20,000 earlyvangelists in 2 weeks
\"surround sound\" effect
Suggestion: Read \"1,0000 True Fans\"
Data is King
7am and 6pm PST on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday.
Sometimes data that is easily obtained can be extremely valuable, technical people sometime underestimate this
Sell around the product
PPC --> Phenomenize, Polarize, Communitize
From Geek to Freak: How I Gained 34 lbs of muscle in 4 weeks
Blog post should be around 500 to 750 pages... but can be longer if you get people's attention early on.
Remove the date, put it at the bottom...
Metrics in one page
1) measure the fewest things possible 80//20
2) a/b tests optimize me to produce meaningful changes.
3) vanity metrics (if you don't know don't speculate) --> actionable metrics (stick to actionalbe metrics)
4) create a feedback culture.
steps: acquition, retention, referral
cost per acquisition (CPA)
ARPU + Lifetime Value (LV)
Viral coefficient (10 new : 10 orig = > 1)
The question people always ask when they goto your site is... How will I use it?
Keep the UI design very simple and straight forward....
11:53 This is open forum.
If you would like to talk specifics.
Q: Crazyegg. We use Google analytics.
Google analytics - so many numbers, some don't mean very much.
Tool coming out - kissmetrics. Created by same people as CrazyEgg.
Kiss metrics type - changes of certain credible threshold.
Checking google - uniques jump 50% you need to know why that happened.
Google gives you the data.
Other recommendation - at least once a month, look at top 100 refers.
NY Times linking from personal blogs - potential impact, if followed up on were huge.
Followed up with these journalists.
If you get to any certain critical mass - say 100,000 out of 200,000.
Direct - google searches.
Q: Clear that having a book is powerful tool.
I think it is becoming more feasible,
I worked with publisher for second book.
Question whether will work with third.
Near impossible to get distribution
Big 6 publishers in NY are filters.
Room to Read
Leaving Microsoft to Change the World
Just built 10,000th library in developing world
Three Cups of Tea
Central Asia Society - not run very well.
Grameen Bank - had traction before they wrote the book
Model, proven scalable.
Most people overestimate the ability to scale.
When I work with startups. They want cover of NY Times.
What I would say, they have net for catching fish, conversions suck.
Get tight net - convert well.Digg.
This is key.
Mimic the effect of a digg hit on your server, 30-40 requests a second.
Book can be useful.
A degree of legit.
I did have a UStream. Sethi. Very savvy on-line. Pros/cons.
Search self publishing in my blog.
Q: You are working with startups but what advice would you give to tradtional big companies?
For larger companies to develop on-line.
First, humans like people. They don't like company names.
Brands vs communication.
For most companies.
Got pitch from very famous car company,
You are one of four people to track day. Go 150 mph.
OK, fine. Why not.
Then they said, All we ask is that you promote $5K to charity.
\"Remember it is all for charity. Your friend \x3ccompany name>\"
You are trying to get traffic to a car website.
you don't have to hide your motives.
Say - we're trying to get publicity, and help. I would have said yes.
Blogs are where the money is. Picking blogs the right way can have a great effect.
Other cardinal sin: especially people who come from big companies and go to startups.
Men's Health. 1.2 m person readership.
Dentist's office = 6 people.
Say, 700,000 peope at newstand.
My blog has that many uniques a month.
If someone pitches Men's Health.
They write, \"Please give us PR. Thanks.\"
I love languages.
In English, \"It is all Greek to me.\"
In Greece, \"It is all Chinese to me.\"
When you send a bad pitch to a blogger.
You could buy yourself an enemy who could do you a lot of harm.
Go there to be really offended. Very rude.
Strong audience. several 100,000
Turned down violently by a publisher.
\"You are an abhorrent little man\"
Get's e-mail from same publisher, \"Dear Mr. Max ...
You are an influencer in your community.
If you could share this with your friends and admirers ...
Took that entire email - with cell phone - feel free to let her know what you think.
You've got to be smart. Don't be stupid.
A bit of a rant.
Major mistake people make.
Blogs vs front page? I'd take blogs.
Making friends with bloggers.
E-mail is crowded.
Phone, second most crowded, generally hated.
In person is easiest.
Spent $25,000 on book launch.
Rest - flying to conferences.
If you have to put in 100 hours - just buy the ticket.
You don't have to get drunk.
Engineering folks like to have a few drinks.
Friends I made are still friends today.
Talk about everything EXCEPT what you are doing.
My general approach - go to organizer of conference.
Had not read any blogs before deciding to use blogs for the launch.
Asked, who should I talk to?
Walk up - at a bar later.
They are in a conversation.
Then you stand there. Ask a lot of questions.
Finally, so, Who the hell are you?
You say, \"I'm working on my first book ...\"
Give them a teaser.
At end of the night - you might, maybe, like this chapter ...
might find it kind of cool.
That's exactly what I did.
NEVER hard selling.
I don't think I ever asked anybody.
Here is the way to write a pitch e-mail.
Assume you are writing to NY Times.
First lines - all credibility.
Material scientist working at MIT.
What we are doing is effective.
Been reading your stuff, great.
Title, three bullet points.
Q&A - how we mfg.
Make their job really easy -
If you want on Oprah - which I would not recommend.
Using this particular example, \"Speech Buddy\"
Go find somebody who can talk Speech Pathology -
expert they can interview.
Family in midwest - teary human interest bit.
Then alternative - crappy product.
Then you are 1 in the mix.
Geeky dudes trying to fix speech for kids - you will get on TV.
I would say invest the money in meeting the person.
the other way
Start off by addressing niche blogs.
Smaller - die line - all packaging.
Get one bit of exposure.
Mat Kuts (?)
Start with lint ball. Can only pick up paperclips.
Can expand scope.
Start off very niche.
If you can point to design blog.
Infinitely easier to get on.
Q: Book called 4 hour work week. E-mail once a week.
Checked e-mail 100 times.
Got e-mail - I have an assitant who checks my e-mail from a winery.
Are we doing it the wrong way?
No problem with hard work if applied to right things.
If you are responding things.
Allowing other people's agenda for your time.
If you have highest ratio of input to output.
Every startup i'm helping is \"burning the candle at both ends\".
You can be effective,
or spin your wheels most of the time.
Reason CIA, NSA people talk to me=
want to eliminate wasteful effort.
That is the underlying theme.
Q: Planning / setting up own events.
Which is more effective?
I've thrown parties. 100s of people. Soon 1000s.
If you do own event, attracting people already converted.
Events are hard to do.
To do well, not cheap.
Friends run Summit Series.
Had Bill Clinton.
If they wanted to add a coffee break, another $10,000.
I just say, \"I'll do a panel.\"
Just a lot less work.
It takes so much effort to build an event.
Let other people handle that business.
Piggybacking is best way to go.
Eric: Blogs / media - cool in rich world.
Here we are very much about impacting entire globe.
People not on internet. How could this group here have impact in non-high-tech fields.
#1 internet access
#2 higher up income scale.
Two things - focus on the more affluent people is not a bad way to reach those people.
Going after actors - using first world mainstream celebrity to address poverty line and below.
Other, self evident, focus on mobile.
Spent time in South Africa. Shantytowns will have smart phones in 12 months.
Friend of mine is working in big pharma - hand held diagnostic tools using iPhone - attaching hardware devices.
Address users directly through mobile.
Can be used in tandem.
Bryce: In Bay area - two categories - SV and SF.
SF people like to talk about things not related, at all about startups.
Mountain View - that is what people talk about.
You've turned that into an asset.
Not just boys talking about the latest Zynga game.
How do you turn diversifying your interests into an asset.
Rock climbers who still run startup.
Shoreline - 24/7 about startups.
Same in SF, just more distractions.
Use competitive advantage.
Work 24/7 is not scalable.
Organizational? - physical endurance matters.
Periodizing. Scheduled way to decompress. You will be able
to outwork. Yet to see that not be the case.
There are people who work 24/7 . the Lance Armstrong. Complete mutants. They do exist. Never crash.
Physical recovery. Brain is an organ.
Diversity. David is better to talk to about this.
With 15 startups- if identity is as VP of Eng and that is it.
If something happens outside their control, say
startup goes south. Then their self-image goes south.
David Rose: If I was ONLY Angelsoft - with ups and downs, I would have gone nuts.
Be a well rounded person.
Seen it over and over again.
We can end it here and I will join you for lunch.
Breakouts with groups - totally happy. Have to edit my book this week.
When I work, I sprint.
Will make plans to come back.
In meantime, lunch.
David Rose: Finance, build phenomenon. Run over to have lunch.
Half hour. Run back and at 1:15 under NDA the Angelsoft case study.
At 2:15, will fly back to NY.
Sofya's Notes (pasted from email):
consistent suggestions: radio and blog
most books fail or stick 1-2 weeks
online can appreciate with time
20,000 earlyvangelists in 2 weeks (10,000/week of tech-savvy young males)
\"surround sound\" effect
suggestion: read \"1,000 true fans\" (article)
*if you get the proper 1,000 people, then you'll get the rest of the people and you won't have to keep \"pushing the merry go round\"
DATA IS KING
* use crazyegg.com to analyze traffic (it's free) check your top referers, where they come from, what they're looking at
don't underestimate data just because it's easily obtained
THREE TIPPING POINTS
indirect, direct, and meta.
target the top 50 most trafficked blog and email them, you'll have a response of zero most likely, BUT
which blogs does my demographic read? read the blog rolls of THOSE blogs (thought leaders for traffic-leaders)
or for example, go after design audience when you have a nicely designed product, eg
Eg, Robert Scoble and Scobleizer.com. Put Tim's book on Amazon top 5 for 3 hrs, vs. being on TV spot, only got him #12 for 3 hrs
Online COUNTS. Sales, you gotta get good at them. That's the reality. Tim went to Consumer Electronics Sales conference. Went to BlogHaus to get drunk with bloggers. Robert is popular and gets harrassed by everybody. So he talked to the very bored people, eg. spouses and partners, and got to him indirectly. You CAN Engineer success like that...
The popularity of the book itself became noteworthy. AKA the Snuggy phenomenon only blew up due to media blowup. Turn the marketing ITSELF into the buzz. DonorsChoose, CherryWater, etc, their ability to use celebrity power is also important.
SELL AROUND THE PRODUCT
to get the required exposure, use \"PPC\"
media and the broader public loves trends, so one person is an excpetion, two people is interesting, three is a trend. If you can get NY, Chicago, and California....you've got coverage. Get into the popular lexicon! Tim's book could have been pigeon-holed into \"life balance\" \"time management\" etc....but instead he positioned it as \"lifestyle management\"
if you have a strong opinion that is reasonably informed, use it to your advantage
eg, Tim did this body study, and it got picked up by Digg, not abotu the book at all, but launched WITH the book
bring people to the funnel, get them to stick around, retention
get people to make their own communities based on your OWN theme.....aka \"4-hr work week for christian mothers\"....let people evangelize your meme! and make them self-sustaining=SCALE!
how long should a blog post be to get read the most and passed around? apparently, it's no more than 750 words max, 500-750 is the general rule. HOWEVER, people need to get the point quickly, so explain how long the piece really is \"5 minute overview, 45 minute total\" on your posts.
OMIT the date, because there's a bias towards new new new.....so readership goes up like 20%
if you're spending money on a website, dont' give people immediate exits from your site aka, \"follow us on FB, follow us on Twitter\" until you make a lot of money
Switch from \"categories\" to \"topics\"
TEST TEST TEST!
1) measure the fewest things possible (80/20)
2) A/B tests to produce meaningful changes
3) vanity metrics --> actionabale metrics (total uniques went up, great, but actionable is \"per user\" based, number of pages/ returns etc) see: Eric Reese
4) create a feedback culture that ensures quality
Steps: acquisition, retention, referral
(Media efficiency ratio=for each dollar, if you make 1.50 for the costs, you will keep making money)
cost per acquistiion (CPA)
ARPU + lifetime
HOW I RESEARCH
VIDEO AND PHOTOS
media general: make some video stunts, etc
BUT, if you have text under your video and a link to exit, you're basically giving youtube free traffic, so add some text content that is valuable that you need to BE on the site to access
cheapest traffic is from StumbleUpon. FO' SHO'
Use interesting photos from Flickr, free photo!
the living room method. Do not tolerate idiots and abuse
so, reader quality: smartsheet.com? rates blogs for quality
social psychologists observed tolerance for small negatives led to worse negatives, so weed them out
above the fold, the more options you offer users, the lower your conversion will be, so limit the things to click
eg, you don't NEED to have a blog, but if you do, don't take people away from what you need them to do, like sign up
FEATURE credibility indicators
(book called Zilch, read it?)
Google Optimizer agreed to help, many tweaks later
make your sign up button huge and stick it in the middle. DONE
HOW WILL *I* USE IT?
posterous.com, email stuff, it gets put into a blog.
need to have credibility indicator. and add \"WHO IS IT FOR\"? and answer \"HOW WILL I USE IT?\" on the rollover, with benefits
PLAN BIG, but test assumptions.
Doing the unthinkable is easier than you think.
crazyegg vs. googleanalytics?
GA lets you use overlays which is cool, but too many rabbit holes and info
KissMetrics is coming out soon, should be good
at least once a month, look at your top referrers, but also see the small ones-- see where big readers are linking from....big writers from their personal sites could mean huge exposure
what about self-publishing and then using these methods
it's becoming increasingly more feasible, but the challenges are that it's near-impossible to get distribution in retail (PERSEUS--check out) and then to get major media. They use the publisher as a filter (big 6 in NYC). A book is a powerful tool (leaving microsoft to change the world--good book to read)
If you have some traction, if you have a scalable idea, a good startup....you need good conversion when you are attracting a lot of people. DO LOAD TESTING....mimic the effect of having a major Digg moment...don't crash! So why get on TV if you can't handle it anyway? A degree of legitimacy is necessary and hard to achieve. Raveet Sethi convo about self-pub on Tim's blog.
what advice to larger companies that want to develop online strategy?
humans don't like company names....like Apple the brand, but not to be spoken to BY corporations. Don't treat people like idiots and hide your motives--people will see through it. THis is a big mistake that big companies make.
Blogs are where the money is....make them work.
Big companies and startups also make this mistake:
\"Mens Health\" has 1.2-1.4 million person readership, probably 700,000 readers on newsstands. Tim's blog has that many uniques a month. If somebody pitches Men's Health, they'll spend a week pitching them, but they'll pitch Tim with an flippant, disrespectful email.
SO: you could actually make yourself more enemies than friends. A blogger is just as worthwhile as a journalist.
What are some of the ways to make friends with bloggers, parties, etc?
email is most crowded way, phone is usually bad too, so in person is the best way to reach them.
$20,000 on PR....18,000 on PR firm at $6,000/month, 2,000 to fly to conferences. Conferences paid off way more for the dollar!
The people Tim became friends with, he's still friends with today. Make real friends, and hang out and talk about things OTHER than your work!!
Ask your friends, then, \"who do you think I'd get along with here? I don't know anyone, etc.\" Just hang out and ask questions. DON'T HARD SELL and ask for reviews. Find people who are actually interested. How to write pitch emails: first 2-3 lines, establish credibility. They don't care unless they know who's behind your product. Demonstrate the credibility of the work you're doing next. \"I know it's out in left field, but maybe you'd be interested.\" And give them examples of HOW to help you....do the work FOR THEM FIRST, and make it easy. \"This chapter headline might be a good one to add\" or \"mentioning our unique approach yada yada\" Anyway, bottom line is invest money in meeting people. Address small niche blogs and get one bit of exposure.
how do SU students work only 4 hours/week?
there's no problem working hard as long as it's allocated to something worthwhile, getting max output for you input
making your own event vs. making preexisting events?
events are hard to do and more likely your OWN events will gather people who are already converted. they take a ton of work and money. Let other people build them for you, and go and present or just socialize. More effective.
blogs, social media, tend to be associated w/ people who have internet access, using economies of scale. What about other populations?
focusing on the more affluent people is not a bad way to reach the rest of the world. Focus on mobile.
how do you turn diversifying your interests into an asset?
in MV, convos are ALWAYS about start-ups, in SF, there are just more distractions. So view your diversity as a competitive advantage. work 24/7, for most people, is NOT scalable. You can decompress and you can outwork other people. There are people like the Lance Armstrongs of work, and you can't beat them, but oh well. You need physical recovery and \"identity diversification\" is important! If something happens outside of your control, a change you didn't anticipate, and your company goes south---you went down with your ship because you had nothing else to hold on to.
\"Jon Badal\" \firstname.lastname@example.org>
VC / Angel Investment Discussion
Y Combinator is a new kind of venture firm specializing in funding early stage startups. We help startups through what is for many the hardest step, from idea to company.
Get your startup funded and off the ground while learning from the best.
At betaworks, nimble, loosely connected companies match users, data and content to create superb products, great API's and profitable businesses.
betaworks is bit.ly, chartbeat, socialflow, tweetdeck, twitterfeed, and
Main facts, in general, what you need for angel investment.
Current market landscape in '07.
Other salient point, about 1 billion market in the US.
Comic book stores. Half is their cake.
Dimond distributors takes about 25% of each dollar.
High margin business.
Does not cost much to print and mail comic books.
Rest to resellers. Don't have to pay comic artists crap.
So, 3 guys, late 20s. Hey, interesting opportunity.
Worked at Marvel and other places.
Got this startup started.
Here is the iPad app so you can see it.
So, as I mentioned before.
Three pillared approach to replace Diamond Distributors.
Tools for storefronts.
Website pull for people.
30 page business plan.
How to tackle these three areas.
Built a content website.
Comic book reviews.
From mid '07 to end of year.
Traffic - about 50,000 unique hits a month.
No meaningful revenue.
$1 CPM - with only a few hits, can't make much money.
($1 per 1000 clicks)
Previous job - PC Mag publisher.
Quasi-publishing related play.
General interest in that.
Mid '07, people super optimistic.
So, gave out pitch to 20-30 odd individuals and finally got some people interested.
The - how it ended up working was - one fellow associated with NY Angels was interested in this.
Gave seed funding for this idea.
I can delve into the specifics of how that transaction got done.
Ended with the following terms.
Reasonable given website with traffic.
Could be built for $1 m.
$1 m valuation.
Give $350,000 and additional if milestones met.
General thoughts on that:
Obviously website with 50,000 hits is not worth $1 m.
Probably worth nothing.
That valuation is driven by -- if lower than that, no ownership left for founders.
Need to be incentivized.
Only give you $350K. Only own 2/3rds of company. Not interesting.
They think of it as an option.
Need salient pitch for other areas.
At the time, these 3 areas -
Looking at pitch back then, kind of BS.
that was compelling enough that initial investors pitched in $350K just to see what happens.
People asking about legal issues - incorporate.
Three types out there
For your guys, be C Corp for following reason.
Other 2 are difficult to issue equity in.
Very specific to e-Trade, I believe.
Standard is Delaware.
NY, Franchise tax.
Talk about that off-line.
Specifics for $350K investment.
Outline for what the contract will actually contain
Working document between you and investors
Will eventually become legally binding
Will both sign off at end of negotiations
Ship to lawyers to draft up formally
Investments of this size,
No preferred shares.
How preferred shares work, they are preferred over common stock.
In the event of a sale, preferred get their money first.