Podcast With Harry Stebbings on SaaS Startups and More Reply

I was recently a guest on The Official SaaStr Podcast hosted by Harry Stebbing. Harry and I had a great discussion that ranged from the (un)importance of early-stage SaaS metrics, to the intricacies of software pricing, to the ways in which term sheets can be simplified.

Before we delved into all that good stuff, Harry had me talk about my background and the formative experiences that led me to a career in venture capital. The quick history is that I first encountered––and fell in love with––computers when I was 13. To fund the purchase of my first computer, an Apple IIe, I taught coding classes at the local Apple dealer. Coding work also paid the bills for my college education at MIT, where I majored in electrical engineering and economics. My foray into venture happened before business school, when I landed a job at a venture firm in New York. More…

The Framework For a Founder and VC Relationship Reply

In the last two decades as a venture capitalist, I’ve seen three primary styles of VCs working with startup founders.  I found that one of them works best for me, and want to share the alternatives:

1. Mentor: This is a classic “old school” venture capital model. Think John Doerr and Michael Moritz working with Larry Page and Sergei Brin in the early days of Google. The VC is often older, sometimes a repeat entrepreneur, sometimes not. The VC provides lots of hands-on advice and coaching. The interactions between the VC and founder are frequent, and the VC spends much time regularly at the company.