in Early Stage Startups

It Seems Like Every Conversation Starts With….

[We’re looking to raise our seed/A round]

Two blogs have recently been written on the topic that really shouldn’t be ignored and will say it WAY better than me.  Here’s the first one- blessed by the @pmarca himself:

One thing I really dislike about is that for some of us, our first instinct is to immediately tweet snarkily when we see total bullshit or ignorance from a “founder” we were introduced to, an absurd LinkedIn request, or notice something completely bush-league about a blog that passes our streams.  I started writing on this blog a few years ago as a most naive startup founder who got his own share of eye rolls.  It would be pretty hurtful to see that someone I trusted has instantly decided to crap all over me, albeit unidentified, to their legions of followers.

That’s not what I’m doing here- and it’s not really a rant.  This isn’t about anyone in particular, it’s about the community. I get to meet incredibly cool people every day with great drive and determination.  But I’m not a VC- why are we only talking about money?  Is it at all possible that I can add other kinds of value to you or your company?  Shouldn’t you be telling me about how excited your customers are for your launch?  What ever happened for some good old fashioned “feedback”?

Founders aren’t asking me to help them get customers even though I have worked in financial services for twelve years and my current business has several fortune 500 brands as clients.  Founders aren’t asking me any more for ideas on where to pitch their startups.  Somehow they’re not even asking me to help them find a new iOS developer (they must have given up on that one).  It’s not just happening in NYC- it’s happening in every ecosystem where I’m connecting.

Never forget, if you want money, ask for advice. If you want advice, ask for money.  I promise, if you and your team are exciting someone, you will immediately see the gears grinding in their head and they will figure out how they can A) Get themselves in the mix and B) Look good to their investor friends by sending you their way.

Finally here’s the other blog that is a must read about eShares Series A fundraise.

Fundraising is matchmaking. You have to find the right audience.