Tuesday, August 28, 2018

VC Hacks - #1: Why Investors Only Give Your Idea 10% of Their Attention

What to Do About the Other 90%!             
When I hear a rambling pitch that gets lost trying to describe every detail of a new idea, I have to wonder: if only you knew what little time the investors will actually spend discussing it!

If they ever do talk about you, the only question they will be asking each other is: how can we make money out of it?

If they think your idea has that potential – vast growth, solves a big problem in a credible way, maybe if this is a new and incredibly intriguing product or just that you, the entrepreneur is uniquely qualified to take on a specific market – guess what:

They are going to reduce that to one sentence.

Then, they just as quickly, they will stop talking about the idea and start talking business.
  • What does it cost to acquire customers (note, they never mention viral, because they don't believe in it!)
  • Is this enough money required to get it off the ground?
  • How big can this be and how much would they likely recoup?
  • Who would acquire it? (No one really discusses IPOs and never, ICOs)
  • How big is the competition and can they reasonably be faced? (If the competition happens to be Google, Apple or Microsoft, go home.)
  • Can this entrepreneur (and team) really pull this off?
If you knew just what sentence Investors will use to describe your company, you would be way ahead of the game! (This is why we hold Capital Raising Workshops.)

Instead of fussing over every last feature in your offering, you would get down to the issue of what makes you and your team good enough to make this fly, exactly how you plan to do this and with how much.

Then, you can talk about the probable growth path and exit – who is likely to buy you, why and when.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Why I think the Uber/Lyft Regulations are a much bigger debate than we realize.

Why I think the Uber/Lyft Regulations are a much bigger debate than we realize.

And it opens the door to Blockchain politics.

Forgotten in this discussion is the reason why yellow cab medallions became so valuable. City Hall was the bumbling architect of their rise and their collapse.

By limiting the number of medallions, the City established a monopoly, created scarcity and then let investors drive up prices. At one point, a taxi medallion was worth more than a seat on the stock exchange.

In return, yellow cabs dominated just the parts of the City that were most profitable and abandoned the rest.

When Uber and Lyft upended this, the City failed to make good on the monopoly it created and compensating for its loss, thereby leaving small cab owners suicidaly in debt.

Legally, the City has indemnity, but this issue will not go away.

Government still has the right to create false monopolies that technology will continue to disrupt. Very few politicians understand this other than creating new regulations that are generally too out of touch to matter.

It is also quite likely those regulations will be deeply influenced by special interests, leading to further public distrust.

Uber has shown that, by being truly useful to the public, even government with all its power and moneyed lobbyists can't stop them.

The real problem is not Uber but government itself and the outdated limitations of the two-party, management vs. labor debate and the backroom system supporting it.

Today's generation sees Blockchain, open ledger legislation, voting and Cryptocurrency as opening up government to the people.