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Just say no

Between Techstars and Founders’ Co-op, I spend a lot of time helping early-stage companies raise money. I also hear a ton of pitches myself, and (for reasons that I try hard to be transparent about), my answer to the question “will you invest” is almost always “no”. Since I see both the buy + sell side of the continue…

Black_sheep-1

More bad startup ideas

Garry Tan published a great piece yesterday titled “Travel planning software: the most common bad startup idea“. And while I strongly agree with his (dark) assessment of that category of opportunity and have seen my share of related pitches, there are several other equally bad ones that I see even more often. Inspired by Garry’s continue…

Ferrari

Treat your sales engine like a product

I had a great meeting today with a portfolio company CEO I hadn’t seen in a while. We covered a bunch of ground in the meeting, but the statement that stuck with me the most was how he described the company’s approach to scaling their sales capacity: “We treat sales like a product and invest continue…

The Entrepreneurial Value Chain

I’ve been spending a ton of time lately on activities that don’t obviously have much to do with my actual “work” — which in its broadest description includes anything and everything needed to help Pacific Northwest founders build big software companies from scratch. Whenever I catch myself wondering why I’m doing something — or better continue…

The one thing you can’t teach an entrepreneur

Startup founders are like sponges. You basically can’t be an entrepreneur if you aren’t relentlessly curious about people, technology, business and culture — constantly remixing those ingredients in your head to find new and better ways of doing things. Because they’re so intellectually agile, founders can learn almost anything if exposed to the right vectors, continue…

The Valuation Stack

A few weeks ago I was invited to speak to a graduate accounting class at the University of Washington. Although most of the students in the class had already accepted offers from one of the Big 5 accounting firms (which mostly work with larger companies), the professor wanted to give them a little exposure to continue…

Tripling down on Cascadia

I’m happy to announce that we just closed $10 million in fresh capital for a new Founders’ Co-op fund to help build the next generation of world-changing software companies here in the Pacific Northwest. This is our third fund and, while our values and approach will remain the same, we’ve upped the ante in a continue…