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Founding CEO succession

on Sun, 11/18/2012 - 04:30

In both my venture-backed companies I was founding CEO; but wasn't CEO forever. The data says this is quite typical. Noam Wasserman's book The Founder's Dilemmas, cites the following statistics out of 3,600+ startups surveyed (9,900 founders) over 10 years:

Percentage of startups still being led by the Founder-CEO
  Founding A-round B-round C-round D-round
On 3rd (or more ) CEO 0% 6% 9% 17% 23%
On 2nd CEO 0% 19% 29% 35% 38%
Founder still CEO 100% 75% 62% 48% 39%

If you're a founding CEO, what should you think about this?

Your child (company) will someday grow up and move away

on Fri, 10/26/2012 - 15:27

Every founder wants their company to be a success. In my book, founding CEOs carry an extra bit of mental or emotional burden for the success, since the buck stops there.

If you're lucky, you'll get to see it happen. But - then what? I experienced that this week.

Managing seed / angel to Series A

on Wed, 10/10/2012 - 14:27

Angel investors have been around for a long time. But starting 2-4 years ago, the growth in wealth of successful entrepreneurs & investors means angels are proliferating at a geometric rate.  They've also been able to become more organized, with angel groups like the Common Angels, and angel investor products like Angel List.  At the same time, classic venture firms started making small, angel/seed-stage investments. Lots of investments, in fact.

The result has been really great in some ways: There is an amazing explosion of startups that are getting a chance at building a business.

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Drupal world domination - step 2

on Wed, 08/22/2012 - 09:35

In recent years, a new breed of incubators called seed accelerators have had success helping new companies get started. They provide mentoring, connections, and capital. Depending on the accelerator, even the branding from having been accepted into the program adds value.

The best example I've seen is TechStars. TechStars has helped launch dozens of companies over several years by attracting extraordinary mentors, and running a well-thought-out program for getting startups off the ground.

Book review: The Rat and the Serpent

on Tue, 08/14/2012 - 14:22

The Rat and the SerpentThe Rat and the Serpent by Bryn Llewellyn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Stephen Palmer (Bryn Llewellyn is an old pseudonym he doesn't use anymore) is always a treat to read. His writing proceeds at such a good clip. The stories have a rhythm that seems to flow just perfectly; the stories all seem to accelerate as his books proceed to conclusion, and this book is no exception. But along the way, the comfortable start and cruise through his imagination is a fun ride to be on.

The Rat and the Serpent describes a world that is both fantasy, and simultaneously a world we recognize.

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