Over twenty years ago, a mentor of mine gave me some advice that I have never forgotten; I call it the “New York Times Test.” He declared his expectation that anything he said, wrote or did could end up in the New York Times one day, and he used that as a guide and to only say, write and do things that he would be proud of when they appeared on the front page.
When do you start listening to that little voice inside your head? You know that voice—that nagging thrum of curiosity about a new career that turns into doubting the growth prospects of your current role. How do you know when it’s time to dust off the old resume, spruce it up a bit, and take it out for a trial run?
As a venture capitalist, I meet every day with two or three entrepreneurs who pitch me to invest in their dreams. (Last year, we reviewed more than 2,000 new companies.) Having done this now for 20 years across three funds, I’ve heard every kind of pitch imaginable. Here are five examples of what not to say to a VC.
Of all of the misconceptions about startup life, I think the most profound—and ultimately damaging—is the myth of the savior leader: the magical CEO who creates the perfect product/service and business model that erupts into a runaway success. The cold, hard truth is that it takes both time and much iteration before most entrepreneurs get it right.
Did you know that only 3% of venture funding goes to women and a measly 1% goes to people of color? Samara Mejia Hernandez starts a discussion on the problems that are influencing these numbers, and how we can start to work to fix them.