The pessimist in the room

In my startup investing, inside portfolio companies at the highest leadership and board levels, I always want to make sure that a pessimist has a seat at the table. I want a table full of optimists, but I also want at least one respected pessimist sitting there.  That pessimist should carry a general lack of …

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file under: Startups

The moment of integrity

I was on a panel at FounderCon last week with Noah Pittard from Cooley and Service Provider Capital. Something Noah said on that panel was so insightful that it really stuck with me. Someone asked about the types of founders we want to invest in and the types of people we want to surround ourselves with, and the conversation meandered …

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file under: Startups

How to fail gracefully

Of course nobody wants their startup to fail, but the fact is that it happens and it’s a completely normal part of company building. Investors understand this and realize that failure is often a part of the process. If your company has failed, make sure you go out of your way to let all of …

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file under: Startups

True Blue by Eliot Peper

These are troubling times, not just for the United States, but for the world. To be sure, there has been tremendous progress over the last 50 years with regard to human rights and equility. But today the remaining factions that support racism, hate, sexism, and other-ism have grown more vocal, more frustrated, more visible, and …

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file under: Startups

Sexual harassment: where there’s smoke there’s usually fire

It’s an unfortunate fact in our industry that people (mostly women) still regularly deal with harassment and assault in the workplace. Not only is this tragic for the individuals involved, but it is also driving talented women away from what is often a male-dominated tech and startup culture. Adding to the problem is that the victims …

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file under: Startups

Some Recommended Reading for Investors

There’s a lot of advice out there for new (and experienced) investors, and it can be hard to sift through it all to find the best stuff. So when I find something particularly helpful, I like to pass it along. Paige Craig, a founder and managing partner of Arena Ventures, has some excellent blog posts in …

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file under: Startups