The rise of the Micro VC, lower quality startups and how to split founder equity.

Happy Saturday.

Hello from Kelowna, BC today where I led workshops on fundraising & angel investing. Just one more trip left in 2015 — Las Vegas this coming Wednesday, let me know if you’re around.

1. “Star­tups are about ex­e­cu­tion, not about ideas.” [Link] [Tweet]

Split things equally, always have a vesting schedule and get back to work. The default state of your company is failure and the only team that can change that is yours.

2. The Micro VCs Are Coming [Link] [Tweet]

Outside the Valley (and most other dense tech hubs), most founders and investors simply aren’t aware of how little it now costs to start (or invest in) a company. (Which is why I’m doing the 2016 tech tour and creating a weeklong set of workshops around these topics.)

3. “We don’t need another app to order food.” [Link] [Tweet]

Entrepreneurship has been Hollywood-ized over the past few years (eg, TV shows, movies and lots of press). As with most things, this is a double-edged sword.

Just as much as we’re encouraging more people to start their own thing, let’s agree to discourage them from spending too much time on things that simply aren’t working.

4. “Quitting slowly doesn’t serve you well.” [Link] [Tweet]

I should print this out and tape it to my laptop. You should too.

5. “Valuation and market capitalization are easily confused.” [Link] [Tweet]

Unfortunately, it’s more fun to throw around lots of big numbers than to understand the nuts and bolts: “When valuation numbers are reported to the public without understanding the calculations behind them, and without the context of the differences in calculation methods, swings in tech company valuations can sound like a big deal. The drama makes for a good story.”

6. “startups using equity crowdfunding will consist of lower-quality co’s that couldn’t get funding by other means” [Link] [Tweet]

The people that tend to be most excited about equity-based crowdfunding are, ironically, the least likely to ever raise any real money this way.

Until successful companies actually use equity-based crowdfunding (or one of the existing crowdfunded companies becomes a big hit), this won’t really take off.

7. “Founders fear long-term failure, but not the short-term mistakes that lead to it.” [Link] [Tweet]

Two thoughts:

  1. Yep.
  2. When are we going to see some stuff around how First Round creates such useful content?

8. Stay Focused on Your Goals Not Your Critics [Link] [Tweet]

“I’m always reminded that in tough times some people pull up their socks and help get the job done while others turn to being critics: Even some who don’t actually take risks or accomplish things but love to opine.”

9. “desktop companies have leveraged mobile better than actual mobile-focused startups.” [Link] [Tweet]

Knowing how to build an app isn’t enough.

I can’t seem to find it right now but I recall hearing a comment about the number of apps submitted to the app stores continue to rise daily but the average number of apps that an end-user keeps on her phone has remained steady for the last few years.

Building mobile apps is difficult. Building mobile apps that people will find, use and remember is incredibly hard. And it’s only getting harder.

10. “The cap table gets to a point where it can be challenging for new money to come in” [Link] [Tweet]

Back in 2010, it was rare to see angels participate in rounds larger than $500K. Today, angels are banding together to pump up to $1.5M into companies — sometimes without any VC firms included. I’m convinced the last few years will be remembered as the rise of the angels.

How about we spend a week together in 2016?

I’ve spent the last few years jetting in/out of places for keynotes and demo days. It’s an effective way for me, as an investor, to meet the maximum amount of companies in the shortest amount of time. I want to give back to local tech communities in 2016.

Here’s the general idea: I’ll come spend a week in your community and we’ll put together a week full of office hours, tech meetups, angel investing workshops, keynotes and fun. I might even bring some other investors with me to help.

In exchange, you cover my costs and help me figure out how to best help your tech community. Bonus: I might do it all in an Airstream.

I’m only going to do a few of these week-long trips in 2016, please fill this out ASAP if you think I can help your local tech community. I’m booked into six cities already, hurry up. 🙂


You can get the full stream of the things I read, it’s all on Twitter — follow me: @paulsingh. Sometimes I write stuff too. You can always find me on Slack, apply to join.

Have a great weekend!


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