What Should You Do With Your Flawed Employees?

By Brett Fox | August 14, 2019

When you’re just starting out, you may have some members of your team that have serious issues. Ideally, you’d let the person go and find a replacement. But you may not have that option when you’re just starting out because the perfect fit for a given role may not want to join your startup yet.…

What Are The 11 Steps You Can Take When A Cofounder Quits?

By Brett Fox | August 13, 2019

I started my company with two co-founders: Jim and John (not their real names). I was the CEO, Jim was the marketing guy, and John was the engineering guy. My two co-founders and I had worked together previously.  We understood the plan and direction we were going in. We started pitching VCs after working on…

Why Your Startup Doesn’t Need A Board Of Directors

By Brett Fox | August 12, 2019

“How many people do I need on my the board?” I asked our attorney Marcia when I was incorporating our company. “You need to have a board of directors, but it doesn’t have to be large. In fact, you can be the only member of your board when you’re starting out.” “Really,” I answered. “The…

Is It Cool For You And Your Startup Team To Take Vacations?

By Brett Fox | August 8, 2019

I once heard a CEO of a company that recently IPO’d say, “Work life balance? You’re running a startup. You can’t have work life balance.  Just forget taking vacations.”  I believe the thought process that you can’t take vacations and have a successful startup is wrong. You can take vacations and have a successful startup.…

What Are The 3 Best Tips For Negotiating Your Term Sheet?

By Brett Fox | August 6, 2019

The first term sheet I ever negotiated took 40 minutes in elapsed time to negotiate. The longest a term sheet took to negotiate that I’ve been involved with was 10 months. And the investor was the same investor in both cases. It’s a true story. How can it take you between 40 minutes and 10…

Why You Should Offer Your Team Unlimited Time Off

By Brett Fox | August 4, 2019

One of the smartest things we ever did was offer our employees unlimited vacation. I know it sounds crazy for startups to tell their employees they can take as much time off as they want, but it’s really not crazy at all. There are two huge benefits you get with having an unlimited vacation policy:…

How Profitable Does Your Startup Need To Be?

By Brett Fox | July 31, 2019

Of all the crazy, stupid, ridiculous things I’ve ever heard, I’d have to say this doozy from “Donald”, a very well known billionaire VC, has to be the craziest, stupidest thing ever: “I hate high margin businesses!” It just goes to show you how much things have changed when it comes to building companies. I’ll…

How Do You Determine What Your Company Is Worth?

By Brett Fox | July 29, 2019

A few years ago a CEO of a pre-revenue startup reached out to me for guidance. The company was preparing to raise money. The CEO said to me during the initial consultation, “We’ve had a 409A valuation done on the company, and the valuation indicates the company is worth $20M. “We’re trying to raise $2M,…

What Should Your Mindset Be As A Startup CEO?

By Brett Fox | July 23, 2019

To: Past Self From: Future Self Subject: If I knew then what I know now Hey, it’s your older and wiser self. Somehow or other, despite all your screw ups, you made it! You’re done. You’ve achieved your dream of starting, building, and leading a company from scratch. I’ll tell you this. It would have…

How You Can Staff Effectively To Supercharge Your Startup’s Growth

By Brett Fox | July 23, 2019

Years ago, I remember a startup CEO telling me, half joking, that his hiring criteria was, “Anything that breathes.” That’s not exactly a sound strategy to grow you startup, is it? I think what the CEO meant was that it’s tough to hire really good people when you’re starting out. The reality is it’s always…