What Are The Two Biggest Mistakes That You Can Avoid?

By Brett Fox | September 18, 2022

“Do you have a vesting schedule for your co-founders equity?” I asked the CEO I was talking to. “No, I don’t,” he answered. “And how much equity does your co-founder have again?” I asked. “Uh, fifty percent,” the CEO answered. I sighed deeply. As the great business philosopher and baseball hall of famer, Yogi Berra,…

How Do You Make Working From Home Successful?

By Brett Fox | September 18, 2022

I think Elon Musk made a huge mistake. Yeah, you can be the master of the universe, the world’s richest person. Whatever. Yet, you can still screw up. And that’s exactly what I think old Elon did when he issued his, “Remote work is no longer acceptable”, email to his executive staff on May 31,…

Why Should You Send Your Unsolicited Pitch Deck To Investors

By Brett Fox | September 11, 2022

“Do you know ‘George’ from Maxim (Integrated Products)?” Mike, the managing partner at Crosslink, the San Francisco based VC Fund where I was an Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR), asked me. “Yes, I know George,” I said. “He just sent his pitch deck to us through our website,” Mike said. “Since you worked there (at Maxim),…

The Real Reason Your Startup Will Fail

By Brett Fox | September 11, 2022

There’s a CB Insights study that you’ve likely seen about why startups fail. Their list is the classic, greatest hits, of why startups fail: Run out of cash No market need Got outcompeted Flawed business model Regulatory/legal challenges I could go on and on. But, I’m here to tell you none of these reasons are…

How Do You Prepare To Pitch Investors?

By Brett Fox | September 4, 2022

“You made things a lot easier for me,” Jim said to me, shaking my hand. My co-founder and VP Engineering, Jeroen, and I had flown to Boston to pitch Jim and his partners, and Jim’s reaction indicated the meeting went well. “That’s great to hear,” I said, smiling. “I don’t think you got singed too…

What Are The Characteristics Of A Great Investor?

By Brett Fox | September 4, 2022

“Oh, Great God of Venture Capital,” I said, “Can you help me find a good VC or two for my new venture? I won’t even ask for a great VC, just a good VC will do. “Are you taking notes, oh Great God of Venture Capital? Here’s my list. It’s just five items, and one…

What Do You Do When You Lose A Deal?

By Brett Fox | August 29, 2022

“Nest designed us out of their final production build,” John, our Bay Area Sales Manager, said to me. “Thanks for everything you did to trying to win this,” I said. I took a deep breath. I didn’t like losing, and we had put everything into winning the Nest opportunity. It was a big deal for…

What Is The Most Important Thing You Should Know?

By Brett Fox | August 29, 2022

“You’ve gotta know what your cash position is at all times,” I said to “Kevin” yesterday. “If you don’t know what’s going on with your cash, then you can’t manage your company.” Kevin is trying to figure out how much money he should raise in his next round of funding, so he has to know…

What Do You Do When An Investor Doesn’t Call You Back?

By Brett Fox | August 16, 2022

“God, do I hate radio silence,” I said to my friend and mentor, Dave. “Why don’t VCs just let me know they just don’t want to invest instead of leaving us hanging?” Dave smiled and nodded his head in agreement. He had been a VC and he’d been a founding CEO too, so he knew…

Can I Pitch My Startup To Investors Without A Product?

By Brett Fox | August 15, 2022

Let me ask you a question. Do you want me to tell you what you want to hear, or do you want me to tell you reality? I am sure hoping you want to hear reality, especially when it comes to pitching investors. The reality is, unless you have some really special things going for…