How Do You Determine Which Investor To Contact?

By Brett Fox | October 18, 2022

Years ago,I decided I the way to achieve my career goals was working at a Venture Capital backed startup. The problem was I didn’t know any venture capitalists. I went on the internet and built a spreadsheet of all the VC firms I wanted to meet with and every partner at the VC firm. The…

You’ll Fail If You’re In It Only For The Money

By Brett Fox | October 17, 2022

“I’m focusing on learning, not the grades,” Avery said to me the other day. She’s just starting her journey in college, so I couldn’t be happier to hear my daughter say that. “You got it!” I exclaimed. “The knowledge will stay with you forever. Plus, it’s the only thing you can directly control.” “I love…

What Do You Do When Your Engineers Are Failing?

By Brett Fox | October 11, 2022

“What are we going to do about the DAC (Digital to Analog Converter) design?” I asked my co-founder and VP Engineering, Jeroen. “It’s floundering.” “I know,” Jeroen said. “I think we need to make a change.” If you can announce five different products or SKUs (Stock Keeping Unit) from one analog chip design, then you’re…

Why Your Investors Don’t Need Control Of Your Board

By Brett Fox | October 10, 2022

“Brett, I need to have control of the board.” Who do you think said that to me? Was it a startup CEO, or was it an investor? Or was it both parties? It seems logical, doesn’t it as a first time CEO. You want control of the board, right? Because, if you control the board,…

How Should You Divide The Work?

By Brett Fox | October 4, 2022

I don’t know how I came to this thought process, but, from the beginning of my career, I thought it was a great idea to obsolete myself. Yeah, I know this sounds like it’s self destructive, and I guess in some organizations it is. However, my thought process was different. My thought process was that…

How Should You Manage Your Engineering Team?

By Brett Fox | October 3, 2022

“How do you plan on managing the design team?” I asked my prospective co-founder and soon to be VP Engineering, Jeroen. “The same as I have at Maxim (Integrated Products),” Jeroen said. I smiled, and then I said, “I’m sorry, but I have to ask, the design review process will be the same as Maxim’s?”…

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…