Thursday, September 22, 2011

Review: Fundable Startup (AngelList)

7th Founder Showcase - Naval Ravikant Keynote from Founder Institute on Vimeo.

Be Exceptional at one of the following (Importance is ranked by sequence, where Traction rules)

  1. Traction (Perhaps 20% per month)
  2. Team (Reputation, not self acknowledgement)
  3. Product
  4. Social Proof (Reputation, Reference by someone known, Herd Mentality)
  5. Market ...

Markets & Approaches (Unfundable)

  • Services, multiple products
  • Small Markets
  • Desktop Software / Dead Platforms (Silverlight, Flash, etc)
  • Conquered Markets with Network Effects (beating eBay or Craiglist)
  • High atom content (required brick and mortar)
  • Not too large, not too small

Team (Unfundable)

  • You don't get to call yourself visionary
  • Outsourced development, business-heavy
  • Sole founder
  • Part-timers
  • 12 years experience (too genetic, what have you done)

Exceptional Team (Fundable)

  • Keywords: MIT, PHD, Columbia, CS, Cisco, Sun, Google, Microsoft
  • No adjectives / opinions of yourself
  • Show, not tell
  • Quantitative and precise, not qualitative and vague
  • Branded or measurable output
  • Recruit only the best. And if you can't, you're not ready.

Product Guidelines

  • No promises / vision
  • Show, not tell
  • Quantitative
  • Something hard with specific knowledge
  • Expect competition
  • Build only the best

Real Hacks

  • Advisory Round (Notable VC)
  • Cast a Broad Net, move simultaneously
  • Easier to pitch a new investor than to convert one
  • Sell the option to invest more later?
  • If you're having a hard-time, restart (go back to drawing board)
  • Don't sell more than 20% at seed round


  • Get to a funding hub
  • Recruit an exceptional team
  • Build something you are passionate and knowledgeable about
  • Test it against customers
  • Get social and customer validation
  • Raise on at least once exceptional characteristic

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