Building a startup is hard. But there are great lessons to learn from other successful teams. On their tenth anniversiary the Supercell team just listed ten +1 great pieces of advice for building a great company. Almost all applicable to any business: https://supercell.com/en/news/10-learnings-10-years/7436/
Interesting research from Yale that positive mood when pitching helps raise capital. Implications: founders need to practice maintaining that positive, confident tone when pitching; investors have to be careful to distinguish "hutzpah" from real competence.
For startups from Central and Eastern Europe pitching in the USA especially, I always advise that you need to pitch very aggressively and with extreme confidence, such that you feel uncomfortable yourself. The result will look mildly confident to the US venture investors who are used to seeing American founders pitch all day long….
Great podcast with James Currier of NFX interviewing Keith Rabois, legendary startup co-founder and investor, now with Founders Fund. Keith talks about what a contrarian really is, how important teams are in determining startup success, all with fantastic stories from Square, PayPal and his other startups and investments.
How can I focus on a very specific market segment when I have to pitch VCs with a story about a massive market opportunity? Surely this means I have to start off selling to a broad range of customers?
I hear founders struggling with this conundrum a lot. The answer is that at the very early stage you have to focus super-sharp on a small niche, but have a compelling argument and data for why that represents the tip of a very big iceberg. Without extreme focus, it is extremely hard to make good progress delighting your first set of customers. Which is why I keep drilling many young startups on focus....
The last TechChill conference in Riga had a great talk by Patrick Lee of Rotten Tomatoes who explained this very well: https://youtu.be/iIPYtvUr9MA