Assembling a starter team is more difficult than putting together 10 IKEA dressers, and the stakes are much, much higher.
Assuming that 90% of startups will fail and the top performers take an average of six years to go public, founders need to make careful decisions about who they invite to join the core team.
Will this stellar engineer become a great CTO? Should your product manager have opinions or a team player? Are you even the best choice for the CEO?
ThoughtSpot CEO Sudheesh Nair shared some of his thoughts on building a strong leadership team and wrote a comprehensive checklist for entrepreneurs who make a team. His first advice?
âInvestors love founders and CEOs, and founders are often fantastic candidates for this role. But not everyone can do it well, and more importantly, not everyone wants to. “
In a related article, Gregg Adkin, vice president and general manager of Dell Technologies Capital, shared the framework he developed to help founders set up their boards.
Choosing the right mix of people can impact everything from fundraising to hiring: âInvestors often ask founders about their board of directors. [because] that says a lot about their character, their judgment and their willingness to be challenged, âhe writes.
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Miranda Halpern spoke to Amsterdam-based coach Ward van Gasteren for our latest growth marketing interview, which is free.
In their discussion, van Gasteren touched on the misconceptions about growth hacking, the mistakes most startups are likely to make, and the distinctions he makes between growth hacking and growth marketing:
âGrowth hacking is great for kickstarting growth, testing new opportunities, and seeing what tactics work,â he tells us.
âMarketers should be here to continue where the growth hackers left off: strategize, keep customers engaged, and keep tactics fresh and relevant. “
Thanks so much for reading Extra Crunch this week; Hope you have a good weekend.
What Square’s Acquisition of Afterpay Means for Startups
In his first column since returning to TechCrunch, reporter Ryan Lawler considered the potential ripples that Square’s purchase of Afterpay could send across the pond to buy now, pay startups later.
For commentary and perspective, he interviewed:
- Dan Rosen, Founder and General Partner, Commerce Ventures
- Jake Gibson, Founding Partner, Better Tomorrow Ventures
- TX Zhuo, partner, Fika Ventures
- Matthew Harris, Partner, Bain Capital Ventures
Investors he spoke to agreed that deferral of payments helps boost e-commerce, “but issues of scale and long-term margins look slim for BNPL startups,” Ryan reports.
Enterprise AI 2.0: The acceleration of B2B AI innovation has begun
Companies have been deploying AI solutions for 20 years, but few have realized the dramatic gains in efficiency and profitability promised when the technology first appeared.
But there is a new generation of business AI on the rise, writes Eshwar Belani, Symphony AI operational partner, in a guest column.
âCompanies at the forefront of AI innovation have moved on to the next generation, which will define the next decade of big data, analytics and automation – Enterprise AI 2.0. “
Embodied AI, superintelligence and master algorithm
Over the next 18 months, a technologist says the increased adoption of embodied artificial intelligence will pave the way for superintelligence – incredibly powerful software that overshadows anything the human mind could produce.
âAll of Boston Dynamics’ crazy videos of robots jumping, dancing, balancing and running are examples of AI embodied,â says Chris Nicholson, Founder and CEO of Pathmind, which uses deep reinforcement learning to optimize industrial operations and supply chains.
âThe field is changing rapidly and in this revolution you can dance. “
Lots of money and little love: an insurtech story
The Exchange looks at the valuations of public insurance companies and examines what that means for startups, but from a slightly different perspective.
âWe typically relied on new values ââfrom public neoinsurance companies and used that data to estimate what the price cuts might mean for affected startups,â writes Alex Wilhelm. âTaking data on government procurement and using it to better understand private markets is pretty much this column’s national pastime.
5 factors founders should consider before choosing their VC
The fact that the world is inundated with venture capital should not be news to readers of this newsletter.
For the founders, this means more than just fat checks, writes Kunal Lunawat, co-founder and managing partner of Agya Ventures, in a guest column.
âFounders would be well served to get back to basics and focus on fundraising principles when determining who sits at their cap table. “
Movements of neobanks towards profitability could be the path to public procurement
Alex Wilhelm checks the results of Starling Bank and Monzo to see what the most recent financial figures from neobanks say about the general state of neobanks.
âWhile some neobanks manage to clean up their books and seek profit – or achieve profitability – not all are in the dark,â he notes.
But among those who are?
âAt least part of the neo-banking world is financially stable enough to consider public offerings. “
Founders must learn to create and maintain circles of trust with investors
The bustling venture capital market can give founders a huge number of investors to choose from, but the most important thing (if you can be choosy) is to be able to trust and rely on your investors, write Matt. Cohen from Ripple Ventures and Tony Conrad from True. in a guest column.
âThisâ¦ new dynamic is forcing founders to be extremely selective about exactly who is sitting around their mentoring table,â they write.
âIt just isn’t possible to have many deep and meaningful relationships to extract maximum value at an early stage from seasoned investors. “
What is the role of the board of directors in a start-up startup?
Building a board isn’t just about finding people who can help you on your initial journey, writes Gregg Adkin, vice president and general manager of Dell Technologies Capital, in a guest column.
The composition of the board of directors can also have an impact on your fundraising.
âInvestors often ask founders about their board of directors [because] that says a lot about their character, their judgment and their willingness to be challenged, âhe writes.
Adkins offers a framework he calls “SPIFS” – for strategy, people, image, finance and compliance systems – to help founders put together a board of directors.
Do bronze medals have meaning for unicorns?
Following Deliveroo’s plan to ditch the Spanish market after the country passed legislation requiring worker-dependent companies to hire employees, Alex Wilhelm questioned the battle for smaller markets and whether third place was sufficient.
“A business exiting a market is not a big deal, but we were curious about Deliveroo’s comments regarding the need for market leadership – or something close to it – to justify continued investment.” , he writes for The Exchange.
âIs this the common reality for startups who are fighting for their position in the market, no matter if those markets are cities or countries? “