The Ultimate Test

With having hundreds of meetings with entrepreneurs under my belt I’ve realized a single question that constantly enters my mind. This question has risen in importance to the point of becoming a huge red flag, and likely a deal killer, if the answer isn’t “Yes.” That question is: “Could I see myself going to work for the entrepreneur.” Continue reading

Hatching Twitter

I recently read Nick Bilton’s new book, Hatching Twitter. I confess that I am a sucker for these kind of books. I could read about the founding of startups all day. Inside Intel, eBoys, The Accidental Billionaires, Delivering Happiness and The PayPal Wars are some of my favorites. Jessica¬†Livingston’s books, Founders at Work and Venture Capitlists at Work, are also right up there for me. Continue reading

Risk Tolerance

If there is one thing in Canadian startup land I have heard repeatedly since moving back from California it is in regards to the lack of ‘risk tolerance’ of VCs here. When I was on the operational side of things I didn’t know many Canadian VCs so I couldn’t really comment, but I heard the stories. In fact, I will be completely honest that the idea of joining a Canadian VC fund was the furthest thing from my mind. Continue reading

The Tough Call on Startup Conferences

A great dialog recently broke out on Twitter after this tweet from Debbie Landa¬†calling out Alberta and Quebec startups to step up and have a presence at the upcoming GROW conference in Vancouver. Having my home in Alberta I immediately put the call out to a number of the great startups currently in the province. The consensus reply I got back was ‘too busy building and getting customers!’ Continue reading

Being a Hustler is Not Enough

Often the startup community attaches itself to buzzwords. We all know them. Growth hacker, lean, gamification, pivot, MVP, viral, ninja, disruptive, etc. I, and you, have been guilty of using them. These terms are not bad by nature and most have real meaning behind them. However, often they start becoming ubiquitous terms that lose their meaning and are sensualized by those using them. I have a new one to add to the list – Hustler. Continue reading

What is Attractive to a VC?

I have been neglecting this blog way too long and it is time to get back in to it. I had a nice reminder by someone today who mentioned that I haven’t updated it for a while. Having one reader was enough encouragement to put a post together!

This is going to be a short one, but answers the question I probably get asked the most by people, specifically entrepreneurs. What does a VC look for in a startup to make an investment? Continue reading

Why I Don’t Unplug

unplugI recently shared an article on Twitter that I picked up from a friend south of the border. I was surprised to receive a bunch of negative feedback from my tweet! The article was about turning tech off on vacation. This hit home as I just returned from traveling for 10 days with my family. I realize that this is not the sort of topic I normally write about here, but it is near to me as it is probably the topic my wife and I *discuss* more than any other in regards to my work. Continue reading