DROdio http://danielodio.com A Sanctuary for Founders and Entrepreneurs en-us Thu, 31 Jul 2014 11:33:13 +0000 http://sett.com Sett RSS Generator Convertible Notes -- Discussing the Valuation Cap numbers http://danielodio.com/community/convertible-notes-discussing-the-valuation-cap-numbers Awhile back, I turned Martin's awesome spreadsheet on convertible note valuation cap numbers into a Google doc, and I've since gotten a lot of "edit" access requests for it from entrepreneurs.

It takes just a little bit of work for me to duplicate the spreadsheet as a private one for you so you can edit it (w/o messing up the original).  I'm happy to do that work, but in exchange I'd like to ask you to do the following:

1) Please submit your request for edit access as a comment to this post (you can register with an anonymous name if you don't want the world to know you're looking at this stuff).

2) Please share your questions, thoughts & learnings about convertible notes below in the comments, so other entrepreneurs can benefit from the discussion as well.  

Here's why this type of thing is important to me: http://go.DanielOdio.com/knowledge-sharing

And if you're looking into convertible notes, you might also like this post on optimizing an AngelList profile: http://go.DanielOdio.com/AngelList .  I've got a bunch of other relevant posts as well; just drop me a note in the comments and tell me what you're looking for.  One example:  How to get lots of press for your startup:http://go.DanielOdio.com/press  

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Wed, 07 Nov 2012 23:01:23 +0000 http://danielodio.com/community/convertible-notes-discussing-the-valuation-cap-numbers
AngelList Recuriting Pro Tips http://danielodio.com/community/angellist-recuriting-pro-tips I believe that AngelList is going to be a HUGE resource for companies to use for recruiting. So I'm going to start leaving some pro-tips here as I learn & navigate the AngelList system. I'll also invite the AL folks to comment directly on this post.

Today, from what I can tell, there are 16,834 candidates on AngelList Talent:

I expect that number to balloon substantially over the coming 12 months.

Stay tuned for pro tips in the comments below. Also feel free to post your own, as well as questions on how we use AngelList at ShareThis for recruiting.

NOTE: The AL Talent system is changing literally daily -- amazing how much development they're doing on it. So many of these things will almost certainly be out of date a few months down the road.

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Tue, 18 Jun 2013 22:08:17 +0000 http://danielodio.com/community/angellist-recuriting-pro-tips
Just landed at SFO: What you should do first http://danielodio.com/community/just-landed-at-sfo-what-you-should-do-first

I just had someone whom I originally met in DC come by our office here in SF.  He's out here trying to get a new startup off the ground.  

I told him I'd send a few ideas his way to help him figure out how to take advantage of being in SF.  Instead of sending him a private email, I figure it'd be great to get it going as a public conversation where other entrepreneurs can contribute as well.

So here's the question:  If you were new to SF with a startup idea, what would you do first?

Here's my quick initial list:

1) Create a demo or prototype.  People in the Valley won't take you seriously unless you have something to show them.  The litmus test:  It's interesting enough that the person doesn't feel like they've seen it all before.

2) Find experts in your field to believe in you:  Getting some social proof in the Valley is super important.  Pick whomever is at the top of their game in whatever field they're in, and find a way to meet them, and show them the demo you made.  Get them interested in what you're doing.  And if you can't get them interested in what you're doing, then that probably means you need to iterate more on step #1.  

If you're not sure how to get access to whichever Subject Matter Expert it is that you want to meet, then you need to start learning to think creatively.  Hint:  Use the networks (like LinkedIn & Facebook) of people you know to get intros to the SMEs you want to meet.  People will usually take an intro if it's from someone they know.

And ideally, you can get one or more of them to become an advisor in your startup, maybe for a quarter point of equity or so.

3) Apply to Y Combinator, 500 Startups and all the other accelerator programs.  It's worth doing, for a couple of reasons:  First off, you'll get invaluable feedback from incredibly smart people in the field.  And secondly, you might actually get in.  There are a lot of places you can learn about how to optimize your chances for getting into YC.  While you're at it, read all of Paul Graham's essays.  They're incredibly good.

4) Go to Meetups.  There are tons of meetups in the Bay area about every conceivable topic.  It's a great place to meet people who are also doing interesting things in whatever field you're in.

Other than that, the best thing you can do is to actually build something interesting and get a group of users to be passionate about it.  That type of traction trumps any amount of talk.

Once you feel that you're ready to start looking for funding, you can read a bunch of articles I have on leveraging AngelList.

And lastly, pat yourself on the back.  Few people have the gumption to pick up their lives in another city and make a blind move out to the Valley.  Welcome, and good luck.

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Fri, 30 Nov 2012 00:14:38 +0000 http://danielodio.com/community/just-landed-at-sfo-what-you-should-do-first
What We're Looking For When Angel Investing http://danielodio.com/what-were-looking-for-when-angel-investing My wife and I have recently started doing some angel investing (you can see what startups we've invested in on my AngelList profile). If I sent you to this blog post, it's probably because you thought we might be interested in investing in your startup.

Here's a guide on what we're looking for:

As I wrote in this blog post, we consider angel investing to be just about the riskiest thing one can do with one's capital. So we are very, very careful about how we deploy our cash to invest in startups.

For us to justify an investment in a startup, we have to believe that our cash has a greater potential return (and of not being lost completely) than any other alternative -- and since we're very bullish on ETFs for equity growth, and LendingClub for putting cash to work to get monthly distributions, that's a pretty high bar for us, because the reality is that most startup bets will fail.

Some angel investors mitigate this risk by investing in a large number of startups, and this is an approach we've discussed, and may pursue at one point. If & when we do this, we'll be much more likely to be more aggressive with angel investments.

But for now, the main thing we need to see is a lot of traction, a team that knows how to create, and quickly, and a huge addressable market. Here's how our two public investments to date met those criteria:

  • AngelList is the marketplace for angel investing, and the macro trend is that crowdfunding will become more public and more accessible to ordinary Americans. No company is as well positioned as AngelList to capitalize on that trend, and we think it's going to be huge.
  • AltSchool is reimagining how K-8 children learn in a really smart way. The parents I talk to that are familiar with AltSchool are very passionate about their model. It's an incredible team with very strong traction and a trillion dollar market, and they raised a $33MM round from some of the best VCs in the industry, including FoundersFund and Andreessen Horowitz shortly after we invested.

If you think you have a startup of similar caliber, we'd love to hear about it.

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Mon, 21 Apr 2014 01:58:28 +0000 http://danielodio.com/what-were-looking-for-when-angel-investing
Cheating with Macro Photos http://danielodio.com/community/cheating-with-macro-photos

My wife loves to take macro photos. But the macro lens we would get is $679. So we tried to cheat by getting a $9 Macro Extension Tube Set. But it turns out you can't cheat your way to great photos.

There were several problems. The main one was that the lens that comes with the GX1 is a power lens, but the tubes don't allow for any power to flow to the camera. This means that the camera thinks there's no lens, but more importantly, you can't focus the lens, so it only works at a fixed point.

I could live with that, if it took great macro pics at that point. But it doesn't. The pictures are blurry. Here's the best shot I could get with the tube:

If anyone has any idea on how to get great macro pictures with a Four Thirds lens that doesn't cost over $600, I'd love to hear about it.

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Tue, 30 Oct 2012 16:48:37 +0000 http://danielodio.com/community/cheating-with-macro-photos
Zoho CRM http://danielodio.com/community/133699 Hey guys,

I've recently started using a crm, and I picked Zoho because its free for 1-3 people.

I'm pretty much brand new to using any CRM so I'm a little confused as if its worth all the effort to spend my time doing data entry. Especially since I'm sending about 20 cold emails a day to prospects.

So my question is, should I type in the emails of all those prospects as leads?

Is the mail merge functionality smooth?

My best guess is that I type in the 20 prospective cold email leads and filter under "today's leads", send them an email, then use a task to follow up with that group.

My concern is that its a lot of time spent on data entry. Thoughts?

Thanks in advance

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Thu, 20 Mar 2014 01:58:58 +0000 http://danielodio.com/community/133699
McIntire Visits ShareThis http://danielodio.com/community/mcintire-visits-sharethis A group of U.VA. McIntire students came to visit some Silicon Valley startups during their Spring Break. I'm a COMM '98 McIntire alum, and I had the opportunity to host them at ShareThis. We had a fun, wide-ranging discussion around social, advertising, entrepreneurism and more. Here's the video:

U.Va. McIntire Visit to ShareThis 2014

Here's the Hackpad notes that resulted from our meeting:

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Mon, 17 Mar 2014 16:25:12 +0000 http://danielodio.com/community/mcintire-visits-sharethis
SETT Bugs! by Tynan http://danielodio.com/sett-bugs Note from Tynan:

Hey guys, if you find a bug in SETT, reply to this with the info. You can embed screenshots if necessary or paste error messages. If you've experienced a bug that someone else has already reported, you can vote it up so that we know it's more important.

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Fri, 12 Oct 2012 16:02:44 +0000 http://danielodio.com/sett-bugs
Hey there http://danielodio.com/community/105977 We met at the mobile media summit last year. We're thinking about moving to the space at 450 Townsend!

Take Care,

@annebot

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Tue, 21 Jan 2014 19:50:34 +0000 http://danielodio.com/community/105977
Guest Post http://danielodio.com/community/103689 Hello,

My name is Dewayne Jasper, and I am really interested for guest
post in your blog, I am a writer and wrote for motorcycle related
stuff, if you can assist me in any way so kindly let me know.

My Email address is dewayne.jasper@gmail.com

Hope for good and waiting for your kind response.

Regards:
Dewayne Jasper

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Fri, 10 Jan 2014 19:25:45 +0000 http://danielodio.com/community/103689