Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Finding investors for your first raise is tough. Especially if you’re a first-time founder and especially since this is your first raise. Some sources of capital seem almost too good to be true. In reality, though, you should avoid them or at least approach them with healthy skepticism.

In particular…

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A recent article by NFX, a Bay Area-based VC firm, titled “Where to Build Your Startup” got many things right about where to build your startup, but still fell short on a key issue.

Most importantly, arguing that culture was the cause, not the result of Silicon Valley’s success. So…

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When you’re building a new product, you constantly have to decide which features to build, when to build them and how to build them. However, when it comes to making these decisions, teams often fall into two failure modes — The Never-Ending Debate mode or The “Yes Team” mode. …

When I first started my startup, I often used the word just when talking about what we’d accomplished.

We just had five customers.

We just raised a pre-seed round.

It‘s just me and the CTO.

When I meet other founders, I often hear them using the “j word” too.


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Updated October 2020

Finding the right products to use and looking for discount programs can be time-consuming. Here’s our tech stack along with discounts to save yourself some time. These aren’t affiliate links, just products we like.

Products w/Discounts

Source: HBO

You have an idea and want to make it a reality.

Incubators and other programs like them are often among the first organizations you’ll encounter on your startup journey. As a result, they often seem like a logical place to start. …

Photo by Christian Erfurt on Unsplash

One of the things I emphasize with founders the most about but understand the least is over-indexing on price. When it comes to making decisions, I often hear things like:

“It was the cheapest”

“We found a way to get x for free”

“I only had to give up x…


Fundraising is one of the most difficult things you’ll do as a founder, especially if you’re a first-time founder and especially for your first raise.

Every company is different, but here are some of my biggest takeaways from raising a pre-seed round that included Micro VCs, Angels, and Family Offices…


For any challenging endeavor, you need to have the right tools, resources, and be able to speak the lingo. Here are some of the tools and resources I found to be most helpful.

Resources for Fundraising Tactics

  • Paul Graham’s essays on fundraising. …


Once you get over the feedback hump with your deck and you’ve closed your first check, it’s time to step on the gas and find more investors. You should pursue as many investors simultaneously as possible. This creates interest in the round and pushes investors over Wait-and-See Hill.

It is…

On Starting Up

Notes from a founder trying to make an idea a reality.

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