Jeff Morris Jr.

Jeff Morris Jr. quotes on investment

Founder at ChapterOne, an early-stage product fund. Building Product Club this summer. Before VP Product, Revenue at Tinder.

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1

Most startup pitches underweight on distribution strategy. You can build the best product - but if you distribute through the same channels as everyone else, you aren’t being creative enough. Create a distribution strategy that surprises the people you pitch. You’ll stand out.

2

I just received an investor update from a stealth co. who recently closed a round. The CEO thanked an "MVP investor" who is helping write code for the company. The MVP investor is now tied for the most # of commits. Remember that next time investors say they are value add.

3

When an investor asks about your monetization strategy, saying “we aren’t thinking about that right now” is a weak answer. Focusing on growth instead of revenue is an outdated mindset. You are starting a business and asking for money. Explain how you will return that money.

4

When an investor gives you product advice, ask yourself: 1. Have they ever built a product? 2. Is the feedback motivated by their desire for returns or what's best for your customers? 3. Are they actively using your product? Many investors give feedback without doing the work.

5

The best venture capitalists I know are amazing listeners. They do not check their phones during meetings or make you feel like they’re busy. They are fully present throughout the entire conversation and often take notes like a student. They make you feel valued & heard.

6

Pre-seed companies are experiments. Raising $250-$500k at a reasonable valuation from a very small group of investors gives the the founder optionality. If the experiment fails, easy to move on with your life & try another idea. The days of large pre-seeds are done for now.

7

When an investor says, "I need some time to get smarter about the space" it usually means that they: 1. Did not read your pitch deck. 2. Have a FOMO personality. Will wait to see if other VC's invest. 3. Know very little about your space. Probably won't add that much value.

8

Founders who say "VC's don't understand what I'm building" as a fundraising excuse: VC's hear 1000+ pitches in a year. If they don't get your product, it's probably your fault. Simplify your messaging. Improve your product. VC's aren't the problem. Your pitch needs work.

9

One of my portfolio companies is having “office hours for investors” on Google Hangouts this morning. Love this approach. Amazed that more startups don’t utilize investors on their cap table. Some startups never send updates. Empower your cap table & they will do the work.

10

If you pitch an investor and they don’t get back to you within a few days, send a follow up email. As an investor who raised money from LPs, I had to do this all the time. LPs are busy people. So are VCs.

11

Founders: if your company recently went through a pivot, be clear about this during pitches. Some entrepreneurs avoid pivot conversations, like it’s an embarrassing part of their history. Own your journey & explain what you’ve learned. Better for investors to find out from you.

12

When you're pitching investors, make sure to: 1. Be honest about your metrics. 2. Sound excited about your product. 3. Explain your revenue model. 4. Understand your acquisition costs. 5. Know why you're raising money.

13

A company we just invested in invited their new investors to attend a company All Hands today. I've never seen a company do this & love the idea. Makes everyone feel like they're on the same team.

14

I spoke to a very successful investor recently who said that he invests in “obvious” wins. Obvious. A simple and powerful approach. The same framework works for building products. We all try to be too creative at times. Build the obvious wins.

15

Founders: when an investor sends you an "I'm going to pass on investing" email, be sure to respond. Keep that relationship alive.

16

More often than not, early stage funding announcements create a false sense of progress followed by large amounts of anxiety for employees. When announcing a round, you better make sure the yield you’ll get for recruiting is worth it. Otherwise you’re doing it for your ego.

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