Suhail Doshi

Suhail Doshi quotes on investment

Founder MightyApp + Mixpanel. Pizzatarian, programmer, & music maker.

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1

FanDuel raised $416M at a $1.3B valuation & got acquired for $465M. The founders will get nothing after nearly 10 years--can't really beat pref stack. Maybe they took something off the table but still a farcry from the goal. Let this be a reminder: raise what your company needs.

2

My algorithm to pick investors: 1. Do they listen? 2. Have they gone to great lengths w/ other founders? 3. Are they an expert at something you suck at? 4. Did they make you think differently? 5. Did they respect your time? 6. Do they make you dream bigger? 7. Are they kind?

3

My algorithm for deciding how much to raise was simple: - $225000 fully loaded cost per hire (SF) - times 6 people (max # I'll need for now) - times 2 years of runway (time I need to succeed) - times 1.3x for a buffer (because I'll get something wrong) Raise just what you need.

4

My favorite question to ask investors at the end of a pitch is: "What do you suspect the reason we will fail will be?" Benefits: (1) You get *some* feedback (don't be defensive) (2) You can learn if they know something you don't (3) Counter-interview - are they smart too?

5

If you’re an investor & want to make a mark on founders that will make them remember you (positively) forever: help them manage their psychology. Bring them up when they’re down, bring them back to the ground when they’re too high. That’s what I remember mine for the most.

6

After you raise your 1st round of funding, your job as CEO will mostly encompass: (1) interviewing candidates, (2) 1:1s to keep the peace, & (3) looking at spreadsheets to guide strategy. Don't forget that you'll need to intentionally carve out space for what you're great at too.

7

Beware of investors who confidently tell you that your idea is unlikely to succeed because of 10 year old empirical observation. Old data is bad data too. Disruptive but previously impossible ideas are worth revisiting.

8

How to be a good VC to your founders: (1) Get out of their way & give them space. (2) When they need you, be available asap. (3) Make intros to people who are experts at what they aren't experts at. (4) Don't be overconfident just because you've seen it 100 times. Be patient.

9

If a VC hands you $12M on $100M post plus a $2M in cash to buy your common, don't hate the player, hate the game. Focus on your craft instead focusing your energy on what others got that you don't.

10

Founders: when shit hits the fan as the co hits zero do not: - Lie to investors about metrics & kick the can down the road - Make your employees scramble for a job with a 2 week insolvency notice - Make everything seem great Please do the right thing. Everyone will remember.

11

If you're raising money & everyone is passing on you. Just remember: (1) it happens to most ppl - find a support network, (2) you may need to go in cockroach mode, (3) consider raising less $ to survive, (4) seek angels vs est. funds, (5) C-class VCs are scared & it'll be harder.

12

Investor meetings are 5x more efficient through video for founders: (1) No commute to the meeting (2) Easy to demo product (3) Get right back to work in flow (4) Easy to show any materials based on flow of conversation (5) Work while you wait vs sitting in a lobby

13

The best way to know whether an investor is a great one is to reference portfolio companies when they fell off. When times are good, you're the bell of the ball. But when times are tough, you'll discover their true colors--there are few who will stick out with you till the end.

14

When investor demand is high, most founders choose to raise more money at a higher valuation with the same % dilution. You could raise less money (just what you need) at a lower valuation w/ less dilution. Then you have a lower pref stack + easier time growing into your valuation

15

One downside of raising a lot of money pre-launch is it's incredibly easy to tell yourself you're not ready to launch for a litany of product deficiencies while burning cash until it's too late. When you have little money, you often have to launch to get traction to get money.

16

Levers to stretch your runway to 18 months: - Raise a bit more money (flat valuation) - Cut costs (payroll/opex/servers/etc) - Increase gross margin - Call on your debt if you have a line - Lockdown annual deals - Optimize every funnel All models should plan for severe outcomes

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