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Treat your Angels Right

Before joining Matrix, I’ve had some experience with seed investors – I had a dozen or so of them at Betfair (Flutter), my first company, and then made a number of investments myself when my entrepreneurial investments began to bear fruit. The following advice comes out of my experience, and while I was not terrible at it, I can’t claim I did this perfectly as a founder – you learn from what you do wrong as well as right. Read More

On Selling Companies and the Startup Ecosystem Virtuous Cycle

I attended a panel last night nominally on the topic of whether the local startup ecosystem was best seen as the M&A feeding grounds of big west coast technology companies. Because it was an interesting group of panelists, we wandered a bit and never really dug into the core question of whether this is true and what its implications might be for the overall technology industry in Cambridge and Boston. Having been Twitter taunted by Scott Kirsner to come prepared for a fight, I was disappointed we mostly avoided the topic. Read More

Startup Killer: the Cost of Customer Acquisition

In the many thousands of articles advising entrepreneurs on what they have to focus on to build successful startups, much has been written about three key factors: team, product and market, with particular focus on the importance of product/market fit. Failure to get product/market fit right is very likely the number 1 cause of startup failure. However in all these articles, I have not seen any discussion about what I believe is the second biggest cause of startup failure: the cost of acquiring customers turns out to be higher than expected, and exceeds the ability to monetize those customers. Read More