"Yes, we know that no clients have converted to the paid version, but we don't think an acquirer will be focusing on those kind of metrics. We're preparing to file some patents, and that should get Google's interest."
Love this, what a hoot! Land and Expand turns to Crash and Burn.... super "fun" article with a twist of lime/reality :-)
Ex-boss to potential customer, of course we support that feature while demoing a website that was all static code, no code-behind pages, no logic etc while im standing there signing no, no, NO, NO!!!!!!!
Laughed out loud at #9. Thanks!
I am an entrepreneur but do not have vc's. Even so, I enjoyed the post and reading various experiences. When I read (speed-read) the beginning of this post I saw the beginning of item 4 as "bag lunch' instead of "big launch' and just wanted to share that.
They won't tell the VC that they feel a deal is closed, when the prospect says "yes", even if they haven't received a dime of money from them -- since they can still draw on the VC's money. Yet the VC wants the money in the bank, not a promisory note....which often never is 'made good on'.
Thanks! I needed a good laugh today!
Very funny, and so so true - especially #5.
Last one is the ultimate !!
Now I know why they have a quiet period before an IPO! Bet yours is way out there! Ha!
Fun read! I enjoyed that one. 'LAND AND EXPAND BABY!'
Excellent! Now if only board meetings could non-scalable, non-replicating and yet auto-healing :)
"...but we've been doing a lot of landing and not a lot of expanding" Hillarious!!!!! I think I am actually going to use it on our next board meeting :)
This is excellent and perfect timing! Every day is like drinking from a fire hydrant...so it is nice to laugh once in a while. Thanks Darmesh - I look forward to your posts.
Thanks for the laughts today! I needed this does of reality!
Been there done that...reminds of my early days when it was fun and exciting living through a start-up. Nice blog.
This Entrepreneur needed your LOL article today. Just perfect. Thanks!!
Sadly, some of us have seen founders/ceos really 'spinning' the facts to the investors...and sadly, some investors do believe the 'spin' and never ask the tough questions...
Love the horizontally scalable, self-replicating and auto-healing solution. Can I get one of those on mobile.
I can get anything to look like it works using PowerPoint animation.
No, that's not popcorn you hear in the background, it's just one of our suppliers that is a little irate about not having been paid yet ...
I would love to see a follow up: "Things VCs never confess to Entrepreneurs".
"We think we have found a better VC or investor." The speed of light will appear to be in slow motion compared to how fast that gets around the VC/Investor community.
I loved the post.
It would be funny if it wasn't so true and so sad. Too many entrepreneurs think techie talk will get them through when fundamentals are all that really matter.
Amusing, all except for the negative reference to EC-2.
you know that horizontally scalable, self-replicating, auto-healing architecture that Net Flick moved to when they couldn't keep up with their expansion.
Great list. Need to start a list of things management teams say, but should not: 1) These financials are conservative. 2) We're not going to make money on this one, it's the next one that we're after 3) We are about to close a BIG DEAL (6 times)....
Reminds me of a time when my daughter was young and did something that I did not approve. I lectured her for about five minutes and she sat there and dutifully listened to me. When I was finished, she looked at me and said: "What's the point dad"?
Loved your list! #14 is funny but true!
At first board meeting: "So, what do you guys want to talk about?"
Another great post. Laughed at them all (painful recognition!). We have worked with lots of startups as a PR/social media firm and often been asked about payment in equity. One potential client referenced "Deluded Equity." I told him that all equity investment in startups is deluded. I don't think he got the joke. I also don't think he knew how to spell diluted.
"I just figured out that I'm really good at raising money but I suck at creating and selling a product."
All true, but I am embarrassed to admit that #3, ("participating preferred"), really struck home. 8).
And..."Those 5 patents we said we had? Well they are really only applications and...um...only cover a portion of our product."
My favorite one: 8. Learned from tech guy yesterday that our entire back-end runs on a single “virtual” Amazon EC2 instance. Also learned that “virtual” means that it can virtually disappear whenever it wants. That's why the engineering team has been working for months on this horizontally scalable, self-replicating, auto-healing architecture so that when we start getting some paid customers, we'll be ready.
Very well said Dharmesh!
"You know those numbers we presented showing 30% EBIDTA at year 5?; We meant 3%"
Did the Oracle Sales Excutive actually sell something during those 10 years? or just "trained" the sales team all that time?
"Wait, you thought that year 1 begin immediately after funding. Hahaha. No, we actually had an extra 6-month ramp-up built it, so year 1 numbers actually don't kick-in until month 18. Sorry for the confusion. "
18. "Now, can you use your connections to help us get into SXSW? We think it'd be a great place to relaunch..."
Thanks for a laugh today! Love #8...
19. Wait, you really believed those financial projections we showed in our funding deck?
This is amazingly well done. Next, please do the VC >> LP dialogue.
Very enjoyable article ... I became a subscriber becasue of it!
Great article. I had to take a break from my busy day to read this and it was well worth it.
Thanks for the kind words, everyone. Glad you enjoyed the article -- it was fun to write.
And, for the record, I'm a big fan of Amazon's EC2 service. No disparagement intended.
Very nicely put facts:) especially things like..."first acquisition offer" & "horizontally scalable, self-replicating, auto-healing architecture.....is awesome.
Thanks a big dose of laugh this morning.
Nice to read, good sense of humor, but give some practical guidelines?
I really enjoyed most the points throughly.
A good one from onstartups, after a very loooong time....
Good one Dharmesh , nice combination of learning with fun.
It's a great read and lauged on a number of them. May I add #20: Competition? I have been in a few but mostly downhill mogul races.
Excellent, convinced me that I need to keep calling meetings until I get to the bottom of why things are not getting done
This should be nailed in every , not only startup company's wall, but also in big corp's hq's walls. Period.
Thanks Dharmesh, a big deal coming in - someone wants to buy our domain name:)
Thanks, but you did let a few things on to the other side! Investors will ask have more questions now.
Beyond excellent! Which in itself could be considered a disguise for a "never confess". This is truly funny and on the mark many times over.
Good read! Thanks for taking the time to write.
Good one, I have heard a fair share of these. Once upon a time, I probably said a few of these too :) ha
Were you at my last board meeting?
Very funny Dharmesh - I laughed out loud at pretty much everyone and although there are the crazy ups & downs of a startup - would any of us really trade the excitement and the satisfaction of building & starting a company for the regular corporate world? I've worked for some very large organizations and wouldn't trade the startup tech world for anything (well....maybe just maybe I'd trade it for that giant buyout offer)
We are 15 years in. Finally hit Year 3 EBITDA forecast. We are very happy to finally hit a target.
"2. We had our management team meeting yesterday and we've concluded that we're kind of screwed."
you lost me with this tripe. Post something meritworthy, instead of suckage like this, eh.
My favorite was #10, I worked for him.
It's so curious that there are is so much more said with the things that are NOT said out loud. Honesty goes a long way people.
Over the past 12 years as a start-up consultant, I have learned to listen for what isn't being told to me is often more important then what they tell me. Enjoyed this post.
I just sent this to a VC I know. Wonder if he's laughing as hard as I did. What a hoot!!
Way too big for my small startups. Maybe that is why I never got too far off the ground.
Don't forget the "hardened, secure, server farm" is really two servers in a poorly ventilated closet back at HQ (incubator space) with a single point of failure low-bandwidth (e.g. cheap) internet connection.
Thank you for the funny post!!! It made my day.
The 2nd one is one of the most hilarious ones. Great stuff.
OK, so I had my first outloud laugh of the day with this list. I can add a subset from being a tech writer in the engineering dept, documenting the bleeding edge (snort!)
Good post, I remember working for a startup once where some VC's were visiting and considering investing. They liked the number of orders we could show, but even though management knew 82% of purchases were returned, I don't think this info was shared with the potential investors.
yeah it nice and also make you to rethink
I love how you can nail the 'statement' (that could kill us) with a lilt of humour. Class yet again Dharmesh!
Crazily funny and it's completely real 'gas' that can kill you by laughter !
<Customers provide revenue, employees want cash>, <11 months of cash left>,
<No M&A talk but wants to work together, paid for lunch :-)>,
<the really big idea that makes your investment rationale pale !>
My entrepreneur genes just got a new lease of life after reading this !
Don't forget to sprinkle liberally with: 24/7, mission critical and best in breed for best results. Great article
Ah, yes - nothing like the old days when fuckedcompany.com was considered "free press"
Nice article, humorous, precise, like a lemonade. I actually took time off to read it. It is a good piece to read. All the best.