Food For Founders #56

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Founder Education 

This section is meant to help you grow as a leader, manager, or entrepreneur.

How much info to place in an investor pitch email

I have been following Brett’s work for a few months now and he is not only prolific but an informative writer as well. There is not a lot of fluff in his work and that’s what keeps me coming back. 

We have simplified our investment process, by making it easier for people to apply instead of harder. It helps cut down on emails and on us missing out on really great founders. 

(We also just wanted to declutter our email) 

Not everyone takes the same approach. They prefer for you to send over a pitch email if you aren’t coming in via a warm introduction (we also don’t require those). This piece is a good primer and what not to include. With some investors claiming they evaluated over 2,000 startups in 2019, you only have a few seconds to capture their attention. 

Business Strategy 

This section is designed to help you improve your skills as a strategist and tactician.

Revenue doesn’t equal market fit

I love what Jon writes in the piece. One thing I have seen online (I spend most of the time on Twitter) is that founders will think they’ve hit that elusive product-market fit just because they have revenues/customers. That isn’t necessarily true, albeit a step in the right direction. 

One of the things that have stuck with me is that you know when you have product-market fit, the market will literally be pulling the product out of your hands. The value proposition will be so strong that it’ll feel like your company is breaking. Does that paint a picture or what? 

Now think about what it means to get revenue quickly? It may be that your user acquisition channels are impeccable (which is hard to scale when entering different markets) or it may be that your price point is so low that it’s a no-brainer (see freemium products).

In any case, revenues and traction need a certain kind of velocity before you’ve hit product-market fit. You’ll know it when you see it. 

Mental Snacks

This section was created to introduce ideas that may not related to starting a company, yet is important to your success as a founder.

TaskRabbit founder on pressures of success

Being a founder is hard and it’s incredibly lonely. You are basically trying to convince everyone (friends, family, investors, and customers) that your view of the future is accurate. 

In that pursuit, you will be told “no” so many times that it’ll become music to your ears. You will need to upskill so quickly, that you won’t even recognize yourself in just a few short years. Or if you’re Leah Busque Sullivan, you may develop stress-induced sicknesses that send you to the hospital. 

There is a massive debate over what it takes to build a successful company, do you need to put in hundred-hour weeks, or do you need to forsake everything and become married to your idea. I believe it wholly depends on the company you want to build. Want to serve millions of customers and your rate of learning better be in the top quintile of entrepreneurs, because you will need to learn fast while still executing and creating high-level strategy. 

Just don’t let it get to the point where you are being hospitalized by your stress. That’s when you know you may have taken “it” too far.

Around The Startup Ecosystem

This section was built to update you on important events, opinions, or pieces happening in the world of startups.

Culdesac announces car-free neighborhood

Back when I was performing research on where KnowCap could exist, I found the city of Tempe, AZ. They were on the cusp of something special - you could see it with a quick skim of their annual plans and their plans looking forward. I reached out to their economic department and actually got a meeting (they were not interested in endorsing because it was just an idea then). 

That was the fall of 2018. Fast-forward to winter 2019 and it looks like our guess on the true value of Tempe was on point. It is primed to be a beacon of innovation in the next decade. Culdesac is bringing forth an old-school idea into the modern age, where you intentionally build neighborhoods for walkers and community…not cars. 

They have 8 eight innovation hubs and the Smith Industrial project is likely to be its crown jewel. I am incredibly bullish on Tempe, not just because of its outlook, but how it’s the government is approaching innovation with open arms.