De-Risking Your Startup (SaaStr 2017 Talk)

This page contains info on a 15-minute talk I gave at the SaaStr conference called "De-Risking Your Startup."

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Three Mathematical Models for Building a More Valuable Company

"All models are wrong, but some are useful."

- George E. P. Box

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Tit-For-Tat Office Hours with a Seed-Stage VC

For a while now, I've wanted to try holding office hours. I've been a big beneficiary of Silicon Valley's pay-it-forward culture, and I'd love to play a part in maintaining that culture. Winter holidays are a forced vacation for VCs*, so this seems as good a time as any to give office hours a try. The experiment that I want to conduct is "tit-for-tat office hours": each person I meet with can ask me whatever they want for 20 minutes, and then I can ask them to teach me something related to their professional experience for 5 minutes. I've never tried this before, but hopefully it'll be useful and fun for everyone involved.

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How to Use Thought Experiments to De-Risk Your Startup

"In preparing for battle, I have always found that plans are useless but planning is indispensable."

- Dwight D. Eisenhower

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How to De-Risk a Startup

In a previous post, I wrote that startups are collections of risks, and that the best way to make progress on a company (and to get higher valuations from investors) is to address the biggest risks as quickly and thoroughly as possible. But how do you actually mitigate different types of risk? How do you convince yourself that you have product/market fit? How do you persuade investors and employees that you can build a lasting company? How do you demonstrate to early adopters that you're good at building products?

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