Monday, February 8, 2016

What It’s Like to Take on Venture Capital Investment

Matt Henderson:

This is fascinating insight into the, I suppose unsurprising, mindset of many venture capital investors. They’re not looking for a profitable business; instead, they’re looking for growth that provides the opportunity for a 100x exit. And their expectation is that you, the founder, will work to achieve that at any cost. And since their investment also brings the expectation of participation and inclusion in the running of the business, any company owner considering taking on investment would be well advised to make sure at the outset that everyone’s on the same page in terms of objectives.

Finally, it’s also worth noting that not all investors in Gimlet shared the mindset of Chris Sacca. We also discover that Marco Arment—of Tumblr, Instapaper and Overcast fame—is also an investor in Gimlet at a participation of $150,000. In interviews with Marco, he encourages Alex to forget about the ambitions of the other investors, focus on what he’s good at, and above all, listen more to his wife!

Julie Bort and Matt Weinberger (via Slashdot, Hacker News):

We’ve been hearing about a lot of drama going on at $2 billion startup GitHub, the hugely important and popular site used by millions of computer programmers where 10 or more executives have departed in recent months.


Its once famous remote-employee culture has been rolled back. Senior managers are no longer allowed to live afar and must report to the office. This was one reason why some senior execs departed or were asked to leave, one person close to the company told us.


Underlying the drama is the fact that GitHub is trying to grow the company’s revenues by landing more big enterprise contracts. And it’s doing a good job of that, several sources — even the disgruntled ones — told us.

That means there’s an effort to hire more enterprise salespeople, with all the suit-and-tie salesforce culture that typically includes. (GitHub employs over 80 sales folks according to LinkedIn.)


Meanwhile, the company’s millions of developer users, many of whom use the site for free or for a small monthly fee, also want GitHub to pay more attention to them. A bunch of active and influential users sent a letter in January called “Dear GitHub” in which they asked for a bunch of product features, too. At least one person told us that this letter alarmed some of the leadership team.

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