10 Immutable Truths of Entrepreneurship (Updated Keynote)


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These are UPDATED slides from a keynote I delivered on January 20, 2011 at GameOn Finance in Toronto. Enjoy!

For an questions, please feel free to contact me on Twitter - @margaretwallace

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  • Some Partners & IP, Past & Present
  • Raised Money
  • Understanding the motivations and psychology of everyone you encounter as an entrepreneur.
  • 10 Immutable Truths of Entrepreneurship (Updated Keynote)

    1. 10 Immutable Truths <br />of Entrepreneurship<br />Margaret Wallace, CEO, Playmatics<br />Twitter: @MargaretWallace<br />
    2. About Me<br />Entrepreneur<br />Adviser<br />Inventor<br />Margaret Wallace, CEO, Playmatics<br />Twitter: @MargaretWallace<br />Tech, Media, Gaming Focus<br />
    3. About<br />Playmatics<br />A company that creates highly engaging games, media, user experiences and applications on the Internet, as part of social media networks, and on a variety of connected platforms. <br />
    4. Start-UpFunding Options(I’ve done them all!)<br />
    5. Funding Options<br />
    6. Funding Options<br />
    7. Funding Options<br />
    8. Funding Options<br />
    9. $<br />Raised $3.5 million in VC<br />Copyright 2010. Margaret Wallace. Please Attribute Proper Credit if You Use These Slides<br />
    10. Different Considerations<br />Lessons Learned<br />Sharpened Focus<br />Takeaway: Experience is the Best Teacher.<br />
    11. #1. <br />Know Yourself<br />
    12. What is your tolerance for risk?<br />Is your business a lifestyle?<br />What are the likely exit scenarios?<br />Takeaway: <br />Don’t Chase After The Money, Go Inside and Find Out What Makes You “Tick.”<br />
    13. #2. <br />Develop a keen <br />sense of others.<br />
    14. Gamify It!<br />
    15. “User” Motivations<br />Relationship Management<br />Not Fixed in Time<br />
    16. Example: <br />Raising Venture Capital<br />
    17. How VCs Rate Your Chances of Success<br />Break-Out Success<br />Break-Even<br />#FAIL<br />Takeaway: VC & Start-Up Goals Are Not Always in Alignment.<br />
    18. “To the VC, 3x [exit] and a dead startup are essentially the same given the way they calculate their batting averages. At this point you have a problem.”<br />Hillel Cooperman, Jackson Fish Market, Web startup in Seattle.<br />
    19. Strength of Idea<br />Market Size<br />Strength of Team<br />Competition<br />Takeaway: VCs are all about managing risk. The more risk you remove, the more comfort they have with you.<br />
    20. But it’s not that easy….<br />
    21. “The Unspoken Language of Pitching Game”<br />Good,Bad, Indifferent? *<br />Instructions: I give you a few scenarios and you tell me if that’s good, bad or indifferent.<br />* Based on Personal Experiences.<br />
    22. The Unspoken Language of Pitching Game<br />Scenario: <br />First-time pitching this VC firm. <br />You are incredibly detailed and on-point. <br />You Leave No Stone Unturned.<br />Good,Bad, Indifferent?<br />(Bad!)<br />
    23. The Unspoken Language of Pitching Game<br />Scenario: <br />Recently Made a Lot of Investments in Your Space<br />Good,Bad, Indifferent?<br />(Indifferent) *<br />* Can Be A Bad Sign <br />
    24. The Unspoken Language of Pitching Game<br />Scenario: <br />First meeting with Partners. <br />They offer you water and copious treats. <br />Good,Bad, Indifferent?<br />(Bad!)<br />
    25. The Unspoken Language of Pitching Game<br />Scenario:<br />First meeting<br />All the Partners are in the Room<br />Meeting Lasts 1 hour<br />Everyone Checking Their Blackberries/iPhone<br />Mid-way through – start joking about girls in bikinis. <br />Good,Bad, Indifferent?<br />(Good!)<br />
    26. The Unspoken Language of Pitching Game<br />Scenario: <br />An Associate of the VC Firm Calls You because they are impressed with your business and want to learn more. <br />Good,Bad, Indifferent?<br />(Bad!)* <br />* Or KOD (Kiss of Death)<br />
    27. The Unspoken Language of Pitching Game<br />Scenario: <br />Second Follow-Up Meeting: <br />Person You’re Scheduled With Can’t Make it – Meeting with an Associate or Different Partner. <br />Good,Bad, Indifferent?<br />(Bad)!<br />
    28. The Unspoken Language of Pitching Game<br />Scenario:<br />First meeting<br />All the Partners are in the Room<br />Meeting Lasts 2 hours<br />Agree with Everything You Say<br />Good,Bad, Indifferent?<br />(Indifferent)<br />* Was Bad for Us<br />
    29. The Unspoken Language of Pitching Game<br />Scenario:<br />First meeting with a Partner<br />Talking About Industry Gossip<br />Meeting Lasts 1 hour.<br />Good,Bad, Indifferent?<br />(Bad!)<br />
    30. #3. <br />Understand the Impact of Funding Choices<br />
    31. Funding Type Comparison<br />Takeaway: The Roadmap for a VC-Funded Company Will Generally Be More Accelerated. <br />
    32. Market Size & Competition<br />Takeaway: VCs Will Want To See You’ve Thought Through Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats (SWOT).<br />
    33. Growth & Staffing<br />Takeaway: Structure your staffing plan to reflect your investment approach. <br />
    34. #4. <br />Know Your Weaknesses<br />
    35. #5. <br />Hire Superstars<br />
    36. Staffing = Magical Alchemy<br />
    37. #6. <br />Nothing is Constant But Change<br />
    38. #7. <br />Know When to Pivot<br />
    39. #8. <br />You Only Have Yourself to Blame<br />
    40. #9. <br />Accept Failure Swiftly & Gracefully<br />
    41. #10<br />The “Truth” is Not Out There.<br />
    42. “My” Immutable Truths<br />
    43. “My” Immutable Truths<br />When to Raise?<br />
    44. “My” Immutable Truths<br />How Much to Raise?<br />
    45. “My” Immutable Truths<br />When do you have the most negotiating power?<br />
    46. “My” Immutable Truths<br />Choose your Investor (or VC firm) carefully.<br />
    47. “My” Immutable Truths<br />Choose your individual VC carefully.<br />
    48. “My” Immutable Truths<br />VCs: Traditionally Not <br />Founder-Friendly<br />
    49. “My” Immutable Truths<br />Choose your attorney carefully.<br />
    50. “My” Immutable Truths<br />Guard Board Composition with your Life!<br />
    51. “My” Immutable Truths<br />What do you say when you are asked about valuation?<br />
    52. “My” Immutable Truths<br />Options and Option Pool<br />
    53. “My” Immutable Truths<br />Summer – everything shuts down.<br />
    54. “My” Immutable Truths<br />Know when it’s time to go.<br />
    55. Questions?<br />Margaret Wallace<br />margaret@playmatics.com<br />@margaretwallace<br />