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Five Questions You Must Answer Today   Richard Rosenblatt   Startonomics La 2009
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Five Questions You Must Answer Today Richard Rosenblatt Startonomics La 2009

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  • One of the things I really enjoy is spending time with other entrepreneurs talking about start-up life. And because of some of the high profile success I’ve had with deals like iMall and MySpace – I get a approached by a lot of entrepreneurs looking for advice. At the moment, I am currently teaching a course on New Media at UCLA with Peter Gruber – and this is another place that these kinds of questions come up. But today I decided to turn the tables a bit – and ask you guys the questions. These are questions that I haven’t always had good answers for in previous start-ups, but in retrospectiturn out to be more important than just about anything else that determines start-up success.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Five Questions You Must Answer Today Richard Rosenblatt CEO and Founder Demand Media
    • 2. Q1.) Why Are You Doing This ?
    • 3. A. Because I am in love with this idea What does this kind of passion look like ?
    • 4. I’m passionate about lots of things…
      • Elements I focus on:
      • Consumer products that are made possible by the Internet
      • Models that leverage and exploit the network effect
      • Media models that can be reinvented
      • Opportunity to work with amazingly smart people
      • Ability to make money for my investors, teams, and friends
      None of these are why I like to start companies
    • 5. My passion is Self-Publishing 1994 2003 2007
    • 6. Q2.) Do you have the best crew?
    • 7. Your Crew is Bigger than You Think Founders Executive Staff Board of Directors Service Providers Investors Functional Staff Advisory Board Don’t settle on any of these groups; pick the best
    • 8. Q3.) Who Will You Take Money From ?
    • 9. Anyone
    • 10. It Really Pays To Think This Through Savings Account Friends & Family Angels Strategic Partner Early Stage VC Later Stage VC Private Equity Venture Debt Distinguishing Characteristics Compatibility Sector experience Temperament Explicit Value Fund position
    • 11. Q4.) What is Plan B for Your Company?
    • 12. Things Rarely Go According to Plan Many start-ups have to run a broken play
    • 13. Program in “Optionality”
      • Know “what else” this could become
      • Always be testing alternative things
        • Business models; segments; product offerings
      • Let passionate staffers pursue their pet ideas
      • Good place to use partners
      • Killing these off is OK too…
    • 14. Q5.) What Outcome Do You Want ?
    • 15. A.) The right one
      • King of my hill.
      • Colbeck
      • HillClimb Media ($10mm)
      • $300k bootstrap
      Get what the market gives you. Panos Pluck ($70mm) $17m VC raise Go big or go home. Rosenblatt Demand Media (Outcome TBD) $355m PE raise
    • 16. Many Factors Will Play A Role in the Answer
      • Timing
      • Size of the idea
      • Financial partners
      • Quality of the team
      • Stamina
      • Your spouse
      Be honest – and organize accordingly
    • 17. Let’s Review the Test
      • Why are you doing this?
      • Do you have the best crew?
      • Who would you take money from?
      • What is Plan B for your company?
      • What outcome do you want?

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