Company Cadence (or How to Move Quickly Without Losing Control)

Content from True University focused on company cadence and scaling operational excellence at startups.

Luke Kanies at Puppet Labs discusses the lessons learned scaling the company over the past three years.

Robin Abrams discusses “Moving Faster Than the Speeding Bullet” based on her experience as an executive across scaling startups.

Lastly, Dave Kashen discussing Startup Leadership and how culture scales over time

Building the Sales and Marketing Machine (Inside Sales 2.0)

Some of the best content from True University focused on building the marketing and sales engine for an enterprise software business.

First, Dave Ewart (VP of Marketing at Loggly) talking about lead generation and funnel management.

Second, Kenny Van Zant (Asana) discussing the Golden Motion (taking leads from marketing to sales)

Third, Lars Nilsson (VP Field Sales at Cloudera) talking about how to structure and sale an inside sales team.

Sharing Content from True University

Each year, we host an event from employees of True-backed companies called True University.

The idea is to bring together leaders from across the portfolio in sales, marketing, product, and engineering for two days to share best practices and learn from each other anchored around content from top practitioners in the market

Its content we often share within the portfolio, but recently opened up the videos for anyone to access.   Over the next few weeks, I’ll share some of my favorite videos from the last three years.

If you want to jump ahead on your own, all the content is public at


Sharing Notes on Bitcoin and the Crypto Currency Market

Though we haven’t invested in the space yet, we’ve been actively tracking Bitcoin (and the broader crypto currency market) since late 2012 when Automattic (on became one of the first large merchants to accept bitcoin and kicked off an internal discussion on the technology.

Below I’ve included our first market landscape document (which was written in the beginning of 2013) and an update written earlier this year (2014)

If you’re interested in the space, would love any feedback on our thesis below or to chat about what you’re working on.

Continue reading Sharing Notes on Bitcoin and the Crypto Currency Market

Lessons from Michael Ovitz’s Interview with Marc Andreessen

AllThingsD recently shared a video from 2010 of Marc Andreeseen interviewing Michael Ovitz about the Founding of CAA.

The video offers an incredibly candid look at Michael Ovitz’s background leading up to CAA and the evolution of CAA over time.

I would recommend watching the whole interview – for me, these were the most important takeaways:

Continue reading Lessons from Michael Ovitz’s Interview with Marc Andreessen

PE Ratio (and does it matter?)

TechCrunch featured an opinion piece on food startups by Matt Mireles last week with the core of the argument built around comparing the PE Ratio of a technology stock to Chipotle. You can check out the comments for rebuttal of the analysis, but I wanted to discuss PE Ratios – what it means, how to use it, and does it matter.

Continue reading PE Ratio (and does it matter?)

Notes about the GoPro S-1 (or The Rise of the Lean Hardware Startup)

Some notes about the GoPro S-1 filed earlier today.

In general, this is a great look at one of the first lean hardware companies (which also includes companies like Fitbit, Makerbot, and 3D Robotics) This is an amazing time for experimentation in technology as the cost of starting has dropped so significantly in the past 5 years.

Continue reading Notes about the GoPro S-1 (or The Rise of the Lean Hardware Startup)

Fundraising Tips: Power of Story and Context

On Tuesday, the True team spent the afternoon at the World’s Largest Office Hours, part of the National Venture Capital Association’s VentureScape annual conference. The goal of these office hours was to bring hundreds of venture capitalists and entrepreneurs together in one room for an afternoon of networking, mentoring and idea exchange. As a member of the NVCA and supporters of innovation and entrepreneurship in general, we were extremely happy to participate.

Our team had a series of six meetings with Founders of companies who were seeking our feedback and advice on their business and pitch. As we worked through each session, we began to see a pattern emerging. Specifically, within the first minute of sitting down, the Founder would launch directly into describing the product or show a demo of the product.

In each case, we would slow the Founder down and ask a series of questions designed to provide background and context to the broader story.

Continue reading Fundraising Tips: Power of Story and Context

Fundraising Tips: Some thoughts on slides

Over the past four years at True, I’ve met with over a thousand Founders starting a new business. Of those, we eventually invested in 11.

Across that subset, none used a slide presentation in our initial conversation. Two had notebooks where they sketched out observations. One had a working demo. But for the rest, we just talked.

Continue reading Fundraising Tips: Some thoughts on slides