NextView Platform Strategy and Principles

Small Business & Entrepreneurship

nextview-ventures
  • How do we best help founders and their teams during the seed stage? Strategy + Principles V4.6 PLATFORM
  • About this deck: •  This was originally an internal document created to guide our platform strategy (with far worse design). •  We’re sharing publicly for transparency and accountability, but also to keep up the momentum behind supporting founders and startup teams in the tech world. Our industry only benefits. •  This is intentionally aspirational. Some of it is already happening. Some of it is happening but needs work. Some of it has yet to happen.
  • About this deck: PS: We are – high conviction, hands-on seed investors (we invest in tech in the US, like to lead, and have offices in Boston & NYC) •  This was originally an internal document created to guide our platform strategy (with far worse design). •  We’re sharing publicly for transparency and accountability, but also to keep up the momentum behind supporting founders and startup teams in the tech world. Our industry only benefits. •  This is intentionally aspirational. Some of it is already happening. Some of it is happening but needs work. Some of it has yet to happen. http://nextviewventures.com
  • So…what’s “platform” at a VC, anyway?
  • It’s been called many things: Value-Add. Support. Services. Community. So…what’s “platform” at a VC, anyway?
  • It’s been called many things: Value-Add. Support. Services. Community. And it comes in many forms: Content. Intros. Advice. Workshops. Networks. Apps. So…what’s “platform” at a VC, anyway?
  • But when we asked founders for their input, they told us loud & clear:
  • Quote via Max Goldman, co-founder & CEO of Directr (Directr is a NextView company recently acquired by Google) “It’s all about tactical help delivered in timely ways.” But when we asked founders for their input, they told us loud & clear:
  • So why should NextView, as a seed fund, dedicate resources to building a platform of support? Here’s what we believe…
  • Later stage firms are ill-equipped to support the needs of seed-stage companies and largely focus support elsewhere. Meanwhile, industry blogs perpetuate shortcut culture and (false) silver bullets, while much of the tech media idolizes (untrue) overnight success stories. But in reality?
  • Later stage firms are ill-equipped to support the needs of seed-stage companies and largely focus support elsewhere. Meanwhile, industry blogs perpetuate shortcut culture and (false) silver bullets, while much of the tech media idolizes (untrue) overnight success stories. But in reality? It’s a grind.
  • Later stage firms are ill-equipped to support the needs of seed-stage companies and largely focus support elsewhere. Meanwhile, industry blogs perpetuate shortcut culture and (false) silver bullets, while much of the tech media idolizes (untrue) overnight success stories. But in reality? It’s a grind. The seed stage is hard. It’s uncertain and unclear. So what can we do? Help startups gain initial traction.
  • Later stage firms are ill-equipped to support the needs of seed-stage companies and largely focus support elsewhere. Meanwhile, industry blogs perpetuate shortcut culture and (false) silver bullets, while much of the tech media idolizes (untrue) overnight success stories. But in reality? It’s a grind. The seed stage is hard. It’s uncertain and unclear. So what can we do? Help startups gain initial traction.
  • Later stage firms are ill-equipped to support the needs of seed-stage companies and largely focus support elsewhere. Meanwhile, industry blogs perpetuate shortcut culture and (false) silver bullets, while much of the tech media idolizes (untrue) overnight success stories. But in reality? It’s a grind. The seed stage is hard. It’s uncertain and unclear. So what can we do? Help startups gain initial traction. This is our platform’s sole focus, and as seed investors, it shouldn’t feel new. Our capital, advice, and networks have always done this. Platform is a logical extension.
  • Note: early traction is about more than just growth or user acquisition. At the seed stage, startups go from 0 to 1 in lots of things:
  • Hiring your early team . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Setting initial team goals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Finding your first lawyer or PR firm . . . . . . . . Raising Series A . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Managing board meetings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Designing new products . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Leading effective management teams . . . . . . . Vetting technical talent . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Gaining traction in anything important . . . . . . Traction Needed: NextView Initiative: Talent Exchange OKRs for Startups Workshop   Annual Service Provider List Shared VC CRM, Pitch Reviews   Deck Templates, Checklists   Product Manager Breakfasts   (Aspirational)   (Aspirational)   Blog, Podcast, Guides Note: early traction is about more than just growth or user acquisition. At the seed stage, startups go from 0 to 1 in lots of things: …and many more http://genuinevc.com/archives/2015/05/05/introducing-the-nextview-talent-exchange-connecting-top-talent-to-startups.html http://nextviewventures.com/blog/boston-startup-service-providers/ http://www.slideshare.net/nextviewvc/board-deck-templates-for-startups http://nextviewventures.com/blog/checklist-entrepreneurs-critical-tasks-after-seed-fundraise/ http://nextviewventures.com/blog bit.ly/nvpodcast http://www.agilevc.com/blog/2014/05/15/introducing-growth-guides-practical-help-for-the-seed-stage.html
  • Hiring your early team . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Setting initial team goals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Finding your first lawyer or PR firm . . . . . . . . Raising Series A . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Managing board meetings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Designing new products . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Leading effective management teams . . . . . . . Vetting technical talent . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Gaining traction in anything important . . . . . . Traction Needed: NextView Initiative: …and many more Talent Exchange OKRs for Startups Workshop   Annual Service Provider List Shared VC CRM, Pitch Reviews   Deck Templates, Checklists   Product Manager Breakfasts   (Aspirational)   (Aspirational)   Blog, Podcast, Guides Note: early traction is about more than just growth or user acquisition. At the seed stage, startups go from 0 to 1 in lots of things: What other challenges should we address? Email us: [email protected] http://genuinevc.com/archives/2015/05/05/introducing-the-nextview-talent-exchange-connecting-top-talent-to-startups.html http://nextviewventures.com/blog/boston-startup-service-providers/ http://www.slideshare.net/nextviewvc/board-deck-templates-for-startups http://nextviewventures.com/blog/checklist-entrepreneurs-critical-tasks-after-seed-fundraise/ http://nextviewventures.com/blog bit.ly/nvpodcast http://www.agilevc.com/blog/2014/05/15/introducing-growth-guides-practical-help-for-the-seed-stage.html mailto:[email protected]
  • So if that’s where we’re trying to go and why, how will we ensure we’re heading in the right direction? We need some guardrails…
  • …which we refuse to cross.
  • for building the 5 Operating principles PLATFORM
  • 1 2 3 4 5 Focus on being great at ONE thing. Behave like an invited guest. Bring a deep bench of experts. Ground all projects in founders’ reality. Aim for usefulness, not reach.
  • 1 Ground all projects in founders’ reality.
  • NextView Platform To make sure our platform actually delivers tactical help in timely ways, we need to be careful about what we let influence our initiatives. For example…
  • NextView Platform Startup Community Needs Market Trends Our Mission Portfolio Needs Strong influences
  • NextView Platform Popular Dialogue Our Internal Expertise Our Investment Strategy Our Network’s Expertise Our Geography Mild influences
  • NextView Platform Should not influence platform Ego Competitors “Going Viral” Our� LPs Press
  • What this means for our platform:
  • What this means for our platform: We need to act like problem solvers, not just investors. And what do great problem solvers in tech do? A ton of customer development. We’re lucky that our business necessitates discussions with our customers every single day. These are now valuable not just to understand companies, trends, and founders but to seek out problems and ways we can solve them.
  • What this means for our platform: We need to act like problem solvers, not just investors. And what do great problem solvers in tech do? A ton of customer development. We’re lucky that our business requires meeting with our customers every single day. These are now vital not only for understanding companies and founders but for understanding problems and ways we can address them.
  • 2 Aim for usefulness, not reach.
  • This is all about out-helping the competition.
  • If we’re unsure about something going viral or generating PR opportunities, but we know it’ll be genuinely useful, we should do it without hesitation! This is all about out-helping the competition.
  • What this means for our platform:
  • What this means for our platform: We should take the Ev Williams approach to innovation: Identify something founders need to do to gain initial traction, and use our platform to remove steps.
  • What this means for our platform: “Here’s the formula if you want to build a billion- dollar internet company: Take a human desire, preferably one that has been around for a really long time…Identify that desire and use modern technology to take out steps.” (Source: Wired) We should take the Ev Williams approach to innovation: Identify something founders need to do to gain initial traction, and use our platform to remove steps.
  • Founder Task: Hire Front-Line Operators Source Vet Connect Hire
  • Source Vet Connect Hire We can remove these steps and save founders time Founder Task: Hire Front-Line Operators
  • Source Vet Connect HireX X X “Finding good operators and managers is quite literally the most important thing to maintain and accelerate our growth. To get hand-picked and hand- delivered talent who are actively searching – and get direct intros to them – makes our process easier.” – Sam Clemens, Co-founder, InsightSquared Founder Task: Hire Front-Line Operators http://bostinno.streetwise.co/2015/05/05/boston-startup-jobs-nextview-ventures-talentexchange/
  • Design Arrange Add Data Present Founder Task: Create a Workable Board Deck
  • Design Arrange Add Data Present We can remove these steps and save founders time Founder Task: Create a Workable Board Deck
  • Design Arrange Add Data PresentX X “You guys are terrific. Most involved VC. Really appreciate it! – Eric Groves, CEO, Alignable Founder Task: Create a Workable Board Deck http://nextviewventures.com/blog/free-startup-board-decks-template/
  • Design Arrange Add Data PresentX X “You guys are terrific. Most involved VC. Really appreciate it! – Eric Groves, CEO, Alignable Founder Task: Create a Workable Board Deck How else should we get involved? Email us: [email protected] http://nextviewventures.com/blog/free-startup-board-decks-template/ mailto:[email protected]
  • Here’s the best part: Truly useful things tend to spread in better ways than when you try to force “thought leadership.” •  200K+ views (and growing) •  Syndicated to TechStars’ CEO list •  Selected by LinkedIn’s editors as a Featured Resource •  Directly affected multiple NextView-led seed rounds http://nextviewventures.com/blog/free-startup-board-decks-template/
  • 3 Focus on being great at ONE thing.
  • We like to say we’re taking a craft brewer approach to venture capital. (more thoughts on that here) Craft brewers are highly focused. They care about being great at one thing. https://www.cbinsights.com/blog/craft-brewer-venture-capital/
  • We like to say we’re taking a craft brewer approach to venture capital. (more thoughts on that here) Craft brewers are highly focused. They care about being great at one thing. As investors, the only and most important thing in the NextView world is seed. As a result… https://www.cbinsights.com/blog/craft-brewer-venture-capital/
  • What this means for our platform:
  • What this means for our platform: We should maintain a similar, singular focus applicable to the seed stage: Helping founders and their teams gain initial traction in anything important to their business right now.
  • What this means for our platform: We should maintain a similar, singular focus applicable to the seed stage: Helping founders and their teams gain initial traction in anything important to their business right now. This is as much about deciding what we WON’T do as what we will. Take blogging as an example…
  • We Should Write… We Shouldn’t Write… Why, how, and when should you hire a COO? What do the best seed VC pitches look like? Why Twitter should hire some friend of ours as CEO. What does Uber’s future look like? Here’s what a startup unicorn CEO says they did right & wrong early on. Here’s what my latest family trip can teach you about startups. http://nextviewventures.com/blog/startup-coo-stephano-kim http://nextviewventures.com/blog/free-startup-pitch-decks-template http://nextviewventures.com/blog/traction-podcast-draftkings-ceo-jason-robins-unicorn-startup/
  • We Should Write… We Shouldn’t Write… Why, how, and when should you hire a COO? What do the best seed VC pitches look like? Why Twitter should hire some friend of ours as CEO. What does Uber’s future look like? Here’s what a startup unicorn CEO says they did right & wrong early on. Here’s what my latest family trip can teach you about startups. This isn’t always easy, and these posts are tempting. (Plus, we really love bragging about our families  J)   http://nextviewventures.com/blog/startup-coo-stephano-kim http://nextviewventures.com/blog/free-startup-pitch-decks-template http://nextviewventures.com/blog/traction-podcast-draftkings-ceo-jason-robins-unicorn-startup/
  • 4 Behave like an invited guest.
  • The way in which entrepreneurs build and fund their startups isn’t changing. It already changed.
  • The way in which entrepreneurs build and fund their startups isn’t changing. It already changed. Our platform needs to live in THIS reality. (All VCs should, too.)
  • In a world where founders launch products by acting like this
  • And move at the speed of this
  • And face options for early funding as numerous as this
  • VCs can’t operate like this… Capital Partners
  • What this means for our platform: We think it should look and feel much more like this…
  • We sit at the entrepreneur’s table. (Not vice versa.)
  • What this means for our platform: All our initiatives should be on-demand, not demanding. This is about serving others on their terms. As VCs, we’ve chosen to be the stage, not the star. We can’t forget that. As a result, we need to be careful about requiring founders’ time. (Events are fun. Getting more tweets is fun. But there are better ways to deliver practical support while also respecting an entrepreneur’s schedule & inbox.)
  • Note to Selves
  • Dear Selves: Note to Selves
  • Dear Selves: Being an “invited guest” doesn’t mean being more liberal with meetings or investments. Just the opposite: If we really want to serve entrepreneurs better, then being a good invited guest means being more focused, strategic, and present in every interaction. Sincerely, Ourselves Note to Selves
  • Dear Selves: Being an “invited guest” doesn’t mean being more liberal with meetings or investments. Just the opposite: If we really want to serve entrepreneurs better, then being a good invited guest means being more focused, strategic, and present in every interaction. Sincerely, Ourselves PS: We think you’re incredibly handsome. Note to Selves
  • 5 Bring a deep bench of experts.
  • Sometimes, we have the domain expertise in-house. nextviewventures.com/blog/should-startups-blog/ nextviewventures.com/blog/vc-meeting-map-what-to-expect-successful-pitch/
  • Sometimes, we have the domain expertise in-house. Sometimes, we can use our position to find and share it. nextviewventures.com/blog/should-startups-blog/ nextviewventures.com/blog/vc-meeting-map-what-to-expect-successful-pitch/ http://nextviewventures.com/blog/boston-product-managers-prioritization-internal-strife/ http://nextviewventures.com/blog/consumer-startup-marketing
  • Sometimes, we have the domain expertise in-house. Sometimes, we can use our position to find and share it. Sometimes, we should simply provide the forum for others to share knowledge and stories. nextviewventures.com/blog/should-startups-blog/ nextviewventures.com/blog/vc-meeting-map-what-to-expect-successful-pitch/ http://nextviewventures.com/blog/boston-product-managers-prioritization-internal-strife/ http://nextviewventures.com/blog/consumer-startup-marketing http://nextviewventures.com/blog/what-bostons-top-consumer-tech-leaders-think-about-bostons-consumer-tech-struggles-bostonb2c-recap/ bit.ly/nvpodcast
  • What this means for our platform:
  • What this means for our platform: As a VC, we have a unique vantage point. We can more easily spot and solve problems across companies. Experts outside our firm must be a major part of that. This can’t just be the NextView team’s thoughts on a blog.
  • What this means for our platform: What NextView Knows What Seed-Stage Founders Will Use What Experts Know
  • What this means for our platform: What NextView Knows What Experts Know What Seed-Stage Founders Will Use Magic
  • 1 2 3 4 5 Focus on being great at ONE thing. Behave like an invited guest. Bring a deep bench of experts. Ground all projects in founders’ reality. Aim for usefulness, not reach. These are our operating principles to create a world-class, genuinely useful platform of resources for startups.
  • 1 2 3 4 5 Focus on being great at ONE thing. Behave like an invited guest. Bring a deep bench of experts. Ground all projects in founders’ reality. Aim for usefulness, not reach. These are our operating principles to create a world-class, genuinely useful platform of resources for startups. However
  • In the tech startup world, there’s no shortage of hand-waving…
  • In the tech startup world, there’s no shortage of hand-waving… People who are “totally crushing it.”
  • We know these are just words on some slides. With this direction in place, it’s now the execution that matters. So let us know how we’re doing: [email protected] mailto:[email protected]
  • We know these are just words on some slides. With this direction in place, it’s now the execution that matters. So let us know how we’re doing: [email protected] And one more thing: mailto:[email protected]
  • “If you’re going through hell, keep going! And maybe bring the NextView platform.” – Winston Churchill We know these are just words on some slides. With this direction in place, it’s now the execution that matters. So let us know how we’re doing: [email protected] And one more thing: mailto:[email protected]
  • “If you’re going through hell, keep going! And maybe bring the NextView platform.” – Winston Churchill (Okay, so we added that last part.) We know these are just words on some slides. With this direction in place, it’s now the execution that matters. So let us know how we’re doing: [email protected] And one more thing: mailto:[email protected]
  • Thank you to the entire NextView portfolio and community, as well as the founders who helped review this deck: Tamiz Ahmed, Matt Brand, Grant Burgess, Patrick Campbell, and Derek Haswell Explore Our Platform Created by: Jay Acunzo, NextView VP of Platform @Jay_zo | linkedin.com/in/jayacunzo http://nextviewventures.com/platform http://twitter.com/jay_zo http://linkedin.com/in/jayacunzo
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  • How do we best help founders and their teams during the seed stage? Strategy + Principles V4.6 PLATFORM
  • About this deck: •  This was originally an internal document created to guide our platform strategy (with far worse design). •  We’re sharing publicly for transparency and accountability, but also to keep up the momentum behind supporting founders and startup teams in the tech world. Our industry only benefits. •  This is intentionally aspirational. Some of it is already happening. Some of it is happening but needs work. Some of it has yet to happen.
  • About this deck: PS: We are – high conviction, hands-on seed investors (we invest in tech in the US, like to lead, and have offices in Boston & NYC) •  This was originally an internal document created to guide our platform strategy (with far worse design). •  We’re sharing publicly for transparency and accountability, but also to keep up the momentum behind supporting founders and startup teams in the tech world. Our industry only benefits. •  This is intentionally aspirational. Some of it is already happening. Some of it is happening but needs work. Some of it has yet to happen. http://nextviewventures.com
  • So…what’s “platform” at a VC, anyway?
  • It’s been called many things: Value-Add. Support. Services. Community. So…what’s “platform” at a VC, anyway?
  • It’s been called many things: Value-Add. Support. Services. Community. And it comes in many forms: Content. Intros. Advice. Workshops. Networks. Apps. So…what’s “platform” at a VC, anyway?
  • But when we asked founders for their input, they told us loud & clear:
  • Quote via Max Goldman, co-founder & CEO of Directr (Directr is a NextView company recently acquired by Google) “It’s all about tactical help delivered in timely ways.” But when we asked founders for their input, they told us loud & clear:
  • So why should NextView, as a seed fund, dedicate resources to building a platform of support? Here’s what we believe…
  • Later stage firms are ill-equipped to support the needs of seed-stage companies and largely focus support elsewhere. Meanwhile, industry blogs perpetuate shortcut culture and (false) silver bullets, while much of the tech media idolizes (untrue) overnight success stories. But in reality?
  • Later stage firms are ill-equipped to support the needs of seed-stage companies and largely focus support elsewhere. Meanwhile, industry blogs perpetuate shortcut culture and (false) silver bullets, while much of the tech media idolizes (untrue) overnight success stories. But in reality? It’s a grind.
  • Later stage firms are ill-equipped to support the needs of seed-stage companies and largely focus support elsewhere. Meanwhile, industry blogs perpetuate shortcut culture and (false) silver bullets, while much of the tech media idolizes (untrue) overnight success stories. But in reality? It’s a grind. The seed stage is hard. It’s uncertain and unclear. So what can we do? Help startups gain initial traction.
  • Later stage firms are ill-equipped to support the needs of seed-stage companies and largely focus support elsewhere. Meanwhile, industry blogs perpetuate shortcut culture and (false) silver bullets, while much of the tech media idolizes (untrue) overnight success stories. But in reality? It’s a grind. The seed stage is hard. It’s uncertain and unclear. So what can we do? Help startups gain initial traction.
  • Later stage firms are ill-equipped to support the needs of seed-stage companies and largely focus support elsewhere. Meanwhile, industry blogs perpetuate shortcut culture and (false) silver bullets, while much of the tech media idolizes (untrue) overnight success stories. But in reality? It’s a grind. The seed stage is hard. It’s uncertain and unclear. So what can we do? Help startups gain initial traction. This is our platform’s sole focus, and as seed investors, it shouldn’t feel new. Our capital, advice, and networks have always done this. Platform is a logical extension.
  • Note: early traction is about more than just growth or user acquisition. At the seed stage, startups go from 0 to 1 in lots of things:
  • Hiring your early team . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Setting initial team goals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Finding your first lawyer or PR firm . . . . . . . . Raising Series A . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Managing board meetings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Designing new products . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Leading effective management teams . . . . . . . Vetting technical talent . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Gaining traction in anything important . . . . . . Traction Needed: NextView Initiative: Talent Exchange OKRs for Startups Workshop   Annual Service Provider List Shared VC CRM, Pitch Reviews   Deck Templates, Checklists   Product Manager Breakfasts   (Aspirational)   (Aspirational)   Blog, Podcast, Guides Note: early traction is about more than just growth or user acquisition. At the seed stage, startups go from 0 to 1 in lots of things: …and many more http://genuinevc.com/archives/2015/05/05/introducing-the-nextview-talent-exchange-connecting-top-talent-to-startups.html http://nextviewventures.com/blog/boston-startup-service-providers/ http://www.slideshare.net/nextviewvc/board-deck-templates-for-startups http://nextviewventures.com/blog/checklist-entrepreneurs-critical-tasks-after-seed-fundraise/ http://nextviewventures.com/blog bit.ly/nvpodcast http://www.agilevc.com/blog/2014/05/15/introducing-growth-guides-practical-help-for-the-seed-stage.html
  • Hiring your early team . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Setting initial team goals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Finding your first lawyer or PR firm . . . . . . . . Raising Series A . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Managing board meetings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Designing new products . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Leading effective management teams . . . . . . . Vetting technical talent . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Gaining traction in anything important . . . . . . Traction Needed: NextView Initiative: …and many more Talent Exchange OKRs for Startups Workshop   Annual Service Provider List Shared VC CRM, Pitch Reviews   Deck Templates, Checklists   Product Manager Breakfasts   (Aspirational)   (Aspirational)   Blog, Podcast, Guides Note: early traction is about more than just growth or user acquisition. At the seed stage, startups go from 0 to 1 in lots of things: What other challenges should we address? Email us: [email protected] http://genuinevc.com/archives/2015/05/05/introducing-the-nextview-talent-exchange-connecting-top-talent-to-startups.html http://nextviewventures.com/blog/boston-startup-service-providers/ http://www.slideshare.net/nextviewvc/board-deck-templates-for-startups http://nextviewventures.com/blog/checklist-entrepreneurs-critical-tasks-after-seed-fundraise/ http://nextviewventures.com/blog bit.ly/nvpodcast http://www.agilevc.com/blog/2014/05/15/introducing-growth-guides-practical-help-for-the-seed-stage.html mailto:[email protected]
  • So if that’s where we’re trying to go and why, how will we ensure we’re heading in the right direction? We need some guardrails…
  • …which we refuse to cross.
  • for building the 5 Operating principles PLATFORM
  • 1 2 3 4 5 Focus on being great at ONE thing. Behave like an invited guest. Bring a deep bench of experts. Ground all projects in founders’ reality. Aim for usefulness, not reach.
  • 1 Ground all projects in founders’ reality.
  • NextView Platform To make sure our platform actually delivers tactical help in timely ways, we need to be careful about what we let influence our initiatives. For example…
  • NextView Platform Startup Community Needs Market Trends Our Mission Portfolio Needs Strong influences
  • NextView Platform Popular Dialogue Our Internal Expertise Our Investment Strategy Our Network’s Expertise Our Geography Mild influences
  • NextView Platform Should not influence platform Ego Competitors “Going Viral” Our� LPs Press
  • What this means for our platform:
  • What this means for our platform: We need to act like problem solvers, not just investors. And what do great problem solvers in tech do? A ton of customer development. We’re lucky that our business necessitates discussions with our customers every single day. These are now valuable not just to understand companies, trends, and founders but to seek out problems and ways we can solve them.
  • What this means for our platform: We need to act like problem solvers, not just investors. And what do great problem solvers in tech do? A ton of customer development. We’re lucky that our business requires meeting with our customers every single day. These are now vital not only for understanding companies and founders but for understanding problems and ways we can address them.
  • 2 Aim for usefulness, not reach.
  • This is all about out-helping the competition.
  • If we’re unsure about something going viral or generating PR opportunities, but we know it’ll be genuinely useful, we should do it without hesitation! This is all about out-helping the competition.
  • What this means for our platform:
  • What this means for our platform: We should take the Ev Williams approach to innovation: Identify something founders need to do to gain initial traction, and use our platform to remove steps.
  • What this means for our platform: “Here’s the formula if you want to build a billion- dollar internet company: Take a human desire, preferably one that has been around for a really long time…Identify that desire and use modern technology to take out steps.” (Source: Wired) We should take the Ev Williams approach to innovation: Identify something founders need to do to gain initial traction, and use our platform to remove steps.
  • Founder Task: Hire Front-Line Operators Source Vet Connect Hire
  • Source Vet Connect Hire We can remove these steps and save founders time Founder Task: Hire Front-Line Operators
  • Source Vet Connect HireX X X “Finding good operators and managers is quite literally the most important thing to maintain and accelerate our growth. To get hand-picked and hand- delivered talent who are actively searching – and get direct intros to them – makes our process easier.” – Sam Clemens, Co-founder, InsightSquared Founder Task: Hire Front-Line Operators http://bostinno.streetwise.co/2015/05/05/boston-startup-jobs-nextview-ventures-talentexchange/
  • Design Arrange Add Data Present Founder Task: Create a Workable Board Deck
  • Design Arrange Add Data Present We can remove these steps and save founders time Founder Task: Create a Workable Board Deck
  • Design Arrange Add Data PresentX X “You guys are terrific. Most involved VC. Really appreciate it! – Eric Groves, CEO, Alignable Founder Task: Create a Workable Board Deck http://nextviewventures.com/blog/free-startup-board-decks-template/
  • Design Arrange Add Data PresentX X “You guys are terrific. Most involved VC. Really appreciate it! – Eric Groves, CEO, Alignable Founder Task: Create a Workable Board Deck How else should we get involved? Email us: [email protected] http://nextviewventures.com/blog/free-startup-board-decks-template/ mailto:[email protected]
  • Here’s the best part: Truly useful things tend to spread in better ways than when you try to force “thought leadership.” •  200K+ views (and growing) •  Syndicated to TechStars’ CEO list •  Selected by LinkedIn’s editors as a Featured Resource •  Directly affected multiple NextView-led seed rounds http://nextviewventures.com/blog/free-startup-board-decks-template/
  • 3 Focus on being great at ONE thing.
  • We like to say we’re taking a craft brewer approach to venture capital. (more thoughts on that here) Craft brewers are highly focused. They care about being great at one thing. https://www.cbinsights.com/blog/craft-brewer-venture-capital/
  • We like to say we’re taking a craft brewer approach to venture capital. (more thoughts on that here) Craft brewers are highly focused. They care about being great at one thing. As investors, the only and most important thing in the NextView world is seed. As a result… https://www.cbinsights.com/blog/craft-brewer-venture-capital/
  • What this means for our platform:
  • What this means for our platform: We should maintain a similar, singular focus applicable to the seed stage: Helping founders and their teams gain initial traction in anything important to their business right now.
  • What this means for our platform: We should maintain a similar, singular focus applicable to the seed stage: Helping founders and their teams gain initial traction in anything important to their business right now. This is as much about deciding what we WON’T do as what we will. Take blogging as an example…
  • We Should Write… We Shouldn’t Write… Why, how, and when should you hire a COO? What do the best seed VC pitches look like? Why Twitter should hire some friend of ours as CEO. What does Uber’s future look like? Here’s what a startup unicorn CEO says they did right & wrong early on. Here’s what my latest family trip can teach you about startups. http://nextviewventures.com/blog/startup-coo-stephano-kim http://nextviewventures.com/blog/free-startup-pitch-decks-template http://nextviewventures.com/blog/traction-podcast-draftkings-ceo-jason-robins-unicorn-startup/
  • We Should Write… We Shouldn’t Write… Why, how, and when should you hire a COO? What do the best seed VC pitches look like? Why Twitter should hire some friend of ours as CEO. What does Uber’s future look like? Here’s what a startup unicorn CEO says they did right & wrong early on. Here’s what my latest family trip can teach you about startups. This isn’t always easy, and these posts are tempting. (Plus, we really love bragging about our families  J)   http://nextviewventures.com/blog/startup-coo-stephano-kim http://nextviewventures.com/blog/free-startup-pitch-decks-template http://nextviewventures.com/blog/traction-podcast-draftkings-ceo-jason-robins-unicorn-startup/
  • 4 Behave like an invited guest.
  • The way in which entrepreneurs build and fund their startups isn’t changing. It already changed.
  • The way in which entrepreneurs build and fund their startups isn’t changing. It already changed. Our platform needs to live in THIS reality. (All VCs should, too.)
  • In a world where founders launch products by acting like this
  • And move at the speed of this
  • And face options for early funding as numerous as this
  • VCs can’t operate like this… Capital Partners
  • What this means for our platform: We think it should look and feel much more like this…
  • We sit at the entrepreneur’s table. (Not vice versa.)
  • What this means for our platform: All our initiatives should be on-demand, not demanding. This is about serving others on their terms. As VCs, we’ve chosen to be the stage, not the star. We can’t forget that. As a result, we need to be careful about requiring founders’ time. (Events are fun. Getting more tweets is fun. But there are better ways to deliver practical support while also respecting an entrepreneur’s schedule & inbox.)
  • Note to Selves
  • Dear Selves: Note to Selves
  • Dear Selves: Being an “invited guest” doesn’t mean being more liberal with meetings or investments. Just the opposite: If we really want to serve entrepreneurs better, then being a good invited guest means being more focused, strategic, and present in every interaction. Sincerely, Ourselves Note to Selves
  • Dear Selves: Being an “invited guest” doesn’t mean being more liberal with meetings or investments. Just the opposite: If we really want to serve entrepreneurs better, then being a good invited guest means being more focused, strategic, and present in every interaction. Sincerely, Ourselves PS: We think you’re incredibly handsome. Note to Selves
  • 5 Bring a deep bench of experts.
  • Sometimes, we have the domain expertise in-house. nextviewventures.com/blog/should-startups-blog/ nextviewventures.com/blog/vc-meeting-map-what-to-expect-successful-pitch/
  • Sometimes, we have the domain expertise in-house. Sometimes, we can use our position to find and share it. nextviewventures.com/blog/should-startups-blog/ nextviewventures.com/blog/vc-meeting-map-what-to-expect-successful-pitch/ http://nextviewventures.com/blog/boston-product-managers-prioritization-internal-strife/ http://nextviewventures.com/blog/consumer-startup-marketing
  • Sometimes, we have the domain expertise in-house. Sometimes, we can use our position to find and share it. Sometimes, we should simply provide the forum for others to share knowledge and stories. nextviewventures.com/blog/should-startups-blog/ nextviewventures.com/blog/vc-meeting-map-what-to-expect-successful-pitch/ http://nextviewventures.com/blog/boston-product-managers-prioritization-internal-strife/ http://nextviewventures.com/blog/consumer-startup-marketing http://nextviewventures.com/blog/what-bostons-top-consumer-tech-leaders-think-about-bostons-consumer-tech-struggles-bostonb2c-recap/ bit.ly/nvpodcast
  • What this means for our platform:
  • What this means for our platform: As a VC, we have a unique vantage point. We can more easily spot and solve problems across companies. Experts outside our firm must be a major part of that. This can’t just be the NextView team’s thoughts on a blog.
  • What this means for our platform: What NextView Knows What Seed-Stage Founders Will Use What Experts Know
  • What this means for our platform: What NextView Knows What Experts Know What Seed-Stage Founders Will Use Magic
  • 1 2 3 4 5 Focus on being great at ONE thing. Behave like an invited guest. Bring a deep bench of experts. Ground all projects in founders’ reality. Aim for usefulness, not reach. These are our operating principles to create a world-class, genuinely useful platform of resources for startups.
  • 1 2 3 4 5 Focus on being great at ONE thing. Behave like an invited guest. Bring a deep bench of experts. Ground all projects in founders’ reality. Aim for usefulness, not reach. These are our operating principles to create a world-class, genuinely useful platform of resources for startups. However
  • In the tech startup world, there’s no shortage of hand-waving…
  • In the tech startup world, there’s no shortage of hand-waving… People who are “totally crushing it.”
  • We know these are just words on some slides. With this direction in place, it’s now the execution that matters. So let us know how we’re doing: [email protected] mailto:[email protected]
  • We know these are just words on some slides. With this direction in place, it’s now the execution that matters. So let us know how we’re doing: [email protected] And one more thing: mailto:[email protected]
  • “If you’re going through hell, keep going! And maybe bring the NextView platform.” – Winston Churchill We know these are just words on some slides. With this direction in place, it’s now the execution that matters. So let us know how we’re doing: [email protected] And one more thing: mailto:[email protected]
  • “If you’re going through hell, keep going! And maybe bring the NextView platform.” – Winston Churchill (Okay, so we added that last part.) We know these are just words on some slides. With this direction in place, it’s now the execution that matters. So let us know how we’re doing: [email protected] And one more thing: mailto:[email protected]
  • Thank you to the entire NextView portfolio and community, as well as the founders who helped review this deck: Tamiz Ahmed, Matt Brand, Grant Burgess, Patrick Campbell, and Derek Haswell Explore Our Platform Created by: Jay Acunzo, NextView VP of Platform @Jay_zo | linkedin.com/in/jayacunzo http://nextviewventures.com/platform http://twitter.com/jay_zo http://linkedin.com/in/jayacunzo
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