Thursday Aug 23, 2012 by Luke Burns - Partner, Ascent Venture Partners
A prime component of being an entrepreneur is sharing your experiences and soliciting advice from those who have been successful.
Which sounds helpful all around, except the advice is all over the map. Having been an entrepreneur, and now a venture partner who sees many presentations from entrepreneurs, it’s amazing how much variability there is in what is supposedly “best.”
One entrepreneur says two founders are optimal. Another says four are optimal.
One says raise as little money as you need to get to the next milestone. Another says raise as much money as the venture capitalists will give you.
The list goes on and on. And through it all, each of these founders is absolutely convinced of the conclusions -- as he or she should be because that was the reality of their experience. I’ve been there. When I looked back on my startup and assessed the things that went right and the many more things that went wrong, I learned a lot.
Maybe part of my hang-up on entrepreneurial advice has to do with the fact that I studied science, where there were clear answers to problems. You can’t definitively determine the optimal number of founders for a company like you can calculate the optimal temperature at which to run a chemical reaction.
So, in the spirit of a long tradition, I offer you this advice about advice:
And if you need still more advice, join us at Ascent Venture Partners’ Enterprise IT Forum in October at the NERD Center in Cambridge, which will focus on cracking the code of selling enterprise IT products to enterprises.
Luke Burns is a
partner at Ascent Venture Partners,
where he works with innovative early stage companies with a focus on mobility,
data analytics and security. You can follow Luke and Ascent Venture Partners (@AscentVP) on Twitter by clicking here.