The Anatomy Of A Pass, A Quantitative Analysis On Why A VC Passes, by Jay Jamison, TechCrunch
Ottway Ducard stashed this in VC
And in this industry, whenever the times are exciting, the storylines and hype cycles start spinning up the siren song that startups are easy. If all one did was read top tech blogs, you might think that financings materialized out of nowhere, that valuations were getting bid to crazy levels. And certainly, for some very small number of exceptionally exciting companies, fund-raising happens in a snap. But it’s not the standard. The problem with this siren song is simple. It makes raising money, much less building a company out of nothing, sound easy.
That’s ridonculous. No matter how robust the current market might be, for the vast majority of early stage companies the core reality is that raising money is hard, if not extremely hard. And no matter how hard the fund-raising function is, it pales in comparison to the task of actually building a lasting, impactful company.
// ridonculous :)
Jay is a super classy VC. Great person and seems like a great father as well.
Here's a summary of his findings:
1. Pick a great market.
2. FOCUS ON TRACTION.
That's pretty much it. If you have traction in a great market, you've maximized your chance of getting a term sheet to 1 in 50.
Batten the hatches and buckle up, dealing with the 49 rejections even when those two things are in place is as painful as it can get. In the "startup/hero journey" it's like going 7-8 over and over again.
Rejection is an important part of the process.
It tells you if the entrepreneur is truly committed.
LinkedIn was rejected by all but 2 venture capitalists in its first round: http://pandawhale.com/convo/124/lessons-from-early-linked
I believe Pandora has the record. 348 rejections: http://pandawhale.com/convo/125/how-pandora-survived-rejection-by-300-vcs
Meta-rule: Why VCs say yes or no is less complicated than they tell you, and possibly less complicated than they themselves believe.
1. If you seem formidable and have rapid growth of a sort that seems likely to continue, few VCs will turn you down.
2. If you don't seem formidable, few VCs will fund you.
3. If you seem formidable but don't yet have growth, whether or not you get funded depends on how convincing you are.
Wow. 348. Incredible.
The siren song for entrepreneurs is making their own market. That translates to chasm speak of a new technology in a new market. Those type of companies are 1 in a million, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't stop trying.
Also remember that Jay Jamison's 2% is among the better ratios.
I recall a Greylock article that mentioned that John funded 3 out of 400. That's less than 1%.
Perhaps their mobile-only criteria is a stronger screening filter.
Perhaps he should tell entrepreneurs up front if they're not mobile-only they should not consider Blue Run.
Actually, this article says exactly that. :)
I think Kerosene and a Match is in the Pandora category. I'm not quite at 300+, but I'm sure it's close.
You should count them all up, Greg.
I think if you can break the record it's an opportunity to do some sweet PR.
Kerosene and a Match... interesting concept.. more importantly tho... I MISS PIZZAPORT!!! *sob*
Lol, consider this an open invite to port brewing and lost abbey next time you are around!