What must we do now post-Brexit?

As one technology Founder of many in the UK, a vote to leave the EU was not what we wanted, yet as entrepreneurs our task now is to find opportunity from the situation. If you’re a British national, indeed it is your responsibility.

After a painful post-War slide into depression (both economic and psychological) we have spent most of our own lifetime dragging the country’s economy, from public transport to bad 1980’s restaurant food, back to prosperity. Along with that has come a new sense of pride in what we can achieve and a glimpse of the confidence our forebears had – the leaders of the world’s Industrial Revolution.

The Victorian era championed Great Britain – and British values – while taking an outward looking, global and free-trade approach, albeit one akin to the times of Empire and gunboat diplomacy.

The Opening of the Great Industrial Exhibition of All Nations (London, 1851)

The Opening of the Great Industrial Exhibition of All Nations (London, 1851)

Our obligation now as their modern contemporaries, the leaders of a digital revolution, is to embrace this new challenge. Great Britain must not spin its wheels and risk sliding back in to the woe is us national unconsciousness of before, licking our self-inflicted wounds. We must waste no time in getting on with the job and uniting behind making the best of a bad job, something the British are renowned at doing!

With one of the world’s largest GDPs, we must fight hard to maintain our own confidence, find the positive in a result that none of us asked for. If we don’t we risk leaving our immediate future in the hands of the small-minded few, the baton-up-the-hatches brigade. The older demographic who have voted for this situation, too young to remember the glory of Empire but all too familiar with a bankrupt post-Empire nation and repeated humiliation at the French blocking our entry to the EEC in 1963 and 1967 (a rather ungrateful act for a President we put in power!), they don’t understand the realities of a globally interconnected world in an age of information ubiquity.

Screen Shot 2016-06-24 at 13.53.05

The Remain campaign failed miserably to acknowledge the failings of today’s EU, nor articulate a positive vision for the future. The Brexit campaign focused on the red herring of immigration, taking advantage of the failure of successive UK governments to lead a proper debate or make a proper case, leaving many paranoid and fearful.

We must all now focus our efforts on promoting this opportunity, to drown out the talk of local X with a positive dialogue of how to improve our international position. That means:

  1. Finally tackling immigration head on. We must not allow the xenophobes to dictate policy but coming up with a better process to enable those who can help build our economy in, including progressive Entrepreneur’s VISAs; to know who is coming in and who is not (something an island should find easy!) to give naysayers confidence we have control of our own borders; of embracing true political and war torn refugees.
  2. Be confident even though we don’t feel it. As business owners we know that smoke and mirrors play a part in selling a product or raising investment. Presenting an optimistic but realistic narrative about how we’re changing the future and why someone should invest in our startups. This country is no different. We must continue to attract investment, we must talk a better game than we did in the debate and win the confidence of the international economy.
  3. Think Big. The risk you take in business should be proportional to the reward. We must articulate a vision for Great Britain which is not just positive but worthy of attention. As a startup investor I’m not interested in investing time, emotionally energy and money in companies who are not attempting to transform a market, to dominate their space. We must do the same for this country, and elect leadership who can articulate a goal based upon which decisions can be made, trade deals negotiated and policy crafted. A vision is needed behind which the country can unite.

In short, as a smaller nation than the EU as a whole, and without the shackles of having to compromise to the lowest common denominator, learning to move more quickly on policy and procedure is a prerequisite for our success. Estonia is a country of 1.5m which, with it’s digital mobile voting, digital e-citizenship and disproportionate entrepreneurial impact on the European tech ecosystem, has prove that smaller can indeed mean faster, learner and more successful. Maybe the UK should vote in a Prime Minister who can code, like Toomas Hendrik Ilves?

Anything is possible; no one knows what a renegotiation or a recreation of Great Britain’s relationship with Europe will look like.

One thing is for sure though, as the Liberal majority we’ve failed to quell the misguided rhetoric of the Brexit charlatans. We must not now let them dictate policy going forward and instead we have to dominate the conversation and make it one of opportunity, a chance to do things better, and of open borders to the World.

 

Many #Startups don’t get sales or users because they don’t hustle hard enough

Startups need traction. Startup themselves are defined by their rate of growth. Speed is of the essence. It’s all the more surprising then to often find Founders or founding teams reluctant to sell. By this I mean, sell hard to their customers.

That might be selling a product, that might be simply getting someone to sign up; either way ultimately you’re trying to persuade someone to enter your engagement funnel, whether you charge them at the end of it for a product/service or not.

Startups get frustrated that they don’t get the growth they want. Yet it’s being bold enough to relentlessly push your product or service which will result in “sales” (and remember that sale could just be a sign up).

It’s surprising then when I am often able to sit down to mentor a startup or work with one of my portfolio companies and find that there’s a big list of things which haven’t even been tried – and these are often not onerous or expensive in development terms.

Give me an example?

This isn’t the blog post to provide an exhaustive list of what you can do to engage users en general, but I do want to give one example of what I mean by being relentless and hustling to get people in to your funnel, in this case specifically using a blog post as an example (the same by the way, applies to email newsletters).

I often see startup founders investing in time to write a blog post; but traffic on their blog is often low and the ROI of the time invested unmeasured. Worst still, there are seldom enough (sometimes no!) call to actions. So, what’s good practise? Well you can Google that to find exhaustive articles, but in short make sure:

  • the blog provides value to the reader
  • the blog is appropriate (and the value aligned) to the target audience of your product or service
  • that the blog is not a one-off and that you have in place a system to regularly* deliver that value as part of an ongoing persuasion campaign to on-the-fence potential customers
  • but most importantly that you provide comprehensive call to actions 

 * unlike this blog which has been woefully and sporadically updated!

Just take a look at this example from CBInsights, the tech industry data platform:

Startups publishing blog posts and even web pages often don't optimise for customer engagement and consequently rarely provide a good ROI. This example from CBInsights does.

Startups publishing blog posts and even web pages often don’t optimise for customer engagement and consequently rarely provide a good ROI. This example from CBInsights does. (ignore the blue menu bar half way down, that’s an error from screencapture)

  • items marked in pink are opportunities for readers to share
  • more importantly items in red are calls to action to funnel people into a sales process.

Why does this happen? Often because startups are under focused and under resourced. If you have minimal resources you can only do a few things well. Refocus ruthlessly, not doing ANYTHING which doesn’t move the needle on your sales or growth; then you’ll start having the time to pay attention to the detail of your sales or user engagement funnel, test, measure, interpret and iterate – and your sales/signups will go up. Simple as that.

So, still wondering why your sales (or user signup) pipeline is not working? Take a leaf out of CBInsights book and get selling, relentlessly.

 

How BIG is your vision?

I find a paradoxical problem with many startups.

On the one hand they have this grand vision and don’t understand the baby-steps they need to execute on in order to be able to reach -and deliver on for users- that vision of their shiny idea. You can’t just functionality-build your way to a user base or owning a market, which so many startups (including one or two of my own in the past) have tried to do.

The flip side is that often the vision itself isn’t big enough, or perhaps articulated well, or clearly enough. And this is about big problems and big markets, not necessarily about the specific revenue mechanism.

With this in mind I wonder what vision Uber is selling to its investors. Certainly it got the baby-steps right. i.e. A basic app with flashing read dot, serving a handful of users in San Francisco. Iterating the service -and no doubt discovering how addictive users find it, as I did to my shock horror when I had my first credit card statement in month one of using it- they executed on the next steps to deliver their vision, for sure dominating taxi servers in all major cities across the globe over the coming years. A multi-billion dollar market opportunity.

How is Uber worth $42+ bn?

I wonder though whether they’re selling something even bigger. Google self-drive cars (and others) are poised to revolutionise transportation – and upend society in the process – in a way few people are yet to realise. If I were Travis (aside from making some different decisions around my company culture!) I would be selling the potential to own an individual’s car travel beyond use of taxis in their traditional form but to become the complete and entirely (likely cheaper) replacement to owning a car at all.

Why own a car if they can drive themselves, are serviced by someone else and are precisely everywhere? Automated driving means less traffic jams, better economy for fuel/electricity, not paying a driver, no maintenance headaches. In fact, driving becomes a leisure pursuit almost exclusively, not for travel A to B.

With $4bn+ in funding (and no doubt more to come) that potential blue sky opportunity starts to be a real possibility over the next 10 years.

STOPPRESS 4th Feb 2015: Seems I predicted correctly, since this post was published Uber to open self driving car facility

Selling Blue Sky

Selling that vision to an Angel or Series-A, or even B, would likely never have worked though. You have to get to first, second, third base first. That was Ubers simple want to own the world of taxi’s. With that strategy in full flow, any future share price may well be driven by what once seemed like blue sky thinking.

When you’re selling in your vision, thinking really BIG is important (I don’t invest in any startup which isn’t a potential future $1bn company) just make sure you understand how you’re going to get there.

In the extreme, that means how can your shiny new app be useful and solve a problem for it’s first 10 users, or you’ll never reach critical mass, because that’s the bit most startups -including in the past my own – seem to fall down on.

The answer is babysteps – that’s how Usain Bolt (and Uber) started too.

European Startups, Get Your Pitch Together

A blog post by Andrew J Scott previously published on Techcrunch

I’ve pitched at least 250 investors over the years, mentored hundreds of startups and have plenty of fail behind me. So I feel I know a thing or two about pitching, and European startups are so often really rather bad at it.

Austria, and specifically Vienna, is famous for classical music and Sachetorte more than tech startups, but I’d heard good things about Pioneers Festival and so wearing my early-stage investor hat, I found myself consuming 50 startup pitches at the Haus der Industrie. To give yourselves a better chance of securing funding – and customers – here are 10 suggestions to get right.

1. Problem/Solution Fit

Define what you do; this is the most basic aspect of a pitch. To my ongoing astonishment, this so often gets overlooked or poorly communicated.

According to the interactive event app (which allowed investors to submit questions and vote) at least half of the startup pitches didn’t communicate clearly what they do. Top of the feedback was “I don’t get it.” Often the judges didn’t get it either and had to ask in the Q&A.

Andrewscott

The size of the problem you solve and how well you solve it creates the value in your business. There is simply no excuse for not being able to pitch coherently the problem you solve and how you solve it in one minute let alone three minutes.

A good test is to pitch your Mum (use your team’s family, too). This is a serious suggestion. If your mother understands it then you’ll guarantee tech investors (and your customers) understand what, why and how, too.

2. Speak English Clearly

As a born English speaker whose only second language is French in the form of a pigeon, I feel a tinge of guilt criticising others who don’t get to pitch in their native tongue, but the harsh truth is that unless you can speak clear English as a CEO pitching an international market, you’re going to struggle. I’ve even heard that a Y Combinator representative said that CEOs with “thick unintelligible foreign accents” quite simply fail.

Record yourself and ask a native speaker their honest opinion. Better, record yourself and ask other people for whom English is their second language. Invest in lessons/speech therapy if necessary. And in addition to that…

3. Speak Slowly

As an occasional MC/speaker I certainly still sometimes fall foul of this. Speaking more slowly does not come naturally. It feels odd. But it sounds good. Slower speech will not only help with clarity if you have a strong accent, it will give you more gravitas. There are lots of great resources to help you improve your speaking; this is one of many. If you feel that you’re talking way too slowly, you’re probably speaking about the right speed.

4. The Right Slides

Too many decks continue to be confused, bloated, overly complex or all three. I’d recommend you take Sequoia’s template as a starting point, though some cash / revenue projections may not apply if you’re very early stage. They’ve made a lot of money in this business. If it’s good enough for them, it should be good enough for most investors.

Bear in mind obviously the content will change depending on whether this is a deck to be read, studied closely pre-investment or something you’re presenting in three minutes. Equally, if your presentation is just three minutes you obviously wouldn’t include all these slides; apply common sense.

5. Less Is More: Simple Content

If I’m reading a slide, I’m not listening to you. When I’ve finished reading, I’ll look at you again and start listening again. You have precious seconds to make an impression and you want people to engage with you, the human being on stage, and listen to what you’re saying.

Complicated slides compete for audience attention. Why set yourself up with a competitor? Steve Jobs was possibly the king of scarce slides, using imagery and allegedly never more than three bullet points and usually only a word (or three) each. You may not be launching the new iPhone but you can steal Steve’s tricks to help keep people focused on the important things: What you’re saying.

6. Tell a Story

Humans are emotional animals; yes even investors. With a three minute pitch (as it was at Pioneers) you might think it’s a distraction to tell a story. But don’t forget story telling is the most ancient of modern human’s ways to communicate information, be it cave gossip or religion.

Half your challenge is to engage the audience within the first 5-10 seconds before their heads tip back down to phones and laptops. A snappy authentic story which positions your problem / solution fit can engage and differentiate you. Don’t include fluff (this isn’t bedtime story telling) but providing context and stimulating curiosity in the first 30 seconds, may mean people leave the wifi alone for the remainder of your pitch.

7. Practice!

If you believe Malcom Gladwell then 10,000 hours is the time it takes to become supremely accomplished at anything. That’s not feasible for your pitch obviously, but practicing 10, 20 or 50 times is. With all the cost and time to attend a conference, not to mention the subsequent impact your 1, 3, 5 or 10 minute pitch will have on an audience, practice really will help make perfect.

So many founders I know don’t properly practice their pitches for specific events which often have specific pitch lengths. So practice; rinse, wash, repeat. It will really pay off.

8. Pause

Before you begin, take a few seconds to pause. There’s more about this in the book I recommended above. Gaining composure and asserting yourself on the stage is vital and you can afford five seconds to avoid the impression of a manic hyena, before you launch into your winning pitch.

9. Answer questions quickly

The Q&A session is a great time to show your mettle. Perhaps surprisingly, this is closely linked to practice. If you’ve not pitched “friendly” investors, your team, your family or others, you won’t be used to answering the tough questions.

Get to the point when answering the question and if cornered (e.g. because an investor asks your valuation or you don’t know the answer) know in advance what you’re going to say, even if it’s “I’m happy to discuss that afterwards off stage.”

Even if you’re a seasoned pitch artist for your startup, sit down and write the 10 questions you’d hate to be asked. They’re probably exactly the ones you’ll get.

10. Hire a Coach

You can hire a coach or get a mentor or another entrepreneur to help you shape your deck, but you can also hire a coach to help you with your presentation skills.

Given how important a snappy delivery with absolute clarity in a startup world of elevator pitches is, paying for a day or two of presentation coaching (assuming you hire someone good) could make all the difference the next time you’re onstage, and it’s something startup founders rarely seem to see value in doing.

Don’t forget, even the most populous leaders in our world do this – from Presidents to Prime Ministers – they all have coaches or have been coached.

In Conclusion

There are many more tips and tricks you can employ (and far better speakers or teachers than I out there who can give them) but reviewing the performance of the 50 startups Pioneers, these thoughts were the elephants in the room, which, as startup founders, you need to take outside the zoo and aggressively cull from your startup pitches.

It’s worth adding that conference teams themselves can sometimes be guilty of compounding problems. If you’re a conference organizer, these are my top three gripes as an attendee watching pitches or having been a founder having to pitch:

Bad MC. It continues to amaze me how poor so many hosts are at tech conferences and I find myself wondering why they were chosen. Despite “only” introducing each startup, the MC sets the whole tone of an event – they define the energy in the room. They should be able to connect with an audience, gain the audience respect and carry the audience with them if there are problems and keep things on time gracefully.

Being an MC is hard. I know, I’ve done it and I can always improve. So pick your MC carefully, ask them how they will prepare, ask them what’s important about being an MC, get recommendations and don’t consider it an afterthought – they will make or break the perception of your event.

Poor AV or presentation transition. You have plenty of time to test and practice rapidly changing pitch decks and to confirm that your sound system works. Don’t make a founder’s job even harder when they’re already wracked with nerves by fiddling around with PowerPoint/Keynote problems.

Poor acoustics. You’re presumably paying an AV company to run your sound system. If you’re in the pitch room and speech isn’t clear, it’s their job to fix it. Or, don’t pick a room with naturally awful acoustics for voice. Somewhere which is good for chamber music, may not necessarily be good for startup pitches.

Epilogue: The Audience

I’d like to end on a note to the audience at these events.

We Europeans are a hard crowd to please and there’s nothing worse than being an MC or a founder speaking to an audience of unengaged stones. So next time you’re asked to welcome someone on stage, give them a truly energized round of applause or hey, laugh at the MC’s joke even if it’s not going to win him an Emmy Award… Just a little bit of enthusiasm, even if feigned, goes a long way.

The Great Startup Famine of 2015

Starting (if you’ll excuse the pun) with bad weather in the Spring of 1315, universal crop failures struck Europe creating what became know as The Great Famine. It lasted through 1316 and well into 1317 from Russia and Great Britain all the way down to Southern Italy.

Angels Bootcamp has just announced that it is to train over 1,000 new angel investors by 2015 starting this June in Berlin. We should all cheer the announcement of Angels Bootcamp, which aims to do what it says on the tin:

AngelsBootcamp is targeted at executives, entrepreneurs and finance professionals who have money in the bank to put into tech startups but who lack the knowledge about exactly what an angel investor should do.” (as TNW reports)

But Berlin, we have a problem.

While I heartily support anything which will accelerate Europe’s entrepreneurs (especially if it helps consolidate London’s position as Europe’s leading tech startup hub) where is the money going to come from so that all these newly invested startups can continue after their first $250,000 or $500,000 of investment?

It’s a metaphorical stretch, but there’s no point encouraging people to start a large family, if they won’t be able to feed themselves!

Europe and even London, Europe’s foremost tech cluster, already has a funding gap for adolescent startups. In actual fact, so does New York’s tech cluster.

“New York and London have more than 70 percent less risk capital available than Silicon Valley for Startups in the early, Pre-Product pre-Market Fit” Stages of the Startup Lifecycle.”  Startup Genome Report

And moreover even at the end of the rainbow, in the home of funding-food and plenty Silicon Valley, startups are experiencing an issue with follow on funding. Check out the graphs below, tracking the number of seed deals versus Series-A for U.S. startups: (courtesy Techcrunch, read the full article here)

 Capturegraph Capturevc2

“The “crunch” is perceived because of the boom in seed funding, which has brought a greater quantity of startups to the table looking for Series A funding…” (from the article Mining The Crunch)

Europe must find a way not to end up with a worse funding famine that of Silicon Valley now, which is that hundreds of startups funded by Xoogler’s and X-Facebooker’s are going bust -or becoming startup zombies– because they are either not worthy of further funding or because the market cannot sustain so many startups.

At a macro level, many of the much larger funds – the grandfathers of the tech VC in the U.S. and Europe – don’t perceive a problem. Possibly because they invest later stage and have extremely large funds (so are somewhat detached from the mass of earlier stage startups) or perhaps because those famous names get the very top pick of deals.

I was lucky enough to get Felda Hardymon from BVP on my panel at the recent Innotech Summit, along with Steve Schlenker from DN, plus others from Silicon Valley and L.A. to discuss this very topic (we even managed to co-opt Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London).

Boris gets to grips with a transatlantic Google Hangout

Boris gets to grips with a transatlantic Google Hangout

Perhaps not surprisingly (given that Felda has been at BVP since 1981 a full 16 years before I did my first startup) I agreed with almost every word Felda said. All of which was extremely insightful except that there isn’t a funding gap for startups in Europe.

There’s not a lack of capital for sure, but capital which people are prepared to risk at that critical, very high risk, very early stage of the startup life cycle? For sure there’s a dearth.

Perhaps the Series-A problem is that the whole approach to funding at that stage of a startups lifecycle needs to change, as one or two people I spoke to afterwards suggested.

After all, seed funding and angel funding has evolved immensely even in the last 5 years. But until that mid-stage funding environment does change, or until we teach our startups how to make a whole lot of revenue very very early on, it means that we need to educate our new European Angels not to make un-fundworthy investment decisions(!).

At the same time as a community we must find ways to open up the $1m to $4m investment bracket to more startups, by lobbying those with capital and the government for favourable incentives, alongside championing the value of technology startups both to society as a whole and as a vehicle for investment.

Venture investment (realistically, Series-A and above) create jobs. Fact. As crusades go, that's a good a reason as any. (Read Nic Brisbournes full post)

Venture investment (realistically, Series-A and above) create jobs. Fact. As crusades go, that’s a good a reason as any. (Read Nic Brisbournes full post on his excellent blog, which is where I stole this graph from)

In summary, Angel Bootcamp will go head and I wish it every success, but something needs to happen in the Series A world too, and there is much less chatter about solutions for this, or even talk of the problem, unless of course you’re a Founder trying to raise a Series-A round in Europe, and then you talk of nothing else..!

Europe did not fully recover until 1322 from the Great Famine of 1315, and while medieval starvation on a grotesque scale is more a human tragedy than any future mass deadpooling of startups, however severe, we should ask what can be done to ensure the tens of thousands of potential European jobs and startup Founder’s dreams, are not wasted away for lack of follow-on funding or Series A.

While supply and demand and market forces are one answer, I’m not sure a pure Friedman-esque approach to this growing problem is the only solution we should rely on.

Co-CEO’s: The Bubonic Plague of the Board Room

..or Why I Believe co-CEO’s Are A Bad Idea.

Not so long ago I was invited to take a CEO position at an 18 month old start-up. There was a small team of seven, only three full time. The business guy in the team was one of the part timers and had also invested some money, but chosen to retain his existing position at a large corporate with a full time job and salary.

The two initial meetings, with one of the Founders who was the real day to day engine behind the business, went well. She was eager to bring in a CEO, part time or full time, to help put in a solid strategy – including raising money – and to hire new team members and ensure milestones were being hit, financials kept up to date, people managed etc; all the usual jobs of any CEO.

But when it came to negotiating terms the other part-time co-Founder I mentioned sprung on me a two character prefix to my title which meant I walked away from the deal. He wanted to add “co” to my CEO title. I was pretty surprised as he’d said previously he was happy bringing in an external person to be CEO and run the business.

There are a raft of reasons why I believe having co-CEO’s in your start-up is a thoroughly dreadful idea. Even if you’re both co-Founders of the business.  Reason number one is because it doesn’t work.

At least with a pantomime horse the front is in charge (unless the back disagrees of course). Enough said.

At least with a pantomime horse the front is in charge (unless the back disagrees of course). Enough said.

Quite simply co-CEO arrangements in my experience don’t work, or don’t work as well a different structure. This conclusion is both from being in situations myself where CEO responsibilities were split between two people (even if the actual official title wasn’t) and also from seeing some others trying to run their company’s this way. Having Co-CEO’s creates its own set of problems, outside of the challenges inherent in being a CEO.

Here are some of the problems (and please feel free to add your own in the comments!):

  • Someone has to have the final decision, because people do not always agree.
  • Legally, someone must be responsible to report to the board of directors
  • Someone must “own” the over-arching business strategy and the milestones on it.
  • Logistically, if you have co-CEOs, in reality for both people to be equally well informed they must both attend every meeting which might impact any significant business decision a CEO might make OR one co-CEO must relay and discuss all this with the other co-CEO, to convince them it’s a good idea and bring them up to speed
  • If you have co-CEOs the team do not know who their boss really is
  • If you have co-CEOs there is always the risk of the team or the board or investors playing the CEO’s off against each other
  • If you can’t sort out with your team and co-founder who is going to be CEO and what that means, how on earth are you going to sort out other problems
  • If one personal isn’t responsible, it’s not really fair to measure them entirely for not performing the role
  • There’s a danger you can both re-enforce your own errors of judgement, making those miscalculations or oversights further entrenched
  • Measuring performance becomes harder. If CEO responsibilities are split, or the CEO isn’t driving forward the things they should be, someone needs to call it out. Another co-founder, a Board Director, shareholder, the team. That’s harder with co-CEO’s and there is one less person who could be devil’s advocate.
  • If makes it harder for both people to perform well. If two people are sharing the co-CEO spot (even as a shadow CEO rather than named title) then it’s all too easy for things to end up dropped on the floor, between the two people – who most like are both very well meaning souls who want success for the company as much as anyone.
  • And my personal favourite, if you have co-CEOs it simply looks stupid. Investors and the outside world will probably think “why not just get one competent person to be CEO, rather than two who individually are not?”

Indecision, confusion, mixed messages and an increase in communication workload are the last things you want in a start-up or any business, and I feel co-CEOship encourages just that.

In summary, avoid being a co-CEO or working in a start-up which has them. And don’t take my word for it just look how well it worked for Blackberry.

What Is Most Important To A VC When Investing?

What weight to different factors have in a Venture Capitalists decision to invest in your start-up company?

New research suggests the following:

30.4% – Potential Return

27% – Founders’ Experience

26.4% – Market Readiness

6.6% – Regulatory Exposure

6.4% – Social Connection with Founders

3.2% – Lead investor

…best get networking perhaps; but the potential return is still the most important, so practice your sales skills at the same time.

Above all? Make sure you’re going for a big market and have your numbers in a row to prove the zillions you’re going to make out of it.

Ironically, other data demonstrates pretty clearly that VC’s should not invest in Founders who have had a successful exit before. In fact statistically, they are less likely to provide the investor a return, than someone who has not had a big exit before.