The Power of “In Person” – Why Distributed Teams are Less Effective

Posted on Jul 5, 2010 | 86 comments


In the era of Skype, web conferencing tools and collaboration software conventional wisdom says that distributed startup teams can be just as effective as those that are in person.

Conventional wisdom is wrong.  Or more precisely the people espousing the benefits of distributed startups teams are often distributed and therefore self rationalizing it.  Been there.

The reality is that a certain magic that happens when you’re in person is critical in a startup.  You attend five customer meetings together over a two-week period and after each meeting you replay the results in the office about what it meant.  The CEO weighs in with his perspectives, the head of product management disputes his conclusions and the marketing VP has a different take.

We spend hours of seemingly “wasted” time just in these informal chats simply shooting the shit.  With all the recent obsessions about “pivots” most people don’t realize that the more powerful pivots are the unnoticeable ones we make every day through these exchanges.  The conversations bleed into the sales messages the next time, they wend their way into software designs and form the plan of attach against competition.

These incremental adjustments are made between people who see each other daily and are so below the surface of even our consciousness that distributed teams can’t see what they’re missing.  In a world where 90% of communications is non-verbal imagine what is lost on conference calls.

And from all the office chatter come norms and beliefs.  The sales rep that brings back news from the front line that is shared with the office adds to our collective knowledge about customer needs, product design flaws or partnership opportunities.  And that rep doesn’t just send an email to his boss – he has coffee with the head of customer service.  He downs cold ones with the head of biz dev.  He gossips with the office manager who tells 3 software developers.

And it doesn’t stop there.  The best companies are built on common beliefs and culture – a common sense of purpose.  Those cultural normals are established through human connections: the night we all stayed late to get that release out the door, the day we celebrated our funding round or the day we landed our first big account.  The culture is forged through office parties, poker, paintball or film nights.  And slowly, over the years, those crazy stories about Danny passed out in the company bathroom after the Summer party get replaced by weddings, births and family picnics.  We become more than dispassionate colleagues – we’ve been in the trenches together and survived.

I’ve seen it go full cycle.  There is a core that exists in human connectedness that no amount of technology can replace.  Just watch companies that grow rapidly in even a single physical address and start to span multiple floors and you’ll know what I mean. The culture starts to change and companies need to work harder to keep up the physical connections – even within the same building.

I’m not arguing that 100% of a team need to be in a single location although that would be ideal.  Here are my personal biases:

1. CEO, VP Products and CTO must all be in the physical location. If they’re not I won’t fund.  Because the formation of a business is so dependent on “product / market fit” these are the critical roles for me.  Also, founders who pitch me when they themselves live in separate locations don’t get very far with me.  I’ve heard the line a million times, “one of us will move after we’re funded.”  I know, I know.  But if your business is super important to you then have the hard discussion up front and one of you should consider moving.

2. I don’t like distributed development teams in early stage businesses. This is a topic that comes up often in Los Angeles because many CEOs are tempted to hire their tech teams in the Bay Area.  I think this splits up critical resources and builds separate cultures in two locations.  I often advise these CEOs to make the tough choices early in the company’s history – either move up North or build your tech team in LA.  There are pluses and minus for both cases.  Yes, I know some Herculean CEO’s that commute every week and make everything alright.  But I still believe that they would be better off whole.

3. I prefer the first sales hires to be in the home office. I understand the need to have geographic coverage.  If you’re a West Coast company you need people on the East Coast.  If you’re a UK company you’ll eventually need some local sales talent in Germany and France.  When your first few sales reps are in your home office there is a clear tradeoff that you’ll spend more on travel and your sales team will feel like ping-pong balls but I feel this is a better trade off than a sales team that is out of the loop.  As your company develops you’ll obviously need to hire sales talent in multiple locations.

4. I’m fine with key developers being in a remote location. If you have the core of your team together but a few key developers live in Oregon, Ohio or New Mexico and don’t want to move to a big, expensive city I’m fine with that but make it a small minority.  In a perfect world they’d be in your home office but this is one area where I feel remote tools can help bridge gaps.  As long as you have a great product management function and the remote people have established norms of being good independent workers these situations usually work well.  Make sure that you spend the money to have them work in the home office for a few days each quarter.  Even if they feel it gives them some less productive time it will pay huge dividends down the line in human connectedness.

5. What about call centers? It’s true that call centers often employ tons of employees who are often lower cost per person than your development team or other staff members and therefore it’s often effective to have call centers in lower-cost cities away from your home office.  But in the early phases of your company you’re not likely to scale up the call center so until that time comes I’d have them at the home office.

6. What about outsourcing? For me outsourcing in a pure startup is the kiss of death.  I’m against it in almost all situations.  I believe that startup tech companies need to develop a technical DNA and this doesn’t happen when you outsource.  Outsourcing early often happens when you have non-technical founders who don’t know how to get code out the door.  For me one of the tell tale signs of a real entrepreneur is that they know how to network well enough to find technical talent to join them.  If they can’t, I doubt it will become a big, important technical company.

7. What about offshoring? First, many people confuse outsourcing and offshoring.  Outsourcing is when somebody else builds your software.  Offshoring is when you have your own team build it but your own team is located a separate location where wages are significantly cheaper.  This is sometimes done in a cheaper part of your country but is more often done in a developing country rich with technical talent and smart people such as the Ukraine, China, India, Bulgaria and the like.

I prefer that early stage companies not offshore development.  In the world of agile development I believe that rapid output of code and the ability to constantly make changes trumps having a few extra bodies at a cheaper rate.  I’ve lived this directly through both outsourcing and later offshoring parts of our development at my first company and was proven wrong by our chief architect, Ryan Lissack, who argued that at our stage of development we were better off with a smaller, locally-based team.   When you’ve got offshore people you end up needing longer specs and less changes so it begins to feel like waterfall development.

Will I make exceptions?  Yeah, in some cases.  But where I make exceptions I expect the VP Engineering and the Chief Architect to all be located in the home office.  I expect the VP Engineering to be from the same culture and speak the same native tongue as the offshore location.

I have another exception.  There are times where you’re building a non-core piece of software in which you don’t have the in-house skills and likely don’t need them in the short-to-mid-term.  My example is that at my second company we build an exclusively SaaS platform except that we needed to build hooks into some Microsoft Office applications.  We put the spec out on RFP on a contracting site and received bids from skilled people all over the world.  So I’m not opposed to using oDesk in the early stages of your company (to the contrary – I’m a big fan of oDesk).  Just don’t use them early in your startup phase for your core development or for the majority of your coding.

In summary: I know that it’s trendy to espouse the virtues of distributed teams.  I also know that many of you reading this will work for such an organization and may be remote yourself.  I’m not saying your companies can’t / won’t succeed.  I’m just saying that I believe distributed teams for the key management members are suboptimal and less productive in the long run.  If that’s you – acknowledge it and pay attention to what you can do to lessen the inefficiencies and culture drift.

Or better yet – where possible – do something about it.

  • http://twitter.com/wfjackson3 Willis F Jackson III

    The question I have is about work hours. If half of your development team likes to come in at 3pm and stay until 11pm, are you accomplishing any meaningful bonding during those times? Is the benefit substantial enough to be worth it in these very slim margins? I think it probably is, but I want to see what others think as well.

  • http://www.justinherrick.com Justin Herrick

    A great post Mark, and I have to agree with you. Its very interesting to get your point of view on this topic as it has become very popular to do just the opposite. To take your team where they are and work in remote locations.

    I think this is just testament that both options are viable in a startup. Those who advocate remote locations list a decline in distractions and cost, but its hard to replace that human interaction. I personally find face to face interactions invaluable, so I'll be in your camp.

    My personal belief is that remote should come later, if it needs to happen it should be after funding and after your product is off the ground.

  • Paul

    Thanks, Willis – you made the point I was going to make! Tech teams in particular need more “maker time”, not “manager time”, so they will come and go at different hours or sequester themselves into corners with headphones on and not be chatting. It's the nature of the work.

    As a CTO who works remotely for a small company, and has an entire team that works remotely, I can say that Mark has his opinions, but I don't agree with them and have proven that you can do everything that he says you can't with remote teams. The ability to tap into a talent pool is so much more powerful than geographic limitations.

    The Institute for Global Work out of Boston University's School of Management is working with companies on this issue. Remote teams can collaborate and be effective. The future of work is small teams that come and go as needed, not all in one place. I see it happen in large and small companies very successfully.

  • Paul

    That's too bad, because they are quite successful and a model from which a bunch of us build our new companies. What is it you don't agree with?

  • Jim

    Hi Mark,

    I've really enjoyed reading your previous posts. This one really didn't go well actually. I stopped reading the article after the first point. Why do co-founders need to be in one location prior to funding? The reason is because my co-founders don't have a solid financial footing so they have to stay where they are at to get odd jobs to keep them afloat. My co-founders code day and night, seven days a week so dedication is not the issue in my case. I guess, if we were to go to you for funding, you'd reject us. I can understand you rejecting us for not having customers or revenue. However we have paying customers and our product solves huge problems. From my perspective, I think we were successful in getting our company off the ground. We are in the process of looking for funding to take the company to the next level.

    I thought all we had to answer were three questions 1) do you have customers? 2) do you revenue? 3) does your solution solve a huge problem? 4) is the market big? 5) can you scale? 6) is your technology defensible….etc.

    You shouldn't punish companies because the co-founders aren't in one location. That is an over reaching request. Think of the early days when you started your company and needed to make that credit card bill or food for the family. times haven't changed. as a matter of fact, they have gotten worse.

    i guess VCs are a necessary evil. this is evil.

  • Sam

    “Whoever owns the product needs to be available to the software engineers. Unless you're the worlds best spec writer, there's too much room for improvisation and the biggest time-sink is having your small team of coders going in the wrong direction for any amount of cycles.”

    Bingo. I learned this the hard way. I am my company's VP Product and I'm writing this in an office in India right now, working side-by-side with our (local) VP Engineering and an off-shored team (by the way Mark, thanks for making that distinction between outsourced and offshored — often American tech. people think we have “outsourced” our development; this is not the case, our VP Engineering is a good friend of mine who is brilliant, American-educated and happens to live in India (his family is here and visas aren't so easy!). Our dev. team of 4 here is directed and managed by him.

    I own the product and initially I had been working at a distance with our development team — daily conference calls, constant IMs, etc. But after the first month, we realized it just wasn't the same as instant in-person availability. So we quickly decided that in-person was a must.

    I came to India and have been here 2 months now. Almost done, and things have progressed much more efficiently.

    And yes, I can't wait for the day where we can all be in the same office together (*cough Startup Visa cough*). We're doing the best we can in the meantime.

  • http://twitter.com/WORKetc Dan Barnett

    For the first time ever I've had a customer make contact to not talk about our product, but to send me a link to this post. And then a few hours, another email. You see, our customers are passionate business owners who run large and small distributed teams.

    I can see where Mark is coming from, but I also know that 99% of our customers who run distributed teams are successful. I know this because the customers increasing the number of users on their account each month far, far outweigh customers decreasing their seat count.

    The fundamental issue that a lot of people have missed (although a few here have picked up on) is that Mark is talking about well-funded start-ups that aim to become very big businesses. The next Facebook or the next Google.

    But, for most business owners and most feet-on-the-ground start-ups, “big” sits on a very different scale. A million dollar turnover inside of 12 months is big. A ten million dollar turnover inside of 5 years absolutely huge. Hell, just being in business and paying the bills next month can be a big deal.

  • bernardlunn

    I heard Jason Fried talk at Web 2.0 in NYC in 2008 and he told the story about when they decided that they were a “grown-up” company and needed to be in one office productivity plummeted. I guess they figured that out eventually. But my experience with a lot of start up teams is that almost all truly exceptional products are built by “teams” of one or two (or very occasionally 3) people. Two superb developers who know each other really well can work remotely. But usually that is not needed. It is the assumption of larger teams at the early stage that totally conflicts with the experience.

    This thread seems to be mostly about coding, but there is a much bigger perspective. I am currently interviewing companies that I call Micro-Multinationals that operate globally from the get go to learn what are the tools, techniques and management best practices that make this work. I will be publishing this soon on SmallBizTrends. One finding already is that the jet plane is the critical complement to the online tool – lots of bonding sessions. Another is that being global from the get go enables closeness to market and with all due respect to America that market is no longer simply America.

    I do think it is “different strokes for different folks”. Some people find they cannot manage remote teams or work in one. Others love it.

  • http://www.JamesSiminoff.com Siminoff

    Mark as you might know SimulScribe/Phonetag was a fully distributed company from Day 1. We never had a office and everyone lived in different places around the country. Looking back I think your points are valid and that we would have been more successful if the core team was together for at least the first phase of building the company.

    I like distributing people as you cut out office politics and wasted time with everyone bullshitting with each other. But when it comes to the core team in a company that has to be highly nimble being together is very important.

  • Paul

    You are right, Bernard – it really is about personal preference and leadership capability. There are those of us that can and will continue to work remotely as we build companies but bringing together the best talent to work on a solution. I also agree that you *have* to have in-person meetings on a regular basis.

    In fact, having scheduled in-person meetings is more effective than the everyday personal contact because you know that you must work on the tough issues that need you to be in one place and won't waste time.

    As for the “water cooler” time, I do a lot of that with my team through voice chats and quick conference calls. Whether it is checking on the status of a team member's child who had to get stitches the night before (we learned that through Facebook) or the latest news about the company – we cover it all.

  • bernardlunn

    Mark, bigger than WordPress? They are pretty big! 37 Signals maybe smaller but they made it without external funding. What about Slideshare? Some companies can make this work. Some cannot. I totally see that it does not work for you and therefore you don't like investing in companies that work this way. But what I am seeing in my research on micro-multinationals is that this is how a lot of companies are getting to sustainable profits by bootstrapping.

  • http://fleckman.tumblr.com Peter Fleckenstein

    Mark, good post. I do believe that you're actually making a case for distributed teams though. You're post suggests that as long as certain members of the company are together then distributed teams are ok and work quite well. That's been my experience as well across several industries. Thanks again.

  • http://blog.teamly.com/about Scott Allison

    It's probably not impossible for the C level /founders to be distributed but for that to work the guys probably have to know each other well from a previous, lengthy, shared experience. (e.g. college). Otherwise I think communication is going to get really messy when things start getting touch (which they always do in a start-up).

    In our case at Teamly, even though it's increased our costs, my co-founder and I have both relocated to be together in London. It's just completely different conversing face-to-face than it is by email or any other technological solution.

    Yes, the technology is great – but business is still, and always will be fundamentally about relationships.

  • inboulder

    “I’m just saying that I believe distributed teams for the key management members are suboptimal and less productive in the long run. “

    Teams without personal assistants, daily massages, and free 5 star food, are also 'suboptimal and less productive in the long run.' Getting everyone in the same place can be prohibitively expensive or just impossible lifestyle wise in the early going, your assessment doesn't seem to address that.

  • garydpdx

    Peter, I would agree with your observation on an implied degree of distribution in Mark's piece, when he lists the 'exceptions'. In the end, I believe that the possibilities are a continuum and highly dependent on the personalities involved (e.g., 37Signals, WordPress). I was recently part of a startup-like project in a medium-sized corporation and we had management in the EU and developers in the Middle East. Barely half of the program was at the 'home' site, everyone from 'abroad' spent rotations at HQ. I felt that time was valuable and because I was on the road so much, for business as well as personal reasons, I was de facto telecommuting half the time. I think that the team members, up and down, need to spend SOME quality time together (especially at the beginning). I believe THAT is the real issue, not the geographic one.

  • http://fleckman.tumblr.com Peter Fleckenstein

    Thanks for the reply Gary. You're spot on: “I think that the team members, up and down, need to spend SOME quality time together (especially at the beginning)”

  • http://twitter.com/johnbelo Joao Belo

    Having spent 1.5yrs working remotely on a startup, I can say I completely agree with every single one of your points.

  • http://www.jasonwolfe.co.uk/ Jason Wolfe

    Your start-up is a place to begin the journey (the clue is in the name). VCs will definitely look at all of those things you listed, but it shouldn't be the only factors. The biggest single factor that most investors look at is “the team”.

    If you subscribe to the model of iteration to success (“lean startup”, etc), then you'll be aware that there's a great chance that your end product/business will be different to what you started with. A single location for the key people that will help that evolution makes the process smoother and faster.

    As for your last point, I would argue that VCs aren't necessary or evil. I would agree that a lot of them aren't terribly useful at all, but that doesn't make them “evil”. Well, maybe some I can think of.

  • joshmaker

    If “90% of communication is non-verbal” then standing in a room without talking for 10 minutes would be exactly as effective at transmitting information as having an hour and a half phone conversation. Try it and see how it works out in real life.

  • PeterisP

    There are quite a few results that are easy to achieve in 5 minutes of face time and impossible to achieve over hours of phone or week of emailing.
    You can exchange facts over skype easily and quickly, but if you need to affect behavior or change a strong opinion, then face-to-face works magic.

  • http://twitter.com/jobzook jobZook

    Agree 100% with this blog post. As a young start-up ourselves it has been incredibly beneficial to have all of the key managers in one physical location. I firmly believe that although technology makes life easier it is also disconnecting us and weakening our ability to successfully interact face to face.

  • http://www.mrmattspangler.com matt spangler

    I agree with much of what is said here, but I think the headline is a bit deceiving. The facts that companies are built on common beliefs/cultures and getting people around a table consistently to discuss the company/product etc are certainly critical.

    That being said, I think the benefit of working with remote teams depends upon where you are in the life-cycle of your startup. I think it actually makes sense to have a remote team in some of the early phase work of a tech development project. It allows you to bring great talent to bear on the project while spending less then you would have to normally. If the main entrepreneurs “running” the company can capably manage remote teams then it can often have good results. From my personal experience I am self funding a start-up with a couple of main team members and remote designers and developers all based on the US. We have had talks with those partners about their interest in joining full time were we to secure funding, but while we are getting our product to Alpha and Beta testing, we have kept our costs down and innovation high while trying to build a product we feel worthy of receiving funding. As you have reiterated in the past, it is always better to try and get something built then attempt to raise money with a presentation and a pitch.

    In our case the remote team serves its purpose: access to great talent that would otherwise require large compensation, so an actual functioning product can communicate the core vision of the founders and give an investor a palpable example of what they are investing in and why.

    I have heard you talk about your belief that entrepreneurs should do it themselves w/o multiple partners and reseed funding to support salaries and taking on multiple partners and without the ability to work remotely I think it is tougher these days to get people

  • http://www.mrmattspangler.com matt spangler

    I agree with much of what is said here, but I think the headline is a bit deceiving. The facts that companies are built on common beliefs/cultures and getting people around a table consistently to discuss the company/product etc are certainly critical…

    …but that being said, I think the benefit of working with remote teams depends upon where you are in the life-cycle of your startup. I think it actually makes sense to have a remote team in some of the early phase work of a technology development project. It allows you to bring great talent to bear on the project while spending less then you would have to normally. If the main entrepreneurs “running” the company can capably manage remote teams and effectively transition to full time teams as they get seed funding, then it can often have good results.

    From my personal experience I am self funding a start-up with a couple of main team members and the majority of our product work is being done by remote designers and developers based around the US. We have had talks with those partners about their interest in joining full time were we to secure funding, but to get our product to Alpha and Beta testing, we have kept our costs down and innovation high by leveraging this model. As you have reiterated in the past, it is always better to try and get something built then attempt to raise money with a presentation and a pitch. Our plan is to build a product we feel worthy of receiving funding prior to seeking investor interest.

    In our case the remote team serves its purpose: access to great talent that would otherwise require large compensation, and the ability to build a functioning product that can communicate the core vision of the founders and give an investor a palpable example of what they are investing in and why.

    I have heard you talk about your belief that entrepreneurs should do it themselves w/o multiple partners. Remote teams help keep the core team small to start w/o the need to pay big salaries or take on multiple equity partners. I think, if done well and with the right transition plan…it can be a highly effective methodology for startups.

  • Ecommerce

    The basic principal of this article are true that communication with humans face to face is better is true. Of course brain waves transmit better with close proximity and all sorts of magic happens you don't see. But to say that you shouldn't fund a start-up with a remote team is like a man saying you as a man shouldn't date young women because they tend to cheat. Or that investors should stop funding Wal-Mart today because all of that crap + the logistics to get it here is foreign . People are going to read this article, take it as Bible Truth and go with it. The startups looking for funding are going to have to find another way, and eventually when the energy shifts to the other side, investors cash will become useless. Especially when everyone starts to look towards no-cost start-up. Then you will have less demand and be sorry you treated those remote-teamed start-ups with such disrespect. This is “Why you should never write 'Why you should never' articles that put an actual living group of people on the 'never' side”. This article should have been a “x Vs x2″ article.

  • Googaah

    As a guy that has done this with teams in a central location and with a “virtual team” I have to say that I don't agree. Maybe if this was the first time I was building a business I would have a different opinion. I think the key element is “team”. You need to find the very best partners to be involved in a business and need to test those theories on both a business and personal level. We have an amazing tool set these days for communication. Pick up the phone, do a video call, collaborate through cloud computing, and get face to face when needed. I am currently in my most exciting venture, I have built a team of like-minded individuals who I trust and whose egos have been checked at the door. It is the best experience I have ever had.

    This is my 8th startup and I have successfully exited 6 others, the 7th is profitable. I have funded most of my company with Angel money vs. professional money so my mindset is may be very different here. If VC’s don’t want to fund my company because we don’t have a central team I am ok with that. We wouldn’t want or take their money if that was the prerequisite.

    This post shows me the extent of how disconnected VC’s are to reality. I respect Mark for his past but he sounds just like every other VC with this post. I think he has completely turned to the darkside.

  • Chris

    I like the story about “Danny” who fell asleep in the company bathroom after the summer party…

    Have the names been changed to protect the innocent?

  • http://twitter.com/KellerII JT Keller

    Mark –

    I completely agree with you, however, I think it's important to consider that in some startup situations it's not a question of the most optimum arrangement, maximizing productivity, or increasing efficiencies…it's a matter of taking that first step (JFDI). It's a zero sum game for some founders. For these founders, their startup is born from a solid idea, tenacity, and the will to create a Phoenix from the ashes. They need an initial team and if limited resources force them into a distributed team situation then so be it. For some founders, creating a $20 million company vs. never creating anything at all is an easy decision. By no means am I saying that this is an ideal strategy/situation. I just believe it's one that some founders face and I can't fault them for embracing the “by any means necessary” ethos. I was fortunate enough to assemble a great team that has its core members local but if I felt as though I was put in a situation that called for a distributed team vs. nothing, I would have JFDI and bought the water cooler at a later date.

  • Asd

    If you put it in this perspective, then I agree. I do agree that iteration and the ability to pivot fast are critical components of a business.

  • http://bwasearch.blogspot.com Donna Brewington White

    “Work is usually done at a keyboard, progress is usually done inside your skull.”

    That's quotable!

  • http://bwasearch.blogspot.com Donna Brewington White

    I see the value of what Suster is saying, but I do think there are some ways that distributed teams can intentionally work to accomplish the same objectives that are met by being housed together. Seems that the goal is to get the “right people” on the team even if remote.

  • http://twitter.com/durbin Neil Durbin

    “people espousing the benefits of in person startup teams are often in person and therefore self rationalizing it.”

  • Gregory Magarshak

    I definitely respect Mark Suster’s experience and take his views seriously, but I think it’s valuable to offer a counterpoint to this: why distributed teams can be more effective.

    Hiring is way easier when you allow your team to be distributed. I need a developer — I go on oDesk.com, and together with one of my developers who will be his future partner, we go through profiles and “hunt” for a good fit. Once you remove the geographic restriction, you will find SO much talent. And for the payroll and staffing issues we literally pay 10% to odesk. Compare that with how much staffing agencies would charge on top of the salary (I know, I’ve been placed many times as a consultant where the agency would take 50-90% on top of the hourly salary I wound up being paid).

    Remote workers can work part time. They don’t have to commute 2 hours a day. Remote workers are more OK with having odesk take screenshots of their desktop so I know they are working for the time I paid them. Remote workers often have lower cost of living and a startup can’t really afford to pay local developers a competitive salary unless they are well funded.

    I think Linux and other open source projects show just how effective distributed development can be. Github and other tools are being used by local teams, blurring the line between local and distributed. And also, I’ve found that the more asynchronous communication we have, the more disciplined we are. For example, if you have an issue, put it in the project tracker instead of just talking about it in a chatroom and forgetting about it later.

    Basically, I think that for something as virtual as software development, being distributed can be a real plus, and people can really be more free. This has also become the case with music production and voiceovers, as a friend of mine who owns a major sound studio recently told me.

  • FaizanN

    This post hits the nail right on head. I have lost a lot of time and effort having distributed teams for our startup. I had experience of being part of geo-distributed teams from other big companies and didn’t realise how it was not a good idea for startup.

  • Stacy

    This post isn’t about distributed teams, per se. You don’t have to look far to find huge successes on both sides of this coin. It’s about a VC trying to mitigate his risk by generalizing past experiences into investment rules. If it were only that easy to generate great returns. *lol*
    I hope startups don’t blindly follow suggestions in this post. That magic which makes a startup VERY successful is soooo different in each and every case. Don’t follow any particular VC’s “rules of success” for the sole purpose of getting funded.

  • anon

    Nonsense

  • Eric Willeke

    Three years on – any change in thinking on this one?