Hot Seat

Book description

What avoidable problem destroys more young startups than any other?

Why is it a mistake to ask for introductions to investors?

When do you play the CEO card?

Should you sell out?

Author and four-time founder/CEO Dan Shapiro tells the stories of dozens of startups whose companies lived and died by the advice in these pages. From inception to destruction and triumph to despair, this rollercoaster read takes aspiring entrepreneurs from the highs of billion-dollar payouts and market-smashing success to the depths of impostor syndrome and bankruptcy.

Hot Seat is divided into the five phases of the startup CEO experience:

  • Founding explains how to formulate your idea, allocate equity, and not argue yourself to death
  • Funding provides the keys to venture capital, angels, and crowdfunding, plus clear advice on which approach to choose
  • Leadership lays out a path to build a strategy and culture for your team that will survive good times and bad
  • Management reveals how to manage your board, argue with your team, and play the CEO card
  • Endgame explains how to finish a company's existence with grace, wealth, and minimal litigation

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    Table of contents

    1. Preface
      1. Anointed in the Elevator
      2. Figuring It Out
      3. Maybe You Should Do That
      4. Goodies
      5. Safari® Books Online
      6. How to Contact Us
    2. I. Founding
    3. 1. The Virtues of an Early Bankruptcy
    4. 2. The Cofounder Dilemma
      1. Cofounders Are Top Talent
      2. Cofounders Save Cash
      3. Investors Love Cofounders
      4. The Split Is the Downside
      5. First Question: Are You an Army of One?
      6. Second Question: Do You Have Access to a Solid-Gold Cofounder?
      7. Third Question: Will You Trade Cash for Camaraderie?
      8. A Finicky Note on the Linguistics of Cofounders
    5. 3. Deciding on the Dream
      1. What Is Your Company Going to Do?
      2. Step 1
      3. Step 2
      4. Step 3
      5. Step 4
    6. 4. Sharing Shares
      1. Who’s a Founder?
      2. What’s a Founder Worth?
        1. A Formula for Equity
      3. Why Not 50/50?
    7. 5. Vesting Is a Hack
      1. Vesting Schedules
    8. 6. Spending Money
      1. Build Dollars into the Company Culture
      2. Don’t Spend Your Own Money
      3. Remember: Cost/Benefit Analysis Is Irrelevant
    9. 7. Conclusion
    10. II. Funding
    11. 8. The Fun of Funding
    12. 9. Don’t Ask for Introductions
      1. Reason 1: Not Every Investor Is the Right Investor for You
      2. Reason 2: It’s Lazy and Rude
      3. Reason 3: They’ll Give You a Crappy Introduction
      4. The Right Way
      5. I Know This Makes You Sad
    13. 10. The Standard Pitch Deck
      1. Title
      2. Market Size
      3. Problem/Opportunity
      4. Solution
      5. Demo
      6. Model
      7. Traction
      8. Landscape
      9. Team
      10. Final Slide
      11. Appendix
    14. 11. The Nonstandard Pitch Deck
    15. 12. Business Plans
    16. 13. The Pyramid Pitch
    17. 14. Pitching Twitter; Pitching Hoverboards
    18. 15. Why Taxi Drivers Don’t Take Venture Capital
      1. You Want to Build a Profitable Company
      2. Your Business Has Reasonable Margins
      3. You Are Going to Double Your Investors’ Money
      4. You’re Not Their Type
      5. You Have Better Things to Do with Nine Months, and You Will Probably Fail
      6. You Will Have a New Boss
      7. ...So Does This Mean I Shouldn’t Raise VC?
    19. 16. Angels and Demons
      1. Myth: “Angel Investor” Is a Thing
      2. Myth: Angel Investors Want to Make Angel Investments
      3. Myth: Angel Investors Range from Useless to Helpful
      4. Myth: Angel Investors Consider Your Company to Be a Financial Investment
      5. Should You Take Angel Money, Then?
    20. 17. The Lead Investor
      1. Leading Due Diligence
      2. Negotiating Terms
      3. Rounding Up the Round
      4. Taking the Board Seat
      5. Who to Choose
      6. Lead Alternatives
    21. 18. Winning at Crowdfunding
      1. Platform
      2. Project Picking
      3. Curly’s Secret
      4. Story
      5. Reward
      6. Video
      7. Goal
      8. Tone
      9. Launch
      10. Media
      11. Updates
      12. Failure to Launch
      13. Support
    22. 19. Miscellaneous Financing Sources
      1. Family and Friends
      2. Strategic Investors
      3. Accelerators
      4. VC Seed Funds
    23. 20. How Much You’re Worth
    24. 21. How Much You Need
    25. 22. Notes or Priced?
      1. How to Decide?
    26. 23. Conclusion
    27. III. Leadership
    28. 24. The Six Things You Cannot Delegate
      1. The CEO Builds the Team
      2. The CEO Is the Keeper of the Vision
      3. The CEO Is Strategist-in-Chief
      4. The CEO Manages the Investors
      5. The CEO Owns Critical Relationships
      6. The CEO Sets the Company Culture
      7. Delegation: The Common Thread
    29. 25. Repeat Your Strategy
    30. 26. Contrarian Segmentation
    31. 27. Hypocrisy Is a Symptom of Values
    32. 28. Impostor
    33. 29. A Drummer for Spinal Tap
      1. Executive Ignorance
      2. Role Confusion
      3. The CEO Curse
    34. 30. Your Company Culture Is a Meaningless Platitude
      1. Polarizing Decisions
        1. Work/Life Balance
        2. Inclusive Versus Exclusive
        3. Friendly Versus Professional
        4. Collaborative Versus Quiet
      2. Excesses
      3. Quirks
      4. Dysfunctions
    35. 31. Creating Culture
      1. Tool 1: Example
      2. Tool 2: Hiring
      3. Tool 3: Rewards and Consequences
    36. 32. Conclusion
    37. IV. Management
    38. 33. How to Make Your Company Half as Effective
      1. Empowerment
      2. Persuasion
      3. Delegation
      4. Compromise
      5. Exhaustion
    39. 34. The CEO Card
      1. When Do You “Play the CEO Card”?
      2. Hire
      3. Inspire
      4. Fire
      5. What to Do with the Cards
    40. 35. Building a Sublime Organization
      1. Job Postings
        1. They’ll Want to Do Something Compelling
        2. They’ll Want to Know About the Company They’re Going to Work For
        3. They’ll Want to Know What Their Job Responsibilities Are
        4. They’ll Want to Know How Much They’re Going to Get Paid
      2. Recruiting
        1. Get a Kate
        2. Be Famous
        3. Be Present
        4. Be Out There
        5. Work the Network
        6. Referrals, Seven Ways
      3. Intermediate Interviewing
      4. Follow Through
      5. Unambiguous Results
      6. A Second-Best Offer
      7. Frosting on the Cake
    41. 36. The Lies of Big-Company Life
      1. Myth: Big Companies Teach Entrepreneurship
      2. Myth: You Must Be Cost Effective
      3. Myth: You Know How to Ship Software
      4. Myth: You Know How to Do Big Business Deals
      5. Ex-Big-Company Entrepreneurship
    42. 37. 14 Answers That Will Save You 100 Hours
    43. 38. The Board of Directors: Your Peers, Your Obligation, Your Bosses
      1. Common Seats
      2. CEO Seat
      3. Investor Seats
      4. Observer Seats
      5. Independent Seats
      6. Compensation
      7. Formation
      8. The Board and You
      9. Managing Board Members
    44. 39. Conclusion
    45. V. Endgame
    46. 40. Of Course This Company’s for Sale
    47. 41. Why to Sell
      1. Is It a Great Deal?
      2. Are You Done?
      3. Are You Up for Big-Company Life?
      4. Will the Money Change Your Life?
    48. 42. There Are Three Exits—Remember, the Nearest Exit May Be Behind You
      1. Team Acquisitions
      2. Product Acquisitions
      3. Business Acquisitions
      4. ...And the Great Unwashed Middle
      5. Takeaways
    49. 43. Obligations Before Negotiations
      1. Your First Obligation: Your Debtholders
      2. Your Second Obligation: Your Shareholders
      3. Your Third Obligation: Your Team
      4. Your Fourth Obligation: Yourself
    50. 44. Negotiations
      1. Don’t Wreck the Company
      2. Figure Out What You Want
      3. Be Your Own Worst Enemy
      4. The Negotiation: Terms
      5. The Negotiation: People
    51. 45. Exiting with Grace
    52. 46. Sparkbuy’s Story
      1. Google Discovers Sparkbuy
      2. Google Rediscovers Sparkbuy
      3. The Deal Team
      4. Negotiation Roles
      5. Negotiation Strategy
      6. Diligence
      7. Signing
        1. Last-Minute Deal Changes
        2. Logistics
        3. Approvals
        4. Greed
        5. Closure
    53. 47. Conclusion
    54. Acknowledgments
    55. Index

    Product information

    • Title: Hot Seat
    • Author(s): Dan Shapiro
    • Release date: May 2015
    • Publisher(s): O'Reilly Media, Inc.
    • ISBN: 9781449360733