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Five Questions You Must Answer Today Richard Rosenblatt Startonomics La 2009

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Five Questions You Must Answer Today Richard Rosenblatt Startonomics La 2009

  1. 1. Five Questions You Must Answer Today Richard Rosenblatt CEO and Founder Demand Media
  2. 2. Q1.) Why Are You Doing This ?
  3. 3. A. Because I am in love with this idea What does this kind of passion look like ?
  4. 4. I’m passionate about lots of things… <ul><li>Elements I focus on: </li></ul><ul><li>Consumer products that are made possible by the Internet </li></ul><ul><li>Models that leverage and exploit the network effect </li></ul><ul><li>Media models that can be reinvented </li></ul><ul><li>Opportunity to work with amazingly smart people </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to make money for my investors, teams, and friends </li></ul>None of these are why I like to start companies
  5. 5. My passion is Self-Publishing 1994 2003 2007
  6. 6. Q2.) Do you have the best crew?
  7. 7. Your Crew is Bigger than You Think Founders Executive Staff Board of Directors Service Providers Investors Functional Staff Advisory Board Don’t settle on any of these groups; pick the best
  8. 8. Q3.) Who Will You Take Money From ?
  9. 9. Anyone
  10. 10. It Really Pays To Think This Through Savings Account Friends & Family Angels Strategic Partner Early Stage VC Later Stage VC Private Equity Venture Debt Distinguishing Characteristics Compatibility Sector experience Temperament Explicit Value Fund position
  11. 11. Q4.) What is Plan B for Your Company?
  12. 12. Things Rarely Go According to Plan Many start-ups have to run a broken play
  13. 13. Program in “Optionality” <ul><li>Know “what else” this could become </li></ul><ul><li>Always be testing alternative things </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Business models; segments; product offerings </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Let passionate staffers pursue their pet ideas </li></ul><ul><li>Good place to use partners </li></ul><ul><li>Killing these off is OK too… </li></ul>
  14. 14. Q5.) What Outcome Do You Want ?
  15. 15. A.) The right one <ul><li>King of my hill. </li></ul><ul><li>Colbeck </li></ul><ul><li>HillClimb Media ($10mm) </li></ul><ul><li>$300k bootstrap </li></ul>Get what the market gives you. Panos Pluck ($70mm) $17m VC raise Go big or go home. Rosenblatt Demand Media (Outcome TBD) $355m PE raise
  16. 16. Many Factors Will Play A Role in the Answer <ul><li>Timing </li></ul><ul><li>Size of the idea </li></ul><ul><li>Financial partners </li></ul><ul><li>Quality of the team </li></ul><ul><li>Stamina </li></ul><ul><li>Your spouse </li></ul>Be honest – and organize accordingly
  17. 17. Let’s Review the Test <ul><li>Why are you doing this? </li></ul><ul><li>Do you have the best crew? </li></ul><ul><li>Who would you take money from? </li></ul><ul><li>What is Plan B for your company? </li></ul><ul><li>What outcome do you want? </li></ul>


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