Passport Weekly: Burning More Than 100k a Month?

 
20th October 2019

Written by GSVlabs Startup Director & Product Manager, Slater McLean

The Passport weekly is a hand-curated newsletter compiled weekly to bring you the best accounts of entrepreneurship and insights from the startup ecosystem. If you enjoy what you read here, please consider forwarding it to spread the word. Not getting the Passport weekly regularly? Subscribe above! 

Burning more than 100k a Month?

Our friends at Brex took a look at all their customers spending data and revealed how much they burn. Brex found the average seed-stage startup is burning just over $100k a month! Given that the average seed round today is $5.6M, this seems incredibly low! Have companies forgotten the old silicon valley ways of blowing money on pool tables, elaborate parties, and fancy office buildings in SF? Maybe... Read below to see why putting profits before growth might not be the worst idea.

Which Way Do You Run?

When you found a company, it tends to get wired into your nervous system. I used to become physically ill whenever there was something wrong in the company — even if I didn’t know what it was. Even if I couldn’t see it, I could feel it. It wasn’t a pleasant feeling. Most good founder/CEOs that I know have this same, gnarly experience. Unfortunately, feeling it turns out to be the easy part of the job. The hard part is what do you do when you feel that dread? Do you run towards your fear or do you run away from it? Click to read more >>>

Silicon Valley Is Trying Out a New Mantra: Make a Profit

Start-up investors are warning of a reckoning after the stumbles of some high-profile “unicorns.” Now turning a profit is in. Fred Wilson, a venture capitalist at Union Square Ventures, recently published a blog post titled “The Great Public Market Reckoning.” In it, he argued that the narrative that had driven start-up hype and valuations for the last decade was now falling apart.

His post quickly ricocheted across Silicon Valley. Other venture capitalists, including Bill Gurley of Benchmark and Brad Feld of Foundry Group, soon weighed in with their own warnings about fiscal responsibility. Click to read more >>>

Investor Update Email Template

You just closed your $1m seed round four weeks ago, and investors are starting to contact you to see how things are going. After writing a few one-off emails, you realize you need a more scalable process for communicating with people close to your company. What you need is an Investor Update email that you can send to all of your investors and advisors.

I've talked to many founders who want to understand investor updates and their semantics. How often should these emails be sent? Whom should they be sent to? What should they include? What does a sample email look like?  Click to read more >>>

Do Things that Don’t Scale

One of the most common types of advice we give at Y Combinator is to do things that don't scale. A lot of would-be founders believe that startups either take off or don't. You build something, make it available, and if you've made a better mousetrap, people beat a path to your door as promised. Or they don't, in which case the market must not exist. Actually, startups take off because the founders make them take off. There may be a handful that just grew by themselves, but usually, it takes some sort of push to get them going.  Click to read more >>>

The Brex Founder Spending Report

At Brex, we are in the fortunate position of being able to make information available to help entrepreneurs make more informed decisions than the ones we made when we were first getting started. As the financial operating system for our customers, we’re uniquely positioned to understand the way startups operate based on the way they spend their capital. We can look at the aggregate, anonymized spending data to get a good sense of how startups work and the tools they use the most.

The wisdom of the crowd might not always be correct when it comes to deciding which product. Click to read more >>>

New Tools on Passport

Preferred Return: 409A Valuation services in less than 4 days
Finvisor: Accounting, payroll and CFO team for startups
Digital Ocean: Powerful and easy-to-use infrastructure

New Mentors on Passport

Eric Shooman: CEO, LiteBoxx
Simon Hayhurst: Director Product, Facebook
Seth Hauben: Managing Director, Boston

Upcoming Events

AWS EdStart Pitch Day: Learn about innovative and revolutionary new EdTechs
Innovations in Corporate Social Impact: Start-ups, Risk Taking & Profitable Social Impact
Storytelling Workshop with Tony Clemendor: An interactive workshop on customer and investor communication
GSVlabs Community Happy Hour: We'll have a costume contest, candy, and all your fall favorites!

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