Tom WilliamsClarity's top expert on all things startup
Bio

Currently, Founder of VC-backed BetterCompany, an anonymous social network for your work life. Serial entrepreneur. Early pioneer of crowdfunding. Active angel investor. Former investor for a $500,000,000 ed tech fund that was the controlling shareholder of LeapFrog at it's IPO. I started my career at Apple when I was 15. I am passionate about supporting other entrepreneurs anyway I can. My Clarity reviews are examples of how I can help any entrepreneur at any stage of their journey.



Recent Answers


Since no one has actually answered your question, let me try and give you some specific guidance:

The "fair" range would probably land between $5m-$15m pre-money.

For the low-end ($5-6m) to be fair, you'd be in a tiny (measured by total addressable market) with slow growth on that $2m as measured by either Year-Over-Year or month-over-month, depending on the sales model.

Add a million to two million to the total pre-money the higher the TAM with no obvious incumbent to beat.

Add an additional million to four million for better growth and proven, scaleable low customer acquisition costs.

So that's how you would scale up or down a generally reasonable valuation.

I would answer your question with more specificity had you provided the important contextual details like industry, where the company is located, business model, but at the very high level abstract, this should be helpful to you.

Happy to do a call and give you a much more narrow range based on understanding the details..


Mobile app that has launched: You need ALL of the following:
1) Trending towards or at 100000 installs within first 90 days of launch;
2) Day 30 retention rate of at least 20%
3) Core "MTM" (metric that matters) healthy (dependent on business model, usage model etc)
4) Evidence that growth is just "getting started" with plenty of upside left.

Happy to talk more in a call.


Standard here is 1% with a 12 month vest, assuming the kind of involvement you're describing. message me your email on Clarity and I'll send you the standard docs which also spell out involvement.

I've answered this exact question before so I would suggest to all new Clarity members that you use the search to see if the answer to your question already exists.

I would caution you that an advisor shouldn't be responsible for things that fall into the "execution" bucket.


Yes. I started my first company when I was 13. It was because of my early development efforts and consistent outreach that got me a full time job.


Unless you are a founder with prior successes that are notable or relevant to your new startup, the answer is a clear no.


NO, it's in no ways normal. In reading how you have framed the question, this investor sounds to be acting in bad faith and is also setting you up to fail by introducing terms that are not standard to how quality investors interact with their investee companies.

It is however very standard to have a first right of refusal to purchase your shares should you wish to sell. But that is not at all what you have stated.

Happy to talk through the particularities of your situation in a call


Generally speaking, a Preferred Share class with strong protective provisions (such as the right to appoint a board member) could afford you significant protections but if the terms are too onerous relative to the amount of money and stage of the Company, it might prevent the Company from raising further funding downstream, thus hurting your investment.

You could also put all of the money in on a convertible debenture, which has some advantages but doesn't necessarily protect you.

The best way to protect your investment is to invest in good people that you trust. It's simple and true. Happy to talk through the particulars of your situation.


Here's what you need to do to recruit any cofounder:

1) Prove or at least instill *high* confidence that you can fund the business or raise the funds required;

2) Demonstrate that you are someone worth following. What have you done previously that clearly shows to others that you have what it takes to succeed?

3) Credibly demonstrate that your idea can create massive success. An idea by itself, no matter how interesting is woefully insufficient.

4) Spend every day making outreach (cold emails, LinkedIn, dribbble, etc) to people, meeting at least 3 a week. You will "kiss many frogs." It's likely you have to meet at least 100 people to find the right person and that assumes you have 1-3.

By the way, in order to actually *meet* 100 good people, you'll have to make outbound to at least 400 people.

5) Negotiate equity and compensation (pre and post funding) and ensure written alignment on how decisions are made between the two of you.

Cofounder relationships are as intense as marriages. And just like getting married, it requires a lot of dating to build the trust.

I'm *totally* unconvinced that two people can find a person they haven't known previously, and become effective cofounders. I think you're better off finding the money to hire someone than actually find a cofounder. The main reason? You probably won't find someone as passionate as you are about what you're building. And keep in mind, I have no idea who you are or what you're building so that's no judgement on you or the idea, just the reality I've observed over 20 years of startups.


I upvoted Caroline's answer because it's the most direct answer to your question. Joseph's perspective is that of a domain-owner and although thoughtful and nuanced for a very general question, I vehemently disagree with the assertion that "consumers expect .COM in America." I think that might be true for eCommerce, but there's plenty of other ways to build trust than just the domain itself.

Oscar's passionate assertion of the value of the .COM is just not something I would give credence to. It's absolutely a nice to have and if your business scales, not owning it early will only drive up the price later. That said, I'd rather validate the core offering first, and then invest in buying the .COM before massive traction but ahead of a lot of traffic and publicity.

I generally start with .co as the preferred domain when the .COM isn't available.


Your age has nothing to do with it. I was already working at Apple when I was 15. Your age isn't a limiting factor. Your skills and drive are all that matter. I've answered hundreds of questions about best practices in mobile development here on Clarity. I would suggest you look through them and figure out what applies to you.


Contact on Clarity

$ 8.33 /min

4.86Rating
Schedule a Call

Send Message

Stats

326

Answers
Calls


Access Startup Experts

Connect with over 20,000 Startup Experts to answer your questions.

Learn More

Copyright © 2019 Startups.com LLC. All rights reserved.