Lessons of Starting a Company by VC Mark Suster Based in Los Angeles

Mark Suster was a consultant working for Andersen Consulting (Accenture) for 10 years before he found his first company, then it was sold. He found his 2nd company and sold to Salesforce.com and became a VC based in Los Angeles. He talks about his failure, success, and lessons learned as a budding entrepreneur and a venture capitalist.

  1. Idea – Don’t have to be a genius to start a company unless you want to be a Google…99% of companies are not Google..but you still can do really well.
  2. Get Started.
  3. Being an entrepreneur is not sexy.
  4. You need to be passionate about it.
  5. Need to do some research.
  6. Get a prototype built.
  7. Start on your own.
  8. Huge premium for taking the first leap.
  9. Co-founder myth reinforced by selective bias – Sergey and Larry; Jerry and David.
  10. Make sure technology is part of your DNA if internet or technology is your business.
  11. Raise capital, but not too much.
  12. Start lean.
  13. You can “go fat” later in life.
  14. Why the “fail fast” mantra must fail.
  15. Branding
  16. Avoid the 3 F’s (friends, family, fools)
  17. Funding – Angels vs. VCs
  18. How to access investors.
  19. You need an anchor investor.
  20. Skate where the puck is going.
  21. Ship product.
  22. Test monetization early.
  23. The sausage factory is never pretty.
  24. Have fun.

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