« swipe left for tags/categories
swipe right to go back »
For some time Jason and I have felt that VC’s have had an unfair advantage when it comes to understanding term sheets. So a few years back we wrote a whole series of blog posts (the Term Sheet series) which became the basis for the book Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist. Our goal with all of this was to help put entrepreneurs on a more even footing in negotiating a deal with a VC.
In some ways, I’ve always seen writing (both books and this blog) as a form of personalized teaching. It let’s me efficiently share whatever knowledge I have. But a few months back while I was visiting TechStars NYC, I had the chance to meet the guys over at Veri and pretty quickly realized they have a really interesting format for teaching things like how a term sheet works in an even more personalized way.
The result is Veri’s Understanding Term Sheets. The experience works like it would if we were learning it together one on one, namely that I ask you a series of question to figure out what you do and don’t know. When you know the material you get to quickly prove you’re a champ. When you don’t know something, I help bring you to the exact snippet of information you need to know. In other words, we figure out what you know, and help you learn only what you don’t. And hopefully have some fun in the process.
Let me know you think about Understanding Term Sheets, especially if there are ways to improve it.
It’s not quite halloween, but our friends at SVB are hosting an event for me and Jason Mendelson in Boulder on Thursday night to discuss our new book Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist. We’ll be handing out signed copies of our book along with answering any questions about venture capital, startups, entrepreneurship, beer, or our upcoming halloween costumes. There might be halloween candy and I’m certain there will be some tricks as well as other treats.
The event is free but registration is required. It’s being held at the St. Julien from 6pm – 8pm on Thursday 10/27. We hope to see you there.
Our friends at Dorsey & Whitney are hosting me and Jason Mendelson this Thursday, October 20th from 4pm to 6pm to drink beer together and discuss “what really matters” in a venture deal. While the event requires registration, I’ve been told that copies of Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist will be given to whomever shows up (until they run out) and that the beer will be a collection of yummy local microbrews provided by Devil’s Canyon Brewery Company in Belmont.
Jason and I will sign any copy of our book that appears at the event. We’ll also drink a few beers with you. Plus, who could resist a title of an event sponsored by a law firm that says “What The $@%@$” in the title.
4pm – 6pm
Dorsey & Whitney
305 Lytton Ave.
Palo Alto, CA 94301
Last night I gave a talk hosted by SVB at their Palo Alto office. It was part of the “Never Ending All Old Is New Again Venture Deals Book Tour.” I had a ton of fun talking to and answering questions from about 75 entrepreneurs who – at the minimum – enjoyed eating the great food and wine that SVB provided on a luscious evening in Palo Alto. Oh – and I signed a bunch of copies of Venture Deals.
Several questions came up about Convertible Debt. We touch on it in Venture Deals but realized that we didn’t cover it in enough depth so Jason recently wrote a Convertible Debt series on Ask the VC. The series is now complete – here are the links to the posts in order.
- Convertible Debt Series
- Convertible Debt – The Discount
- Convertible Debt – Valuation Caps
- Convertible Debt – Conversion Mechanics
- Convertible Debt – Conversion In A Sale Of The Company
- Convertible Debt – Other Terms
- Convertible Debt – Warrants
- Convertible Debt – Early Versus Late Stage Dynamics
- Convertible Debt – Wrap Up
If you feel like we missed anything, or got anything wrong, or were confusing in our explanation, please chime in on the comments on the post. If you want to see an actual convertible debt term sheet or the actual legal documents, take a look at the TechStars Open Sourced Model Seed Financing Documents.
As a bonus to the evening, I got some direct, constructive feedback from one of the attendees via email later that night. While the “thank you” and “good job” notes are nice, I only learn when someone criticizes me (hopefully constructively, but I can handle it in any form.) The feedback was:
May I make a constructive criticism regarding your talk tonight? Your answers to audience questions tend to be overly long and rambling…..you “overanswer,” to invent a word. You start strong and respond right to the essence, but then your focus blurs and you keep taking verbal baby steps away from the thought stream. If you trim a minute or two off each answer, you can call on more people and hear more questions, which sends more people home happy. I think if you self-critique a video of yourself in a Q&A session, you’ll arrive at the same conclusion.
It’s a good suggestion. I often try to provide additional context to the question, but it sounds like – at least for one person – I went off on a few space jams that weren’t additive. I love the phrase “overanswer” – it’s a lesson from TV interviews 101 (e.g. just answer a question – any question – quickly). Something to ponder as I continue the Never Ending All Old Is New Again Venture Deals Book Tour.
Jason Mendelson and I are doing office hours at the Boulder Bookstore on Monday 9/26. We will be hanging out from 2pm – 5pm and chatting with whomever comes by. It’ll also be a chance to buy a copy of Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist from your local bookstore and get a copy of it signed by both of us while you wait.
We’ve been asked by a lot of folks how to get a copy of the book signed by us. This is one way; the other is to buy a signed copy directly from us off of the AsktheVC site. Either way, we’d be happy to see you on Monday if you want to swing by. I think Jason will be wearing his wig from I’m a VC.