Mark Suster

Latest from Mark Suster

  • There’s Something Going On In L.A.

    There’s Something Going On In L.A.

    It’s the new refrain I hear from investors and even entrepreneurs these days. I hear it right after people decide to come by for a few days to “check out what all the fuss is about.” I hear it when I visit LPs (the people who invest in VCs) all across the country, “Yeah, I haven’t been out there for a few years but I keep hearing that something is going on… Read More

  • Why You Shouldn’t Decide Anything Important At Your Board Meeting

    Why You Shouldn’t Decide Anything Important At Your Board Meeting

    There is an old saying in poker that if you don’t know who the sucker at the table is – it’s you. The same can be said of critical decisions in a board meeting or frankly any other meeting where major decisions are ratified. If you’re turning up to important meetings hoping to persuade the critical people who attend to a decision you’re trying to make and have… Read More

  • My Favorite Entrepreneur Story In A Long Time

    My Favorite Entrepreneur Story In A Long Time

    The tech industry has a certain narrative on how startups are created. Given the immense wealth generated in a short period of time, entrepreneurial lessons are often lost in the measure of dollars and growth. My take away from Mark Zuckerberg & Steve Jobs are their maniacal passion for building a great product. Startup founders are always looking to apply lessons. If you look closely in… Read More

  • How to Sell Your Roadmap Without Selling Your Soul

    How to Sell Your Roadmap Without Selling Your Soul

    It’s hard to land large customers when you’re a tiny enterprise software startup and when you do you have to be careful that you don’t become their internal R&D department. This post offers a strategy for turning your enterprise customers into a platinum “insiders club” where they can even bid money to accelerate your roadmap. Yes, you can sell it. But be… Read More

  • 7 Tips For Layering Professional Services Revenue Into Your Startup

    7 Tips For Layering Professional Services Revenue Into Your Startup

    Many investors and advisors will tell you that you shouldn’t have professional services revenue at your enterprise startup. This is wrong. PS helps secure customer success and brings in quick revenue to cover your fixed costs. But you can’t be addicted to PS or you’ll never scale a software business. This post explains the seven steps to layering in PS revenue to drive success. Read More

  • One of the Biggest Mistakes Enterprise Startups Make

    One of the Biggest Mistakes Enterprise Startups Make

    The era of VCs investing in successful consumer Internet startups such as eBay led to a belief system that seemed to permeate many enterprise software startups that hiring sales or implementation people was a bad thing. And many enterprise startups I meet try to convince me they don’t need professional services teams. This is a big mistake. This post explains why … Read More

  • Why Your Marketing Campaign Sucks

    Why Your Marketing Campaign Sucks

    Creating awareness for your brand is one of the lifebloods of technology startups yet in a world where so many companies are being created it becomes difficult to rise above the noise. This post provides advice on how to move from narcissistic marketing to “point-of-view” marketing to help you win the battle you really care about – share of mind. Read on … Read More

  • Participation: The Trend That Is Bigger Than The Harlem Shake

    Participation: The Trend That Is Bigger Than The Harlem Shake

    Global audiences of prosumer video producers will create content that is viewed by global audiences in numbers far in excess of traditional TV. TV will enter the era of “participation” and when the medium changes from one-way broadcast to the millions to the ability to interact with each other through video it is unlikely that the future will resemble the past. Why would it? Read… Read More

  • Why Startup Entrepreneurs Need to Communicate More Like George Bush Than Al Gore

    Why Startup Entrepreneurs Need to Communicate More Like George Bush Than Al Gore

    Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Mark Suster (@msuster), a 2x entrepreneur, now VC at GRP Partners. Read more about Suster at Bothsidesofthetable The 2000 election was characterized by the narrative of Al Gore inventing the Internet and sighing at debates. We had his famous “lock boxes” (whatever that is) and George Bush’s “fuzzy math.” Whatever… Read More

  • 12 Tips To Building A Successful Startup Community Where You Live

    12 Tips To Building A Successful Startup Community Where You Live

    Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Mark Suster (@msuster), a 2x entrepreneur, now VC at GRP Partners. Read more about Suster at Bothsidesofthetable In the first phase of the Internet – roughly from 1995-2005 it was difficult to build massive Internet-based companies outside of Silicon Valley. The big companies to be built and scaled were mostly infrastructure: databases… Read More

  • Why Convertible Notes Are Sometimes Terrible For Startups

    Why Convertible Notes Are Sometimes Terrible For Startups

    Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Mark Suster (@msuster), a 2x entrepreneur, now VC at GRP Partners. Read more about Suster on his Startup Advice blog: Both Sides of the Table Ah. We’re back to discussing convertible debt again. This time by the efforts of Adeo Ressi to introduce a new kind of structure called “convertible equity.” Read More

  • The Power of Torso TV (Why Media is Racing to the Middle)

    The Power of Torso TV (Why Media is Racing to the Middle)

    Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Mark Suster (@msuster), a 2x entrepreneur, now VC at GRP Partners. Read more about Suster on his Startup Advice blog: Both Sides of the Table The media industry has operated for the past 100 years by large operators who have a stronghold on the industry through high costs of production (think studios, book publishers or record labels) and the high… Read More

  • Launchpad LA Receives VC Funding: $50,000 Per Startup

    Launchpad LA Receives VC Funding: $50,000 Per Startup

    Launchpad LA today announces it will accept applications for its third class of Los Angeles-based tech startups. There are significant VC commitments and every entering company will get $50,000 in funding plus free office space. The program was founded in 2009 by LA-based venture capitalist Mark Suster and has received funding from several prominent investors including Rincon Ventures… Read More

  • Why You Should Ban Laptops at Board Meetings

    Why You Should Ban Laptops at Board Meetings

    Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by (@msuster) Mark Suster, a 2x entrepreneur, now VC at GRP Partners. Read more about Suster at Bothsidesofthetable Back when I ran board meetings as a CEO, the biggest annoyance was Blackberrys. You would always be able to tell what was going on by seeing the unhealthy infatuation board members had with staring at their crotches. Somehow they… Read More

  • The State of Venture Capital and the Internet

    The State of Venture Capital and the Internet

    Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by (@msuster) Mark Suster, a 2x entrepreneur, now VC at GRP Partners. Read more about Suster at Bothsidesofthetable Later today I’ll be giving a keynote at the VCJ Venture Alpha conference here in San Francisco. I was asked to speak about the topic of “what is going on in the venture capital world and what is the next big thing after… Read More

  • Understanding How Dilution Affects You At A Startup

    Understanding How Dilution Affects You At A Startup

    Everybody knows that when you raise money at a startup your ownership percentage of the company goes down. The goal is to have the value of the startup go up by enough that you own a smaller percentage of a much larger business and therefore your total personal value goes up. The simplest way to think about this is: If you own 20% of a $2 million company your stake is worth $400,000. If you… Read More

  • Netflix Redux: Is It Ever OK to Fire Your Customers?

    Netflix Redux: Is It Ever OK to Fire Your Customers?

    A month ago I applauded Reed Hasting’s bold decision to split his business into two components. Today he’s announcing that they’re backing out of this decision. Netflix as a service has always prided itself on movie recommendations that are tailored specifically to you, plus user ratings on the quality of films. So let me use their ratings system to judge their actions to… Read More

  • Stock Market Drops. VCs Hold Partner Meetings. What Happens Next?

    Stock Market Drops. VCs Hold Partner Meetings. What Happens Next?

    Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by (@msuster) Mark Suster, a 2x entrepreneur, now VC at GRP Partners. Read more about Suster at Bothsidesofthetable Venture Capitalists typically have partners’ meetings on Mondays. Yesterday was a Monday. And not a pleasant one. The stock market is off 15.1% over the past 2 weeks. Nobody knows where it’s headed next. But as VC partners… Read More

  • One Book Every Entrepreneur and VC Should Own

    One Book Every Entrepreneur and VC Should Own

    tl;dr version:
    If you’re an entrepreneur or VC or will be working in this industry – buy this. read it. live it. It’s written by Brad Feld & Jason Mendelson. They know what they’re talking about. It’s important information that you need to avoid “information asymmetry” with VCs Some big lessons I’ve learned over the years about term sheets:
    Read More

  • Twitter, Jobs, Democracy and The US Elections

    Twitter, Jobs, Democracy and The US Elections

    I recently wrote a post about the open nature of Twitter and why I’m long on its future. I know it’s easier to write “horse race” stories about who’s signing up more users, raising more funding or who’s “hot” lately. But something more nuanced is at hand that is worth debating – is the future of the Internet & global communications… Read More

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