Eric Paley

Eric Paley Contributor Eric Paley is a managing partner at Founder Collective. More posts by this contributor Redefining dilution When venture capital becomes vanity capital

Eric Paley is a managing partner at Founder Collective.

The Latest from Eric Paley

Redefining dilution

Everyone generally agrees that dilution should be avoided. VCs insist on pro-rata rights to avoid the dreaded “D” word. Executives often complain, after a new financing, that they should be “mad

When venture capital becomes vanity capital

Eric Paley Contributor Eric Paley is a managing partner at Founder Collective. More posts by this contributor Redefining dilution When venture capital becomes vanity capital I’ve written a lot about

The plague of rationalization

Failure doesn’t usually happen “to” startups. It happens when founders rationalize problems until it’s too late. Attack problems early and the startup will advance. Rationalize that the proble

Learning to embrace conflict as a part of startup culture

Most team leaders will agree on the majority of decisions that need to be made and good startup teams seem telepathic at times, but there are inevitably going to be profound disagreements. It’s crit

Toxic VC and the marginal-dollar problem

Venture capital should come with a warning label. In our experience, VC kills more startups than slow customer adoption, technical debt and co-founder infighting -- combined. VC should be a catalyst f

There’s no shame in a $100M startup

The era of unicorn startups has created a distorted view of entrepreneurial success. All the talk about billion-dollar exits has inflated the numbers that define a win. Starting and selling a company

Overdosing on VC: Lessons from 71 IPOs

Eric Paley Contributor Eric Paley is a managing partner at Founder Collective. More posts by this contributor Redefining dilution When venture capital becomes vanity capital Joseph Flaherty Contributo

Venture capital is a hell of a drug

Cheap and accessible capital has advantages: More founders get to pursue big dreams and previously “unfundable companies” not only raise huge amounts of money, but some achieve unicorn status. Dis

The Probable, The Possible, The Delusional

In 1961, President John F. Kennedy committed before a joint session of Congress that before the end of the decade America would put a man on the moon. This was not an empty political promise to get el

When Burn Rate Outweighs Enthusiasm

Many business critics of Uber contend that the company is spending “unsustainably.” Despite that nearly all venture-backed startups burn capital unsustainably, Uber’s level of spending is viewe

The Platform Paradox

I often hear VCs say that they don’t back products, they back platforms. I find that logic backwards and in many ways dangerous for founders. Platforms can provide a durable competitive advantage, a

Wasting Time With The Joneses

Starting a company is like attempting to bend the world to your will. There are obstacles at every turn, and it’s never easy. Fundraising is one of those huge obstructions. Not only is the process o

Running Out Of Money Isn’t A Milestone

Nearly all startups use the same methodology to figure out when to raise their next round of capital. The founder projects the planned burn rate and estimates the day they will run out of cash. Then t

The Fine Line Between Success And Bankruptcy

When seed capital hits the books, the outlook of every startup is one of unbridled optimism. Founders, team members, and investors are inspired by a singular vision and believe it can materialize int

How To Sell Your Company Without A Buyer

Conventional wisdom is that startups are bought, not sold. The logic follows that no matter how much an entrepreneur wants to sell a company, there needs to be an eager buyer and no amount of seller d

After Funding, Watch Burn Rates And Beware The Tyranny Of Incrementalism

Every dollar the founders take out of the company sets the tone for the entire business going forward. Every dollar spent is a dollar of dilution, as it costs equity. Every unnecessary dollar spent on