Sometimes something is so delicious it simply has to be shared as is. I know my VC friends will enjoy this.
The following is a slightly abbreviated version of a blog from Dharmesh Shah, Co-Founder and CTO of Hubspot. (www.OnStartups.com) It includes a few delightful additions from his comment stream I’ve included. It is titled:
Things Entrepreneurs Never Confess To Their VCs
- We’ve got a big launch of our mobile app scheduled for April 1st. We’ve lined up some great PR and everything is ready to go. Just one minor detail: We have no idea when Apple’s going to approve the app for the AppStore. We wisely refrained from putting an early version through the process because we’re in “stealth mode.”
- Our VP of Sales keeps saying “Land and expand, baby, land and expand.” I don’t know what that means exactly, but we’ve been doing a lot of landing and not a lot of expanding.
- I’m wondering if I should worry that the ten year Oracle sales executive we hired for VP of Sales hasn’t really sold anything yet.
- My co-founder had a major life event come up. (The event was that he decided he wanted one.) He’ll be leaving us but is happy to continue to contribute as a strategic member of the board of directors. I didn’t know he had a lawyer, but the lawyer assured me that my co-founder would “Vest In Peace,” which sounds like an amicable parting. don’t you think?
- It finally hit me that revenue and cash are not the same thing. Customers provide “revenue,” employees want to be paid in cash.
- I know I should know this, but I have no idea what participating preferred means—and who should prefer it.
- Learned from tech guy yesterday that our entire back-end runs on a single “virtual” Amazon EC2 instance. Also, learned that “virtual” means that it can virtually disappear whenever it wants. That’s why the engineering team has been working for months on this horizontally scalable, self-replicating, auto-healing architecture so that when we start getting some paid customers, we’ll be ready.
- Had to execute some “executive leadership” yesterday. At the last management meeting, our VP Marketing was telling me we were getting crushed in the market because of two big missing features. I told her that on the startup battlefield, wars are not won by features. Besides, we’re investing in our future, not our present. That’s why the entire engineering team is working on building a scalable, self-replicating, auto-healing architecture.
- We have 11 months of cash left in the bank. Adjusted for inflation. But not adjusted for the fact that we have no idea if any of our large, enterprise deals that our VP of Sales sold is ever going to pay us in a form that can be used to pay bills and payroll. Our landlord is clueless and doesn’t understand the importance of the strategic deals we’re doing and the raw brand-value of the logos we’re collecting for our website.
- I’m super-excited! We had our first acquisition offer yesterday. Well, it wasn’t really an offer. And, no, they didn’t really use the word acquisition or M&A or “buy.” But there was some high-level strategic talk about how we could work together. And, he paid for lunch, so there must be some interest.
- Yes, we know that no clients have converted to the paid version, but we don’t think an acquirer will be focusing on those kind of metrics. We’re preparing to file some patents, and that should get Google’s interest.
- We’ve found new office space. To be consistent with the five year pro-forma we showed you at the last board meeting, we’ll be signing a five year lease that matches the space needs based on those projected numbers. It’s nice when things just work out, isn’t it?
- I woke up this morning with this really big idea. It’ll make the idea you invested in pale in comparison. The good news is that we can reuse the work the engineering team has been doing. Not only have they been building something that’s horizontally scalable, self-replicating and auto-healing, they had the foresight to build something infinitely flexible too. Now I know the importance of hiring great people—ones that have the vision to see your vision and can adjust their vision based on your new vision. This is going to BIG!
- Those five patents we said we had? Well, they are really only applications and…um…only cover a portion of our product.
- It’s an infinitely horizontally scaling, self-healing thingy that lands and expands.
Well, that’s it, Brothers and Sisters. Tee hee and LOL. Please feel free to add your own foolishness to Dharmesh’s list. And thank you, Dharmesh, for the summer laugh!