the tip of the iceberg

An iceberg communicates 10-15%* of the information about it to tell you it is an iceberg and allow you to gauge your interest in it (*stat courtesy of wikipedia). However, once interested you can qualify everything about the 10-15% that caught your attention by delving below the surface and seeing the enormous wealth of information about the iceberg that […]

hard coded outputs…. shame on you

A financial model is not a business plan. Even if it is allied to a ‘vision’ document or route map. Instead it is an excel spreadsheet with a series of numbers in it that calculate a series of outcomes. 1+1=2 etc….. Not a business plan: Spreadsheet + Vision document = an idea with numbers open […]

pre-money and post-money

A conversation yesterday prompted me to republish this post from March 2011: A very personal topic that’s unavoidable in every equity investment conversation is that when equity risk investment comes in, a percentage of the company must change hands (otherwise it’s not an equity investment). The investor needs the equity to drive their returns (and through […]

investor communication and Chinese whispers

The majority of entrepreneurs ‘get’ that they need to have a coherent marketing strategy when it comes to selling their product or service. A large proportion also ‘get’ that true success in sales comes from understanding, communicating and pricing the ‘need’ that is being addressed by the product or service. However it is not always […]

soundbites

There are a few recurring themes that keep coming up when I meet with businesses and I have summarised a few of the most recent ones I’ve come across into soundbites in this blog: – Before you reach sustainable cash breakeven then cash truly is king. You must get as much control as you can over […]

the problem is the answer

Posted by in Opinions

I love SaaS, love software and love clever technology – they’re all great, exciting and are transforming industries, markets and business models. But in isolation they’re pretty useless, in fact they are no  more than a means to efficiently deliver a solution and, with SaaS, operate an intelligent business model embracing all the efficiencies that software, […]

the three minute pitch

I was a judge on a panel at techpitch4.5 last night (www.4pt5.co.uk) alongside counterparts from Silicon Valley Bank, Microsoft BizSpark, Doughty Hanson Ventures, Pinsent Masons and an experienced entrepreneur (Preparation Capital reaching for the stars!).  It was a great event with interesting young tech companies pitching and great attendees (angels and young companies). I really enjoyed […]

showing commitment

The half-hearted entrepreneur will fail to raise capital. Seemingly obvious but a surprising number on entrepreneurs I meet believe that an investor will accept them giving anything less than 110% focus to their business. Imagine you were asked to give your bank £10,000 on deposit which they promised to look after until such time as […]

blogging and why…..

This is my tenth post, which isn’t bad in my book given I’ve never blogged or written much before. The thing that seems to be inspiring me to write the most goes to the heart of a strong belief that fundamentally life and commerce are reasonably simple, only made complex through either a lack of […]

risk and reward

Getting on my soapbox a bit about the old school style of an investor keeping their cards to themselves and business managers/owners trying to sweep issues and reality under the carpet. It all starts with a subject that I feel is often not covered well and/or avoided which is the fact that in both building […]