FOUNDERS ACADEMY
VIDEO LIBRARY

Dramatically increase your odds of startup success. Instead of binge reading the hundreds of articles on this site, check out my Founders Academy video library with dozens of topic-specific streaming videos.

Developing Your Idea  Title:

Developing Your Idea


Description:

Some entrepreneurs fall into the trap of thinking "if we build it they will come" but that is very rarely the case. Solutions for problems in the market should be specifically developed for a target customer and that takes some up-front planning and research. This video module provides some tools and techniques for developing your idea so that you can be more certain that what you're building will lead to a viable business that can hopefully scale and become sustainable.


Length:

25 minutes

Sizing Your Market  Title:

Sizing Your Market


Description:

Properly sizing the market you serve is critical for many reasons, not the least of which is demonstrating your upside potential to investors. This module will show you various ways to size your market and how to properly message the result to investors and others.


Length:

29 minutes

Customer Acquisition Strategies   Title:

Customer Acquisition Strategies


Description:

There is a lot that goes into identifying and implementing the ideal customer acquisition model for your product and company. Get it right and you can grow like a rocket ship but get it wrong and the wasted time, energy and funding could end up killing the company. This video will help you figure out which customer acquisition model is best for your company and how it might evolve over time.


Length:

31 minutes

Pricing Strategies  Title:

Pricing Strategies


Description:

A perfect product that is priced wrong either leaves money on the table (missed opportunity) or drives away prospects. There is both an art and science to pricing your product correctly, including the metric(s) you use to based your pricing and decisions about publicly displaying your pricing.


Length:

31 minutes

Your Elevator Pitch   Title:

Your Elevator Pitch


Description:

Your elevator pitch must be good enough to get the recipient to ask any sort of question that allows the dialog to continue. This session breaks down an effective elevator pitch into its most crucial elements and gives you tools to help construct your own.


Length:

16 minutes

Basic Fundraising Vocabulary  Title:

Basic Fundraising Vocabulary


Description:

Fundraising has a vocabulary of its own and if you don't speak and understand the lingo, you'll be at a disadvantage versus the investors you're pitching. This narrated presentation covers all of the key fundraising terms you'll need to know to get started.


Length:

15 minutes

How Much to Raise  Title:

How Much to Raise


Description:

LDeciding how much money to raise to fund your business venture is really difficult. In fact, it's as much art as science. But it's important to get it right. If you don't raise enough, you won't have enough runway to reach interesting milestones and accomplishments for raising money again in the future. If you raise too much, you risk excessively diluting yourself, your co-founders, employees, advisors and previous investors.


Length:

25 minutes

Seed Funding Vehicles & Terms  Title:

Seed Funding Vehicles & Terms


Description:

Getting your fundraising terms right during the early stages of company evolution is critical because it sets things in motion for years to come. How do you decide between the various fundraising instruments and associated terms that accompany them? This narrated presentation covers all of that and more.


Length:

31 minutes

Pitch Decks  Title:

Pitch Decks


Description:

Your pitch deck is the single most valuable tool you will use for fundraising. Getting it right is critical and following a commonly-accepted flow is also extremely valuable. This module breaks down pitch decks into their fundamental section and explains what type of information should be included in each section.


Length:

25 minutes

Controlling Legal Costs  Title:

Controlling Legal Costs


Description:

Legal costs could be the 2nd or 3rd highest of all expenses in your budget. And they regularly seem higher than you could imagine possible. Startups and early stage companies already have a keen focus on conserving cash. This video module reveals 10 logical and easy ways to control your legal costs.


Length:

21 minutes

Leveraging Advisors   Title:

Leveraging Advisors


Description:

Many startups bring on advisors to help increase their odds of success. But how do you go about selecting the right ones? How do you compensate them? And how do you maximize their value? This video covers all of this.


Length:

21 minutes

Optimizing CAC, Churn & LTV  Title:

Optimizing CAC, Churn & LTV


Description:

CAC, churn and LTV are the most important operational metrics for many companies. That's because balancing and optimizing them create a viable and healthy long-term opportunity. Having an excessively high customer acquisition cost or excessively high churn rate are two of the quickest causes of startup death. This video explains each of these customer lifecyle metrics and, more importantly, ways to optimize them.


Length:

24 minutes

Demystifying Cap Tables  Title:

Demystifying Cap Tables


Description:

The moment a startup initially incorporates they start the evolution of a very important ledger called a "cap table". Actions such as creating a stock option pool, fundraising and more affect the relative equity of the various shareholders. This video module demystifies how cap tables evolve under various scenarios and gives a specific evolutionary example to follow.


Length:

46 minutes

Stock Options Explained  Title:

Stock Options Explained


Description:

Stock options are one of the most common and valuable compensation tools for startup founders. Learn how they work and how to use them most effectively for maximum benefit.


Length:

27 minutes

Preparing for a Pitching Event  Title:

Preparing for a Pitching Event


Description:

Demo days and similar on-stage pitching events are commonplace for startups these days. That means in order to have a chance of delivering a peak performance compared to others you'll need some tips and tricks. This video module covers pitch content, pitch preparation and on-stage secrets.


Length:

24 minutes

Business Development Secrets  Title:

Business Development Secrets


Description:

Business development isn't just a different form of sales. There are a lot of misconceptions about bus dev that I demystify in this video, which focuses mostly on securing and managing strategic partners via a bus dev function.


Length:

39 minutes

Compensating First Employees  Title:

Compensating First Employees


Description:

How do you attract and compensate your first employees when you don't have much in the way of cash to compensate them? The answer obviously lies with equity but that leaves a lot to figure out. In this video I'll give guidelines on how to determine how to identify first employee candidates, much equity to give them and how to both describe and negotiate this unique compensation package.


Length:

22 minutes

Finding & Pitching Investors  Title:

Finding & Pitching Investors


Description:

Deciding how much you should raise and which funding vehicle you should use is only a small part of the fundraising journey. If you don't find or convince investors to open their checkbook and give you some of their money, your venture is suddenly much more risky. Effectively finding and pitching investors is more art form than science. This narrated presentation will help you in this endeavor.


Length:

19 minutes

Negotiating Valuation  Title:

Negotiating Valuation


Description:

Valuation is the most debated and, therefore, negotiated term in a round a funding. This module describes the step-by-step process many investors follow for assessing valuation and also includes tips and tricks for negotiating with investors.


Length:

19 minutes

Fundraising Issues & Tips  Title:

Fundraising Issues & Tips


Description:

I would be lying if I suggested that fundraising was an easy and efficient exercise. It is not. In fact, there are almost always surprises and issues to deal with along the way. This narrated presentation covers the most common issues to expect and gives hints and tips for overcoming them for a successful outcome.


Length:

39 minutes

Messaging & Positioning  Title:

Messaging & Positioning


Description:

At the heart of the marketing discipline is messaging and positioning. It sets the foundation for all other aspects of marketing, including pricing, branding and demand generation.


Length:

23 minutes

B2B Demand Generation  Title:

B2B Demand Generation


Description:

Your ideal buyer personas must first find you and then consume your various content to ultimately make a purchase decision. Learn the various demand generation campaigns and channels you can deploy while learning tips and techniques for optimizing your results.


Length:

42 minutes

Optimizing Your Website  Title:

Optimizing Your Website


Description:

It could easily be argued that your website is the most valuable tool for any startup. This video module covers how to optimize your website performance and with a special emphasis on optimizing website conversion rates.


Length:

10 minutes

Marketing Ops & Metrics  Title:

Marketing Ops & Metrics


Description:

In a world with increasingly-abundant data and artificial intelligence functions, the "back office" of the marketing function is key to optimizing results and achieving predictability.


Length:

21 minutes

Pricing Your Stock  Title:

Pricing Your Stock


Description:

Setting the price for your various classes of stock is easy, right? Actually, it's more involved than most think and with different people and professionals advising different approaches.


Length:

12 minutes

Establishing a Management System  Title:

Establishing a Management System


Description:

Even startups need a system for managing the business. But it can't be so cumbersome as to choke creativity and innovation or slow down velocity of execution. This module describes a startup management system and various concepts and tools that can be included with it.


Length:

22 minutes

Defining Your Sales Model  Title:

Defining Your Sales Model


Description:

There is a lot that goes into identifying and implementing the ideal sales model for your product and company. Get it right and you can grow like a rocket ship but get it wrong and the wasted time, energy and funding could end up killing the company. This video will help you figure out which sales model is best for your company and how it might evolve over time.


Length:

43 minutes

Sales Orgs & Territories  Title:

Sales Orgs & Territories


Description:

Starting from scratch and building out an effective sales organization is very difficult, especially for a first-timer. This session describes the various roles that exist in a sales organization, how they interact with each other, and ways of getting started. A discussion about sales territories is also included.


Length:

36 minutes

Sales Quotas & Compensation  Title:

Sales Quotas & Compensation


Description:

Setting sales quotas and associated sales compensation plans is a real art form. With money on the line for the sales reps, extensive scrutiny will be placed on your decisions in these two regards. I've got many years of experience in this area and share all my key tips and secrets in this video.


Length:

37 minutes

Managing the Sales Team  Title:

Managing the Sales Team


Description:

If you've never managed a team of quota-carrying sales reps, you're in for a surprise. This video will help demystify sales management and give quite a few tools to use.


Length:

22 minutes

Demonstrating Traction  Title:

Demonstrating Traction


Description:

Traction is the single largest contributor to your company's valuation. After you launch your product and have a track record of sales, your valuation will increasingly be based on financial and operational metrics/trends. But what about boosting your valuation before you have revenue traction? There are lots of things you can do in this regard and that's the purpose of this video module.


Length:

22 minutes

Licensing Your Technology  Title:

Licensing Your Technology


Description:

Some startups build core technology with the sole purpose of making money by licensing it to others while other startups later discover they have something that could be licensed as a revenue enhancement opportunity. In either case, licensing your intellectual property (IP) is a fairly involved venture with significant downside risks, if done wrong. But if done correctly and with the right partners, magic can happen. This video explains the risks and opportunities with technology licensing deals from a business development and deal structuring perspective (rather than a purely legal perspective).


Length:

23 minutes

Tools for Planning  Title:

Tools for Planning


Description:

There's a quote I like that says "Execution without strategy is aimless but strategy without execution is useless." Incorporating planning tools and related activities into your management system doesn't mean you'll operate like a slow and complicated billion dollar enterprise. Instead, it means you'll take action with more conviction and with higher odds of success. This module covers tools for planning that are appropriate during the startup and early growth phase.


Length:

17 minutes

Tools for Focus & Priority  Title:

Tools for Focus & Priority


Description:

There's a quote I like that says "Execution without strategy is aimless but strategy without execution is useless." Incorporating tools and activities to improve focus or determine priority doesn't mean you'll operate like a slow and complicated billion dollar enterprise. Instead, it means you'll take action with more conviction and with higher odds of success. This module covers tools for focus and priority that are appropriate during the startup and early growth phase.


Length:

31 minutes

Tools for Assessing Progress  Title:

Tools for Assessing Progress


Description:

Startups and early stage companies move at the speed of light and with plenty of left turns and right turns along the way. As such, assessing progress in key areas can be really difficult. This module covers tools for doing just that during the startup and early growth phase.


Length:

25 minutes

Growth & Scalability  Title:

Growth & Scalability


Description:

Some think growth and scalability are roughly the same thing but they are actually quite different. This module compares and contrasts them while giving several suggestions for assessing and architecting scalability into your company.


Length:

12 minutes

Expanding Beyond Home Market  Title:

Expanding Beyond Home Market


Description:

Certain types of companies can't just push a button and suddenly make their offering nationwide or globally. It is usually due to a requirement for local presence in order to facilitate expansion. This creates extra burdens for scalability and investors expect such startups and early stage companies to have a sound plan for market expansion. That is the purpose of this module.


Length:

19 minutes

Intro to Enterprise Sales  Title:

Intro to Enterprise Sales


Description:

Enterprise sales isn't just a slower version of SMB sales with a larger deal size. There are significant nuances that seasoned enterprise sales reps have learned but most early stage company founders haven't.


Length:

31 minutes

Golden Rules of M&A  Title:

Golden Rules of M&A


Description:

With 15 acquisitions under my belt (13 as the acquirer), I've witnessed a lot of things done right and a lot done wrong. Using those experiences, I've developed a set of Golden Rules and now have collected them into a video.


Length:

21 minutes

A Tale of Two Acquisitions  Title:

A Tale of Two Acquisitions


Description:

With 15 acquisitions under my belt (13 as the acquirer), I've witnessed a lot of things done right and a lot done wrong. Using those experiences, I developed two case studies to describe the acquisition process and learn some very valuable lessons. One story has a happy ending for the startup but the other story doesn't have such a happy ending.


Length:

28 minutes

Demystifying Due Diligence  Title:

Demystifying Due Diligence


Description:

Most people have no idea what happens after a letter of intent to acquire your company is executed. They might have heard of "due diligence" but don't really know what it means or what is involved. As it turns out, due diligence from a large or experience acquirer can be one of the most chaotic events you've ever participated in. This video explains due diligence from the perspective of the selling company and gives specific recommendations to be best prepared.


Length:

25 minutes

Hardware Company Considerations  Title:

Hardware Company Considerations


Description:

Hardware is "hard" and that's why most entrepreneurs wouldn't consider it. But it's also what makes hardware startups so special. There's a lot of unique nuances to starting and growing a successful hardware company. This video covers the good, bad and ugly about building and operating a hardware company.


Length:

29 minutes