John Burke, from True Ventures is a man I can agree with a lot, he believes that partnering is an important part of the entrepreneurial process, having started my career working in the technology business working for IBM, and several Technology Solution Partners in California I cannot agree more.
John is my second interviewee from Jason Caplain for the Venture Outlook 2011 conference, next week on Wednesday, February 09, 2011 from 9:30 AM - 11:30 AM (ET) in Raleigh, NC. Where leading venture capitalists explore trends in technology, start-ups, and where VC firms are looking to deploy capital in 2011.
John was kind enough to answer my same series of questions I asked Matthew Witheiler of Flybridge Capital Partners.
John C: What are the most important things an entrepreneur should have in mind when developing a business and a business model?
John B: Create a business that you want to be involved with for 10 years. Both as a passion and intellectual interest.
Don’t obsess on venture funding. There are many many great businesses and ideas out there that don't require or warrant venture capital funding. Build a business that you want to build, in the way you want to build it – if it attracts venture funding great. If it doesn't, then you are still doing something you love. Very very few businesses get or should get venture funding. When you love what you are doing – it shows to customers, partners and potential investors. Simply creating and modeling a business so it will attract venture funding is a mistake. Venture funding is not a end to itself.
John C: What's different for entrepreneurs today from five years ago?
John B: One of the biggest differences we see is the increasing amount of dollars chasing the seed deals and the continuing drop in costs associated with starting a software and even a hardware business. Clearly the major trends of cloud computing, increasing ubiquity of broadband and ever increasing computing power at the edge of the network are changing the way customers interact and consume content.
John C: What mistakes do entrepreneurs often make when pitching investors, and how can they avoid them?
- Arguing among the team
- Not doing your homework on the VC's portfolio
- Saying your raising "between $1M and $5M depending on valuation."
John: Thanks John! If you'd like to hear more from John and his co-panelists, join him at Venture Outlook 2011, Wednesday, February 09, 2011 from 9:30 AM - 11:30 AM (ET) in Raleigh, NC.