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Hot Seat

Book Description

Author and four-time founder/CEO Dan Shapiro tells the stories of dozens of startups whose companies have survived and thrived by the advice in these pages. From inception to buyout and triumph to despair, this rollercoaster read takes aspiring entrepreneurs from the highs of billion-dollar payouts and market-smashing success to the depths of impostor syndrome and bankruptcy. Hot Seat is divided into the five phases of the startup CEO experience: Founding, funding, leadership, management, and endgame.

Table of Contents

  1. Preface
    1. Anointed in the Elevator
    2. Figuring It Out
    3. Maybe You Should Do That
    4. Goodies
    5. Safari® Books Online
    6. How to Contact Us
  2. I. Founding
  3. 1. The Virtues of an Early Bankruptcy
  4. 2. The Cofounder Dilemma
    1. Cofounders Are Top Talent
    2. Cofounders Save Cash
    3. Investors Love Cofounders
    4. The Split Is the Downside
    5. First Question: Are You an Army of One?
    6. Second Question: Do You Have Access to a Solid-Gold Cofounder?
    7. Third Question: Will You Trade Cash for Camaraderie?
    8. A Finicky Note on the Linguistics of Cofounders
  5. 3. Deciding on the Dream
    1. What Is Your Company Going to Do?
    2. Step 1
    3. Step 2
    4. Step 3
    5. Step 4
  6. 4. Sharing Shares
    1. Who’s a Founder?
    2. What’s a Founder Worth?
      1. A Formula for Equity
    3. Why Not 50/50?
  7. 5. Vesting Is a Hack
    1. Vesting Schedules
  8. 6. Spending Money
    1. Build Dollars into the Company Culture
    2. Don’t Spend Your Own Money
    3. Remember: Cost/Benefit Analysis Is Irrelevant
  9. 7. Conclusion
  10. II. Funding
  11. 8. The Fun of Funding
  12. 9. Don’t Ask for Introductions
    1. Reason 1: Not Every Investor Is the Right Investor for You
    2. Reason 2: It’s Lazy and Rude
    3. Reason 3: They’ll Give You a Crappy Introduction
    4. The Right Way
    5. I Know This Makes You Sad
  13. 10. The Standard Pitch Deck
    1. Title
    2. Market Size
    3. Problem/Opportunity
    4. Solution
    5. Demo
    6. Model
    7. Traction
    8. Landscape
    9. Team
    10. Final Slide
    11. Appendix
  14. 11. The Nonstandard Pitch Deck
  15. 12. Business Plans
  16. 13. The Pyramid Pitch
  17. 14. Pitching Twitter; Pitching Hoverboards
  18. 15. Why Taxi Drivers Don’t Take Venture Capital
    1. You Want to Build a Profitable Company
    2. Your Business Has Reasonable Margins
    3. You Are Going to Double Your Investors’ Money
    4. You’re Not Their Type
    5. You Have Better Things to Do with Nine Months, and You Will Probably Fail
    6. You Will Have a New Boss
    7. ...So Does This Mean I Shouldn’t Raise VC?
  19. 16. Angels and Demons
    1. Myth: “Angel Investor” Is a Thing
    2. Myth: Angel Investors Want to Make Angel Investments
    3. Myth: Angel Investors Range from Useless to Helpful
    4. Myth: Angel Investors Consider Your Company to Be a Financial Investment
    5. Should You Take Angel Money, Then?
  20. 17. The Lead Investor
    1. Leading Due Diligence
    2. Negotiating Terms
    3. Rounding Up the Round
    4. Taking the Board Seat
    5. Who to Choose
    6. Lead Alternatives
  21. 18. Winning at Crowdfunding
    1. Platform
    2. Project Picking
    3. Curly’s Secret
    4. Story
    5. Reward
    6. Video
    7. Goal
    8. Tone
    9. Launch
    10. Media
    11. Updates
    12. Failure to Launch
    13. Support
  22. 19. Miscellaneous Financing Sources
    1. Family and Friends
    2. Strategic Investors
    3. Accelerators
    4. VC Seed Funds
  23. 20. How Much You’re Worth
  24. 21. How Much You Need
  25. 22. Notes or Priced?
    1. How to Decide?
  26. 23. Conclusion
  27. III. Leadership
  28. 24. The Six Things You Cannot Delegate
    1. The CEO Builds the Team
    2. The CEO Is the Keeper of the Vision
    3. The CEO Is Strategist-in-Chief
    4. The CEO Manages the Investors
    5. The CEO Owns Critical Relationships
    6. The CEO Sets the Company Culture
    7. Delegation: The Common Thread
  29. 25. Repeat Your Strategy
  30. 26. Contrarian Segmentation
  31. 27. Hypocrisy Is a Symptom of Values
  32. 28. Impostor
  33. 29. A Drummer for <span xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" xmlns:epub="http://www.idpf.org/2007/ops" class="keep-together">Spinal Tap</span>
    1. Executive Ignorance
    2. Role Confusion
    3. The CEO Curse
  34. 30. Your Company Culture Is a Meaningless Platitude
    1. Polarizing Decisions
      1. Work/Life Balance
      2. Inclusive Versus Exclusive
      3. Friendly Versus Professional
      4. Collaborative Versus Quiet
    2. Excesses
    3. Quirks
    4. Dysfunctions
  35. 31. Creating Culture
    1. Tool 1: Example
    2. Tool 2: Hiring
    3. Tool 3: Rewards and Consequences
  36. 32. Conclusion
  37. IV. Management
  38. 33. How to Make Your Company Half as Effective
    1. Empowerment
    2. Persuasion
    3. Delegation
    4. Compromise
    5. Exhaustion
  39. 34. The CEO Card
    1. When Do You “Play the CEO Card”?
    2. Hire
    3. Inspire
    4. Fire
    5. What to Do with the Cards
  40. 35. Building a Sublime Organization
    1. Job Postings
      1. They’ll Want to Do Something Compelling
      2. They’ll Want to Know About the Company They’re Going to <br xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" xmlns:epub="http://www.idpf.org/2007/ops"></br>Work ForWork For
      3. They’ll Want to Know What Their Job Responsibilities Are
      4. They’ll Want to Know How Much They’re Going to Get Paid
    2. Recruiting
      1. Get a Kate
      2. Be Famous
      3. Be Present
      4. Be Out There
      5. Work the Network
      6. Referrals, Seven Ways
    3. Intermediate Interviewing
    4. Follow Through
    5. Unambiguous Results
    6. A Second-Best Offer
    7. Frosting on the Cake
  41. 36. The Lies of <span xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" xmlns:epub="http://www.idpf.org/2007/ops" class="keep-together">Big-Company Life</span>
    1. Myth: Big Companies Teach Entrepreneurship
    2. Myth: You Must Be Cost Effective
    3. Myth: You Know How to Ship Software
    4. Myth: You Know How to Do Big Business Deals
    5. Ex-Big-Company Entrepreneurship
  42. 37. 14 Answers That Will Save You 100 Hours
  43. 38. The Board of Directors: Your Peers, Your Obligation, Your Bosses
    1. Common Seats
    2. CEO Seat
    3. Investor Seats
    4. Observer Seats
    5. Independent Seats
    6. Compensation
    7. Formation
    8. The Board and You
    9. Managing Board Members
  44. 39. Conclusion
  45. V. Endgame
  46. 40. Of Course This Company’s for Sale
  47. 41. Why to Sell
    1. Is It a Great Deal?
    2. Are You Done?
    3. Are You Up for Big-Company Life?
    4. Will the Money Change Your Life?
  48. 42. There Are Three <span xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" xmlns:epub="http://www.idpf.org/2007/ops" class="keep-together">Exits&#8212;Remember</span>, the Nearest Exit May Be Behind You, the Nearest Exit May Be Behind You
    1. Team Acquisitions
    2. Product Acquisitions
    3. Business Acquisitions
    4. ...And the Great Unwashed Middle
    5. Takeaways
  49. 43. Obligations Before Negotiations
    1. Your First Obligation: Your Debtholders
    2. Your Second Obligation: Your Shareholders
    3. Your Third Obligation: Your Team
    4. Your Fourth Obligation: Yourself
  50. 44. Negotiations
    1. Don’t Wreck the Company
    2. Figure Out What You Want
    3. Be Your Own Worst Enemy
    4. The Negotiation: Terms
    5. The Negotiation: People
  51. 45. Exiting with Grace
  52. 46. Sparkbuy’s Story
    1. Google Discovers Sparkbuy
    2. Google Rediscovers Sparkbuy
    3. The Deal Team
    4. Negotiation Roles
    5. Negotiation Strategy
    6. Diligence
    7. Signing
      1. Last-Minute Deal Changes
      2. Logistics
      3. Approvals
      4. Greed
      5. Closure
  53. 47. Conclusion
  54. Acknowledgments
  55. Index