10 Updates
5 New Years resolutions from a startup investor
Photo Credit: Forbes Business

5 New Years resolutions from a startup investor

Jan 1 2014, 12:06pm CST | by

My recent post, Why Your Startup is Going to Fail , took aim at entrepreneurs. Raising money for a new business and then building out a lasting enterprise is extremely hard. The gruelling...

Filed under: news

 
 
 

28 weeks ago

5 New Years resolutions from a startup investor

Jan 1 2014, 12:06pm CST | by

My recent post, Why Your Startup is Going to Fail , took aim at entrepreneurs. Raising money for a new business and then building out a lasting enterprise is extremely hard. The gruelling entrepreneurial process is like a marathon that you sprint — requiring the most in terms of endurance and speed from business professionals.

As it’s New Years Day, I thought it would only be fair to turn the tables a bit — to focus on how hard it is to be an investor in startups (crocodile tears, right?). Of course, it’s a different type of hard than being a business builder but arguably just as hard to get “right”. As investors, we face pressures to satisfy our own investors, achieve outperformance, building quality businesses and perhaps hardest, seeing companies that aren’t going to make it die.

As equity crowdfunding platforms scale and enable more people to become angel investors, the focus on successful investing is as important as ever.

So, cutting to the chase, here are my New Years resolutions:

  1. I’ll do my best NOT to be a copycat: People complain that investors in startups tend to copycat one another. It’s definitely easier to ride the coattails of a winning idea than to find a gem on your own. That’s why there’s so much me-too in the industry. Hey, remember all the Groupon lookalikes  (NASDAQ: GRPN)? Visionary investors have to have the wherewithall and fortitude to stand up to their own investors and peers to do something different. To do something in a way that causes some dissonance with how people do things today. I want to be that type of investor.
  2. Focus on solving real-world problems, not produce sexy tech: Ashton Kutcher, for all his success investing in startups , has a simple philosophy: he focuses on new businesses that solve real world problems. As an investor, it’s easy to get swayed by MIT PhDs (in our case, Technion PhDs) touting earth-shattering new tech. Lost in our deal flow process are simple businesses addressing issues that many of us face everyday.
  3. To be more accepting of people who are “different”: This is a goal I have in my life in general, not just via my investing focus. But legendary investors like Tom Perkins and Don Valentine said it well in their recent interview , but changing the world requires people willing to challenge the status quo. That requires something “different” and frequently requires someone different. I want to invest in more people NOT like me. I want to invest in people who didn’t go to Harvard, who found a different way to approach business, with different tactics, different ideas and goals, but who are solid enough in themselves to make a real difference.
  4. Be a better listener: There’s an interesting power differential in pitching an investor. Talented entrepreneurs and salespeople can use this to their advantage but how frequently do we find ourselves telling others why their ideas aren’t going to make it? How often do we show off our experience and knowledge by knocking down good ideas? I want to be the type of startup investor who can listen attentively and know when to be quiet. At least, Prophecy Sciences says that’s a common quality among successful investors . I’m working more on listening.
  5. Improve as a person: Startup investing isn’t a zero-sum game : no one has to lose for all of us to win. I want to work with our portfolio companies to make them as successful as we know they can all be. I want to do it purely, because I want to, because it’s challenging, because by doing so, everyone wins (even our competitors in the industry). I aspire to be a Go-Giver , a builder of wealth for many, a connector, a person who gives to give and doesn’t expect anything in return.

Well, there’s my soul on paper. That wasn’t so hard.

So, are you an investor or entrepreneur? What are you working on this year? Let me know in the comments.

Source: Forbes Business

 
Update
10

6 weeks ago

RM47mil KWSG contributions still unclaimed

Jun 9 2014 7:54am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

Cambodia's Famous Battambang Circus
KUALA LUMPUR: About RM47 million of contributions in the Teachers Provident Fund (KWSG) still remain unclaimed, the Dewan Rakyat was tol ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
9

6 weeks ago

Gold shop lost almost RM1mil

Jun 9 2014 3:50am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

Collingwood Magpies Training Session
KANGAR: A gold shop owner lost almost RM1 million after after the safe on in his shop was broken into by robbers. ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
8

6 weeks ago

Motion to debate MAS losses in Dewan Rakyat rejected

Jun 9 2014 3:39am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

Federal Aviation Administration Bans All US Flights To Israel
KUALA LUMPUR: AN emergency motion to debate the losses incurred by Malaysia Airlines last year, amounting to RM1.2 billion was rejected by the De ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
7

6 weeks ago

MH370 Tragedy: Hisham: RM27.6 mil spent on 1st phase of SAR

Jun 9 2014 2:11am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia spent some RM27.6 million in its first phase of the search operations for missing Malaysia Airline flight MH370, said Acting Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Hisham ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
6

6 weeks ago

9.1m litres of diesel seized in a month

Jun 8 2014 1:11am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

INDIA-CHINA-DIPLOMACY-TRADE
PUTRAJAYA: The Domestic Trade, Cooperatives, and Consumerism ministry has seized some 9.1 million litres of diesel and property worth RM58 million since mounting ‘Operasi Diesel Selatan ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
5

6 weeks ago

Girl, 9, awarded RM2.78m compensation for medical negligence

Jun 6 2014 4:56am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

Government Weekly Cabinet Meeting
KUALA LUMPUR: A nine-year-old girl who suffered brain damage during her birth at a government hospital was awarded over RM2.78 million in compensa ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
4

6 weeks ago

Malaysia's total trade in April up 12pc

Jun 5 2014 11:52pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's total trade in April 2014 rose by 12 per cent from a year ago to RM123.86 billion due to growing trading activities, International Trade and Industry Minis ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
3

6 weeks ago

Works Ministry to spend RM20m for upgrading works at 50 accident black spots

Jun 4 2014 11:35pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

Iskandar Johor Open - Previews
JOHOR BARU: The Works Ministry will implement upgrading works at 50 accident prone locations in the country that have been identified this year involving an allocation of RM20 m ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
2

6 weeks ago

Najib launches loan scheme for Ramadan traders

Jun 4 2014 10:24pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM - Day One
PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today launches RM45 million Ramadan Bazaar Sc ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
1

6 weeks ago

Residents bring up objection against Kidex to Suhakam

Jun 4 2014 4:49am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PETALING JAYA: A group of 20 Petaling Jaya residents held a meeting with the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) over their objection against the proposed RM2.2 billion Kinrara Damansar ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

US approves probes against Chinese tires
Washington, July 23 (IANS) The US International Trade Commission (USITC) Tuesday approved the anti-dumping and countervailing duties investigations against imports of certain passenger vehicle and light truck tires from China.
 
 
Nigeria poverty level drops: Report
Lagos, July 23 (IANS) Poverty rate in Nigeria has dropped from 35.2 percent to 33.1 percent in 2013, a latest World Bank report said Tuesday.
 
 
UN agencies call for actions against polio in Syria
Geneva, July 23 (IANS) The World Health Organisation and the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund Tuesday said in a report that actions are needed to protect children against polio in Syria as polio cases resurfaced in the conflict-stricken country.
 
 
US airlines cancel flights to Israel
Washington, July 23 (IANS) Two major US civil aviation giants, Delta Airlines and US Airways announced Tuesday that they have cancelled flights to Israel due to safety and security concerns.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Kerry, Abbas discuss Gaza ceasefire
Ramallah, July 23 (IANS) US Secretary of State John Kerry Wednesday along with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas discussed the possibilities of reaching a ceasefire to end the on-going violence in the Gaza Strip....
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Convertible Owners Have More Bucks And Brains Than Other Drivers, Survey Says
Most Popular Convertibles In The U.S. In what might be a case of twisted logic, data suggests it takes an above-average income and education to drive what, by all measures, is one of the least practical cars on the...
Read more on Auto Balla
 
Wine Tourism Mega Hit: Just Add Music
BAROLO, Italy –Let’s start with some numbers. 750. That’s about the everyday population of the comune of Barolo, the wine mecca of the Piedmont region that produces the red wines widely regarded as Italy’s very best. 20...
Read more on Auto Balla
 
Diesels, Despite Competition,Will Still Lead Fuel Frugality March - Audi
MALMO, Sweden – Diesel engines are under attack on many fronts, but Audi still believes they have a solid future and will even lead the way in saving fuel for a while yet. Ever-tightening clean-air regulations make...
Read more on Auto Balla
 
Tesla Motors Idles California Plant To Prepare For Model X Production
Tesla Motors is halting production at its assembly plant in Fremont, California to prepare for the rollout of its electric crossover vehicles, known as the Model X. Tesla will also enhance its existing assembly line to...
Read more on Auto Balla
 
Taiwan Depends On New Apple Models, Tablet Decline Shows
In November Apple came out with its thin, light tablet the iPad Air, and a new iPad model is due in late 2014, tech media say. That leaves a year with nothing new from the Silicon Valley consumer tech icon. Some might...
Read more on Apple Balla
 
UEFA Champions League qualifying results
London, July 23 (IANS) Following are the results from the UEFA Champions League second qualifying round, second leg, according to Xinhua: FK Sutjeska (Montenegro), 0 FC Sheriff, Moldova, 3 Sheriff qualify 5-0 on...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Lady Gaga joins water conservation campaign
Los Angeles, July 23 (IANS) Singer Lady Gaga has joined a campaign urging the people of California to conserve water. In a new video for the Save Our Water campaign, the singer reveals she learned all about California...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Jada Pinkett Smith stands up against sexual assault
Los Angeles, July 23 (IANS) Actress Jada Pinkett Smith has taken on cause of sexual assault after a family incident. Smith is speaking up for rape victims, a cause that nearly hit close to home for the actress, who...
Read more on Celebrity Balla