Column

Sometimes it's better not to raise money. I know this sounds strange coming from me. I'm an angel investor in over 50 startups, my Twitter is essentially a ticker for funding news and I've always been a huge proponent for going public, which requires a long road of investments along the way. But there are great reasons to turn down venture capital investment and bootstrap it yourself or take just a small amount of funding. This was the crux of my discussion the other day with a founder facing this big decision on whether to raise a seed round.

This founder's company is getting great customer traction within a niche of a skyrocketing industry that has some very powerful players. He's at a fork in the road. If he pursues funding, he'll likely be able to raise a round. But is it the right thing?

Read more Show less

The other day I had a call with a founder in my portfolio of angel investments who is preparing for a Series A round. His question was: At what point should he step back from personally leading sales and hire a real sales team?

Every seed or Series A company will go through this important step. There's no question that a founder's passion and knowledge of the product usually makes for a great salesperson. But at some point, it's time to let go and bring in the experts: true salespeople.

The challenge is, unless you cut your teeth in sales or have direct experience with the inner workings of a sales organization, many founders don't know much about recruiting or structuring a sales team. So where do you start?

Read more Show less

Looking for something to do this holiday weekend? Grab the (microwaved) popcorn and 'let's get down to business.'

Disney is releasing its live-action remake "Mulan" on Disney+, with potentially groundbreaking implications for how tentpole films are usually released.

If you're a Disney+ subscriber, you can gain exclusive access — but you will have to pay $29.99 on top of the monthly subscription fee. To purchase, head to your Disney+ app on Apple, Roku and Google platforms or to Disney+'s website. You'll retain the film for as long as you remain a Disney+ subscriber. But if you're planning to catch "Mulan" when it's added to the general Disney+ library, you'll have to wait until December 4th.

I worked as a senior analyst at Disney when it was just beginning to devise how to bring its content direct-to-consumer. This is another shrewd business experiment for the media giant to test out a little disruptive distribution. Streaming has become a core part of its strategy as the pandemic wreaks havoc across traditional revenue streams. And as many users hop between streaming services, the "Mulan" release may give Disney+ a well-timed incentive to keep customers from cancelling subscriptions while they await the next season of "The Mandalorian." Giving its users sustained access to one of 2020's only films — and a key addition to its princess franchise at that— could give Disney+ a stickiness advantage over its competitors.

So how should you evaluate whether Mulan's release is a success?

Read more Show less

Trending