Notes from our April San Francisco Bootstrappers Breakfast

How to manage advisers:

  • Spell out exactly what you are looking for in an Advisory Board
  • Have a meeting with them monthly or quarterly to have constant communication with them
  • Have them all together face to face or phone to hear a difference of option and understand different way to look at your issues
  • If they are investors as well as advisers have them do something.
  • Don’t give away equity unless there is a return for that equity.
  • Ask potential advisers if they have advised for 3 other companies and ask to talk to those companies
  • Fire them if they don’t achieve goals If you have an adviser because they have network connections with a potential customer, consider going to the corporate website of that customer and pitching to their marketing team.
  • Its their job to get clients on board. They get commission for adding products. For example Walgreens.

Leveraging Investors

There are 2 ways to fund an initial company so that the company has power over its development.

  1. Generate your own revenue add major customers crowd investing customers are more valuable than investors
  2. Have investors compete over you. This way, they do what you want instead of the other way around.

Finding Foreign Investors

  • Print free education
  • Go to consultants to get $$ to fund trips abroad
  • Go through the chamber of commerce in specific cities in the USA (i.e. LA, San Jose)
  • Every country has a ministry of Foreign Affairs. These Organizations are meant to make you succeed as a foreign company in their land. Become a US Company.
  • Bundle your software with a US Company
  • Embassies have regular tech fairs.

Recruit people to join your team

  • Make backwards plans to a date.
  • Start with goal and work back to present with individual markers of accomplishment
  • Mercenaries vs. Missionaries – Appeal to them either with how you will make money together or how you will bring impact to an issue
  • Its hard to get a deal done when you need a double sided deal. i.e. when you have to have a customer and and buyer like ebay

How to use the true believers?

  • Testimonials
  • Testimonial videos
  • Testimonial video trees where you click on a link that is your issue and it takes you to subtopic pages. Each page in this topic tree has a one or more videos
  • Make a TED Talk When are they most excited about your product.
  • Use that peak enthusiasm.
  • Introduce a special offer