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Founders Forum by DocuSign

This was my very first time attending a live panel discussion moderated by Fortune Magazine’s Adam Lashinsky. The founders of DocuSign (Tom Gonser), Eventbrite (Julia Hartz) and TaskRabbit (Leah Busque) were being moderated. The panel was positive, mostly transparent to the difficulties they experienced building these successful companies and full of energy. They all share a vision to be the best in this space and provide something new and innovative – which is one of the first reasons to begin a startup.

Lessons:

Venture Capitalists

  • When choosing a VC, make sure you get a good feeling from them.
  • Make sure they are experienced and are passionate about your product.
  • Make sure they know the risks and aren’t panicking when something goes wrong. They need to be calm and provide support. They need to see the market potential.
  • Bad VC’s will drive away other VC’s and turn your company upside-down.

Shareholding

  • Non of the founders are majority shareholders in their company or have a majority voting stock. This ties back into selecting good VC’s because as a board, you decide where your company goes and need a shared vision. Not having control of the company isn’t always a bad thing because you have multiple heads driving the direction of the company.

Hiring

  • As a leader, you hire someone to fill a role. Let them do their job and don’t micro-manage.
  • It is important that when hiring, you start with the problem you are facing and what skills are needed to solve that problem – then look for the person who matches that. Not the other way around.
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