The Yin of Startups

  • Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought. - Albert Szent-Gyorgyi 1962

The Yang of Startups

  • It is not the critic who counts...the credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood...who knows great enthusiasms, and great devotions...who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. - Theodore Roosevelt, 1910

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December 11, 2007



Dan --
Great post. On your last point -- best advice I ever received from a private equity friend of mine was "everyone acts in their own best interests" - once you understand where VC is coming from life gets a lot easier.

Reality is, entrepreneurs need home runs to do great in a VC deal. That's the price you pay to the cash -- that a small successful business will not be great outcome for you as a founder. Not making value judgement just stating fact


Be careful with that excel file - it needs a little (but significant fix). It uses the new super-duper preferred: take the preferred and then add the investors ownership percentage by the original equity value (not deducting for the preferred). I sent a fix to the author which I suspect he'll post, but if not - just fix the far right column.

Dan Malven

Will is correct in that the original file had an error. I have fixed it now. If you are reading this (and see the file version as 1.0a) then you have the right file.



Interesting article. we building a free Entrepreneurs Investors community. Our idea is to bring to entrepreneurs advice that will help them in the growth process. The website is free of charge while still in beta. Let's develop markets together!

I leave you the decision to publish the address of the website (

Thanks and good work!

Chirag Patel

Great post. I've looked "participating preferred" a few times and this is the best explanation.

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Little traduction for our French friends ^^ :

"Depuis Dick et moi sommes «frères de mères différentes" (c'est à dire à la fois basé à Chicago entrepreneurs technologie avec des blogs sur les problèmes de démarrage, qui affichent trop rarement, mais rattraper cela avec des messages qui sont beaucoup trop long!), Nous avons commencé un dialogue sur le courriel ce sujet. Je re-écriture / ré-organiser le contenu de l'email, mais depuis la fin de l'été est là et je suis trop paresseux pour le faire, je vais juste après c'est comme...

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Ačiū už dalintis šį postą pas mus. Tai tikrai nuostabi post. Laikyti parašėte gerą darbą ir ateityje.

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