Using LinkedIn to Reach the Right People at the Right Time – Free Webinar 11/30

3229285946_e2e1391972 Wouldn’t it be great if you could connect with your ideal clients before they needed your product or service?  And wouldn’t it be even more amazing if you knew immediately when something occurred that triggered their need for your service?  Imagine running an appliance repair service and receiving an email any time someone in your service area has a broken appliance – before they start the process of finding someone to fix it. Or running a Chinese restaurant and knowing any time one of your regular customers gets a craving for Chinese food.

Science fiction?  Well, yes.  But the reality of what’s currently possible may be closer to that than you think.

Most marketing is focused on creating a message that matches the prospect’s need and attracts them…after they’ve started the buying decision process.  But there’s a window of opportunity before that, between the time that something occurs that causes the need – the "trigger event" – and the time they start the buying process.  If you can connect with people during that window, you can establish yourself as a trusted advisor and perhaps even block out the competition entirely.

image This is known as "trigger-event selling", and Craig Elias, coauthor of SHiFT!  – Harness the Trigger Events That Turn Prospects into Customers, is the world’s leading expert on the topic. He’s also, like me, a very early adopter of LinkedIn and uses it as one of his core business tools.  With in-depth profiles of more than 80 million professionals, LinkedIn is one of the best tools for directly identifying and connecting with people who match your ideal client profile.  It’s also a great place for identifying trigger events – new hires, promotions, new projects, and other company news that may not make it to the usual public channels.

Craig and I will be conducting a free webinar next Tuesday, November 30, at 2pm EST on using LinkedIn to connect with your ideal clients, monitor for trigger events and establish yourself as a trusted advisor to them before they even start the buying process. This webinar will be jam-packed with practical how-to information that you can put into action immediately. Register now to reserve your spot.

P.S. – This is seriously advanced stuff.  I’ve used it with a handful of my high-end clients, but this is the first time I’ve taught it to a group. If you’re serious about using LinkedIn to improve your sales process, you don’t want to miss this.

Top image: Anders Ljungberg

Panel on Super-Seed Funds at Harvard Business School Club of NY

 

I took some notes on last week’s Harvard Business School Club of New York panel on "Super-Seed Funds — Back to the Future." Eugene Radin of Concept Clinic edited the notes and merged in his own.  Incidentally, congratulations to Doug Atkin, Tony Berkman, Steve Miller and the rest of the Majestic Research team on their sale (announced today) to ITG!

 

Moderator:

Steve Brotman – Managing Director, SAVP

 

Panelists:

Chris Dixon – HBS, Founder Collective/Hunch.com

Doug AtkinGuggenheim Partners, former CEO Instinet

Jeff Stewart – founder, UrgentCareer; Mimeo; Monitor110

John Frankelff Asset Management

Select Biographies

 

Doug Atkin

After graduating Tufts, became first employee of Instinet in 1984, spent 20 years there.

Did a lot of investing in financial firms through his work at Instinet.

Ran a few companies, most recently Majestic Research.

 

Steve Brotman

Raised $1m, mostly his own money, in late 90s. His first investment was in LivePerson, which went public in 18 months. Money started pouring in ’99. Collected a return of 3.5x investment, which put him in the top 1%.

In ’04-’05, partnered with Greenhill Ventures and raised $100m. Greenhill raised $2b. Currently spinning off from Greenhill, due to recent regulatory changes. We’re very pleased about the spinoff, because the move will provide more freedom.

 

Chris Dixon

Co-founder of Hunch.

Personal investor in early-stage technology companies, including Skype, Foursquare, Stack Overflow, TrialPay, DocVerse (acquired by GOOG), Invite Media (acquired by GOOG), Gerson Lehrman Group, ScanScout, OMGPOP, BillShrink, Panjiva, Knewton, and a handful of other startups that are still in stealth mode.

Co-founder of Founder Collective.

 

John Frankel

Back in 2007, VC’s invested in 3,500 companies, with $26-30b. Angels put in $26b in more companies (excluding friends and family). Roll to 2008: amount of money invested by VC’s dropped to about $16b, but angels are at about the same level.

Recently spoke with one of the largest VC funds: they did an analysis of all the super-angels, which determined that over 1,000 companies had received capital from this population. They said that’s terrible for their business. He countered: I don’t know if those 1,000 investments came from the pool that gets money from VC’s or the pool that gets money from angels.

Panel Discussion

 

Steve Brotman

What are your thoughts on the recent popularity of early stage investing?

 

The panel unanimously agreed that this method of raising money has gained much more attention lately, and is growing as a viable source of seed investment for entrepreneurs.

 

Chris Dixon

Two contradictory forces: funds are getting bigger, but the amount of money needed to start a tech company has dropped.

Funds like his earn money only if they get returns for their investors, just like the entrepreneurs. Average top-tier VC investor at Greylock makes a few million/year just for showing up (referring to management fees).

Seed funds offer more flexibility than VC’s.

 

John Frankel

Angels invest in far more companies and spend approximately the same amount of money as VCs.

Angels may be threatening to traditional VC’s.

More people are interested in starting companies, especially young people, who view entrepreneurship as a viable direction for their lives.

Very low burn rate for many companies which they invest in.

Economic recession has created more companies, and larger, established companies are more interested in unique/new ideas, which offer more opportunities for exits.

It has become more difficult to pick winners in the large field of opportunities.

 

Steve Brotman

Have prices gone up? That’s the measure of a bubble.

 

Jeff Stewart

Study of six angels: returns were in the range of 18-30% across all the different pools of angels (average returns 30%; lowest 18%.), but 60% of the investments went to zero, So you’re getting all the returns from ~5% of the funded companies.

This is not a bubble, but a non-correlated asset class, with great returns!

Need to invest in many companies given the expectation of most investments returning 0%.

 

John Frankel

There are natural barriers to more money going into this asset class.

You need to start putting together a larger portfolio, which is hard for angels.

It is also difficult for VC’s to reach "down."

Only a small group of people will be able to dedicate next 10 years to managing this type of fund. They have to be financially self-sufficient.

People who’ve launched companies, and are investing in their own domains have higher returns.

More due diligence correlates with higher returns. They don’t simply write checks: active involvement also raises returns. Only a small (but noisy) group are doing this type of investing.

Smaller funds outperform larger funds.

Smaller teams launch/run successful companies.

Entrepreneurs get the difference between "smart" and "dumb" money.

 

Jeff Stewart

Entrepreneurs do better running these funds.

 

Chris Dixon

New hot thing: convertible notes which change in valuation over time.

Most seed valuations are at the $5m level.

 

Steve Brotman

Do most investors care about valuation and dilution or the quality of investments coming in? Study says yes.

 

John Frankel

Most of these companies have binary outcomes, so arguing over valuation with a value-added investor is irrelevant.

 

Doug Atkin

15 years ago, getting money from a name-brand VC would add a lot of credibility to your business. It was like getting backing from a top investment bank. This is changing now.

 

Chris Dixon

Disagrees: our core argument is that an entrepreneur will take less dilution over time by getting the initial investment from angels.

We’ve sold two companies to Google in last three months.

Suggestion: find funds which will help you build your business, not give you the most money.

Seed funds may value companies higher than VC’s, since VC’s spend most money in later rounds and it benefits them to value companies lower in the beginning.

 

Jeff Stewart

It’s important to remember that many seed funds are largely based on owners’ own money, not outside investors.

 

Chris Dixon:

Disagrees: investors’ money just as motivating as personal.

They get rich off of returns, not management fees, so goals are aligned, because they only make money if their companies do.

This works as long as fund managers make most of their money from success of the companies they invest in.

Should take attitude of hedge funds, and invest more, not less. Do so because they don’t believe in most companies, expect failures.

 

John Frankel

Goal alignment is key – better for entrepreneurs to work with peopl
e who are committed to managing their seed fund for the usual ten-year lifespan.

 

Steve Brotman

What are the differences between these classes of investors?

VC’s are so big that they are more like asset managers. Why hasn’t there been a market correction?

 

Chris Dixon:

This is being corrected, but it takes time.

 

Jeff Stewart

Ask if the VC is getting paid to put money to work or just to manage it.

We don’t believe in putting in too much money, e.g., in a capital-intensive industry like nano tech.

Also, entrepreneurs don’t really need VC’s to start companies, since less money is needed, and scaling technology is much easier now.

 

John Frankel

You should also ask: is the VC going to be there? An angel can move around, take new roles. A VC is institutional; the individuals move around.

 

Chris Dixon

We have a $50m fund with a 2 and 20 structure.

A lot of this discussion comes down to fund size.

1/3 of our fund is the principals’ money.

 

John Frankel

The collapse of asset prices elsewhere is making VC overweight.

 

Jeff Stewart

I’m not sure there’s too much money; I think there’s too much money pursuing information technology deals.

 

John Frankel

Google only ever raised $25m.

Google’s of the next generation may only need to raise $3m and won’t need to do it through VC’s.

 

Chris Dixon

Facebook has raised $700m, but $650m of that are secondary sales by friends and family.

 

Steve Brotman

How do you feel about collaborating with other angels, seed funds, and VC firms?

 

Doug Atkin

Won’t invest into companies without other investors with industry specific expertise.

You have a much higher chance of succeeding with more smart people around the table.

Expertise grows revenue rapidly.

Average revenues $1-5m in the companies he invests in.

 

Jeff Stewart

My investments are usually in the $25k-$100k range. I don’t have time to support a company at that level.

Needs other investors to feel comfortable, help with due diligence. Angel investing is a team activity.

 

John Frankel

No collusion when negotiating terms, however someone has to take a leadership role in an investment.

I’ve had two deals in the last two months with documents that didn’t make sense, because everyone relied on everyone else.

You can find a great group of investors who can help you.

There’s an idea of social proof: if A and B invest, I should too. That can lead to very lazy thinking. I believe that I shouldn’t do a deal that’s hot; I like the road less traveled.

Strategically find a group of investors who can help you. A fund is an expertise network.

 

Steve Brotman

What is your investment style? Which sectors are you most interested in?

 

Jeff Stewart

I like really early investments, especially in B2B and ad tech.

 

John Frankel

I will consider anything that will provide good returns. Really intrigued by how people leave footprints online though social media. Klout is people-ranking the web in the way that Google does page-ranking.

 

Chris Dixon

I am primarily interested in information and advertising technology. However, I just did two deals in the robotics space.

Often invests pre-product.

Stays away from theme investing.

Companies are expected to change direction; he ultimately invests in people.

 

Doug Atkin

I invest almost exclusively in financial technology. Anything with an exchange.

He won’t invest in businesses outside of his sphere of influence (experience).

Financial services industry has been slow, difficult to change in the past. The last couple of years have changed things.

 

Question from the audience

When should an entrepreneur approach them?

 

John Frankel

I prefer to give a NO early.

Core of this country is the entrepreneurial spirit.

Everything begins with a conversation.

 

David Teten

Why should entrepreneurs choose you?

 

Chris Dixon

You have to prove you’re helpful. I don’t bother with a speech, I just give a list of references.

He invests in people. Looks for people who have created something (ex: products).

Suggestion to entrepreneurs: call companies in which I invested, ask them about the experience.

When I hire people, I do the same thing: I say call people who worked for me in the past.

The only way to be successful is to be consistently helpful.

 

Jeff Stewart

Only you can make it happen, angels (investors) won’t. Use a group of angels. Don’t depend on them too much.

He has said "no" to deals he liked due to lack of time.

 

Doug Atkin

Set expectations, tell people what you’re good at.

He’s best at dealing with banks/finance: it’s his expertise.

 

Chris Dixon

In our fund, we focus on team-building and follow-on financing.

60 investments give us a lot of insight into who’s doing the next round and at what price.

At about a third of the companies we’re invested in, we’ve introduced founders to one another.

We rarely take board seats.

Generally uninvolved in product building. Won’t micromanage the product.

 

John Frankel

This is a relationship business. You’re going to be working together for longer than the average marriage lasts in this country.

Work with people you like.

Larger VC’s have a reputation for being arrogant — and it’s probably justified.

Suggestion: don’t lose control of your company.

 

Steve Brotman

It’s incumbent on entrepreneurs to find the right fitting VC.

 

Question from the audience

Comment on recent phenomenon of funds established to invest in late-stage tech deals, ex: Facebook/Felix Investments.

 

Chris Dixon

Known as "DST" deals. DST is about to go public on the NYSE.

 

John Frankel

There’s a big movement in New York to build up entrepreneurial culture — a sense of coming from behind Silicon Valley. Unlike Silicon Valley, we have finance, fashion, media, etc., which are all being disrupted.

Our model is that we put in more capital into our winners. Maybe 50% of the companies fail, but they don’t burn up 50% of our capital.

 

Chris Dixon

Rounds which we participate in are typically $300k-$1m. We typically put in $100-$500k.

We usually don’t invest in the second round, but will get involved in helping the company raise money.

 

Question from the audience

What are the characteristics of a team that gets a yes?

 

John Frankel

We want people who are honest with themselves, even if they are somewhat delusional. Have been successful in the past, can form a team.

We invested in ClearPath Immigration, which wants to be TurboTax for immigration. The founder ran immigration for Department of Homeland Security. He has big domain expertise.

Will the person grow up as the company grows?

When you give money to a money manager, you want that person to navigate the financial markets. That’s what I want in the entrepreneur.

 

Graphic: http://www.flickr.com/photos/aunto/110997305/sizes/s/

Free Social Media Strategy Webinar – October 7

453598_warriors_loneliness In conjunction with MicroAssist, I’ll be presenting a free webinar on creating an integrated social media strategy on Thursday, October 7, at 2pm Central. Register at http://smwebinar.eventbrite.com.  

For a growing number of organizations, using social media tools such Facebook, Twitter, Linked In and  blogs are mission critical to their success.  People within those organizations are using social media to:

*  learn information that is critical to their jobs
*  form connections with industry leaders
*  become recognized as industry thought leaders
*  address customer service issues
*  market their own products and services

However, without a cohesive social media strategy you can easily end up with a lot of social media activity but very little meaningful business results. 

In this webinar, we’ll show you how individual, departmental and enterprise social media strategies integrate to create a total value for the organization that is greater than the sum of the parts.  We’ll also provide you the basic strategic framework for developing individual, departmental and enterprise social media plans.  And finally, you’ll learn some high-ROI social media strategies that you can apply on any platform – Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, blogging, niche communities, or whatever “the next big thing” turns out to be.  Again, you can register, at no cost, at http://smwebinar.eventbrite.com.

Be sure to tell a friend!

Founder Institute New York: Early Admissions deadline Aug. 15/Final deadline Aug. 29

image

 

We have another Founder Institute semester spooling up in NYC, and the early admissions deadline is August 15th, with final admissions on August 29th.  Our host will be local entrepreneur Gabe Zichermann, and the applicant pool so far looks very strong. 

 

If you are an early-stage entrepreneur, this is a very powerful way to upgrade the sophistication of your company and significantly increase your odds of success.  Among the noteable companies from the inaugural New York Founder Institute are Profitably, Simple.PR, and Plan.fm, and VIMOTA.  Complete list here.

 

Apply: http://www.founderinstitute.com/apply/24
Applications Due: 08/29/2010
Sessions: 09/07/2010 to 12/15/2010

 

I hope to see you there!

Internet Business Models

I’ll be presenting on April 26 to the Founder Institute Singapore on "Earning Revenue and Internet Business Models".  I give a lot of credit to Munjal Shah, some of whose slides I incorporated directly into this deck. 

My draft slide deck is below; I would welcome feedback.

Hiring and Firing for Entrepreneurs

I’ll be presenting on April 27 to the Founder Institute Singapore on "Hiring and Firing for Entrepreneurs".  My draft slide deck is below; I would welcome feedback.

Visiting Singapore April 23-29: Presenting to Founder Institute, Venture Capital & Private Equity Association, CFA Singapore, and others

Approaching Singapore

I’m very excited to be visiting Singapore for the first time April 23-29; I may stay longer in Asia depending on business exigencies. I’m visiting as part of the faculty for the local launch of Founder Institute, with sponsorship from the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore and others.  I will also be meeting with some local investment funds, incubators, and  entrepreneurs. If you have any suggestions of people or institutions with whom I should meet, please contact me.

 

Thank you to Jeffrey Paine, Partner, Battle Ventures, for coordinating the trip.

 

I have scheduled six speaking engagements as part of my trip, and I hope that some readers can join us:  

_______________________________________________

Where are the Deals?! Private Equity and Venture Capital Funds’ Best Practices in Originating New Investments

Sponsors: Singapore Venture Capital & Private Equity Association and CFA Singapore

Preview presentation at http://teten.com/deals .

Monday, April 26, 12-2:00pm

FTSE Room, Level 9 Capital Tower, 168 Robinson Road

Members: $0, Candidates: S$15, Non-members: S$30. RSVP: programs(@)cfasingapore.org

Details.

_______________________________________________

Earning Revenue and Business Models for Startups 

Sponsor: Founder Institute

Panel with Chester Ng, Co-Founder, Chief Business Officer at OpenCandy, and Derrick Morton, CEO at FlowPlay

Preview presentation at http://www.teten.com/business-models/ .

Monday, April 26, 6:30-9:00 PM

Microsoft Singapore, Level 22, NTUC Centre, One Marina Boulevard, Singapore

No Cost. Very limited room for guests. RSVP: jeff(@)battleventures.com

_______________________________________________

Bulldog Conversation: Best Practices in Deal Origination for VC and Private Equity Funds

I’ll be discussing the findings of my research study on best practices of venture capital and private equity investors in sourcing new investments.

Sponsor: Yale Club of Singapore. Also invited are members of DUAL, the organization for graduates of some of the more distinguished universities globally.

Preview presentation at http://teten.com/deals .

Tuesday, April 27, 12-2:00 PM

Brewerkz Riverside Point, 30 Merchant Road #01-05/06 Riverside Point

Cost: S$10 for Yale Club members, S$20 for others. RSVP: shawn(@)yaleSG.org .

Details: http://alumninet.yale.edu/clubs/fbfq/

_______________________________________________

Hiring and Firing for Startups

Sponsor: Founder Institute

Panel with Eric Tachibana, Director at Bank of America- Merrill Lynch, and Derrick Morton, CEO at FlowPlay

Preview presentation at http://teten.com/Hiring .

Tuesday, April 27, 06:30 PM

NUS – Extension @ PARK MALL, 9 Penang Road, #12-01, Park Mall (opposite Dhoby Ghaut MRT)

No Cost. Very limited room for guests. RSVP: jeff(@)battleventures.com

_______________________________________________

Free (or Nearly Free) Market Research for Entrepreneurs and Other Misers

Sponsor: National University of Singapore Techno Venture Forum

Preview presentation at http://www.teten.com/market-research .

Wednesday, April 28, 6-8:00pm: National University of Singapore, I3 Auditorium, 21 Heng Mui Keng Terrace Level 1

No cost. RSVP

 

A map of all the presentations is at  http://bit.ly/bZbpZN

 

Among the other speakers are Nolan Bushnell (Founder of Atari),  Michael Robertson (Former CEO of MP3.com), Aaron Patzer (Founder and CEO of Mint.com), Phil Libin (CEO of Evernote), and many more.  More background from the site:

 

The Founder Institute in partnership with Battle Ventures and Ascendas iAxil is bringing to Singapore a four month training program for both new and seasoned entrepreneurs. The Institute prepares founders to lead the next generation of world-class technology companies across a wide range of industries, from the biotech to the internet. Weekly company-building sessions are guided by experienced CEOs from the US and Singapore/region, and they are held in the evening to allow participants to keep their day job or develop their companies during business hours. All of the program stakeholders, from the participating founders to the experienced CEO Mentors, share in the upside generated by the companies formed during the program. Participants also enjoy free services from three dozen Institute Partners, fundraising opportunities at fair market value, and a teamwork-oriented environment to build a company.

 

 

(Image by Storm Crypt via Flickr)

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Invitation for angel investors: New York Founder Institute graduation ceremony, Thursday 3/25, 6pm

Image representing Founder Institute as depict...

 

The New York Founder Institute graduation ceremony and investor preview is this Thursday, March 25, at 55 Broad Street, 6:00. Up to fourteen businesses are poised to graduate, ranging from a fantasy sports company with a family focus to a business designed to cure cancer. The best business to present, according to a vote by the guests, will win a $5,000 prize on the spot.

Accredited angel investors are welcome to attend. In addition to a free dinner and some fun pitches, Adeo Ressi (founder of the program) will give a 30 minute talk about the lessons learned after aptitude and personality testing nearly 1,000 people interested in becoming an entrepreneur. You’ll be one of the first to hear some of the surprising results about age, intelligence and personality.

Recent success stories from Founder Institute: Skimble, a Founder Institute Graduate, is a finalists for the "Innovative Web Technology" category at the SXSW conference in Austin.  TechCrunch has recently profiled a number of graduates: Molo Rewards; RewardChart; Monstrous.

If you’d like to attend: RSVP.

The Finalists are:

Aaron Price of makeMania

– makeMania.com enables a community of Do-It-Yourselfers (DIYers) to connect, compete with, and learn from one another, while accessing relevant exclusive discounts.

Adam Neary of Profitably

– Profitably is a web-based business intelligence solution for small businesses with a simple proposition: Give us 10 minutes, and we will help you run your business more profitably.

Alexander Ressi of Immortalize.it

– Immortalize.it is a tracking tool that blends user-contributed milestones with social media and 3rd party data-sources to create timelines for personal intelligence.

Bryan Housel of Ditto Health

– Ditto Health allows patients to enter their medical data in one place on the web, rather than on paper at every doctor’s office that they visit.

Edward Kim of Simple.PR

– Newswire enabling businesses to reach targeted local audiences.

Jacob Howerton of Zipmark

– Zipmark enables people to make financial transactions with their smartphones.

Joshua Bernstein of Ancile Biomedical, Inc.

– Ancile Biomedical develops medical devices that accelerate wound healing, saving money for payers and providers while addressing the results of global obesity and diabetes epidemics.

Kyle Jasey and Thomas Pierce of Wepoli

– To bring citizens, elected officials and political candidates closer together, and to facilitate and enhance their interaction.

Olivier Couronne of Genomes United Inc.

– Genomes United sequences the genomes of cancer patients in order to identify novels biomarkers.

Shirley Chow of ProjectChow

– Food pictures exist in fragmented areas all over the web. ProjectChow will serve both as an organized repository for these photos by presenting these images alongside the restaurant menus allowing diners to more informed of a restaurant’s offerings.

Tobin Schwaiger-Hastanan of Plan.fm

– Plan.FM is a social utility for collecting the plans you make on other sites and organizing them into a single source that you can access from anywhere. "It’s tripit.com for your events."

Vincent DiBartolo of FanSprout.com

– FanSprout is a family-friendly fantasy sports site with educational components that allows dads and kids to connect in the context of sports.

Vincent Mota of vimota

– vimota creates the tools & intelligence which helps monetize the costs of rich media.

 

Again, RSVP at: http://nyfi-investor.eventbrite.com .  See you there!

(Image via CrunchBase)

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Make a Referral Week 2010 Is March 8-12

I won’t quote you a zillion studies – let’s just accept it as fact that for most businesses, referrals are both the least expensive and most effective source of new business. Referrals are also the best source of leads for job seekers and employers. There are customers and jobs and employees out there – referrals dramatically accelerate the matching process.

With that in mind, last year my friend John Jantsch created Make A Referral Week, a week-long event designed to educate people on making and encouraging effective referrals, and to drive people to action by making 1,000 referrals during the week.

There are several ways you can participate:

  1. Free webinar Wednesday, 3/10, at 1pm EST with John Jantsch hosting a panel with Ivan Misner, founder of BNI and author Masters of Networking, Bob Burg, author ofEndless Referrals and the Go-Givers Sell More, Ben McConnell, author of Creating Customer Evangelists. Register here.
  2. Make a referral (or two or three) and post it on the MARW Referral Counter.
  3. Read guest posts from a long list of referral/networking/word-of-mouth experts all week at the Duct Tape Marketing Blog. Posts are already up by David Meerman Scott on The Referral Multiplier Effect and a podcast with Andy Sernovitz on Word-of-Mouth Marketing.
  4. Join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #marw.
  5. Keep up with the goings-on at the MARW blog.

I contributed a guest post for later in the week on “selfish networking“.

Let’s make our own economic stimulus package!

Recruiting with Social Media – talk by Fred Wilson

I attended tonight’s Social Recruiting Meetup, and heard a talk by venture capitalist Fred Wilson on "Recruiting with Social Media" .  This was a highly condensed version of his presentation at the Social Recruiting Summit (video available on that site). 

 

My brief notes:

Social web has vastly connected the number of people you can connect with every day. 

 

I got into VC in the mid 80s.

 

At the time we would seek out investments by going to conferences, walking halls, collecting business cards, and then work the phones.  We would talk to a dozen people a day.

 

Then with email we could talk to 10x as many people.

 

Then with social media we can talk to another 10x as many people.  My blog AVC.com reaches thousands of people every day. 

 

One of our regular portfolio questions: how do we hire great engineers?   This presentation summarizes my answer.

 

I tell recruiters to go to Meetup.com, e.g., the PHP Meetup. 

 

One of the event attendees runs Jibe (spelling), a new service that shows you jobs with which you have a social connection. 

 

StackOverflow is a great place to get quality engineers, and evaluate their reputation. 

 

Q: Do you use social media for sourcing deals?

A: One of my best leads are the comments on my blog posts.  I have a rule: when I hear about a company 2x I write it down.  When I hear about it 3x, I write the CEO.  We use social media for due diligence.  We contact influencers to get their opinions. 

 

Q: How do you recommend introductions to people?

A: I believe in the ‘double opt-in intro’.  I ask both parties if they want to be introduced.  I do this because that’s how I want other people to introduce me, because i get introduced to too many people to whom I don’t want to be introduced. 

 

Teten: How should traditional high-end recruiters respond to social media taking away their competitive advantage of a candidate database?

A: i’ve come to believe that the cultural fit of the candidate within the small company is critical, so we prefer to recruit via the social web.  We go to the recruiters only after trying our own network. 

 

Q: What large companies are using social media well?

A: I cant point to any.  Maybe it just doesn’t scale.

 

Q: How do you get more followers?

A: You put value out , you get value back.

 

Q: What do you think of recruiting internationally on social media?

A: It should work.  I read Russians are greatest users of social media in the world?

 

Q: Are there tools like Radian6 or a Visible that you think are helpful for assessing sentiment?

A: I dont use any of those sophisticated tools, but I’m sure they’re very valuable. 

 

Q: Talk about how you use LinkedIn.

A: We use it heavily, but not the way LinkedIn would like.  We’ve never been a paying customer.  We’ll use it to find a certain profile.  We don’t ask for a reference list.  We just connect with people on LinkedIn and look for the shared connections. 

 

Q: Do you do searches for a portfolio company?

A: We don’t drive searches; the company does.  We recommend company hire an in-house recruiter when they get to 20-25 employees.  We’re a member of the hiring team.