Last week, Mike, our CEO, joined Russell Benaroya on Stride Services’ “Stride 2 Freedom Speaker Series,” where every week Russell interviews people who can help you move your business faster. Russell and Stride have been longtime users of Visible & great partners to work with. On this episode, Mike & Russell discuss Visible’s recent developments, the relationship driven nature of venture capital, and why people invest in lines rather than dots. You can listen here.
VC is a Relationship Driven Business
Venture capital investments take a long time to reach maturity. In many cases, an investor is “hitching a wagon to you for the next 10+ years.” You need to show that you’re trustworthy and working for the long term to persuade an investor to take a chance on your company.
Good Communication Has a High ROI
At Visible, we like to say that communication saves startups, but it can also help startups get off the ground. Mike mentions that it’s rare that an investor will write a check based on a single interaction. However, investors are able to see your growth if you have past investor updates that you can share to show your progress over time. They’ll also feel good about your level of transparency, and believe that you’ll keep them in the loop too if they decide to invest.
Relationships Are Built On Lines, Not Dots
You need to show consistent improvement over time when fundraising. It’s impossible to build an accurate judgement of a business or an individual with only a handful of scattered data points. Long term relationships are built through consistency of character, and long term businesses are built by consistent iteration and effort. You can impress people by showing how you’ve developed over time, regardless of where you currently stand. It’s crucial to focus on lines, rather than dots when building investor relationships.
Good Leaders Care About the Team
What does Mike wish people asked him more about? The team. Startups are built by teams, not just founders. When asked about how we built our newsletter to nearly 20,000 subscribers, Mike recognized that the credit belongs to Matt (who runs marketing here at Visible), rather than himself. The more that a founder can celebrate a team & lead effectively, the better they will perform in the long term.
The Startup Ecosystem is Increasingly Global
While Silicon Valley will likely remain the primary startup hub in the US for the foreseeable future, the emergence of new startup ecosystems around the world are beginning to attract new founders and investors. At Visible, we’re fortunate to help thriving entrepreneurs from around the world, and Mike has been personally exposed to many startup ecosystems around the US. With the rise of remote work during the pandemic, founders are re-evaluating whether or not they need to remain in the traditional startup cities. As a globally distributed team ourselves, we can verify that A+ talent exists in every corner of the world. Founders everywhere are waking up to this trend – expect to see more startups founded worldwide, not just in northern California.