Want to learn the best business insights from remarkable speakers at Slush 2023, but don’t have the time to watch the full speeches on YouTube?
You’ve come to the right place. Below is a summary of a speech by David Berry, General Partner of Flagship Pioneering.
(psst: the notes were automatically generated with Wudpecker's AI notetaking tool. If you'd like to check these notes + transcript + audio recording without needing to log in, press here.)
<p class="h1-rich">🤏 TL;DR</p>
A speaker shares their experience with raising money and building companies, emphasizing the importance of adapting and iterating, choosing the right investors, and making tough decisions. They describe a four-stage process for building a company and the need to clearly define how the company will make money. Action items include identifying potential investors, being clear about the plan to make money, making difficult decisions, building a syndicate of supportive investors, and sending strong messages to stakeholders.
<p class="h1-rich">✨ Summary</p>
Raising Money and Building Companies
- Speaker shares their experience with raising money and building companies.
- They discuss the challenges of competing for deals and losing control when bringing in more capital.
- They explain how they started creating their own companies within a venture firm.
The Four-Stage Process of Building a Company
- Speaker describes a four-stage process for building a company: exploration, pro company, new co, and growth co.
- They emphasize the importance of separating truth from belief during the exploration phase.
- They highlight the value of iterating and finding what can go wrong with an idea.
The Importance of Adapting and Iterating
- Speaker discusses the need to accept that initial ideas are often wrong and that good founders adapt and iterate.
- They emphasize the importance of being attentive to signals and figuring out why things may be wrong.
- They highlight the significance of finding a magic signal around 9 months into the process.
Fundraising and Vision
- Speaker shares their experience with fundraising and emphasizes the importance of selling a vision.
- They discuss the need to present a clear plan for success and how it reduces the cost of capital.
- They explain the investor's desire for a low-risk chance at a 10x return.
Choosing the Right Investors
- Speaker emphasizes the importance of choosing the right investors who align with the company's long-term vision.
- They discuss the risks of bringing in the wrong investors and the challenges of breaking up with them.
- They emphasize the need to bring in less money from the right investors rather than the wrong money.
Making Difficult Decisions
- Speaker highlights the importance of making tough decisions as a CEO, even if they are unpopular.
- They share their experience of pulling out of a deal despite having raised a significant amount of money.
- They discuss the need for confidence and the ability to make decisions independently.
Defining How to Make Money
- Speaker emphasizes the importance of clearly defining how the company will make money and repeating it consistently.
- They discuss the need to eliminate any voids or undefined aspects in the business plan.
- They highlight the importance of providing concrete and compelling information to investors.
Building a Supportive Syndicate
- Speaker emphasizes the importance of building a syndicate of investors who fully support the company's vision.
- They discuss the value of having investors advocate for the company and help raise money.
- They highlight the need for alignment among team members and investors.
Sending Strong Messages
- Speaker emphasizes the importance of sending clear and confident messages about the company's vision and business plan.
- They discuss the need to ask for feedback from advisors and friends to ensure clarity in communication.
- They highlight that unclear or weak messages give people reasons to say no.
Conclusion and Helping Other Entrepreneurs
- Speaker expresses gratitude for the opportunity to share their experiences.
- They mention their aspiration to help other entrepreneurs through their organization, Bedford Bridge.