Why I Refuse To Negotiate On Equity

Equity makes me complicit. Money is what really matters they say. Sprint for five to ten years and you’ll make it. That bank account will be big enough so that you can finally stop being unhappy, and transition to the nirvana state of happiness. Negotiating on an equity package is subtle self propaganda. You are signaling that you buy into the idea of working like crazy right now for a pay off later into the future....

March 28, 2017 · 2 min · 370 words · Matt

Welcome to the Sanity Club

I had a miniature crisis in January with my new SaaS product for wrestling teams. I was working on weekends and generally making myself miserable, due to an arbitrary deadline I had set for myself. The thing about that arbitrary deadline? No one cared. I told the team I’m working with that I would be pushing back the launch until after the season, and the coach just said “Sounds good to me!...

February 9, 2017 · 1 min · 105 words · Matt

You've Got A Product, Not A Company

There was a brief period of time during my senior year of college when I got the idea into my head that I should take a year off and pursue a startup. I had a prototype of mobile support software running (think Wufoo for apps), so I scheduled a meeting with a local angel investor. I’m paraphrasing, but his words went something like this: First of all, don’t quit school....

May 15, 2016 · 6 min · 1086 words · Matt

Why Startups Occasionally Act Like Sociopaths

Power Law Distribution - A Glimpse into a VC Fund Perhaps the most enlightening lecture about startups I ever attended was class 7 in Peter Thiel’s CS183. In it, Thiel outlined the basics of what a VC firm does, with a particular emphasis on what the graphs must look like in order for a VC firm to come out ahead in any given fund. These words in particular have stuck in my mind for years since I heard him utter them:...

November 22, 2015 · 6 min · 1135 words · Matt

The Year I Discovered My Life is More Important Than My Startup

“They just fired me” The words caught in her throat and reverberated oddly into my brain. I could feel the moment starting to warp into some sort of shakespearian ‘lesson’ I was supposed to latch onto and spit out at my junior employees years into the future; and yet I simply stared staunchly back into that statements twisted face in denial. Standing before me was one of my best friends who I had recruited a year earlier to be a linchpin in a company I helped co-found....

September 24, 2014 · 7 min · 1431 words · Matt