Earlier this month at MovieUpdates Early Stage, I spoke with Frederique Dame, an investment partner at GV, about product-market fit.
A crowd standing alone in a standing room filled the room as Dame spoke about her experience leading product and engineering efforts at Uber, Yahoo and Smugmug, talking about collecting customer data, quickly repeating to validate ideas, and the challenges that come with scaling up teams from a few dozen people to a few thousand employees.
We also discussed several specific tactics and strategies that can help organizations adopt PMF, including effective ways to capture and share user data, and develop customer personas that help everyone understand the mission and purpose of the business.
Full MovieUpdates+ articles are available to members only
Use discount code TCPLUSROUNDUP to save 20% on a one or two year subscription
Distilling our 40-minute conversation into a single article was beyond my capabilities, so I’ll be sharing a follow-up next week with additional information from our chat and the audience Q&A that followed.
Dame shared a piece of advice I’d never heard from an investor: More founders should learn to be vulnerable.
“Trust me with what you don’t know or what doesn’t work because once we’ve invested, we’re going to have to work on this anyway,” she said. “I’d rather start working with it early.”
Thank you so much for reading! I hope you have a fantastic weekend.
Senior Editor, MovieUpdates+
Meet the 9 startups developing tomorrow’s batteries today
In his first MovieUpdates+ article, senior climate writer Tim De Chant examined nine startups optimizing EV battery technology that have collectively raised just over $4 billion in the past 18 months.
Improving technology such as solid-state batteries, replacing specific chemical components and using hybrid chemicals are just some of the techniques that startups are adopting to unlock benefits such as weight reduction and increased range and safety.
“But cars and trucks won’t be the only things affected by the battery revolution that will take place in the coming years,” he writes.
“Like many developments, better, lighter and more sustainable batteries will bring about changes in our lives that are both unexpected and welcome.”
How to get into Y Combinator, according to YC’s Dalton Caldwell
Speaking to editor Greg Kumparak at MovieUpdates Early Stage, YC director and group partner Dalton Caldwell spoke about the application process founders must navigate before being accepted to one of the world’s top accelerators.
“The first thing I look at when I read an application is the team. What I’m looking for is technical excellence in the team,” said Caldwell.
“Our teams that rely on hiring outsourced engineers or consultants or whatever to build their product tend to move much slower than those with a technical founder,” he added.
“They tend to get ripped off.”
Dear Sophie: When should I sponsor green card engineers?
The technicians we try to recruit are increasingly asking that we sponsor them for green cards. I don’t have an HR background, but I did get HR tasks at our startup.
Can you give me an overview of the available green cards?
Is it possible to sponsor someone for a green card without them getting an H-1B or other visa first? Which green card is the fastest?
— Target talent
Early stage fundraising is a tale of two planets
Startup valuations have risen in recent years, but investors continue to prefer “founders who are experienced, native, flexible or well-connected,” writes Leslie Feinzaig, CEO and founder of Graham & Walker, a fund/accelerator that promotes women promote in business.
Founders of Planet Flush “live on a planet of big, bustling, competitive early rounds,” but Planet Scrappy residents inhabit a world “where fundraising is exceedingly difficult and unlikely,” she writes.
Funding isn’t the only inequality, says Feinzaig: Founders with strong networks probably won’t be much scrutinized until they seek a Series B, but “meanwhile, in Planet Scrappy, Series A-level fervor is happening in the pre-seed phase.”
Dismantling the pitch deck: Minut
Minut, which manufactures wireless sensors for monitoring short-term rental properties, closed a $14 million Series B last month.
Reporter Haje Jan Kamps deconstructed the 21-slide pitch deck to show how Minut used data visualizations and storytelling to give investors a clear picture of the market opportunities, the competitive landscape and where the company is gaining popularity.
If you’d like to see your pitch deck on MovieUpdates+, click through to learn more.