Lean investing: what is it?
Dave McClure is not exactly a shy or timid voice in the startup investment community. He offers the unique perspective of someone who describes themselves as a geek who became a startup founder who moved on to become an investor in many startups.
What’s different/better/problematic about the latest startup investment experiences? At one point the atmosphere becomes electric as one of his own investees in the audience gives an answer (to ‘How much money would you need to be offered to make you want to sell out?’) which momentarily freaks McClure out. Don’t expect the language to be restrained.
Personally, I had imagined that this was going to be about how a VC or Business Angel should engage with ‘lean startups’, i.e., startups which were embracing ideas such as those of Eric Ries. But in this case it was all about taking the ‘optimisation approach’ inherent in ‘lean‘ and applying it to startup investment.
It was mostly about refining the ‘decision point focus’ and using hard-won experiences to apply new levels of rigour to the process of ‘deciding whether and when to place the bet’ and what to do after you’ve placed it. ’The only other comment I would make about this fascinating talk is that at least towards the end, it is being presented way too fast!
The session was called ‘Lean investing with Dave McClure’. The event was Capital Factory Demo Day 2010. Capital Factory is an early stage accelerator program for tech startups that provides a small amount of seed capital and weekly mentoring sessions by entrepreneurs who have founded successful companies.
The event was held on September the 8th at the AT&T Conference Center on University of Texas campus. Its aims were “To showcase the 5 companies in our program this year (Hurricane Party, KeepStream, RecycleMatch, RippleFunction and Smackages) and to foster discussion and peer interaction with technology investors, executives, and entrepreneurs”.