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Furqan Nazeeri
Boston, MA
Interests: Technology, sustainability, hedge funds, capital markets, alternative energy, new media, professional (as opposed to "social") networking, current events, solar cars, instant messaging, politics, world events, adventure travel, parenting, entrepreneurship, leadership, mentoring, racquetball, news...
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I'm glad to read about your new program. I was just lamenting in a blog post today about the lack of sales training in academia.
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Mar 15, 2010
Makes a lot of sense. CEOs also need to be proactive about hiring CFOs. I was surprised to see that almost half of tech startups with up to 3 rounds of VC funding don't even have a CFO.
Toggle Commented Dec 4, 2009 on Trust, But Verify at Seeing Both Sides
1 reply
Couldn't agree more with your recommendations and the philosophy of "Trust but verify." Great companies, startups or otherwise have exactly that type of leadership. What doesn't make sense to me is your last point that, "CEOs need to get out in front of this rather than have their board impose these things on them in a forced fashion." It would seem that the "CEO being out in front of the board" is exactly was caused the Canopy, Entellium and other frauds. It needs to be the board that is "out in front." Perhaps you meant to say Chairman (since in most startups they are the same person) but not the CEO, right? Having the CEO (management) be leading the anti-fraud efforts (of management) seems to be recommending a lack of check and balances.
Toggle Commented Dec 4, 2009 on Trust, But Verify at Seeing Both Sides
1 reply
A great follow-up blog post would be to run a test. For the next, say, 30 pitches where you feel the largest reason for passing is the "team" respond as follows: (A) "It's just not a fit for us." [your control group] (B) "We think the team is not up to the task." (C) "We think the team is lacking X, Y or Z and recommend A, B and C." Randomly decide prior to the meeting which of the three groups a company is in and then after giving the rejection rate the response of the entrepreneur and the amount of time/effort required by you (in minutes). In fact, you might even give the entrepreneur a short SurveyMonkey survey to measure their satisfaction with your firm. At the end of the year, post the results. I'd be willing to bet that: (A) Takes the least amount of time and leaves the entrepreneur moderately dissatisfied. (B) Takes a moderate amount of time and leaves the entrepreneur very upset (C) Takes the most amount of time but leaves the entrepreneurs feeling the best. If the above hypothesis is true, that's why most VCs take option (A) since it's the best "global" outcome. Of course, what entrepreneurs really want is (C) and the few that experience (B) rant about unholy VCs. That's my $0.02.
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Stowe, have you checked out Tweetboard as a tool to link blog posts and Twitter? Not exactly what I'd like (linking specific posts to specific tweets) but close.
Toggle Commented Jun 29, 2009 on Housecleaning and Facelift at /Message
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You mean "not-for-profit" by *choice* I think! I know a lot of startups in that compete with those you list that have yet to show a profit...
Toggle Commented Jun 24, 2009 on The Not-for-Profits Strike Back at the vc in me....