Quotes Posts


We’ve been using our Twitter feed more and more often to share great quotes, brief thoughts, and links. That’s the place to go if you desperately need more Venture Hacks in your life. You can also subscribe via RSS and email (no more than one email a day).

Here are some of our latest and greatest tweets:

“Persistence isn’t using the same tactics over and over. Persistence is having the same goal over and over.” – Seth Godin

“The best business plan is to sell people the things they want.” – Stephan Schmidt

“Startups need to develop an initial product with the least number of features that can sell to the most people.” – Brett Owens

How to measure your lawyers: (1) How quickly do they turn things around? (2) How many mistakes are in the product? Forget other metrics.” – Venture Hacks [We later added “(3) Cost” to the list.]

“For heavens sake, if you haven’t gotten comfy with Agile techniques and thinking, get on it right now.” – Tim Bray

“Every fund has a silver bullet—someone who can kill any deal—and a lead bullet—someone who can’t get any deal done.” – Anonymous VC

“If an investor can’t give you a deadline for a yes/no, and you can’t force a deadline for a yes/no, you shouldn’t be talking to investors.” – Venture Hacks

“If they’re talking to you, you have leverage.” – Christopher Voss

Thanks to everyone who has ever sent us a tweet @venturehacks. We can’t respond to every message, but we read and appreciate them all.

“If you want to improve your chances, you should think far more about who you can recruit as a cofounder than the state of the economy. And if you’re worried about threats to the survival of your company, don’t look for them in the news. Look in the mirror.”

Paul Graham


Here are the latest great quotes from our Twitter feed (RSS):

“It is an odd reflection on the priorities of our society that we value finance over technological innovation.” – Peter Thiel

Eric Ries

“At IMVU, we opened up our board meetings to the whole company.” – Eric Ries

“Every startup has a chance to change the world, by bringing not just a new product, but an entirely new institution into existence.” – Ries

“In a startup, both the problem and solution are unknown.” – Ries

Lean startups can be the most capital efficient companies in the world, because they strive to prevent energy from being expended uselessly.” – Ries

“The hard part is to figure out the fewest possible features that could possibly accomplish your company’s goals.” – Ries


“Are you so busy building barriers-to-entry that you’re not even in the market yourself?” – Us

“There’s only once company in the world with the ‘best’ developers. The rest of us have to make better products through better processes.” – Us

“Fund-raising is where you do or don’t capture the value of all the work you’ve done since you started the company. Treat it like an M&A.” – Us

“You’re not a team until the members take responsibility for combining their individual works into a collective work.” – Us

Thanks for reading our blog.


Venture Hacks is back from a long and boring summer vacation. It’s good to be back.

Let’s get into the blogging groove with the latest quotes from our Twitter feed (RSS):

“I believe that the biggest advantage a startup has over a big competitor is intellectual honesty.” – Mike Speiser

“How often do you hear business people poke holes in their own arguments the way engineers do?” – Mike Speiser

“Startups are tools for investors and founders to get rich. Caveat employees.” – Me

“Entrepreneurs are vulnerable and easy to seduce. Caveat entrepreneur.” – Me

“The best test of a person’s character is how he or she treats those with less power.” – Bob Sutton

“The amount of money you are raising is a good indicator of how much you think the company is worth.” – David Hornik

“Customer problems… are often painstaking, uncool and downright boring.” – charles in charge

Extreme Programming

Over the last few months, I’ve been reading a lot about extreme programming and practicing it with Pivotal Labs. Here are some great quotes on extreme programming from our Twitter feed:

“The less functional the initial delivery, the higher the quality in the final delivery.” – Bob Martin

“A mile long To-Do list is proof of time wasted, not time saved.” – Ryan Singer

“Delay [decisions] until the last responsible moment.” – Mary and Tom Poppendieck

“Abnormalities will never disappear if a worker always attends to a machine and stands in for it when an abnormality does occur.” – Taiichi Ohno

“Writing code without a way to detect defects immediately is the fastest way to build up an inventory of partially done work.” – Mary and Tom Poppendieck

“A plan is an example of what could happen, not a prediction of what will happen.” – Kent Beck

Thanks kindly for reading our stuff.

Randy KomisarI’m reading Randy Komisar‘s book, The Monk and the Riddle.

He wrote it before he became a partner at Kleiner Perkins and I like his description of the Rocket Ship model of investing (emphasis added):

“Over the last several years… a new investment model has taken hold. Fill each startup with rocket fuel as fast as possible and blast it into space. The ones that fly, fly, and if the rest of them blow up, c’est la vie.

“In fact, the Rocket Ship Model of startup investment has recently produced many of the most prominent Valley successes. But for every one of them, there are many potentially viable companies that might have eventually prospered if they had been incubated longer.

When too much money is pumped too fast into a startup, there’s no room for mistakes. The initial product and the initial fix on the market have to be right. There’s no way these companies can stop and reconsider what they’re doing with out a great deal of pain.

“You have to be able to survive mistakes in order to learn, and you have to learn in order to create sustainable success. Once the market is understood and the product is fully developed, then move fast and hard.”

Some more snippets from the book:

“[Angels] pay for the privilege of helping the company.”

“If I invest, I am prone to think like an investor, favoring my return over what’s best for the team and often its long-term business.”

“In a privately held startup I don’t favor the investors over the founders. This is probably the crucial way my thinking differs from a VC’s.”

“Business is one of the last remaining social institutions to help us manage and cope with change.”

“The rules of business are like the laws of physics, neither inherently good nor evil, to be applied as you may. You decide whether your business is constructive or destructive.”

watermelon-baby.jpgHere are the latest great quotes from our twitter feed (rss):

“Just about everything has a strike against it. It’s either already been done or it’s never been done.” – Seth Godin

“Silicon Valley is a place where ‘it’s never been done before’ is a compliment.” – Naval Ravikant

“You can’t build to sell. If you build to sell, you’re not building anything of sustained value.” – Craig McCaw

“Get good cofounders. You can’t change who you are, at least not in a short time.” – Paul Graham

“The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.” – Jim Barksdale

“They assured us that lots of things were standard, but, boy, were the standards awful.” – Jim Cramer

And here are a few quotes from my personal twitter feed (rss)

“The uncreative mind can spot wrong answers, it takes a very creative mind to spot wrong questions.” – Antony Jay

“If you’re having trouble succeeding, fail.” – Kent Beck

Thanks kindly for reading our stuff.

We usually quote other people’s genius in our Twitter feed but, once in a while, we throw in a tweet of our own. Here are a few of the popular ones:

You don’t need permission to start a company. From investors, co-founders, or anyone else.

Trying to recruit while you’re in “stealth mode” is like punching yourself in the balls (see picture).


Better to do the right thing wrong than the wrong thing right.

Sales: Always be closing. Product: Always be releasing. (Sam Purtill replies, “Engineers: Always be coding.”)

Advice is for learning, not copying.

Don’t ask investors what they think. Ask your customers.

Competitors copy success, not ideas.

Traction speaks louder than words.

By the way, I figured out which tweets were popular by looking for entries that people “liked” in my FriendFeed.

Image Source: RobbinsSports.

The latest great quotes from the VH Twitter feed: twitter.com/venturehacks (RSS):

Kleiner Perkins

kpcb.png“Entrepreneurs do more than anyone thinks possible, with less than anyone thinks possible.” – John Doerr

“If the reason you’re taking on a mission is for the money you’ll make, I believe you’ll fail.” – John Doerr

“Where most entrepreneurs fail is on the things they don’t know they don’t know.” – Vinod Khosla

“How would you compete against yourself?” – Vinod Khosla (ppt)

“We are in the company building business, not in the ‘deal’ or ‘capital’ business.” – Khosla Ventures

“The great danger of dealing with venture capitalists is the ‘slow maybe’.” – John Doerr

“We never ‘vote’ against management teams in our board role, except in making CEO decisions.” – Khosla Ventures

“All start up companies have one thing in common–they all get in trouble. It’s how they and you on the board handle their trouble that separates the winners from the losers.” – Tom Perkins

Peter Drucker

peterdrucker002.jpg“You cannot build performance on weaknesses. You can build only on strengths.” – Peter Drucker

“One does not start with facts. One starts with opinions.” – Peter Drucker

Warren Buffett

“I’ve never gone to bed with an ugly woman, but I’ve sure woke up with a few.” – Warren Buffett, explaining bad investments

“When the phone don’t ring, you’ll know it’s me.” – Warren Buffett, explaining how he might say ‘no’

“If you are a professional and have confidence, then I would advocate lots of concentration.” – Warren Buffett


“Succeed and you are a brilliant visionary. Fail and you are a delusional loser.” – Don Dodge

“You don’t need permission to start a company. From investors, co-founders, or anyone else.” – Venture Hacks

Read more quotes in the VH Twitter feed and my personal Twitter feed: twitter.com/nivi (RSS).

Thanks: To James Cham for the Tom Perkins interview.


The latest great quotes from the Venture Hacks Twitter feed: twitter.com/venturehacks (RSS):


“Don’t let conflicts get in the way of selecting the ideal board member.” – Fred Wilson

“Avoid ‘big names.’ For the most part, they are useless.” – Fred Wilson

“I was on the Spectra board and I think I nearly drove… the company CEO nuts with my ‘help'” – Tom Perkins

Venture Capital

“Money is the least differentiated of all commodities. And venture capitalists are in the business of selling money.” – Tom Perkins

“Regular VCs don’t try to compete by developing innovative ways to invest; they compete for capital and dealflow and try to pick winning investments.” – Shimon Rura


“All companies that go out of business do so for the same reason—they run out of money.” – Don Valentine?

“Most businesses don’t need more cash, they need more brains.” – Mark Cuban

“The term ‘investment banker’ is marvelously misleading… the term ‘fee-charging middlemen’ is… much closer to an accurate description of their function.” – Tom Perkins


“A private company’s valuation is solely determined by the CEO’s ability to create a one-time market for its shares.” – Venture Hacks

“The only way to find out is to find out.” – Frank Lucas, American Gangster

If you use Twitter, feel free to send us quotes, ideas, tips, suggestions @venturehacks.

Image Source: Jennifer Juniper (License)

Hilarious new t-shirts for the “top 2/20%” (get it?) of the population from VC Wear:

vcwear_fund.jpg vcwear_noidea.jpg

vcwear_wemovequick1.jpg vcwear_powerpoint.jpg

vcwear_toiletpaper.jpg vcwear_mom.jpg

vcwear_puke.jpg vcwear_yesno.jpg

There are more awesome t-shirts at VC Wear as well as a Powerpoint Pitch and a Buy it (the company) Now button.

vcwear_google.jpg There’s truth in every t-shirt. I’ve heard that “every” VC in Silicon Valley passed on Google… sometimes more than once. David Cowan of Bessemer Venture Partners confesses to passing on Google in their Anti-Portfolio:

“Cowan’s college friend rented her garage to Sergey and Larry for their first year. In 1999 and 2000 she tried to introduce Cowan to “these two really smart Stanford students writing a search engine”. Students? A new search engine? In the most important moment ever for Bessemer’s anti-portfolio, Cowan asked her, “How can I get out of this house without going anywhere near your garage?”