Entrepreneur Office Hours - Issue #126
How to research investors and how they moved those giant heads on Easter Island
In my last issue, I answered a reader question about researching investors. I liked the question so much, I decided to turn it into its own article. In other words, if you read last issue’s Q&A, this issue’s featured article might feel a little repetitive. But don’t worry — lots of other good stuff in this issue.
That includes a conversation with Carl Lipo, founder of Allrecipes. But, even more interesting… Carl is the archaeologist who literally figured out how people moved those giant heads on East Island. How cool/random is that?
If you’re wondering how an archaeologist created one of the world’s most popular recipe websites, well, I guess you’ll just have to listen to the episode…
Are you tired of getting rejected by investors? It’s probably because you’re pitching the wrong ones! You’ll become better at fundraising simply by learning how to pitch the right investors.
The Archaeologist Who Taught People to Cook
What do archaeology and cooking have in common? In truth, not much. But that didn't stop a group of archaeology grad students from building one of the world's most popular recipe websites. Hear the full story on the new episode of Web Masters featuring Allrecipes co-founder Carl Lipo.
Listen now on:
…or search “Web Masters” wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts.
FROM THE ARCHIVES…
I wrote this article over two years ago, and I’m still convinced the core concept it’s grappling with is at the heart of so most entrepreneurial failures.
Office Hours Q&A
We’re a team of four co-founders, and, for a number of reasons, we’ve had to make the difficult decision that one of our co-founders no longer makes sense as part of the team.
What I’m trying to figure out is what are the best ways to gracefully have her leave the company without raising concerns among our customers, investors, or employees. While it’s going to be a big change, we’re worried about spooking people into thinking the company is falling apart when it really isn’t.
Would love to get your thoughts if you have any.
From reading your question, the thing I’m wondering is: Why would people be spooked?
In other words, your question reads as though your customers, investors, and employees should have a reason for being spooked, and the co-founder having to leave is symptomatic of whatever that reason is.
I mention this because, if things are going great and a co-founder leaves, I doubt anyone would pay much attention. At least, not in a way that will impact the company in a negative way. But, if a co-founder is leaving and that’s going to concern people, maybe they’ve got real reason for being concerned?
As an extreme example of this, consider when Jeff Bezos left Amazon not too long ago. Sure, Bezos is basically synonymous with Amazon, but nobody heard he was leaving and thought, “Oh no! That’s the end of Amazon!” which is a testament to Amazon’s stability.
While I realize a startup inherently won’t be as solidly grounded as Amazon, if it’s doing the right things, then it should be able to survive the departure of a co-founder with simple honesty. Communicate the person is leaving, explain why to whatever extent is necessary based on the people being told, and keep building.
If the person’s departure is going to cause concern for some cohort of people related to your company, then you need to understand why it’s going to cause concern and address those issues immediately. They’re the real problem, not whatever is causing your co-founder to leave.
Got startup questions of your own? Reply to this email with whatever you want to know, and I’ll do my best to answer!