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Entrepreneur Office Hours - Issue #135
Giving things a great kickstart(er)
I’ve got two big updates to share about Web Masters. The first is that this week’s guest is Charles Adler, co-founder of Kickstarter. How cool is that? Kickstarter gave us everything from Peloton to Allbirds to Exploding Kittens, plus a few thousand other successful projects. Having someone like Charles take the time to share his story is a sign of just how far the podcast has come. When I launched it, I never imagined I’d be able to get guests like him, and now they’ve become the norm.
Which brings me to my next big update. After two years of near weekly Web Masters episodes, I’m almost 100 episodes in and I’ve realized something else I never imagined: I’ve got too many great guests!
Sure, that might seem like a strange problem, but it’s actually based on some of the more interesting feedback I’ve gotten. New Web Masters listener who decide to browse the back catalog have told me they’re having trouble because there’s too much content to listen to. For example, hey can listen to episodes with the founders of Etsy, WIRED, Foursquare, Match, Meetup, Drupal, Marketo, Hotmail, Flickr, and dozens of others. How do you get through it all? It’s around 50 hours of content! Add another 30-45 minutes each week, and who the heck can keep up?
Because of this feedback, I’m adjusting my output. Rather than weekly episodes, I’m dialing down to monthly episodes. In other words, more great guests like Charles Adler to come each month (I’ve already got a bunch of really cool ones recorded!), more time for listeners to get through some of the back catalog, and more time for me to start creating other things for all of you (which I’m already working on), starting with… well… the article you’re about to read in this issue.
Can entrepreneurs ever be friends with their investors? I tried once, and things didn’t end well. At least… it didn’t for my company.
The Music Lover Who Popularized Crowdfunding
The Kickstarter name is synonymous with crowdfunding. But Kickstarter didn't invent crowdfunding. Heck, Kickstarter wasn't even the first crowdfunding website. So how did it become the world's de facto crowdfunding platform? Find out on the new episode of Web Masters featuring Charles Adler.
Listen now on:
…or search “Web Masters” wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts.
FROM THE ARCHIVES…
To be fair, plenty of founders tell lots of lies when fundraising, but, in this article, I’m not writing about those kinds of lies. I’m writing about a lie they tell themselves.
Office Hours Q&A
I’m trying to find a CTO for my startup.
Should I be searching for a co-founder for my startup or someone who gets a salary base with some % equity compensation?
There’s something fundamentally problematic about this question, and I’m mentioning it because I get lots of similar questions related to things about finding co-founders (or finding employees) and determining salaries/equity stakes. As much as we – the founders – want to be in control, building a team is all about negotiation and settling on mutually acceptable terms between you and whomever you might want to work with.
I bring this up because, rather than directly answering your question and telling you to either find yourself a co-founder or someone who’s more of an employee, the best answer here is to be flexible. Focus on finding the right person who can truly bring value to your startup rather than imposing some sort of arbitrary standards. This is especially important because imposing arbitrary standards could very well cost you a great potential CTO.
By that I mean the perfect CTO could be 100% willing and able to work as a full, non-salaried co-founder who only wants equity. Or, the perfect CTO might need some sort of base salary simply because that person has other financial obligations in life that need to be dealt with.
Don’t let your pre-determined ideas about what’s best or not best control your ability to find the right person. Instead, find the right person, and then find a deal that makes sense for both of you.
Got startup questions of your own? Reply to this email with whatever you want to know, and I’ll do my best to answer!