Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Startup Quants

As an entrepreneur, one aspect that i enjoy quite often is quantification of various aspect of our business.

  • What is the current valuation of our venture?
  • How much money should we raise in this round?
  • Should i go for fixed size equity round or convertible debt round?
  • How much options should i grant to person 'x'?
  • What does it take to recruit this interesting guy?
  • Why do customer think product 'x' is better than product 'y'?
  • How to price our products?
  • Is it worth pursuing idea 'x'?
  • ....... ........ .......
It is very unlikely that one will find optimal answer to these questions. Certainly there would be very subjective answers to few of these questions.

To find near optimal answers, you may take advise from peers, read about experience of others but it will be your own experiments that will give satisfying answers. My approach has been "Experiment at smaller scale, amplify if the experiment is successful, re-experiment incase of failure" (You should be shameless about your failures, iterate quickly & fail fast).

Beware, when things are incomprehensible, you will treat them as cheap or flout them or think they are magical.

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