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“Congratulations,” I said to “Ray,” a CEO I have been working with. “Getting funding in three weeks is quite an accomplishment.”

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“Thank you,” Ray responded.

“Especially, after what you’d been through in your first two rounds of funding, you deserve a little bit of a different tune.”

Then I paused and said, “But don’t let up until the money is in the bank.”

“I’m not,” Ray reassured me. “It’s my sole focus.”

You have leverage when your company looks like it’s going to be a unicorn.

What’s interesting, in Ray’s case, is that he is closing the company’s biggest round of funding yet, $50 million. …

“Tell me about your background,” I said to “John.” “Jim,” my co-founder who recommended John to me as our VP Engineering, and I were having lunch with John at Bucks.

Bucks, for those of you not living in Silicon Valley, is an institution. It’s located in Woodside right near Sand Hill Road. Everyone loves Bucks.

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I am the exception because I hate Bucks. The food is mediocre at best, and it’s way too loud.

Nevertheless, there we were. Having lunch at Bucks.

John started going through his bio with me. It was very impressive. I already knew that he had worked at Maxim like I had. I was off running a different area of the company at the time, so I never worked with John, but Jim had. …

I looked at the inbox of my email one morning, and there was an email with the title, “Team Building,” from Mark, the Chief Operating Officer of the company I was working at.

I opened the email, looked at the content, and I groaned my disapproval. The team building exercise Mark wanted a limited group of senior managers to do was to go to an indoor rock-climbing facility.

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How a bunch of out of shape, 40 somethings were going to bond and become better teammates rock climbing was pure insanity, I thought to myself. …

About

brett fox

I work with startup CEOs to help them grow their businesses . I built several businesses from $0 to >$100M. Learn more at www.brettjfox.com

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