Other VCs Team Up with Openview Labs to Share Advice and Ideas

Recently a lot of attention has been paid to mentor-driven investment programs. Think Y Combinator led by Paul Graham and TechStars led by David Cohen and Brad Feld. Entrepreneur John E. Richards was inspired to start the same program in Utah.

Richards is the latest guest author to join forces with OpenView Labs, a resource site geared towards senior managers of expansion stage technology companies. In his article, Richard details his story on setting up BoomStartup in addition to highlighting the differences in how his investment practices have changed. They are:


  • The Old Way: Raise $250,000 to $800,000 on the first business model. Half the cash gets squandered, and founders persist with doomed business models because they can.
  • The Right Way: $15,000 until they take 1 to 3 pivots to the right business model. The constraint breeds creativity. It’s an amazing process.

Customer discovery

  • The Old Way: Product-focused effort that gets to a robust beta or Version 1.0 before truly approaching a customer in a sales situation.
  • The Right Way: Get out of the building and talk to users and customers, often with a conceptual mockup, finding out if the customer will buy and what they will pay. The buzz saw of the first customer contact is an eye-opener, and it needs to happen very early. Then, once the model is nailed, build a minimum viable product, be flexible to customer input, and then you might be ready to scale it.

Read the article in full on OpenView Labs.

Brad Feld, of TechStars and the Foundry Group recently shared his thoughts on company development, specifically the ideal structure of the founding management team in startup companies. For example, the startup CEO should be product-oriented. Learn more by listening to his podcast on the Labs site.

About OpenView Labs

OpenView Labs is the strategic and operational consulting arm of OpenView Venture Partners, a global Venture Capital fund that invests in expansion stage technology companies. The Labs was formed to assist the management of OpenView portfolio companies build great companies by gathering, creating, storing, and disseminating best practices across all functional areas. The dedicated full-time teams, Senior Advisors, and network at OpenView Labs spend the bulk of their time working on behalf of the OpenView Venture Partner’s Portfolio companies. This work includes incubating methodologies, testing approaches, performing research projects, developing and implementing forums and workshops, gathering the best network and ideas for building great companies, and coaching the management of the portfolio companies.