Startup Boards

Startup Boards : Getting the Most Out of Your Board of Directors

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An essential guide to understanding the dynamics of a startup's board of directors Let's face it, as founders and entrepreneurs, you have a lot on your plate getting to your minimum viable product, developing customer interaction, hiring team members, and managing the accounts/books. Sooner or later, you have a board of directors, three to five (or even seven) Type A personalities who seek your attention and at times will tell you what to do. While you might be hesitant to form a board, establishing an objective outside group is essential for startups, especially to keep you on track, call you out when you flail, and in some cases, save you from yourself. In Startup Boards, Brad Feld a Boulder, Colorado-based entrepreneur turned-venture capitalist shares his experience in this area by talking about the importance of having the right board members on your team and how to manage them well. Along the way, he shares valuable insights on various aspects of the board, including how they can support you, help you understand your startup's milestones and get to them faster, and hold you accountable.
* Details the process of choosing board members, including interviewing many people, checking references, and remembering that there should be no fear in rejecting a wrong fit * Explores the importance of running great meetings, mixing social time with business time, and much more * Recommends being a board member yourself at some other organization so you see the other side of the equation Engaging and informative, Startup Boards is a practical guide to one of the most important pieces of the startup puzzle.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 240 pages
  • 163 x 238 x 21mm | 460g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 1. Auflage
  • colour tables
  • 1118443667
  • 9781118443668
  • 275,774

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Let's face it, as founders and entrepreneurs you have alot on your plate, from building your product, landing customers, and building a team to managing your finances and raising money. Asyou develop your business, especially after you raise capital, youshould have a board of directors--usually three to sevenindividuals who'll seek your attention and, at times, tell you whatto do. You'll also discover that with the formation of a board comethe inevitable board meetings.

So how does an entrepreneur manage this beast called the board, which has many heads, and even more opinions? Indeed, dealing withthis aspect of a startup can be tricky for anyone. That's why BradFeld--a Boulder, Colorado-based entrepreneur turnedventure capitalist--and seed investor Mahendra Ramsinghani havewritten Startup Boards. In it, they skillfully demystifyboard dynamics and the inner workings of a boardroom for today'sentrepreneur.

Establishing an objective outside group is essential forstartups, especially to keep you on track, provide you with supportand advice, call you out when you flail, and, in some cases, saveyou from yourself. Here, you'll not only gain a betterunderstanding of the softer dynamics involved with startup boards, but you'll also become familiar with the various legal andgovernance aspects associated with them.

Along the way, Feld and Ramsinghani detail the best practicesthat can make startup boards more effective. They, along withtwenty other entrepreneurs, board members, and lawyers, share theirreal-world experience in this area, and provide examples of whatworks, and, equally as important, what doesn't. From proactivelybuilding a high-performing board and running more productivemeetings to learning by sitting on the boards of otherorganizations, this book offers valuable insights into a necessarypart of any successful startup.

Engaging and informative, Startup Boards is a practicalguide to one of the most important pieces of the startuppuzzle.
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Back cover copy

Praise for Startup Boards

"In addition to walking you through, in great detail, how aboard functions, Brad has adopted many of the Lean Startupapproaches to building, operating, and managing your board in a waythat resembles continuous deployments. Any practitioner of LeanStartup would do well to use this approach to building theirboard."
--Eric Ries, author of the New York Timesbestseller The Lean Startup

"I've had the opportunity to serve on a range of boards forcompanies at various stages in their lifecycle--so I knowfirsthand that building an effective board, and leveraging itwisely, is both a challenge and an opportunity. This new Brad Feldbook will help you get it right."
--Steve Case, Chairman and CEO, Revolution; cofounder, AOL

"I've been fortunate enough to sit on a few startup boards withBrad. His 'less is more' approach to board meetings keeps theprocess efficient and focused on strategy. If you have any role ona board of directors, stop messing with PowerPoint and read thisbook right now. I guarantee that you'll get far more satisfactionfrom your future interactions."
--David Cohen, CEO, Techstars

"Having sat on multiple boards with Brad and his partners atFoundry Group as well as currently being the CEO ofGetSatisfaction, I greatly appreciate the power of an effectiveboard for a fast-growing startup. This book shows you theway."
--Wendy Lea, CEO, GetSatisfaction

"An excellent board can dramatically help an entrepreneur whilea lousy board can sink a company. This book can help you learn howto be on the right side of that equation."
--Craig Dauchy, Partner and Head of Venture CapitalGroup, Cooley LLP

"Having been involved early on the Zynga board with Brad, weboth experienced a radically new board approach while scaling up acompany at an unprecedented pace. While there is a time and placefor traditional board governance, an active, involved, and engagedboard is required for any startup. Learn how to do it right in thisbook."
--J. Sanford (Sandy) Miller, General Partner, Institutional Venture Partners

"Brad is a powerful force in the universe and his board-levelmembership was a booster rocket that helped us grow so fast. Thisbook will help make CEOs more effective at dealing with thepersonalities that can be on a board, and I would consider itrequired reading for any board member so they can amplify theirimpact."
--Bre Pettis, CEO, MakerBot

"While board meetings should be helpful to entrepreneurs, manyfind them to be worthless and tedious. This book creates aframework for developing a high-functioning board that is a realasset to a company's success."
--Jason Mendelson, Managing Director, Foundry Group
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Table of contents

FOREWORD ix ACKNOWLEDGMENTS xiii PART ONE: OVERVIEW 1 CHAPTER ONE Introduction 3 CHAPTER TWO What Is a Board? 11 PART TWO: BUILDING YOUR BOARD 23 CHAPTER THREE Creating Your Board 25 CHAPTER FOUR Recruiting Board Members 49 CHAPTER FIVE The Formal Structure of the Board 63 CHAPTER SIX Aligning Your Board 71 CHAPTER SEVEN Is an Advisory Board Useful? 77 PART THREE: THE BUSINESS OF THE BOARD MEETING 85 CHAPTER EIGHT The Actual Board Meeting 87 CHAPTER NINE Motions and Votes 101 CHAPTER TEN Legal Challenges 111 PART FOUR: COMMUNICATIONS 115 CHAPTER ELEVEN Managing Ongoing Expectations 117 CHAPTER TWELVE Trying New Things 131 CHAPTER THIRTEEN Communication Confl icts 135 CHAPTER FOURTEEN CEO Transitions 143 PART FIVE: TRANSACTIONS 151 CHAPTER FIFTEEN Financings 153 CHAPTER SIXTEEN Selling a Company 157 CHAPTER SEVENTEEN Going Public 167 CHAPTER EIGHTEEN Going Out of Business 173 CHAPTER NINTEEN Conclusion 179 APPENDIX Checklist 1: Preparing Your Board Package 183 Checklist 2: Conducting Your Board s Annual Assessment 185 Checklist 3: Question for Your Legal Counsel 187 Checklist 4: Should You Get Directors and Offi cers Insurance? 189 Checklist 5: Stock Option Grants and 409A Valuation 191 NOTES 195 INTERVIEWS 199 BIBLIOGRAPHY 201 ABOUT THE AUTHORS 203 INDEX 205 Excerpt from Startup CEO 211
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About Brad Feld

Brad Feld has been an early-stage investor and entrepreneur for over twenty years. Prior to cofounding Foundry Group a Boulder, Colorado based early-stage venture capital fund that invests in information technology companies all over the United States he cofounded Mobius Venture Capital and, prior to that, founded Intensity Ventures. Feld is also a cofounder of Techstars and has been active with several nonprofit organizations. He is a nationally recognized speaker on the topics of venture capital investing and entrepreneurship. Mahendra Ramsinghani has over fifteen years of investment and entrepreneurial experience and has led investments in over fifty seed stage companies. He helped draft the underlying legislation for a fund-of-funds for the state of Michigan. For his contributions, Ramsinghani's immigration to the United States was approved under "national interest." He is the author of The Business of Venture Capital (Wiley). His articles and blogs have been published in Forbes, MIT Technology Review, Thomson Reuters, and the Huffington Post. His educational background includes a BE in electronics and MBA in finance and marketing from the University of Pune, India.
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