Investing in Public: Non-Obvious Lessons from 100+ Angel Investments

My investment performance vs. other VC funds per the AngelList Fund Performance Calculator

Don’t confuse brains with a bull market.

A note of caution — advisors are almost always overpaid. I don’t recommend startups using advisors except in rare cases as most advisors have loosely relevant experience and are better at convincing startups to give them equity than adding value. Be extra skeptical of anyone who is “advising a bunch of startups.”

Stripe’s revenue history as of November, 2013
Bill Gurley tweet about Confluent from January, 2019

Both deferring trust and investing on momentum have extra inherent risk because you have done little to no diligence. In one case, I invested in a company purely based on the numbers and it turned out to be fraudulent. While I luckilly got 85% of my money back, my belief remains that the risk doesn’t outweigh the efficiency of this strategy. You simply must price the risk in and diversify.

Hi Tod — My name is [first_name] and I am working with [venture_firm], investors in [best_investment], [second_best] & [third_best]. We have a team of operator investors with great expertise in [your_category].

We’ve recently learned about [your_company] and got really excited. It perfectly fits with our operating experience. I would love to learn more about your product and business so let me know if we can have a short call.

Hi Tod — My name is [first_name], I am the VP, Product at [my_company]. I spend my time improving [our_product] and driving revenue, but I occasionally like to meet other product leaders with similar goals and challenges.

In particular, I would love to discuss [our_best_growth_strategy] and compare notes on [our_shared_challenge]. Also, I’ve spent four years on [your_biggest_challenge] and can share my lessons learned.

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