Being gay has given me a deeper understanding of what it means to be in the minority and provided a window into the challenges that people in other minority groups deal with every day. It’s made me more empathetic, which has led to a richer life. It’s been tough and uncomfortable at times, but it has given me the confidence to be myself, to follow my own path, and to rise above adversity and bigotry. It’s also given me the skin of a rhinoceros, which comes in handy when you’re the CEO of Apple.

Mobile onboarding

For some apps, namely the ones that need a credit card for payment, I’ve often held off on signing up until I had time to deal with registration, passwords, credit card entry etc.

In recent years, many apps have tried to make this easier with the ability to take a photo of your credit card instead of typing it in. This never worked for me as the numbers on my card are often too faded. 

Yesterday I decided to give Lyft a try. I installed the app and signed up. I love how many/most apps are using SMS to deliver a code vs the old school “check your inbox for a link to confirm you aren’t a robot”. Lyft sends the mobile code as well so step 1 was a breeze. 

Next, payment. I removed my credit card from my wallet and put in on the table. I went to the Lyft payment screen and was ready to type in a bunch of digits. Instead, this is what I saw.

image

My Apple Pay credentials were already enabled and turned on by default.

Mobile onboarding has changed forever. 

Runway

With venture backed startups, its likely the company will need to raise additional capital after a seed or Series A financing. There have been exceptions for sure but that is the most likely outcome, typically be design.

I’ve encouraged founders to work backwards as a method to manage runway. 

One thing I wanted to point out this morning is how often a founder will raise less money in a financing than is available or being offered. They don’t love the amount of dilution happening, they can’t justify a higher valuation so end result less capital to protect ownership. I see it all the time. 

I can’t blame them. It can be jarring to see 15-25% of your equity going into investors hands. 

But in my experience, and in most cases things don’t go as planned. And while I’m proud of our investments with our first three funds having multiple returns, we have seen more than our share of startups that wish they had more runway. I would easily say the majority wish they had more runway. 

I realize this may sound self serving as an investor (e.g. “sell us more of your company”) All I can offer is my opinion and observation after seeing this in 80+ startups in our family of companies and many more companies we haven’t invested in.

Threading the needle rarely works.

I’ll end this post with one more piece of unsolicited advice 🙂

Raising more money doesn’t mean you have to necessarily deploy it any faster.