What lawyer do you use? Who’s your accountant?
I’ve been getting these questions a lot lately. Enough that I thought I should write this post. And the reason is, is that most of the people asking me don’t need these services. Yet.
When I started my last company, I couldn’t wait to start having conversations with lawyers and accountants. It made me feel important. Like I had something real. Like I was a real CEO. And they loved me too. They always answered my calls, they even took me out to lunch. And then I got the bill.
Most new entrepreneurs I’ve spoken to lately, are doing the same thing. Rushing to set up complex legal structures and financial models before they have any idea whether their idea is going to sink or swim.
Businesses need lawyers and accountants, but unless you have money flowing through the company (either in the form of paying customers or investment)…..you don’t really have a business. You have a theory.
A much better use of your time would be to go out and prove your theory to be correct, rather than lunching with your lawyers. If you’re right, and cash is coming at you faster than you know what to do with it, that’s when you bring in the suits. Champagne problems.
Execute like a monkey humping a coconut, on your product and getting customers, and the rest will fall into place when it needs to. Howard Lindzon put’s it nicely.
Having setup companies in a couple places now, I will say that Silicon Valley has this nailed. More so than most places, the firms that operate here understand volatility of the startup ecosystem and have morphed to fit the environment. Many firms will defer payments, or take small equity stakes to cover their initial fees. Ping me (paul [at] skyscrpr [dot] com) if you’d like to chat about this a little more. I have a killer team with me on Skyscrpr that have already been worth their weight in gold. But we only brought them on when we really needed them.
As always, the phone lines are open, so hit us up if you want to chat.
Also, this is an awesome article on how to check the boxes when the time comes to officially start your company.
It’s been a couple months since Jacob and I told our wives that we wanted to head to SF to start building Skyscrpr. We both gave up our homes in Vancouver and Portland in October 2011. Since then we have stayed at our parents, friends, and slept in numerous “side of highway” motels. Our wives deserve medals!
It has all been leading to this point. Although our small team has been working on this for a couple months, now that we are all in the same room it feels more real than ever! First things first, find a place to live/work.
Airbnb to the rescue
Since we have been working remotely for the last couple months, jacking internet connections where we can, having one place to live and work for a few weeks feels really good. But finding a place was tough to say the least.
Anyone that has ever tried to rent a place in the greater SF area will understand when I say “Holy Shit!”. This town is expensive! Not only are the places steep on any budget, but they want 4 months deposit, your first born and 6 hours of your time to fill out the 22 page application. Clearly this wasn’t going to work!
We checked out Airbnb and found an awesome little place in Daly City (just south of SF - between SF and Palo Alto). The decor is a bit like going back in time to when men drank scotch for lunch and women wore puffy skirts, but it’ll do for now.
The house has been named Claude.
We quickly re-arranged the furniture, got some desks and got to work! We only have a few months of runway to make this happen, so there’s no time to waste.
Oh, and we got the cheapest white-board on the planet - startups take note. Twelve bucks!
San Francisco, you’re the greatest!
In the very short time we’ve been here, we’ve made some great progress. There seems to be a social currency here that I have never experienced before. People love to introduce you to who they know and they always seem to have the perfect person for you to talk to. One meeting almost always lead to another meeting and then another one.
We are super excited to be talking to the people we have been, and will be, talking to.
Where we’re at.
We just launched our new splash page (which we showed off at the last Launchrock Happy Hour and they were stoked - post on how we built it here). We have been getting lots of signups so thanks to everyone who has shared it. If you haven’t……all the cool kids are doing it.
Our product demo is going to be ready to go this week and it’s going to make your brain go boom! I know we’re a little biased, but we think this is a “change the world” product and we can’t wait to show you!
Now that we’re here, let’s connect.