The Fundraising Wisdom That Helped Our Founders Raise $18B in Follow-On Capital

Two years ago, our team at First Round, led by Partner Bill Trenchard and VP Platform Brett Berson, began to quietly build out a program to help our founders navigate the choppy waters of follow-on fundraising. Long had we observed founders caught off guard by what was needed to raise their Series A after having a relatively easy time at the seed stage.

Realizing how … [ Read more ]

Why the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’ Looks Much Like the First

The Fourth Industrial Revolution, then, retains some of the exploitative elements that characterised the very first. What’s more, the very term “industrial revolution” has always been something of a misnomer, according to Gianpiero Petriglieri, INSEAD Associate Professor of Organisational Behaviour.

Hurry! Only 3 Left in Stock! When Scarcity Signals Are Most Powerful

Telling consumers when availability is low has two effects: 1) the scarcity effect induces some customers to buy while they can for fear of missing out; and 2) seeing customers rushing to buy prompts others to follow suit, in what’s known as the herding effect. Product popularity is taken as a proxy for product value. Harnessing these effects can boost sales.

However, it can also backfire. … [ Read more ]

How Companies Benefit When Employees Work Remotely

Letting independent workers choose their locations can boost companies, employees, and even the economy, according to research by Prithwiraj Choudhury and colleagues.

The Innovator’s Secret Weapon

Talk all you want about strategy and operational efficiency—the truth is, firms succeed because they offer something irresistible.

The Company-Changing Magic of Sales Operations Done Right

When Don Otvos first joined Datahug earlier this year, the sales team was spread out between San Francisco, New York and London. They were operating independently, isolated from each other. Most importantly, they couldn’t learn from each other and collaborate as quickly as they needed to. When he came aboard, he got the chance to make this vision a reality by rebuilding the company’s sales … [ Read more ]

What Really Helps Employees to Improve (It’s not Criticism)

“Some employees have more potential than others.”

“The best employees are well-rounded individuals.”

“People can reliably rate others’ performance.”

It’s safe to say most HR professionals wouldn’t take issue with these basic tenets. But Marcus Buckingham flat-out calls them “lies.”

Five Common Communication Mistakes (And How to Fix Them)

Learn how to be more effective at your next meeting or presentation.

Why Your Next Transformation Should be ‘All In’

Improve the odds of a successful business transformation by going “all in” to kick-start performance and remake your portfolio.

Forces of Nature

Understanding how ecosystems grow, thrive, and regenerate can help leaders steer their organization in the future.

Moneyball for business: How AI is changing talent management

Fifteen years after Billy Beane disrupted Major League Baseball by applying analytics to scouting, corporations are rewriting the rules of recruiting.

The Art of the Big Decision

A new approach to analyzing capital-intensive resource investments—Dynamic Decision Management—views projects as adjustable sequences of decisions.

Draw The Owl and Other Company Values You Didn’t Know You Should Have

At First Round’s recent CEO Summit, Jeff Lawson brought granularity to company values and culture by sharing both victorious and vulnerable examples from his time at Twilio. Specifically, he deconstructed his efforts into three parts: articulating, living and changing company values. Any startup that has been told to be its authentic self, but has encountered more handwaving than a tactical plan will find solace and … [ Read more ]

The Innovation Commitment

To catalyze breakthrough growth, leaders must set bold aspirations, make tough choices, and mobilize resources at scale.

The Top 20 Reasons Startups Fail

From lack of product-market fit to disharmony on the team, we break down the top 20 reasons for startup failure by analyzing 101 startup failure post-mortems.

9 Habits of World Class Startups

Startups that grow into transformative companies do two things: (1) they nail the basics and (2) they cultivate the right habits (core operating principles).

The first is mandatory. If you don’t get the basics right, in all probability your company won’t succeed. A list of things we consider basics:

  • Fundraising (don’t run out of capital)
  • Ship (don’t just talk about it, ship it)
  • Customer focus (live

[ Read more ]

Five Ways That ESG Creates Value

Getting your environmental, social, and governance (ESG) proposition right links to higher value creation. Here’s why.

The Most Important Metrics You’re Not Tracking (Yet)

Most leaders say they’re customer-centric, but if everything they measure is company-centric, how could that be true? Revenue, growth, and similar Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) measure how customers are performing for the company. But organizations that wish to be customer-centric (and maximize growth) must also measure how the company is performing for its customers.

10 Ways to Build Trust With Employees [Infographic]

If trust is the basis for success, then managers need to know how to build—and keep—the trust of their employees. Here are 10 steps to get started.