Startups and Investing

Escalating Commitment to a Losing Strategy - Why Founders Refuse to Quit

As a startup founder, shutting down your business will be one of the hardest decisions you'll ever have to make. However sometimes it's also the smartest option. Especially if you're able to close things down gracefully, give folks a good severance package and potentially return some unused funds to investors; not to mention gaining back some valuable time. Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs refuse to admit defeat and keep pouring resources into a failing endeavour. The tendency for people to double down in the face of growing negative evidence is known in behavioural psychology as "escalating commitment to a losing strategy". In this short article I highlight a few of the common cognitive biases that help make this happen.

Crafting the Perfect Pitch Deck (from a VCs Point of View)

As a newly minted Venture Partner I’ve seen a few hundred pitches and pitch decks the past 12 months. While this is nothing compared with some of my peers, I’ve noticed a few clear patterns start to emerge. Patterns which, if founders were better prepared, would significantly increase their chances of securing investment.

How to Write Genuinely Helpful Investor Updates (that Don’t Suck)

As a Seedcamp Venture Partner, start-up advisor and occasional angel investor, I’ve found myself looped in to an increasing number of investor updates of late. While I’m by no means an expert in managing investor relations, I’ve spotted a few common patterns that make these updates a joy to read from an investor perspective, while allowing founders to get the most out of their investor and advisor networks. Let’s start with the basics…