Office Hours: I'm director of investments at Baidu Ventures and was employee #1 on the strategy and operations team at Zendesk. I also advise the Silicon Valley TV Show. I'm Fang Yuan.Featured

Hi everyone! I am Fang, director of investments at Baidu Ventures, focusing on AI & Robotics at the seed and Series A stages. Prior to Baidu, I worked at two unicorn startups (Stripe & Zendesk). I have a passion for working abroad (Argentina, Brazil, China, India, Mexico, Nigeria, etc.) and helping people to connect to each other on a deeper level.Conscious networking is the skill that got me invited to become an advisor for Silicon Valley the TV show without asking for the position, that helped me get into my first VC deal (which had closed a $7MM round AND made it into the NYTimes before I found out about them and convinced them to re-open up the round for me), and that allowed me to convince multi-platinum singer-musician Jewel to be the first guest on my new YouTube/podcast series "Choosing Authenticity" when I had zero subscribers to speak of.Ask me anything about conscious networking, fundraising, VC careers, operating, the Silicon Valley TV Show, being a woman in mostly male dominated industries, working abroad / in the emerging markets, or anything else!
Thanks so much for joining us @fangyuan23!Elphas – please ask @fangyuan23 your questions before Friday, December 11th. @fangyuan23 may not have time to answer every questions, so emoji upvote your favorites 🔥👍🏾➕
Great insights! Thanks for sharing. I was at Zendesk couple years ago - wonderful company.
Hi @fangyuan23!Thank you for sharing your insights! How do you find working in a mostly male-dominated industry? Are there any advice or tips that you would give to women entering these industries (how to collaborate effectively, how to build and manage relationships etc.)? Thank you! 😊
Hi Marylee! I believe my answer to Lindadongx might be helpful in your case as well but let me know if there's something specific I haven't addressed in your question in that answer!
Hi @fangyuan23!! Thank you so much for offering your valuable feedback! I'd love to get your insights on how to get VC's attention when it comes to pitching via email & Linkedin as it's been quite hard to get responses without a personal introduction. Also, what methods of valuation do you like to use? Especially in various stages if they're still conceptual or in beta phase.I'm the founder of an Ai powered design platform that is going to be the first consumer accessible online interior design tool. It's totally game-changing for the design world and has been built as an app on top of an existing sucessful e-commerce store for historical user data to grow from. Even with a strong track record and propriety technology, it's been really hard to get VC's attention when pitching via email.Thank you in advance for your response and any advise you can share!
Hi Vanessa! Yes I hear you - it's very hard to stand out without a warm intro. Are you sure there's no one in your network, even 2 or 3 degrees out who might be able to vouch for you? A close friend of a close friend?I have actually spoken about how to fundraise with zero connections (first video) and how to network (there's a section where I talk about how to reach out to a weak tie for help) - sharing in case helpful! Re valuation, check out my answer to JeanieL - in sum, it really really depends on the company and their biz model. There's no cut and dry set of metrics. I think the biggest questions just from reading your description of your company might be around CAC:LTV ratios, growth numbers, retention / churn numbers, future growth outside of your e-commerce partner (have you signed an exclusive deal with them, etc.), market size (how big is this market, what % of consumers would want to use this, pricing, etc) and what makes this defensible in the long run? I hope this helps and best of luck!
Thank you so much @fangyuan23! Yes, we were already using projections including CAC/LTV and taking churn into consideration. And thank you for your videos, I do have a lot of contact on Linkedin with connections however I guess I just wasn't exhausting them all for intros. Commencing the nudges for intros!
Hi @fangyuan23! Thanks for hosting this. I'm working to build out programming for a VC and I am new in the industry (having built communities in other segments, including B Corps or impact-focused businesses). I'm based in Toronto, so looking to learn from your experience in Silicon Valley specifically.My question is: is there a VC that you see doing a great job building out a network among its portfolio that I could look to for inspiration? What do you think is missing in offering support to early stage founders that might help be establish us as a differentiator?Thanks so much! Really enjoyed watching your video on conscious networking.
Hi Kasha - there's many examples of great portfolio programming / network / operations. From a16z's huge operations team investment to Village Global's OnDeck community building programs & amazing mentor cohorts, and of course the YC alumni network and their weekly dinners, etc. I think without understanding more of your founders' background it's hard to say what might be a differentiator bc it really does depend on what your founders need. I would actually suggest just asking the founders directly what would be most helpful to them and then building out programming from there. You might be surprised at some of the answers! Why guess when you have access to the people you're directly serving? :)
Hi Fang, what an amazing career!I have a quick question: what strengths and unique qualities are you looking for in beauty eCommerce startups? Thanks!
Thanks Grace! Unfortunately I only look at enterprise startups so don't have much familiarity in that space. However, I would recommend following Kristen Green, who is the queen of this space - linking to some articles & videos with her that are hopefully helpful to you!
Thank you, Fang! That is very helpful.
Hi Fang,As was said by other Elphas, thank you soo much for taking time.My questions are not so deep perhaps and rather plain.1) I am a founder in EdTech company and currently in the process of raising a seed round.We reached product/market fit, numbers are good etc. but one the of the key blockers seems to be me being young, being a woman and being a solo founder altogether.How would you advise to overcome general scepticism of potential investors (men mostly)? Or perhaps how should I position myself to turn these factors to an advantage instead?2) Which personal qualities do you look at in founders? What in your opinion defines potential success or failure?P.S. Thank you so much for sharing mental frameworks during Techsylvania talk last year - remarkably timely and relevant!
Hi Alisa! How awesome that you're doing an edtech company!1) The right investors will not be ones whose views you need to "overcome" bc of being a young solo female founder. The right investors wouldn't care less about those attributes - they'll look to what actually matters - that you're a founder who is passionate about the space and who has the early traction to back up your business model. I'd also suggest looking into accelerators / funds that are specifically geared for edtech founders - some ideas below (would also suggest social impact funds if relevant): Look for investors who have invested into successful edtech startups in adjacent areas - they will know the space will enough to also be good strategic advisors.Would also suggest reading my reply to someone else's question on the "bamboo ceiling" and how being an Asian female minority has impacted my career bc it might some relevant info for you too.2) Success = learning from every "failure" For me the best founders are ones who:- remain humble & have low-ego- know the space and if they don't know, learn it quickly (no BS)- can hire the right team & inspire them & give them space to do good work- know when to take outside advice vs. trust gut instinct (hopefully both align but not always)- stays positive & is in it for the long-haulHope this helps!
Thank you so much for your time and advice! This does help a lot!
Hey Fang! Do you have advice for recent grads/ women early in their career who want to eventually work in VC?
My general career advice is to just see what you're curious about and go after that and then if it leads to VC then that's wonderful and if not, wherever you end up is wonderful.That said, if your heart is set on VC, then there's many many ways to prove that you're a good fit for that role - from angel investing / advising startups in your area of expertise to working for startups in operating roles to going into tech journalism, etc. So again it's about following what your interest area is bc presumably you'll want to invest into areas that are of interest to you whether it's consumer or enterprise or domestic or global or early stage or late stage, etc. For myself, I started in consulting, moved into startups, and then into VC, which is a pretty well-trodden path. And like with a lot of things in life, it wasn't what I expected - it was pretty serendipitous!Hope this helps!
What an impressive career!
Hi @fangyuan23 thanks so much for taking the time to share your story and insights! Very inspiring. I'd love to hear more about your experience working in emerging markets. Prior to Covid I was working at an accelerator in Guatemala supporting local entrepreneurs (really more like small businesses). I'm passionate about supporting economic development in emerging markets and started working in the fintech space because of all the innovation and potential I see. I'd love to hear your thoughts on how we in the developed world can best support emerging marketing. And also any advice on actually working abroad, something else I'm passionate about :)
Thanks for the note!I posted the full history of how I got started working in emerging markets below so feel free to check that answer out. Re your question on how to best support emerging markets...I think it depends on what you're passionate about and your skillset. It already sounds like you've found a way to contribute via the fintech sector and there's so much to be done when it comes to helping the unbanked, giving SMBs access to better loans at better rates, better remittance offerings, etc. Not only that, there's a HUGE economic opportunity for anyone who cracks these problems bc of how large the market is - and there's so much room for multiple players! If you already have an interest in the space & the relevant work experience, I'd say to just trust your intuition as to when the right opportunity will arise for you bc you'll know it when you see it given your interest and skillset.Also, I LOVE Guatemala - a total hidden gem of a place that more Americans should visit! Q suerte that you were able to live and work there!Lastly, this is a great book on how someone else made the transition from private to public and different ways of using lean startup methodologies for good in the public sector q esto te ayude! Un abrazito!
Hi @fangyuan23, Thank you so much for your insight. A couple quick questions:1. In my experience, undergraduate business schools have largely taught networking by emphasizing certain protocol, such as what to put in an email's subject line, when and how often to contact professionals, etc... Do you think there is merit in following these rules, or do you think it is more beneficial for individuals to judge their situations and find their own flow for networking?2. You have had experience working in business in a variety of countries, sometimes even using different languages to communicate. What advice do you have for getting a sense of cultural differences in communication across countries and developing the ability to read and adapt to situations where cultural differences are prevalent?Thank you so much for taking the time to answer our questions and sharing your experiences.All the best,Sophie
Hi Sophie. Thanks for the note!1. I think it's always best to follow your own situation and discernment when it comes to how to interact with other people (and in general). I'd say it's best to learn from others but take what seems to work well for you. There's no set of "rules" that's going to be able to capture all scenarios.2. I think the best is if it's possible to become fluent in the language, otherwise pair up with someone else who understands the cultural context and get their help in navigating the nuances. That's always been what's helped me the most - having local friends / colleagues to support me. Then eventually, over time, things will get easier.Hope this helps!
Hey Fang! Love Silicon Valley, although not the same after Erlick left (although I heard he's not an awesome human). Anyhow, your background is inspiring and super cool. I don't have a specific question, but looking forward to hearing your thoughts on everyone else's questions.
Thanks Caitlin! Funny story re Erlick - I met him (without knowing who he was bc I haven't watched any TV series since I was 18 and before I was a show advisor) at a fancy party in LA about 6 years ago, when we were both standing at a long buffet table full of delicious desserts. By "met" I mean that we were standing next to each other and figuring out how to get at the dessert with just tiny napkins as the plates had just run out.A few minutes later, when I had moved to another part of the table, a waiter came up with a new stack of plates and put it down. With plate in hand, I started moving down the table adding select desserts as I went along - until I ran into Erlick again - and told him that there's plates now. He looked at me and at my plate. Then he took my plate, as I were a waiter serving him, and turned his back on me.It was pretty rude! So I tapped him on the shoulder and when he turned around, I told him "that's my plate dude" and I took it back from him and left. His mouth was full at the time so I never got to hear a reply - nor would I have been interested. From how high up his eyebrows shot up though, he seemed surprised :)
LOL That seems like something he would do. Glad you got the plate back. You need to protect dessert at all costs ;)
Def re protecting dessert at all costs! No man shall stand between us and chocolate!
Thanks so much for holding office hours, @fangyuan23!Would really appreciate any insights you might be able to share around navigating male-dominated industries:1/ What strategies did you find most useful for coping / maximizing gains in environments where you're a minority? (E.g., Is this difference a competitive advantage? In what scenarios does being different work well, vs. work poorly? How do you navigate the trust bias (where people are more readily trusting of those similar to them)?)2/ On Asian leadership in tech and venture: do you think the 'bamboo ceiling' is a real phenomenon? If so, why do you think it exist (any thoughts on ways to break it)? If you don't think it exists, why do you think others may perceive it to exist?Thanks!
Linda. What a great set of questions! And a lot to unpack!Your questions are very related to each other and so I will attempt to kill two birds with one stone here...There's various factors here:1. The outside environment / other people's mindsets2. Your mindset about the outside environment3. Your response to the outside environment based on your mindsetYou'll notice that you have full control over #2 and #3 but not #1. What I mean by this is definitely possible that there are work environments that simply bc of who you are (i.e., Asian) you will be much less likely to get promoted. This is true for not just Asians but women and all the multitude of ways to create in-groups vs. out-groups. Racism is real, sexism is real, etc. That said, where it becomes tricky is how we react to this and how much of this is real vs. perceived and how much is changeable vs. not. Since you can't (directly) control anyone else's mindsets or the corporate culture, the only thing you can do is respond to the situation as you will. I think your own question in some ways provides the answer you seek - is being a minority / different a blessing or a not? Can it be a competitive advantage?It is whatever you make it to be. I mean that. I have been the "minority" in many contexts (only Asian and/or female in many many meetings, projects, etc.), and there's many a time when assumptions have been made about me that just aren't true. For example, at a conference standing next to my Asian male colleague, a male conference attendee who we'd both just met asked where we worked and just assumed that I was a marketer and that my male colleague was an investor. In a work context, I have had a few male colleagues later tell me after working with me that they were surprised by how outspoken I was - perhaps because of an unspoken prior belief that Asian women are more passive or quiet.When I was younger, these types of instances used to bother me. I never wanted to be pigeonholed or stereotyped based on my ethnicity or gender. In fact, I used to rebel against this by trying not to be the typical "passive" Asian female - I studied abroad in Argentina, danced tango, worked in Nigeria, always made sure I had a seat at the table and made my voice heard, etc. I wanted to break down all of these stereotypes. And that did work and people did respect me, and perhaps even more so bc I was not what they'd initially expected.That said, at a certain point I realized that I didn't need to expend all this emotional energy reacting to their implicit or explicit assumptions. In the vast majority of cases, no one was trying to purposefully keep me down; moreover, people's views are mostly formed unconsciously and they hold them not out of malice but just out of pure habit [0]. I also realized that much of my "rebellion" was actually who I was - I am adventurous, ambitious, outspoken, etc. I wasn't trying to be someone else. The more comfortable I got just being myself and being authentic to who I am vs. reacting to the outside environment, the more that I think I got respect from the outside world. I don't play the in-group/out-group game, I just do good work. My belief is that if you're in a company that truly values people and good work and you're a good team player who helps others and generates good value, you will be able to succeed in that environment, minority or not.This is what I meant earlier by "how much of this is real vs. perceived and how much is changeable vs. not." If you have a belief that being a minority is a barrier, you might unconsciously act in ways that reinforce that. I have found in my own experience that while for sure I had colleagues who made certain assumptions about me before we started working together, a few hours of getting to know me removed all doubt / assumptions and they've held that against me. And people's minds can change over time too - prove them wrong not with anger but with kindness & results. Now I've assumed in the above that you're not talking about a truly toxic work environment that is blatantly racist, sexist, etc. In those cases, given how much opportunity exists everywhere else and a company with that culture is very likely to fail, I'd recommend going elsewhere!I hope this helps!Fang[0] When I was starting out in my career, reading this book was very helpful to me in understanding the male vs. female dynamic in work settings: short summary of the part that really helped me was that in the way that most young girls grew up interacting, no one wanted to be seen as the "bossy" one - and so young girls tend to bring themselves to everyone's level and generate a very flat hierarchy / we're all equal mentality. Young boys are raised in the opposite way - they're encouraged to be loud, funny, stand out, etc. - in other words, to be alpha males. While these are generalizations, there's enough truth in them that it's easy to see these patterns play out in the office, and see how these opposite ways of being raised might create friction in various work contexts (ex. men might self-promote a lot more, talk over their female counterparts in meetings, etc.)I recognize that your question is much broader than that, and I'm answering with a specific example of male vs. female dynamics bc I think it's helpful to first understand the underlying cause of why people are behaving the way they are. In most cases, people aren't purposefully trying to create an in-group/out-group mentality - but it happens naturally bc as you mentioned, people do trust/like people who are similar to them and there are patterns of behavior that have their roots in a much larger context. Knowing this is helpful insofar as it keeps one from feeling like a "victim" / that people are purposefully trying to keep you down, which then decreases ego-defensiveness, which typically only leads into a negative cycle.
Hi Fang,I resonated with so many parts of your introduction and I'm really curious to know:1) How do you position yourself and your multitude of experience when you practice conscious networking? (e.g. How do you synthesize and position who you are when you are many things? How do you "brand" yourself so people remember you when there is an opportunity?)2) How do you spark interest and negotiate for the win-win when at a first glance there's more win for you than your counterpart (e.g. Landing Jewel as the first guest when you started from zero, closing the $7MM round when it was already closed) I also checked out your "How to Fundraise With Zero Connections" talk at Techsylvia!It gave me goosebumps when you shared 4 mental models / frameworks at the end. I'm actually working on a side project simplifying mental models, frameworks, and integrated thinking methods for kids. My background is in law and management consulting, so the difference pre- and post-framework thinking was stark for me. School doesn't teach this stuff, but learning how to think clearly and with direction is such a fundamental skill. If you have time, I'd love to know how you use mental models (and if you know any female sources on the subject. I've only been exposed to male perspectives.)Thank you so much Fang!
Hi Vicky!Great questions, and thanks for the note!1) I don't really position myself, at least not consciously. I don't think too much about myself when I'm connecting with someone else unless it's in the context of how does my experience relate to them or how can my knowledge or network be helpful to them. Instead, I focus on the other person and what they're excited to talk about and what they need help with. In this way, I become "memorable" bc typically most people don't go very deep with others in conversations or don't engage with them on a personal level. I talk to the person not their role if that makes sense?The "brand" is that by creating a real engaging interaction with someone, it's enjoyable for both sides and it makes you naturally memorable without feeling forced. This also means one doesn't need to try to be "top of mind" for the other person by constantly reaching out or setting up automatic reminders to reach out bc if someone has had a good set of interactions with you, though it may be years, they will welcome you back into their professional lives if you reach out. That's been experience at least.2) Jewel was a very specific case - how I did that was by offering to be helpful to her team. I heard her life story on a private Zoom session, was very moved by her story, ended up donating to her charity as a monthly recurring donor, and then reached out to her team to see how else I could be helpful.I told her team about my idea, which was to create a show to inspire younger people to be true to themselves, and of course her manager turned me down immediately bc I was an unknown entity with zero subscribers and she's very hard to book - she had just turned down the Today Show that week. But I was OK with that - and by accepting their "no" and still offering to help out regardless with her projects I:a) gave them psychological safety. they didn't feel that I was trying to get anything from them / they felt safe that they could say no.b) showed that I was committed to helping them out regardless of whether or not they were going to help my project outI ended up helping them get another great speaker for one of their virtual online events, they asked me to moderate, and bc that went well, they felt comfortable letting me interview her for my show. Jewel also is a really kind-hearted person and I think she could see I was really being sincere about my request and so that helped too. Hope this helps!
THANK YOU Fang! This is immensely helpful.
Hi Fang, thanks so much for sharing your advice and wisdom. You've done a lot of amazing things - do you ever suffer with imposter syndrome or have doubts about your abilities? How do you overcome them or manage these doubts so they don't hold you back?
What a great question!And I'd say yes and no. For a long time I suffered from imposter syndrome and for sure I have doubts about my abilities. What has changed though as I've matured is that I'm OK with the doubts. I recognize that they're just doubts and that they will pass, like any thought or emotion. Bc once I start working on something, and you probably find this to be true on your end as well, I'm no longer afraid bc I know I can handle it. Over time, as expertise builds in certain domains esp, the doubts become less and less. This is also true for new projects; even if you find that you can't handle a new project without help - that's OK, that means you've found a way to get help, which means you're still handling it :)You can just ask yourself when a doubt arises - when have I not been able to deliver on time, with quality, etc? If you've had decades proving that you are capable, why should this time be different? You start seeing the irrationality of this fear, which is what it is, and you start practicing just letting it go. Talk to yourself as if you were your own best friend who has come to you for advice. It's amazing what we say to ourselves via our inner critic - you'd never say those things or have such doubts about your best friend so why would you inflict those negative thoughts on yourself? Another thing that helps is that I don't see failure as a bad thing - it's just another lesson. If you think of it that way, what is there to be afraid of? And is it really a failure? There's nothing in my life that I haven't learned from, so who's to say what's good or bad, what's success or failure? I have also weaned myself off of external approval. Whether or not I get it, I'm fine either way. This is a continual work in progress but I'm at a point where I can honestly say - I don't care the vast majority of the time what anyone thinks so long as I'm happy with the work I do. I care about a small cohort of people's opinions (i.e., my family & close friends) and that's it. Lastly, what you don't want is to veer into arrogance or over-confidence. It's always good to be in balance. Keep some of that healthy doubt (as a constructive viewpoint) but not so much that it's debilitating. Hope this helps :)
Thank you so much for the thoughtful and thorough answer Fang. I was recently listening to Seth Godin on Tim Ferris' podcast and he mentioned something very similar to one of your points, which resonated with me - we must move away from external validation to just doing the work because the problem with external validation is that it's finite and fleeting and we fall into that cycle over and over again. "You can just ask yourself when a doubt arises - when have I not been able to deliver on time, with quality, etc? If you've had decades proving that you are capable, why should this time be different? You start seeing the irrationality of this fear, which is what it is, and you start practicing just letting it go." - this is so true. I try and tell myself this all the time but it's still a work in progress for sure. This is a good reminder that I need to keep questioning my own irrational feelings rather than just accepting them.Thanks again Fang. I really appreciate your advice on this and you taking the time to answer our questions here. It's truly inspiring to see more successful Asian females as role models for us :).
I'm glad this was helpful! And I think that it's a big trend esp for people who are creatives - bc in order to do great work you can't conform and to not conform you can't be held back by what you think others will or will not approve of :)
It took me a minute to absorb your comment but once I did - WOW. Never thought of it that way but that is so true. If we want to be successful and stand out, we have to be willing to accept the good and bad of standing out.
What inspired you to transition from working in software to investing in other businesses? What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome in making that career pivot?
Luck and curiosity.I met someone who had an AI & robotics fund and it looked really interesting and I love learning about new topics. I need to constantly be learning, which is also what's great about being in the VC space bc you get to meet so many interesting people with novel ideas and do various assessments on them and scenario thinking. It's also a flexible job to some degree bc you get to set your schedule so long as you're able to deliver, which I like bc I don't enjoy the typical 9 to 5 workday mentality. The biggest challenge was proving my credibility as a deep-tech investor coming from a non-technical background. What I quickly realized though was that it's not that hard to assess technical competency in people - but it is a lot harder to see if their idea / business model works well for the industry they're trying to tackle bc of how nuanced / devil in the details most industries are. Over time, as my pattern recognition and knowledge grew, the job got easier as well - what I got from one conversation I could typically leverage in future ones.
Hi Fang! How did you begin your journey in working abroad?
By following my curiosity.In college I interned every summer in a different country - Mexico as a volunteer English teacher, Singapore with 2 NGOs, Argentina doing my thesis research, then spent a year in China on a fellowship right after college.I had set the foundations for my professional work abroad experience later in life from those college experiences without really realizing it at the time.Not only did those college experiences make me excited to work abroad and give me strong confidence that I could handle whatever I'd encounter even as a solo female traveler, it gave me the language skills that would serve me well in a professional context.I volunteered to go to Nigeria on my 2nd consulting project and bc everyone else was too afraid to go, they sent me. Then my manager broke his foot on that project and I had to do all of his work, and stayed in Nigeria for 13 weeks vs. the original 7 weeks. This proved my ability to the Spanish partners running the project, who staffed me on the next project in Mexico once they learned that I was a fluent Spanish speaker.In Mexico, my manager was Portuguese and ended up taking me to Brazil with him on the next project there. In Brazil, I picked up Portuguese on the job and since very few employees at our firm could speak this language, I got staffed on 4 projects there over the course of 3 years.Basically, by following my natural curiosity to work abroad, I kept getting more and more experiences to work in interesting locations bc I got known as someone who could do good work abroad. After spending ~3.5 years working abroad, this culminated in my being voted "most exotic consultant" at our annual firm gathering one year by the other 200 firm-wide analysts.
What was your favorite part of advising Silicon Valley? Any fun tips you gave them that made it into the show?
Fav parts - thinking through interesting scenarios where AI takes over the world haha. That and meeting Mike Judge & the actors & cast at the SV season 6 premier.I'll be honest - I've only seen one episode of the show, not bc it's not a great show but bc I haven't seen any TV since I was 18 yo! I believe they used some of my ideas re funny AI applications, what Chinese VCs would keep on their desks, etc. but since I haven't seen any episode except for the first one of season 6 (which we got to see at the premier event) I'm not sure!
Hi Fang,Could you elaborate more on what you mean by conscious networking and how you do it? And then how do you maintain these new connections and relationships. Thanks.
Jolleen. Thanks for asking the $64,000 question!I have a whole presentation (~30min) about it here bc it's really hard to type out the full answer: My entire adult life, I've been known as a "super-connector."But I wasn't born with this skill set, and in this video, I explain how anyone can become a "conscious networker" and address some of the most frequently asked questions around networking including:- Why you don't have to be charismatic, polished, an extrovert, a goody-goody or say yes to everyone & every opportunity to be good at this- Why I don't need to keep spreadsheets of people & instead how I think about when to reach out- How to be memorable in a conversation, even if you're shy - How to naturally transition from professional relationships to personal friendships- Template to reach out to a weak connection for a favor, especially someone who you have not been in touch with for a while - How to graciously say no & who to say no toI hope this is helpful and if you have further questions feel free to leave a comment on the video and I'll be happy to respond!
Hello @fangyuan23 I am Jeanie and would love to ask you what have you seen the similarities of successful entrepreneurs that get passe A stage? What are a VC look for in terms of a startup's metrics and its revenues, and considering a "healthy" companies to invest in? How to invite or get advisory board interest to come guide a start up? is it through word of mouth mainly? Thank you!
Such a hard question bc so hard to generalize!What we look for is so different from company to company - some deeptech hardware startups we don't expect revenues for many many years vs. for enterprise SaaS it's a bit more formulaic. I think what we really care about though is potential for product market fit / value add to end customers vs. vanity metrics. Bc it's not hard to have some early pilots / success but the biggest question is can the pilots convert and what's the real value to the end customer? We'd much rather see lower revenue but stronger product market fit earlier on than the reverse.Successful entrepreneurs - again, so hard to generalize. I would say that they're people who can out-execute others over time, who have a strong product & business sense and who can hire and fire well. Advisory board interest - the best and easiest is via personal network if you can manage to get warm intros to the right people. You'll have to be very persuasive though depending on how early your startup is to get the best advisors - a number of folks would also just much rather write an angel check than take the time to advise. Hope this helps!