Archive for the ‘Startup Stuff’ Category

The moose, the entrepreneur, and the local news

This morning I stopped in at a local market to pick up a little breakfast snack. As seems to be the case everywhere these days, I found myself face-to-face with a large screen TV at the checkout counter. (Heaven forbid we should not have a large screen television staring down at us in any restaurant […]

How well do angel investments perform?

goodcounsel represents a wide range of startups, many of which have raised capital from angel investors. How do these investments perform? It is difficult for us to generalize from our limited view of the landscape. We don’t have a large enough sample size (or the expertise, to be frank) to make broad judgments. Fortunately, there are organizations who compile […]

Options done right

In a legal and business career that spans more years than I care to admit, I’ve worn many hats (some of them at the same time): entrepreneur, company founder, early employee, investor, and attorney. Understanding an issue from multiple directions means that, perhaps unusually among lawyers, we typically counsel our startup company clients to implement […]

Understanding your stock options is not optional

You’ve landed that dream job and you’re excited to get started. The company is even throwing in some stock options! Since you will be an instrumental part of the company, you might think that the company is poised to take off and those options are going to be super valuable. “Sweet,” you say to yourself. “Where […]

Registered agent services: DIY or do not try?

The adage, “you have to have money to make money” really hits home when you are reviewing the budget needed to launch a business. Starting a business is expensive, and we understand that many of the entrepreneurs and businesspeople that we represent are trying to “bootstrap it,” especially at the outset of a new venture. Saving money […]

Delusions about dilution

With some regularity, clients tell me that they want to issue employee equity that represents a fixed percentage of the company, not subject to dilution. What startup company founders should realize is that giving out equity containing an “anti-dilution” feature is an extraordinary and unusual benefit, one that should be agreed to only in exceptional circumstances.

Thoughts on Howard Tullman’s recent Inc. magazine piece

I loved the piece in Inc. entitled “5 Ways to Stop Legal-Fee Madness” by Howard Tullman, a legendary Chicago entrepreneur who recently became the CEO of 1871, one of the premiere startup incubators in the area. I agree with just about everything Howard says. Stop for a moment, go read it, and come back and […]

Enough to make you feel sorry for these guys?

I know that it’s hard to imagine “feeling sorry” for venture capitalists. We think of them as very savvy, sometimes sharp-elbowed people, who typically make a good deal of money. But read Bessemer Venture Partners’ amazing page, detailing their “anti-portfolio” — companies that were presented to them for investment and that they passed on. Companies […]

Need legal representation for your company? (Genesis 37 has something to tell you.)

Lawyer marketing frequently emphasizes — what else? — the importance of hiring lawyers. As someone who has himself stood in the shoes of the cash-conserving entrepreneur, however, I understand the reluctance to use precious startup capital on legal fees. It is possible to significantly overspend on legal services — either by buying too many services […]

Convertible debt — hold the debt

We do a lot of convertible notes at goodcounsel, so we try to keep with the state of the art. A year or so ago, some West Coast incubators teamed up with the Wilson Sonsini law firm to create a type of convertible equity for seed, financings intended to replace convertible debt. Convertible debt minus […]