Monthly Archives: January 2015

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The Problem With Lawyers

Better_Call_SaulYour quality of life is inversely proportional the number of lawyers you interact with. This is true even when all your interactions are with friendly lawyers like patent attorneys and general council. I don’t mean this as a cheap shot at lawyers. Many attorneys are wonderful people who care deeply about their clients and their craft. This is not a people problem.

The problem is that if you are consulting an attorney at all, you are doing so because there is some kind of barrier that you need their help to remove. Problems that involve lawyers are the most frustrating kind, you can’t solve them on your own, you can’t fully delegate them, and you’ll never completely understand the solution. It’s a horrible feeling.

Visiting my attorney is like visiting my dentist. I like and trust my dentist. I know that his skills make my life much better in the long run, but I only visit when I must. No one wakes up in the morning and looks forward to their appointment with their dentist or their lawyer.

Raising Money vs Earning Money

Money TreeI’m sitting in the audience of one of the best-run startup events I’ve attended this year. Next up, a procession of startup CEOs will be introducing themselves and their companies to the audience. The printed agenda details each company’s name, founder, kind of business and how much capital they have raised.

Oh, good grief.

There are few metrics that tell you less about a startup’s potential than how much money they have raised. Fundraising has become a kind of vanity metric, and people who should know better pay way too much attention to it. Revenue has real meaning, but most startups would be horrified at the idea of publicly positing sales numbers — with good reason.

Raising funds is such a tiny part of growing a business, but the startup world seems fixated on it.