Some thoughts from PayPal Seed Investor Peter Davison’s presentation at the Young Entrepreneurs’ Unconvention in Sydney in September 2012 #uncon. (Blog posts with notes from the other sessions coming up).
Peter Davison was a venture capital seed funder of PayPal in much the same way that one of PayPal’s founders Peter Thiel went on to be a seed funder of Facebook as shown in a scene in the movie “The Social Network”.
Peter Davison’s Venture Capital & Angel Investor Tips for Entrepreneurs:
Becoming an entrepreneur is not a rational decision, it is something where you cannot live with yourself if you don’t follow the dream
You need to be an independent thinker. You need to be engaging with people and processing it for yourself.
There are no strict answers as an Entrepreneur- have people around to validate and question you
Story of WinAmp Founder Justin Frankel and the WinAmp AOL Takeover
Story of a kid Justin Frankel in Sedona, Arizona who created the mp3 software player WinAmp. Peter flew to Sedona, AZ to meet this 19 year old kid. Peter goes to the house and this kid is asleep when he arrives and answers the door in buddweiser slippers. He offered the company to them for $50,000. His Dad said sell – pay off your college fees. But they didn’t accept this deal and missed out. 12 months later, Winamp sold to AOL for $80 million.
Peter points out that firstly, you may not need us investors
Core things Angel Investors / VCs look at:
- First thing – your ability to persuade other people
- Evidence – how well you are doing so far, what traction do you have
- Movitation – why are you talking to me?
Peter says when pitching to an investor – “you need to be taking me on your journey. Don’t come for validation from me. You need to be the leader, we are just an enabler” and “we are back seat drivers man”
Greatest attribute of an entrepreneur – ability to creatively respond to challenge. To take an impossible task and turn it into something positive.
Jack Delosa adds – Failure is an inevitable part of success, he just wanted to get the failures out of the way
Peter Davison says – you get more reward out of helping people than from money, it is a deeper level of happiness
Final tip – get out there and let the customers validate
Gives the example of a man who put leaflets in letterboxes around Wellington, asking would you be willing to buy milk for $X? Just an expression of interest. After collecting all that info he went and bought the nearby dairy farm
More blog posts coming up with notes from the other sessions at the Young Entrepreneurs’ Unconvention Sydney and other conferences around the world including Affiliate Summit and Clickbank Exchange in New York – for all the notes, videos and guides join our newsletter here.