This is part of a series. You can find a link to all the parts here.

97. Fit everything into a story

Great companies have great narratives. Whether it’s talking to an investor or convincing someone to join the team, you always need to be storytelling.

98. Balance short vs. longterm tradeoffs

A lot of a startup is balancing short vs. long term tradeoffs e.g. should I pay this new developer an unfairly high salary because we are desperate for developers right now, but risk it blowing up in my face later on.

99. It generally gets harder.

A lot of founders think it will get easier. There are some things that become more comfortable e.g. higher…

This is part of a series. You can find a link to all the parts here.

🤑 Fundraising: Why, when and how much?

See also my article on: Early Stage Fundraising for European Startups: Amount and Valuation.

71. Understand what it means to take VC funding

And decide if you really want it. When you take VC funding you are implicitly committing to trying to become a unicorn (opposed to lifestyle business). This means you are expected to spend money unsustainably for the first ~5 years which means you will become dependent on finding the next investment round to survive.

72. There is nothing wrong with aiming to create a lifestyle business opposed to a unicorn

You have to take a deep look inside yourself and figure out what you want. See…

This is part of a series. You can find a link to all the parts here.

📣 Communication, scaling and structure

41. The startup will feel like a different company every 6 months

You will and should have a new job every six months.

42. Over-communication is better than under communication

There is no such thing as the right level of communication.

43. Keep the organisation structure simple by default

Creating different groups creates communication overhead.

44. Be transparent (but optimistic) by default

Employees really appreciate it when you share sensitive stuff like how a board meeting went and it’s less effort than creating information silos.

45. 1-on-1s are critical

I recommend having a template. Mine was asking them to talk through: 1) Top priorities 2) Concerns / challenges 3) Mood out of five 4) Team mood out of five 6) Any topics…

This is part of a series. You can find a link to all the parts here.

🎓 Personal development

26. Prioritise personal development

You will need to aggressively scale yourself as a human being if you want to enable your company to scale. You should…

27. Read

Read blogs. Read books. Join or create a reading group with other entrepreneurs.

28. Write

Blogging about something you learned is a great way of formalising your thoughts. It also doubles as great material for investors, people you’re trying to hire. I share this article with pretty much everyone who I’m interviewing.

29. Leverage peers

Find other founders to share and grow with. You need these people…

The world is arguing about Bitcoin’s energy consumption again, this time from opposite ends of the political spectrum.

Chinese premier Xi Jinping and Tesla founder Elon Musk might differ ideologically, but they share a communal punching bag: Bitcoin.

Elon Musk became a cryptocurrency hero when he announced in February that Tesla would accept payment for its products in Bitcoin. Musk later backtracked and said that Tesla actually wouldn’t accept Bitcoin until it had a better energy track record. Chaos ensued.

China is also reducing its environmental impact and Bitcoin mining is in the firing line. Home to the majority of…

Shortly before I moved from CEO to Chairman, we passed the milestone of 100 employees. I took the opportunity to reflect and put down in words some of the key points I wish I’d known from the start.

Part 1: 🌱Before you start 💡Ideation phase 🤝 Co-founders

Part 2: 🎓 Personal development 🧘‍♂Work/Life balance

Part 3: 📣 Communication, scaling and structure 🎖 Culture 👔 Hiring

Part 4: 🤑 Fundraising: Why, when and how much? 🎯 The process 🧮 Cap table & negotiations

Part 5: 🤔 Final thoughts

One of the last photos of the whole company we could take (pre-covid). The Prague trip in 2019. We’ve since doubled!

This is part of a series. You can find a link to all the parts here.

🌱 Before you start

1. Be sure that you want to start a startup

Most people’s think that they will get rich, be their own boss, have impact and change the world. Let’s unpack these.

2. You probably won’t get rich

Most startups fail and during the early years you typically have to accept a lower salary than you would do working for another company.

3. Your real boss is the VC market

Yes, you will be your own boss, but consider the following. If you follow the typical startup path, you will make losses for the first ~5 years and then make lots of money later. …

On Wednesday the 19th May 2021 Bitwala became Nuri.

This was a historic day for us and we wanted to do something special to remember it. We also needed a way to reward the incredibly talented and hardworking people who invested hundreds of hours in making this a reality.

So, we decided to give each employee an NFT to commemorate the day.

I made a video on Fiverr to announce it, because.. why not?

NFTs are a great way to say thanks

We decided to thank every employee who had contributed to the relaunch with their own commemorative NFT.

Our awesome Head of Design whipped this beautiful artwork up over a weekend

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have been in the press recently…

If you have any suggestions or feedback, please feel free to suggest changes here.

Since I started mentoring early stage startups, by far the most questions I got was around fundraising, especially about how much to raise and how to find a valuation. This article is an attempt to demystify the process.

How much to raise

Two schools of thought:

1. Raise as little as you need

  • To get to the next step / take away risk
  • Avoid dilution at early stage (you might want to prioritize Top-Angels over a mediocre VC Fund)

2. Raise as much as you can

  • More fire power to…

On the 26th of March 2021 I announced to the company that I will no longer be the CEO of Bitwala and will move to a chairman role.

I will become chairman of the board and our wonderful CPO, Kristina, will step up to the CEO position. As co-founder of Bitwala, I’ve been here since the beginning. In fact, I’ve been here since before the beginning! I’ve seen the company grow from three people with a dog and lots of big ideas to the 150 person scale-up that we are today.

So, when I announced that I was moving from…

Ben Jones

Startup advisor | Co-Founder & CEO/CTO @Nuri

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