Today's Entrepreneur


Today's investor:Tim Chang

No.1 mistake: Over-focusing on short-term dilution/valuation, not building a world-class team

Innovation series by Meliza Solan Surdi
January 26, 2011
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Our community is made up of trend-setting entrepreneurs, who deserve to be recognized. These entrepreneurs often choose the path of innovation without realizing the kind of lifestyle that comes with it.

As they step out of their comfort zone and take risks, they will more often than not, make several mistakes which become valuable lessons for the rest of us.

Vator's community also has several investors who make a difference. They help entrepreneurs make those lessons we can all learn from. They also support the innovations we can benefit from.

We've just created new profiles for our Vator members to share their story. So if you are an entreprenuer or an investor, we'd like to hear from you. 

This week we will be featuring a variety of investors. Today's investor is Tim Chang of Norwest Venture Partners.

Tim will be one of our VC panelists at our upcoming Vator Splash event this February 3 at Cafe du Nord in San Francisco. He will also be rocking it live on his guitar with his band Coverflow at the Vator Splash afterparty.

There's still time to get early-bird tickets. Go to the registration page to reserve your tickets and see the agenda. These prices are good until next Monday!

I Am: An investor

Name companies you've invested in:

ngmoco (acquired by DeNA for $403M), Playdom (acquired by Disney for $763M), Iridigm (acquired by Qualcomm for $200M), Lashou, AdChina, PCH International, Branchout, Lumos Labs, AllReach Media, Brite Semi

List your favorite startups:

the ones I've funded :)

What's most frustrating and rewarding about entrepreneurship/innovation?

Most frustrating: that the thesis and vision the entrepreneur is working towards is usually right -- it's often the timing that's off. Being 1-2 years too early might be survivable if the business isn't too capital intensive; being 1-2 years late can also work if you're a fast-follower or innovative later entrant (Google, Facebook). Any sooner or later is often certain death, unless you can pivot successfully.

Most rewarding: seeing your creation take on a life of its own, especially as you attract a world-class team that really takes ownership of the product/service and evolves it in new ways you never imagined...just like seeing your screenplay come to life in the hands of master directors and actors

What's the No. 1 mistake entrepreneurs make?

Over-focusing on short-term dilution/valuation and not building a world-class team -- remember folks, the easiest way to get a VC to pay up is to have a killer team in place!

My VC algorithm is actually dirt-simple --I call it the "Three T's":
- killer [T]eam
- organic [T]raction
- [T]ier-1 insider or co-investors

Surprisingly, it's rarely the [T]ech alone that makes a startup successful!

Related companies, investors and entrepreneurs

Bio: Tim is a proven venture investor and experienced global executive, and was named on the 2011 Forbes Midas List of Top 100 Dealm...

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