Nate Lentz
October 2, 2018

The Winding Down of Venture Investments

A certain percentage of companies that venture funds back fail. Everyone knows this. Depending on their investment strategy and success, funds lose most of their capital on 25% to 50% of portfolio companies. Of these, some percent are sold for very little value, but the sale provides a home for the technology, the customers, and […]

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Nate Lentz
August 1, 2018

Turning Over Another Card Is for Poker, Not Technology Investing

I was with a co-investor recently and we were discussing our mutual investment. It is a situation where we have been frustrated with progress, both in terms of developing a scalable product and in getting early customer traction (these are certainly correlated). My colleague made the statement that if one thing or another happened, he […]

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Nate Lentz
July 18, 2018

The Compounding Effect of a CEO’s Day-to-Day Decisions

A colleague of mine recently stepped away from his day-to-day role as a partner in a venture fund and into an interim six-month role as Executive Chair in one of our portfolio companies. It was a necessary move to stabilize what will likely be a very good company and it was a great move for […]

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Nate Lentz
June 12, 2018

The Fallacy of the Messiah Hire

“There is no Messiah in here!  There’s a mess alright, but no Messiah.”  A memorable line spoken by Brian’s mother in Monty Python’s Life of Brian.  The truth is, I often think of this line when CEOs speak to me of the person they just hired or the new person who just started. It is always […]

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Nate Lentz
January 5, 2018

The Operational CFO – Helping Improve the Score

I used to engage in the debate about whether the right structure at a certain stage of business evolution was to bring in a COO.  The argument was that bringing in a “been there and done that” executive to run much of the day-to-day operations was the right move to allow the business to scale.  Such […]

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Nate Lentz
September 26, 2017

Evolving to a Zero Trust Digital World

There is an evolving network security approach called a Zero Trust Network that when abstracted seems like a way to think about digital interactions. One definition of a Zero Trust Network is as follows: Traditional network security relies on a secure perimeter.  Anything inside the perimeter is trusted, and anything outside the perimeter is not.  […]

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Nate Lentz
July 21, 2017

Beyond Talent

I was in a board meeting with a new portfolio company yesterday and they started the meeting with two slides that they use to start every meeting at the company.  The first slide was a simple values slide.  The second looked much like the picture below. This list was initially written about athletes but it […]

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Nate Lentz
June 19, 2017

Seller Beware

Term sheets and letters of intent are non-binding except often for confidentiality clauses and lock-ups.  This means the buyer can walk away – for any reason.  Remember this and plan accordingly. In a venture capital situation, it is important to understand if you are receiving an early diligence term sheet or a late diligence term […]

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Nate Lentz
February 2, 2017

Understanding Decision Fatigue and the Implications on a Start-up

The New York Times recently republished a very interesting 2011 article “Do You Suffer From Decision Fatigue”, which describes academic research into the impact of decision fatigue on the quality of decisions.  Click on the link and read it because it may change how and when you make critical decisions.  Some of the takeaways include: – […]

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Nate Lentz
January 27, 2017

Common CEO Mistake: The Buddy Hire

It is tempting.  You are a new CEO and you need to make an impact quickly.  You have been successful in the past and there have been people who were on your team previously whom you would love to have with you on this new journey.  You don’t know the current team that well and […]

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