“Being a 2nd time founder is basically figuring out how to leverage all your hype without believing it”

Joe Fernandez (Klout, Joymode, NewCo) On What Changes After Your First Company

Hunter Walk

--

I’m currently obsessing on repeat founders, and what lessons they want to share with the startup community. Just like my earlier request of Sean Byrnes, it made sense to pub Joe Fernandez’s response in full (thanks Joe!). Joe is a good friend and someone I love working alongside (Homebrew invested in Joymode and his current unannounced company).

large dollars bills chasing a young man, digital art [DALL-E]

Yeah, this hits a bunch of different ways.

So on the funding there are a couple of interesting things. When I am pitching a new idea I don’t really want the benefit of the doubt. I want a reality check against something I am considering spending the next 10+ years of my life on. While it’s nice that people are more inclined to lean in, I often feel like I am missing the conversation I want to have. It also puts a lot of doubt in my mind of how valuable of a thought partner that investor might be down the road.

I see this happen the most with new funds. It’s not because I think these investors are any less talented at evaluating ideas but they are highly incentivized to close “hot” deals. They are unlikely to have real results when they go to raise their next fund so they want the story of x, y and z proven, successful, founders choosing to work with them.

Lots of stuff comes to mind around team. The first thing I’ve found happen is that when word gets out you’re working on something new a bunch of people will want to connect about joining. 95% of the time this isn’t the people you actually want or need at this stage. You end up with a lot of people who have no could care less about the mission but know employees at your last company cashed out so they want in. Then there is the people that are hungry to get behind a mission they care about but have a romantic idea of what the earliest days of a startup are like and are totally detached from reality. Then the biggest group (which usually overlaps with the first two) are people who just don’t have relevant skills for this stage of the company.

This ends up being a weird distraction. You have these inbound…

--

--

Hunter Walk

You’ll find me @homebrew , Seed Stage Venture Fund w @satyap . Previously made products at YouTube, Google & SecondLife. Married to @cbarlerin .