Just read The StartUp Game – pretty good. This an interview with Bill Draper – father of Tim.
The difference back then? Everything was small and very informal. We met with entrepreneurs and wrote on yellow pads of paper, “You take 50 percent for your blood, sweat and tears; we’ll take 50 percent for all the money. If we need more people, we get washed down equally. If you need more money, we get washed down equally…” That was a starting point for a deal. I’d give him the paper and tell him to think about it (Yes, the entrepreneurs were always “hims” there were no “hers” back then…) I’d tell him to call other people we’ve done deals with before so he could do his due diligence on us. If the deal was a go, we would write up a term sheet (but we didn’t call it a “term sheet,” it was really just legal papers.)
An interesting list that I can find little to fault – though to actually DO IT – now that’s a LOT harder. Of course – I like “Get marketing.”
Marketing is the one great weakness of the technology industry. For some reason, high-tech CEOs don’t get it, understand it, or value it as they should. Apple spends a great deal of effort divining the next big thing – figuring out what people want – even when they don’t know it themselves. They don’t use focus groups or research. They’re their own focus group.