设计理想的董事会会议 - 董事会会议

这是我的第四篇文章设计理想的董事会会议g系列。

I hope this series so far has helped you think a bit differently 亚博 正规吗 how you approach the lead-up to your board meetingsBy the time you walk into the meeting you should have a clear agenda that everyone has agreed to, one or two areas of the business that you plan to dive more deeply into, prepared materials that are of a style, length, detail and consistency that efficiently and effectively brings your board up to speed on the business and have been communicating with your board regularly so that there aren’t any big surprises in store for them when they get to the meeting在设置会议时,需要考虑以下几点:

How long should your meeting run? 这是我在董事会会议上遇到的最常见的问题之一首席执行官显然对董事会(及其团队)在准备和参加董事会会议时所做的时间承诺很敏感因此,他们希望会议具有实质性,并认为长度足以证明每个人都为此而出面这对我来说是可以理解的这里的关键是质量而不是数量实质性的董事会会议不是按董事会会议室的时间来衡量的,我认为首席执行官的首要任务应该是创建一个在实质和信息方面很高而且填写程度低的会议作为大多数公司的一般规则,在3-4小时范围内阅读这些内容对于您的董事会应该会议的时间有意义In my experience meetings that run longer than that (and I’ve been in plenty of 7 hour board meetings over the years) ramble, are not focused, are actually light on substance (much of which gets missed because of all the filler) and tend to devolve into the Exec Team meetings that I warned against in我在本系列的最后一篇文章不到3个小时感觉太短,无法涵盖实质性问题很明显,有时董事会会长时间见面是很重要的Similarly, as companies grow they often need to add a little time to their board meetings due to the sheer complexity of the business and volume of what needs to be covered.

包括你的团队另一个常见问题是执行团队(或其他人)是否应该参加董事会会议My general view is that it’s positive to have the executive team in the board room它有助于在团队和董事会之间建立关系,让董事会能够看到您作为首席执行官与您的团队互动,并在董事会讨论中与团队进行清晰的沟通I’ll talk below 亚博 正规吗 reporting and it’s important to talk to you team ahead of time 亚博 正规吗 what their role is in the board meeting同样重要的是要注意,仅仅因为一个执行官在房间里,并不一定意味着他们会被要求概述他们的功能区域同样,我通常不建议团队进出会议,只参加董事会讨论的“他们”部分如果您的团队要参加会议,他们应该参加完整的一般会议(可能,但并非总是取决于主题,也参加深度潜水会议)。

董事会业务第一还是最后?这里直截了当的答案是,它并不重要(假设你可以坚持议程和时间表)一些首席执行官(我说大多数人)喜欢在会议开始时让董事会业务脱颖而出有些人更愿意从会议室的团队开始进行运营审核,并保留董事会业务董事会会议的结束The former is nice because you won’t be rushing to approve minutes, option grants, lease approvals or whatever else it is that you need done as “official business.” The latter is nice because there are often other topics that are board business related that you’ll save for the end of the meeting (say an HR or 亚博官网下载 issue) that you don’t want to talk 亚博 正规吗 prior to the business update保持你的议程和时间表在这里很重要理解优先事项也是如此If you have a messy 亚博官网下载 issue you need to talk 亚博 正规吗 and that’s the most important piece of board business, make sure you don’t short-change it by either leaving too little time at the end of your meeting or by letting the business portion of the meeting run long在我看来,总是更好地牺牲那些不适合虚拟会议的项目的报告Be smart 亚博 正规吗 how you organize your meeting and be sure you have time to cover the most important material这听起来很容易,但我已经看过很多次,很多次(很多很多次)这通常体现在首席执行官希望他们的执行团队的每个成员都有空闲时间进入董事会会议室,而不是控制议程和时间安排,随后让事情运行得太长,以为他们需要涵盖董事会面板中的所有内容。优先考虑关键项目There are times in a board meeting when the CEO (or board chair if that’s a different person) needs to step in and say “we’re going to have to push the engineering discussion to next meeting; I need us to stick to the schedule.

讨论项目或决定项目。如果你从这个系列中没有别的东西,我希望你会记住这一段董事会是信托机构,对公司做出的一系列重要决策拥有权力(对于风险投资支持的业务,其中许多都在公司的管理和投资文件中列出,实际上)但实际情况是,董事会会议中涉及的绝大多数主题都不是董事会做出决定的主题董事会的一个关键职能是聘用并解雇首席执行官大多数决策都委托给CEO和管理团队。董事会不是经营机构 - 他们不经营您的业务。 根据我的经验,董事会和首席执行官一直误认董事会的角色You operate your business如果董事会对您所做的决定不满意,他们可以解雇您但他们没有通过你经营业务One way to help you avoid mistaking the board’s role is to be clear from the outset of a topic whether the item you’re talking 亚博 正规吗 is a discussion item or a decision itemOften in a board meeting I’ll stop early in a discussion and ask that question – are you asking us to make a decision here? – in an effort to clarify this如果你从一开始就这样做是最好的当然,董事会有一些具体的决策权(购买另一家公司,增加期权池,签订一定规模的租约等)。There are other items that are important enough to the business that you may want to come to a group decision as a board (including you) but where board approval isn’t explicitly required (expanding into a new market, making a critical product decision, etc.)当你要求你的董事会帮你决定一些事情时要明确希望有一个讨论并从董事会那里获取意见,但目标不是要让你的决策权威。

邀请意见,不要害怕分歧。在我的创业生涯早期,我是一家由一位非常以指挥和控制为导向的CEO经营的公司的董事会成员我们早期的董事会会议报告沉重,坦率地说,非常无聊,而且通常浪费时间We finally ended up in a meaningful and heated discussion 亚博 正规吗 product direction debated for 亚博 正规吗 an hour没有达成任何结论,但这是迄今为止我们作为董事会的最佳讨论我在会议结束后留下来与首席执行官进行汇报他非常不舒服,并告诉我这是他曾经有过的“最糟糕的董事会会议”As we talked, I realized that he had a specific outcome for that conversation he was trying to forcefully guide us to (this wasn’t entirely lost on me in the meeting itself) but more importantly he was totally uncomfortable with the idea of a free form discussion in the meeting (he was also the kind of CEO who called each board member before the meeting so he could have the meeting in advance and control/anticipate the actual meeting itself – somethingI wrote earlier 亚博 正规吗 not doing)不要那样的CEO(不出所料,他不能长期担任该公司的首席执行官)你的董事会应该有意见他们肯定有不同的经验可供借鉴Conflict is good and you should seek out board members who won’t be shy with their opinions, who are up for rigorous debate, but who won’t hold grudges if what you ultimately decide isn’t what they advocated for (more on that last point in my next post).

为什么,而不仅仅是什么进入董事会实现目标不应该仅仅是报告自上次会议以来发生的事情它应该是解释您显示的数据,并描述数字为何如何以及您认为这对业务意味着什么这对于传递给您的管理团队也是至关重要的,但希望已经建立了你把材料放在一起where you’ve prepared a board letter (and perhaps your management team has as well) that talks 亚博 正规吗 exactly this questionThis is one of the reasons I didn’t like the trend to send around board decks in Google Doc, answer questions in the comments to the doc and then start board meetings with: “does anyone have any further questions 亚博 正规吗 what we sent around?” This is a poor way to ramp into a meeting, doesn’t invite any discussion and absolves you and your team of the important exercise of analyzing and interpreting the company’s progress as part of a group discussion with the board需要明确的是,董事会会议的所有报告都不是很糟糕Of course you are going to repeat some key reporting items – to make sure everyone understands the numbers; to highlight a key trend you’re seeing but may not have been obvious; etc但是,通过关注为什么你会与你的董事会进行更实质性的对话,而不是简单地报告什么。

计划休息一下。这应该是显而易见的,除了在许多情况下它似乎不是包括在议程中的具体休息时间由于很多原因,人们不喜欢连续4个小时坐在房间里,只关注你的董事会讨论我实际上曾经参加过一次7小时的董事会会议而没有计划休息我们独自走出去休息一下(大概冒犯了当时正在谈话的人)这太荒谬了很高兴将这些包含在你的议程中,这样每个人都知道他们将会发生,什么时候会发生,以及他们的时间被纳入议程它们应该足够长,以便人们可以去洗手间或快速检查电子邮件,但不要太长,以至于你失去了流量(这里5-10分钟是合适的)。

每次会议都应该有一次执行会议在每次会议上计划时间让非执行董事会成员见面是有帮助的15分钟通常就足够了这是董事会在没有CEO或执行团队成员在场的情况下进行交谈的机会将此作为每次会议的一部分非常重要 - 当它临时性地向CEO发送错误的信息时After every meeting someone from the board should be tasked with following up with the CEO so there’s feedback from this session every time (which can range from: “sounds like things are going great; we don’t have anything critical to follow up on” to something much more substantive)最后一部分是关键 - 没有首席执行官在没有闭门会议反馈的情况下离职。

记下后续项目。 Ok – last item as this post is getting a lot longer than I anticipated请务必清楚记录会议中出现的任何后续项目理想情况下,你在出去执行会议之前就会对这些内容进行审核,并确保每个人都同意他们的意见。这些不是董事会会议记录 - 这些是您在会议后的私人备注/待办事项列表This will help make sure you actually follow up on what you’ve agreed to, keep your board in the loop on speficic items they’ve asked for more information on and to do so in a thorough and timely manner before you get distracted by the next 100 things that come up in your role running a fast moving business.

Ok – next up will be board meeting conduct: some thoughts on how board members should comport themselves in your meetings and what expectations you should have for their engagement and follow-up.

 

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这是我的第3篇帖子“设计理想的董事会会议“系列。

我之前的帖子中没有提到这个,但是当我开始编写关于如何组建一个好的电路板包时,我想到了它公司经常偏向于在每个季度结束后几周举行董事会会议理由是,这允许董事会审查季度业绩对于私营公司,我认为这是一个错误对于初学者来说,因为这是整个行业的普遍偏见,所以当其他人也是如此时,你正在争取董事会成员的时间。这些会议不仅难以安排,而且还要求您的董事会成员专注于您的业务,同时他们因为被要求专注于其他一些业务而分散注意力我也认为这是一个坏主意,因为它确定了董事会会议应该关注报告的基调It shouldn’t, as I’ll outline below报告很重要,但通常对于启动板而言,不能很好地利用您在一起的时间现在 - 谈谈手头的主题,整理你的电路板包。

所以,你一直在与你的董事会定期沟通,你已经提前发送并收到了关于董事会议程的反馈意见(我在上一篇文章中都有详细介绍,设计理想的董事会会议 - 会前)How do you construct a set of board materials that’s informative, insightful and sets the stage for a productive meeting? Here are some thoughts:

告诉我你的想法所有优秀的董事会套餐都以首席执行官的某些信件开头,提供有关业务的背景信息,以及他/她希望在会议期间提供的内容。这可以在附有材料的电子邮件中,或者更好地作为随附的其他电路板材料的单独字母This is your chance to tell your board how you’re feeling 亚博 正规吗 the businessWhat do you want to highlight for them? What things are non-obvious but that you want to be sure aren’t missed? Are there areas you’re struggling with that you’ll be asking the board for help on? How and why did you choose the topic or two that you’ll be doing a deeper dive on in the board meeting? This is always the first thing I read when I receive board materials from a company and, for me, is the most important part of any good board package旁注:一些公司有几位高级职员向董事会写了类似的说明我通常认为这很有帮助,但关键是要引导他们远离报告(这会导致不一致,并且通常与您的其他董事会材料相关)以及分析和解释他们在业务领域所看到的内容。

报告,但报告 始终如一第一部分董事会材料的目标是报告您的业务这在企业与企业之间会有所不同,但总体要点是突出整体业务的关键绩效指标,然后从公司的每个部门或职能部门获得简短的关键绩效指标/报告关键在于一致性在后面的文章中,我将分享一些我认为最有帮助的报告示例,但我们的想法是开发一个董事会包的大纲,可以在会议后更新会议令人惊讶的是,很少有公司真正做到这一点,而是从头开始为每次会议对您和您的团队来说,这不仅没有时间效率,对您的董事会成员来说也很难 - 报告缺乏一致性,因此很难将董事会会议与董事会会议进行比较,很难找到您在会议后寻找会议的信息请记住,子弹点式报告是传递定量信息的极其糟糕的方式您的KPI应涵盖业务的关键财务和运营指标(和运营状况),部门级别报告应包括功能级别KPI,后跟一些子弹,概述会议讨论的关键领域。

This isn’t your E-Team meeting. 我一直在董事会上,一直发出160多页“板甲板。”我把板甲放在引号中因为他们真的没有 - 他们基本上是执行团队会议伪装成董事会会议The ensuing board meetings were long, boring, and consisted of the board mostly listening in to the executive team’s discussion 亚博 正规吗 the details of the business (to their credit they changed this after I asked them to consider a different format for the meeting)俗话说:“我必须道歉If I had more time I would have written a shorter note.” Long board decks may seem like you’re being transparent but from my perspective it’s just being lazy花点时间提炼业务的关键方面,以便董事会能够有效但有效地了解业务您的董事会不经营您的业务 - 他们提供监督和指导使用您提供的材料帮助他们做到这一点I’m not going to give you a page maximum but if you’re more than 亚博 正规吗 20 or 30 pages for the reporting portion of your board deck, you’re probably too long (see below for “deep dive” topics, which I’m not referring to here).

Publishing in a shared format? 我有一些董事会以某种共享格式发布他们的董事会材料,供所有人一起阅读和评论(通常是Google Docs,但有时是其他一些共享格式)我们的想法是提前发出材料,提出问题并回答问题,董事会出席董事会会议,已经完成了董事会会议的大部分报告部分This works for some boards, but I have mixed feelings 亚博 正规吗 itFor starters, reporting without context can be challenging (or misleading) and in large part the substance of your board meeting should be 亚博 正规吗 helping provide that context (more on that in my next post)It also has the tendency to lead CEOs to start the board meeting with: “Does anyone have any additional questions that weren’t asked in the shared doc?”, which as we’ll discuss, is not a great way to start a meeting and engage your boardAs a practical matter, I’m often reading board materials on a plane where I don’t always have connectivity (and I’m not alone – many of your board members will do this; it’s simply where busy people have large amounts of uninterrupted time)这种甲酸盐不适合离线。

潜水We’ll talk more specifically 亚博 正规吗 the time allocation of your board meeting itself in the next post in this series, but for the purpose of planning your board materials you should assume that at least half of most board meetings (and generally speaking quite a bit more than that) should be spent on topics other than administrative or reporting所以选择一两个区域来更深入地进入董事会有时这是仅供参考,但通常这些是反馈的领域,当然还有更深入的讨论这些可以是事件驱动的 - 例如讨论并购机会或即将到来的融资或者它们可以是公司特定的主题,例如正在开发或深入营销或销售的新产品的演示This is a chance to make sure the board is up to speed on an area of your business that you need feedback on or simply to give them better context 亚博 正规吗 how you’re thinking 亚博 正规吗 the market opportunity or the forward product pipeline我发现这比那些报告过多会议,对业务的每个功能区域进行浅层潜水(要避免!)或陷入最终对公司未来不重要的事情的公司更有帮助。Be deliberate here – what areas of the business do you want your board to get smarter on? Where do you need some advice or help? And remember this is a collaborative effortPart of the reason you’re putting out an agenda early and for comment is to make sure everyone is on the same page 亚博 正规吗 what you’re going to go more deeply on in the meeting当您发送拟议议程时,您的董事会可以而且应该就此提供反馈。

及时对板材不起作用。 This is obvious but also seems to be a real challenge for many companies – you need to deliver your board materials well in advance of your board meetingFor most private companies this is 亚博 正规吗 4 days in advanceIt’s absolutely more than 48 hours in advance (many board members, and most VCs, end up lumping several board meetings together over a handful of days in a location – if you don’t get the materials out before people have boarded their flights to come see you shouldn’t expect them to have read the materials)People use to talk 亚博 正规吗 getting materials out a week in advance but that feels like overkill to me随着公司的成熟,董事会套餐往往会变得越来越长 - 报告的内容就越多您的时间安排应反映您尝试向董事会传达的信息的深度和数量。

假设每个人都阅读了这些材料如果你提前发送你的董事会材料,你应该假设(事实上你应该明确同意作为董事会),每个人都会做好准备并阅读并花时间处理这些材料这应该是显而易见的,除了它显然并不令人惊讶的是,人们经常在全国各地飞行参加会议,但没有费心阅读董事会的包裹我曾经参加过一次董事会会议,很明显,有几位董事会成员没有看到我们实际停止会议的套牌,他们休息30分钟就可以了没有准备就是不尊重公司和董事会成员不要无礼。

辅助材料。我一直在这里提到“板材”以及“板包”,因为你应该发送的不仅仅是板卡/文件We’ve already talked 亚博 正规吗 your CEO letter但是你还应该包括最近一个月的财务数据这些是您每个月向董事会发送的财务报告,但在此处包含这些财务报表,以便每个人都可以在一封电子邮件中将它们包含在内还包括您的上限表,您要求董事会批准的任何董事会会议记录,以及您计划要求董事会在会议中考虑的期权授予和任何其他董事会业务我更喜欢像上限表,财务和期权授予这样的东西作为单独的附件交付而不是在更大的板甲板的主体中It makes it much easier to find and make use of them later and to the extent to which some investors are sharing your board materials with their partners it makes it easier for them to strip out the mundane things that don’t need to clog up their partner’s email.

Next up is how to run the meeting itselfWe’ll cover how long you should plan on meeting for, the importance of being explicit 亚博 正规吗 discussion topics vs决策主题,您的执行团队应该参加的人员,等等。

设计理想的董事会会议 - 会前

所有良好的董事会会议都在会议开始之前就开始了,所以让我们从那里开始吧这个系列在船上开会

Timing – how frequently should you meet? Most boards plan meetings a year at a time考虑到繁忙的日程安排,这是有道理的,但是会导致董事会何时以及何时应该会面As a good rule of thumb, most startup boards meet quarterly (in fact, most boards of any kind meet 亚博 正规吗 this frequently)这种节奏感觉适合于将董事会级别的材料和董事会执行适当的治理水平所涉及的工作水平曾经有一段时间,风险投资委员会通常会每月召开一次全体董事会会议,但这个频率 - 至少在我们的经验中 - 是太多了对公司和管理层来说过于沉重,而不是非常有效或高效地利用每个人的时间它还强化了我在我的介绍帖中提到董事会是一个运营机构的想法,现在肯定是这样。

在会议之间进行沟通. Your board meeting shouldn’t be the only way you’re communicating with your board, of course这种情况因公司而异,但你肯定会发送每月财务报告(有一些讨论/概述的想法)我们合作的许多首席执行官也会发送半定期更新 - 通常采用电子邮件格式 - 以便让董事会了解业务运营情况我与之合作的一些公司也为我提供了访问其管理信息中心(驱动业务的KPI)的权限,或者将我包含在每日或每周自动KPI电子邮件中,该电子邮件将发送给高级团队其他人认为数据太多而不愿意I had one company (since sold) that put me on their automated “won sales” email distribution list so I received an email every time a deal moved into the close/won category (although tbh, this got to be a bit much over time)您在业务的日常运营中所占的份额取决于您We’ll talk later 亚博 正规吗 overall transparency and 亚博 正规吗 not “managing” your board but the general idea between meetings is to generally keep your board apprised of the key things that are going on at the business so they’re better prepared to absorb the more detailed information you share with them for board meetings.

It’s also worth noting that some level of direct communication is helpful here as well这种沟通的节奏各不相同,但您应该定期与您的董事会保持联系,以便他们感觉与您有联系并与您的业务联系一些首席执行官这样安排(每周与他们的主要投资者打电话或与他们的董事会成员一起享用普通早餐或午餐),但不一定要那么严格如果您需要董事会在会议之间的时间,请求它我们有许多公司在其季度董事会会议之间安排定期1小时的运营更新(不是全体董事会会议,也没有正式的董事会治理业务)But always when something comes up that the board should discuss together as a group, don’t be shy 亚博 正规吗 asking for everyone to get together on a call or video.

设置和沟通董事会议程. Plenty has been written 亚博 正规吗 getting board materials out early and I’ll add my voice to that later in this series, but what’s often missed in these discussions is提前设定董事会议程的重要性并在董事会会议之前和在发送材料之前传达该议程这应该在董事会会议开始前10天到2周完成Lay out the agenda and be specific 亚博 正规吗 what topic(s) you’d like to go deeper on with the board询问他们是否有任何他们想要添加到议程中的内容,或者是否有他们希望确定的特定主题从会议到会议,大部分议程保持不变,但董事会会议的内容因会议而异(我的下一篇文章将包括关于创建董事会材料的其他信息)事先进行此设置并确保您的电路板已经对齐,并对所讨论的关键主题进行输入非常重要并且应该在会议开始之前发生。

打电话还是不打电话一些CEO喜欢在每次董事会会议之前致电每位董事会成员我讨厌这个对于初学者来说,它可能会感到有点被迫和不诚实但我真的不喜欢它,因为它最终会在董事会会议之前演变成一个小型董事会会议我认为首席执行官喜欢这样做,因为他们遵循“董事会会议中不应该有任何意外”的建议(见下文),但如果你经常与董事会沟通,这应该不是问题而且,重要的是,通过在董事会会议之前举行一次小型董事会会议,您也失去了最让每个人聚集在一起的最有力的好处之一 - 作为一个团体一起交谈获得一次性建议作为首席执行官,这对你来说也是非常低效的如果您经常与您的董事会沟通,则每次会议之前不需要与所有人进行1:1通话。

没有惊喜The benefit of clear, regular communication and setting the agenda publicly and early is that board members shouldn’t be surprised 亚博 正规吗 what’s going on at your business in the board meeting在董事会环境中不提供全新的新闻是陈词滥调,但在这种情况下,陈词滥调存在是有原因的在会议中让董事会感到惊讶并不是从董事会获得好建议的有效方法当然,偶尔会出现一些问题,要求公司律师出席会议(以保留特权),不能在议程中明确说明或不适合详细的会前讨论或传播这些需求项需要区别对待,您可能只能传达需要在会议中讨论的项目的存在但作为一般规则,避免意外。

Coming up we’ll stay in the time period before board meetings and talk 亚博 正规吗 the preparation and dissemination of board materials.

设计理想的董事会会议

这是董事会会议多部分系列的第一部The question of what the ideal board meeting looks like comes up quite a bit in my world and I’m hoping to add my voice to the debate through a few posts (with what I hope will be clear and actionable advice)我们将介绍董事会议程的创建,董事会成员,董事会前沟通,如何最好地召开董事会会议,决策主题与讨论主题和会后跟进,以及未来几周的其他想法。

我希望设计良好的电路板体验背后的原因是显而易见的,但值得说明的是,将电路板放在一起是很昂贵的在自付费用方面很贵 - 旅行,酒店等It’s expensive in terms of time – you and your management team’s time to prepare materials, organize your thoughts and prep for the meeting; your board’s time to prepare for, travel to, and attend your meeting; and everyone who supports that effort’s time to coordinate it all考虑到让您的董事会团结在一起的所有成本,规划和执行有效的董事会战略至关重要。

这里的机会不仅仅是治理和报告 - 这是太多公司如何处理他们的董事会工作It’s a chance to constructively and methodically gather your thoughts 亚博 正规吗 your business, get feedback from people not as close to the day-to-day operations of the company as you are, and get feedback on (or in some cases make) key tactical and strategic decisions.

重要的是要提醒自己,董事会不会经营您的业务您和您的管理团队就是这样做的In fact, we’ll talk in a later post in this series 亚博 正规吗 the mistake many companies make in essentially running too many decisions through their board as a decision making entity and how to best leverage the expertise of your board without outsourcing the management of your business to them同样重要的是要记住,董事会工作不是仅在董事会实际聚集时才会发生的一系列独立行动它正在为您的业务提供持续的监督和帮助,这些会议被这些会议打断,但这实际上是在不断滚动的基础上进行的。

因此,作为序言,让我们跳进......

弹性

最近被问到我是否可以描述成为一名成功企业家最重要的属性时,脑海中浮现的词语是“弹性”I don’t hear it talked 亚博 正规吗 much in the context of entrepreneurship, but I think it perfectly captures the combination of the ability to bounce back from the adversity, challenge and failure that goes hand in hand with being an entrepreneur while at the same time recognizing and learning from your mistakes与我们合作的最优秀的企业家具有不可思议的能力,能够面对挑战,认识到他们犯错误的地方,向他们学习并继续前进最后一部分是至关重要的 - 纠缠于你先前的错误不会影响任何人,减慢你的速度,让你不太可能相信你未来的决定伟大的企业家学习,反弹,然后继续下一件事。

一个离别的想法:真正优秀的企业家不仅能够自我恢复,而且能够在整个组织中灌输弹性继续前进是你的一件事,在你的企业中培养一种每个人都有的文化,这完全是另一回事。

What’s a Fair 409A Discount?

快速说明:我不是你的律师I’m not giving 亚博官网下载 advice in this post.

回到风险投资的前几天,公司董事会在为公司选择定价方面拥有广泛的自由裁量权As is true today, there was a requirement that options be priced at or above the “fair market value” of the underlying stock (otherwise there would be tax consequences to the optionee and sometimes to the company as well)然而,董事会可以确定这个公平的市场价值是什么,并且一般来说,没有一种实际的方法可以对这些估值提出质疑Most boards did some level of work to determine the FMV of a company’s stock but generally options were priced between 10% and 15% of a company’s then preferred price (because common equity sits behind preferred equity there is typically a discount applied to the FMV of common stock to account for this “overhang”)It was and is imprecise science but – at least in the case of venture backed startups – there wasn’t much harm in an option being priced low这对员工有利,并且从股权持有人到期权持有人的轻微价值转移(一般来说,在并购交易中,总期权行使的价值最终会在上限表的其余部分分配)In a funny way it also benefitted the IRS in terms of tax collections as employees were taxed on the spread between the option and the value of the stock on exit and since these shares were typically exercised at the time of an exit were subject to short term capital gainsHigher strike prices distributes proceeds away from short term gain tax to equity holders who more typically are paying long term gains on the value that was shifted (I’m skipping a huge amount of nuance and detail here but the above is a general representation of how things work).

这一切都在2005年1月1日发生变化,当时美国国税局提出了处理递延补偿的新规则,包括员工股票期权(这里的the initial announcement; the code section was于2007年4月完成 – side note, there was a ridiculous interim period when the rules had been proposed but were incomplete and subject to final comment and approval; during that time companies were still expected to comply with the new rules, however the IRS conveniently only gave us until 12/31/05 – almost 18 months之前规则最终确定 - 为了做到这一点Code Section 409A covered a lot of ground related to deferred compensation (and was generally thought to be the result of some of Enron’s business practices, although I think the IRS had in mind a number of different ways companies were structuring deferred comp arrangements that they felt underpriced the market and therefore resulted in immediate – but untaxed – gain to employees).

For startups it meant that for all practical purposes companies would have to hire an outside valuation firm to conduct a 3rd party, arm’s length analysis of the fair market value of a company’s common stock (boards were still free to make their own determination but doing so involved risks that effectively all professional investors determined were too great to take on)一夜之间创建了一个家庭手工业来进行这些估值当时,每家公司每年的估值成本在10,000美元到15,000美元之间自那时以来,这些成本已经下降了很多,规则已经稍微调整了一下,但整体409A框架仍然与最初采用时一样 - 公司必须聘请第三方来评估他们的股票每年这些报告通常非常冗长,对非财务专业人员来说并不总是特别容易理解因此,经验法则仍然是将共同的FMV视为首选价格的百分比 - 至少作为对较大估值工作的理智检查。

So what should this discount be? I thought it would be worth taking a look at the data across the Foundry portfolioA number of factors go into the calculation and I assumed that the FMV of common as a % of preferred would vary both by company stage and by the time between the valuation and the last financing round具体来说,我认为融资与估值之间的时间越长,优先与普通之间的差距就越小同样,我认为后期公司也会出现较小的差距我错了从我们收集的数据来看,公司阶段或上次融资的时间与普通的409A折扣之间的差异相对较小数据中的一些点有一点点噪音(由于某些类别中的样本数量很少),但无论你如何切片,数字都非常集中在最后一轮首选的36%左右。因此30%-40%是范围有趣…

不同vs.更多

I’ve had this conversation with a number of founders recently and thought I’d post something here 亚博 正规吗 it in the hopes that others see it/resonate with it as well.

In the world of startups we often talk 亚博 正规吗 “more”更多资金更多的销售More efficiency更多更多更多当然,有很多时候“更多”是合适的当某些东西工作,并且有效地工作时,做更多的事情通常是正确的。

That said, often times “more” isn’t the right answer at all而专注于它模糊了对真正答案的需求:“不同”这应该是直观的,但在我的经验中,随着公司的扩展,往往会错过(无论是全部还是至少部分)只要问任何将业务规模从50人增加到100人(或100到200人等等)的首席执行官。

At 50 people all you’re thinking 亚博 正规吗 is how can you do more of the things that are working毕竟这种近视焦点可能是成功的重要部分,从一开始就让你从1到50人但这实际上并不是规模如何在企业中发挥作用 - 特别是在增长阶段From there you need to consider a cycle of change that fluctuates between doing things differently – then doing more of it – then doing things differently again这可能意味着重新组织业务的关键功能区域这可能意味着在几个关键部门招聘更多高级管理人员它可能涉及转移某些功能报告的位置这可能意味着重新思考产品策略或改变产品分层或定价几乎可以肯定的是,作为一名商业领袖,您如何重新担任经理。

Successful businesses, in my experience, are continually looking for ways to rethink how they operate and aren’t afraid to make meaningful changes – even to things that appear to be working – with an eye towards how “different” can actually be of greater impact than “more”.

如何建立更好的网络

在我跳到此之前的几点说明First, I realized in running through several drafts of this post that it can be hard to talk 亚博 正规吗 networking without coming across as a bit cold or transactional in how one approaches relationshipsI hope the note below doesn’t come off that way – my aim was to talk 亚博 正规吗 something that I really care deeply 亚博 正规吗 and offer some ideas for how to strengthen and deepen the working relationships in your life其次,我要感谢帕特里克(我在下面参考)对他的评论和对这篇文章的几个草稿的反馈 - 非常感谢(并且需要)。

While we live in a hyper-connected world, how deep do those connections really run? And how do we better cultivate those relationships? It’s easy to pay lip service to our networks, but for me and for many of the readers of this blog our networks – the relationships we maintain with our peers and our contacts – are central to our lives (and here I’m purposely blurring the lines between business and personal, as many of the relationships we maintain do the same)I’m deliberate 亚博 正规吗 how I maintain these relationships and wanted to share some thoughts/ideas on how to better maintain one’s network我想在此给予赞扬帕特里克MindMaven, who helped me hone these skills and who has been a voice in my ear for the past year keeping me honest 亚博 正规吗 making sure I care and tend to my network.

Make relationship building a priority. I’m often thinking 亚博 正规吗 ways to be more connected to people in ways that are both authentic and meaningfulRelationship building is important to me and rather than let it happen by accident I regularly look for ways to deepen the relationships I have with friends and colleagues. The point I’m making is that being authentic and meaningful doesn’t always have to equate to a lot of work and effort我实际上相信很多人都害怕他们完全避免它的努力(我实际上说大多数人都这样做)但是,您可以通过多种方式为网络提供真实有意义的体验,而不会花费太多时间和精力。

通过建立优先关系,你将养成围绕它的习惯For example, one important habit I’ve developed is not letting things pass me by that are clear and obvious touch-points with someone I care 亚博 正规吗I’ve found that a simple “saw this article 亚博 正规吗 your company and it made me think of you” or “saw your quote here and I found it really insightful” or “saw this on Twitter and thought I’d share it with you” is extremely powerfulPlus it’s authentic当我看到我认识的人筹集资金或在某处出现时,这让我感到高兴但是,我花了一分钟时间写一封快速的电子邮件告诉他们,而不是让这个想法过去这里的关键是不要让这一刻过去或者试着记住以后再做 - 当你处于当下时,实际做到这一点的可能性要高得多当你看到让人想起某人的事情时,请花30秒时间告诉他们It doesn’t take much time to send that message but it shows that you genuinely care 亚博 正规吗 the relationship之所以如此强大,是因为它创造了相关的交互,但却没有要求任何东西它将你与一段时间没有谈过的人请求帮助的交易性质区分开来持续投资于人际关系会产生更强的联系,如果确实有人在你的网络中询问某人,那么感觉更自然,交易也更少。

工具帮助。在一天结束时,工具可以帮助但不取代实际工作在技​​术行业中,当我们发现问题时,我们经常会尝试依靠工具作为解决方案这很少是正确的答案更好的是找出我们建立和使用工具来加强或消除这些习惯的摩擦所需的习惯以此作为本节的重要序言,我发现了许多帮助我做到这一点的工具......组织这项活动非常重要 - 我们每个人都有如此多的信息流动,很容易错过东西Developing a tool-set to support your networking and engagement work doesn’t have to be particularly complicated  – for me it’s Tweetdeck to manage various groups on twitter; Feedly to manage the blogs I read; Accompany to help track news mentions of people in my network; and Contactually, which I describe in more detail below, to organize my network and keep track of who I’m connecting with它们都帮助我了解正在发生的事情,并允许我在我的网络上收集数据,而不必搜索新闻和更新 - 这些更新来找我。

个人风格很重要I have terrible handwriting so this doesn’t come easy to me, but I have nice card stock that has my name on it with envelopes with a printed return address and I regularly use this to send notes out to people I’ve met with or who have helped me out in some way我发现的一个技巧是使用尖锐的东西 - 它减慢了我的速度并迫使我写得更清楚(不是我强壮的西装,正如我所说)这张纸条不一定很长 - 重点是我花时间写个人的东西,写下来并盖章电子邮件很棒,但我不想错过向某人发送个人致谢的机会。

了解你的网络Being proactive 亚博 正规吗 your network doesn’t happen by accident but it also doesn’t happen if you’re not deliberate 亚博 正规吗 who is in your network in the first place我们大多数人都在脑海中管理这一点,这是一个错误我已经玩了几个不同的工具,而我最依赖的是ContactuallyThis platform integrates with my email and allows me to track how often I’m interacting with my network (over email and twitter at least) and, most importantly, set reminders and goals for how often I want to connect with people in different parts of my networkI’m not a slave to Contactually – I don’t reach out to people for no reason just because Contactually tells me it’s been too long, for example – but I do use it to make sure that I know how frequently I’m interacting with people in my network and to set reminders for myself to stay on top of my contacts.

最终所有这些都归结为护理和喂养您的网络在某种程度上是一个生机勃勃的有机体然而,我们大多数人都认为它是静态的,并且在我们需要的时候存在但网络需要工作,你会发现你从他们那里得到的东西。

什么是风险投资基金的最佳投资组合策略?

去年我写了几篇文章(这里这里) that talked 亚博 正规吗 how skewed venture returns were该帖子的关键外卖图片低于 - 风险投资的超大回报率很少比大多数人意识到的要罕见得多。

A key question my post didn’t consider was what the ideal venture portfolio might look like in the face of these data. 

史蒂夫克罗斯安took a stab at modeling the answer to that question using the data from my 成果岗位这是一个有趣的读物 - 你可以看到他的全面分析这里有趣的是,我们在Foundry Group的一开始就思考了这个问题。纳西姆塔勒布book, 黑天鹅 had just come out and we decided to read the book and discuss its implications for the venture firm we were 亚博 正规吗 to start in late 2006I imagine many of you have read the book (if not, I’d highly recommend it) – the basic premise is that humans do a poor job of understanding the likelihood of unusual or improbable events.Black swans are rare but just because you’ve personally never seen one doesn’t mean they don’t existCompounding this error, humans are also poor at understanding the causes of these unlikely events after they take place (we misattribute their causes and as a result continue to make poor judgements 亚博 正规吗 their likelihood of reoccurrence).

The robust dinner conversation we had back in 2006 essentially asked the question: “If venture outcomes are Black Swans, what does the optimal venture portfolio construction look like?” Steve asked a similar question in his analysis, which tries to use a simulation model (actually thousands of them) to construct hypothetical portfolios to see what the resulting returns look like我们显然没有得到我原来的数据的好处成果帖子依赖,但已经进入风险投资行业一段时间我们知道风险投资结果相对较少最后,我们得出了一些类似于史蒂夫在投资组合建设规模一端做出的类似结论,但随着投资组合规模的扩大,我们的观点也出现了分歧 - 更多内容如下。

从数据(以及常识)中可以清楚地看出,每个风险投资公司都需要下足够的赌注,让自己面对超大的成功公司只需少量投资,您获胜的机会就太小,而且您的投注过于集中无论您投资的规模基金如何都是如此(我指的是这里的早期基金,但即使对于较大的后期基金,这种情况也是如此;虽然后期基金的更高集中度实际上是有帮助的)This is similar to the 我给天使投资人的建议同样风险投资中的多元化显然非常重要 - 您可以从图表左侧的陡坡看到下图(对于拥有少量投资组合公司的基金,平均显示非常差的回报倍数)。

But is too much diversification a bad thing? Here’s where I think math fails practical realityGiven the rarity of outsized returns (the data from my original post surprised many) a purely theoretical model such as the one Steve ran suggests that the optimal strategy to exposure yourself to outsized outcomes almost has no cap on the number of companies one should invest in (again see the 2nd graph – the slope flattens, but still rising, as the number of companies increases)我认为我们在2006年直观地理解了这一点,我们辩论的焦点集中在我们的投资组合应该如何多样化一方面,接触大量公司显然有一些好处另一方面,管理那么多关系是不切实际的,我们相信知道哪些企业继续支持以及哪些企业不支持此外,将所有权集中在表现最佳的投资组合公司中也是有益的 - 如果公司过于分散,公司就无法做到这一点这是我们在整个Foundry历史中继续进行的讨论,在我们的案例中,每个基金约有30家公司(我们每个早期基金的规模为23200万美元)我们觉得这种能力达到了正确的平衡,集中所有权的能力,继续支持“赢家”的能力,以及坦率地说,我们想要与我们的投资组合建立的关系。

That said, I imagine there’s an argument to be made that 30 is still too concentrated for a fund of our size – we debated this vigorously back in 2006 and still talk 亚博 正规吗 optimal portfolio construction regularly当然有像我们这样的基金的例子比我们投资更多(或在某些情况下更多)的公司(FirstRound Capital和True Ventures一样)当然,有许多类似规模的基金的例子与我们的模型具有相同甚至更高的集中度我还注意到,在早期阶段,基金投资的资金越少,我认为应该是这样 - 投资越早,结果分布越大同样,基金规模越小,它的集中程度就越低 - 缺乏继续投资的能力(因此有意义地将所有权集中在明确的赢家中),初始投资集合应该越多样化。

作为风险数学的学生,我喜欢这些问题我相信我们会在未来几年和几年内辩论他们。