Praise for Startup Boards
"In addition to walking you through, in great detail, how a board functions, Brad has adopted many of the Lean Startup approaches to building, operating, and managing your board in a way that resembles continuous deployments. Any practitioner of Lean Startup would do well to use this approach to building their board."
Eric Ries, author of the New York Times bestseller The Lean Startup
"I′ve had the opportunity to serve on a range of boards for companies at various stages in their lifecycle so I know firsthand that building an effective board, and leveraging it wisely, is both a challenge and an opportunity. This new Brad Feld book will help you get it right."
Steve Case, Chairman and CEO, Revolution; cofounder, AOL
"I′ve been fortunate enough to sit on a few startup boards with Brad. His ′less is more′ approach to board meetings keeps the process efficient and focused on strategy. If you have any role on a board of directors, stop messing with PowerPoint and read this book right now. I guarantee that you′ll get far more satisfaction from your future interactions."
David Cohen, CEO, Techstars
"Having sat on multiple boards with Brad and his partners at Foundry Group as well as currently being the CEO of GetSatisfaction, I greatly appreciate the power of an effective board for a fast–growing startup. This book shows you the way."
Wendy Lea, CEO, GetSatisfaction
"An excellent board can dramatically help an entrepreneur while a lousy board can sink a company. This book can help you learn how to be on the right side of that equation."
Craig Dauchy, Partner and Head of Venture Capital Group, Cooley LLP
"Having been involved early on the Zynga board with Brad, we both experienced a radically new board approach while scaling up a company at an unprecedented pace. While there is a time and place for traditional board governance, an active, involved, and engaged board is required for any startup. Learn how to do it right in this book."
J. Sanford (Sandy) Miller, General Partner, Institutional Venture Partners
"Brad is a powerful force in the universe and his board–level membership was a booster rocket that helped us grow so fast. This book will help make CEOs more effective at dealing with the personalities that can be on a board, and I would consider it required reading for any board member so they can amplify their impact."
Bre Pettis, CEO, MakerBot
"While board meetings should be helpful to entrepreneurs, many find them to be worthless and tedious. This book creates a framework for developing a high–functioning board that is a real asset to a company′s success."
Jason Mendelson, Managing Director, Foundry Group
PART ONE: OVERVIEW 1
What Is a Board? 11
PART TWO: BUILDING YOUR BOARD 23
Creating Your Board 25
Recruiting Board Members 49
The Formal Structure of the Board 63
Aligning Your Board 71
Is an Advisory Board Useful? 77
PART THREE: THE BUSINESS OF THE BOARD MEETING 85
The Actual Board Meeting 87
Motions and Votes 101
Legal Challenges 111
PART FOUR: COMMUNICATIONS 115
Managing Ongoing Expectations 117
Trying New Things 131
Communication Confl icts 135
CEO Transitions 143
PART FIVE: TRANSACTIONS 151
Selling a Company 157
Going Public 167
Going Out of Business 173
Checklist 1: Preparing Your Board Package 183
Checklist 2: Conducting Your Board s Annual Assessment 185
Checklist 3: Question for Your Legal Counsel 187
Checklist 4: Should You Get Directors and Offi cers Insurance? 189
Checklist 5: Stock Option Grants and 409A Valuation 191
ABOUT THE AUTHORS 203
Excerpt from Startup CEO 211
Brad Feld has been an early–stage investor and entrepreneur for over twenty years. Prior to cofounding Foundry Group a Boulder, Colorado based early–stage venture capital fund that invests in information technology companies all over the United States he cofounded Mobius Venture Capital and, prior to that, founded Intensity Ventures. Feld is also a cofounder of Techstars and has been active with several nonprofit organizations. He is a nationally recognized speaker on the topics of venture capital investing and entrepreneurship.
Mahendra Ramsinghani has over fifteen years of investment and entrepreneurial experience and has led investments in over fifty seed stage companies. He helped draft the underlying legislation for a fund–of–funds for the state of Michigan. For his contributions, Ramsinghani′s immigration to the United States was approved under "national interest." He is the author of The Business of Venture Capital (Wiley). His articles and blogs have been published in Forbes, MIT Technology Review, Thomson Reuters, and the Huffington Post. His educational background includes a BE in electronics and MBA in finance and marketing from the University of Pune, India.