TechCrunch+ roundup: Build a better board deck, multipath onboarding tips, selling to CISOs
Writing a crisp summary for a board meeting requires input from multiple stakeholders and more than a little bit of research.
People often treat it like an unpleasant chore, but done properly, these sessions are an opportunity for founders to hone their storytelling skills, engage their team and squeeze more value out of investor relationships.
Amy Cheetham, a partner with Costanoa Ventures, shared 11 board slides with TC+ that show effective ways to convey accomplishments, pipeline details, hiring and team growth, and other key priorities.
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"The slides in this article aren’t meant to be a complete board deck," she writes. "They are examples of real, early-stage board slides from seed and Series A stage companies that did a great job informing their boards and driving constructive discussions."
Tapping your team to prepare for a board meeting is a great way to combat what I call "CEO syndrome," a terrible affliction that encourages many founders to believe that they're the hardest-working person in the room.
Playing the hero is hard work! Instead of showing off, allow your team leads to speak for themselves.
Thanks very much for reading,
Editorial Manager, TechCrunch+
3 questions CISOs expect you to answer during a security pitch
Image Credits: DNY59 (opens in a new window) / Getty Images
No one sells security solutions in the room: CISOs are more likely to make decisions after they’re initially pitched once they’ve obtained buy-in from other decision-makers.
“The CISO deciding whether or not to onboard your product has less time, budget and staff than in recent years, and your pitch has to be that much better to make the cut,” writes Nancy Wang (GM and director of engineering, AWS Data Protection, venture partner, Felicis Ventures) and Steve Zalewski (former CISO Levi Strauss, founder S3 Consulting.)
In this article, the duo ask and answer three questions that CISOs will consider before signing a contract. First and foremost?
“How does your solution help me sell more X?”
A pot of gold at the intersection of DevOps and generative AI?
Image Credits: Andriy Onufriyenko (opens in a new window) / Getty Images
Is generative AI ready to help humans manage increasingly complex tech stacks?
Anna Heim interviewed Rona Segev, co-founder and managing partner of VC firm TLV Partners, to learn more about AI-related startups that help improve DevOps.
"I think that the next really interesting phase is going to let those very, very strong AI engines help us manage the infrastructure correctly and manage the configuration," she said.
"It’s going to take a while, but I think this is going to be a real breakthrough in the future."
How this investor widens its net by refusing warm intros
Image Credits: sefa ozel (opens in a new window) / Getty Images
I avoid stating the obvious, but in case you hadn’t realized it — venture capital is a relationship game. If you already have a second-degree connection to who’s an investor, however, it’s not that hard to get a meeting.
Warm introductions are a form of currency in tech circles, but GoAhead Ventures “claims it will hear anyone’s pitch, no matter where in the world you are or what you are building as long as you are a pre-seed or seed company,” reports Haje Jan Kamps.
There’s only one condition: “They insist on a video pitch.”
It’s never too late to align product-market fit metrics with your company’s values
Image Credits: Haje Kamps / TechCrunch
At TechCrunch Early Stage, Dominic Madori-Davis spoke with David Thacker, a general partner at Greylock, about how he defines product-market fit and why it’s just one form of social proof that investors look for.
“It doesn’t mean you’ve launched a product and scaled it to millions of customers and users,” said Thacker.
“What I’m looking for is some semblance that what you’ve built is resonating with a set of customers.”
Your site needs more than just one user onboarding experience
Image Credits: John Lund (opens in a new window) / Getty Images
In the early days, most founding teams focus on building sturdy sales funnels, but segmenting customers can be accomplished during the acquisition process — if you know which questions to ask.
Getting new users to share data about their past product experiences or future goals is the first step in creating customer personas, says growth expert Jonathan Martinez, who identifies several variables that can help boost retention and conversion.
"It is true that while you may add some additional friction with questions on your lead form or onboarding flow, this will pay large dividends for the overall experience of your consumers."