In 2018 the concept of credibility itself is under siege. No one put it better than Alexander Nix, the then-CEO of Cambridge Analytica, in a recorded conversation with undercover reporters released on March 19. After bragging about how his firm can entrap political candidates in bribery schemes and prostitution rings, Nix said something that is relatively obvious to anyone who has been following election news over the past year: “these are things that don’t necessarily need to be true as long as they are believed.”
Of the companies that pitched us in Q1 of 2018, more than half came in without a well thought out financial model. Some brought no model at all, expecting to focus the conversation on narrative and vision. Others presented models that were shallow or incomplete. They missed an opportunity.
Our culture teaches entrepreneurs that the day they leave the company that they founded is the day they’ve failed. We’re trained to believe that a successful founder is a decisive, emotionless commander who takes charge, heeds the advice of few, never makes mistakes—and is carried out of his corner office in a casket. But is that really what entrepreneurial success looks like?
The statistics about women and venture capital have been widely documented. Only 2% of venture capital funding went to female founders in 2017. Just 8% of partners at the top venture capital firms are women. Only 18 black female founders have raised more than $1M of venture capital for their startups (ever).¹ The data highlights a critical issue, but so far solutions and tangible action have been insufficient.