Dr. Alastair Hood, PhD, CEO of Verdafero, was our featured attendee at this morning’s Bootstrapper Breakfast® in Palo Alto.
He offered a candid assessment of lessons learned bootstrapping Verdafero since 2009. The Verdafero platform is used by businesses to capture, analyze, visualize their waste, water, and energy utility bills. It allows them to compare locations normalized for temperature and key business transactions (e.g. nightly occupancy for a hotel, pizzas sold for a pizzeria, daily check-ins at a health club, etc..).
Here are my notes for his remarks:
- Be nice to everyone. You don’t know who they might be and if they can help.
- Take a meeting with everyone, especially if they come introduced, and make it about them.
- Be passionate about what you do. It will shine through and be infectious and help bring people on board.
- Work with people you want to work with. Cut them loose ASAP and get on with it.
- Don’t get caught up in the Silicon Valley bullshit: you never hear about the millions of businesses that fail.
- You are always ‘on’
- Use LinkedIn and only connect with people you have met or know.
- Read “How To Win Friends and Influence People”
- Humility is path to wealth and wisdom.
- Don’t show people plans, just get out there and do it.
- Be financially creative.
- Some ideas are not fundable; don’t underestimate the stupidity of a VC, unless you have a very very compelling story they won’t listen.
- Be creative in selling–it’s not just one deal think partnerships, channel sales, client base.
- Perseverance, Perseverance, Perseverance