( Ignore this amazing list of useful resources for Start-up Founders at your own peril)

  1. [Book] Zero-to-One, by Peter Thiel
  • “Monopoly is the condition of every successful business.”

2. [VIDEO] The Full YC Start-up School Curriculum on Video (YouTube). **This should be mandatory watching for literally anybody who endeavors to build a start-up (thanks Paul Graham)

3. [Book] The Lean Start-up…

The Slide by Slide Template & Explainer To Get Funded

I have enclosed here a Dropbox link to a freely downloadable PowerPoint template (will do a KeyNote also for you hipsters) I have laid out actual slides (around a fake company idea of rocket launching software 🚀) , but more importantly there are NOTES for each slide (see under the slide) that detail the key questions you need to ask yourself upon completing each slide. …

(TACTICAL PRELUDE) Before You Set Out to Create Your Pitch Deck

Items to cover before the Deck creation process even starts:

1) Get a real/credible tech start-up law firm before you set-out to raise funding: make life easier on yourself by using a law firm that works with Silicon Valley tech start-ups, it will make everything else go smoother and investors want to see law firms they have worked with before, linked here is a list of some of the attorneys at known firms who are experienced taking on start-ups. Common mistakes made by non-Silicon Valley start-ups is having “their cousin Larry “ be their lawyer — don’t be that…

(AKA It’s Not About the Deck)


The goal of this series of posts and the accompanying resource-lists and wireframe deck template, is pretty simple — whether we like it or not, in the world of Silicon Valley and tech start-ups… we have, over the years developed a certain and specific language, terminology and nuanced way of communicating concepts that is table stakes in order to successfully raise funding from the community of angels, seed funds and VC’s. …

It’s been 29 years since I started my first software company while a sophomore at University of California, Davis — kinda feels like last month… that is until I think about the trials and tribulations of the 6 different software start-ups that I co-founded in the years following. Then I feel pretty old and beat-up.

After all these years, I continue to believe that the entrepreneurial journey and specifically the technology start-up ecosystem that has flourished since then can be an incredible power for good (for everybody).

For the last 3 years I have personally shifted from building/running companies to…

Michael Downing

Silicon Valley serial entrepreneur - Gravity Ranch Venture Fund - Co-founder 6 software companies| 4 rock-bands| 2 children| 3 acquisitions| 1 IPO

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