Articles by Bob Rice

The Great Frustration

All entrepreneurs know the feeling: your vision is crystal clear, but potential investors don’t get it.  They ask small-minded questions. They niggle over details. They hem and haw as the weeks melt away your first-to-market advantage. It’s maddening! Read more

Bob Rice , Managing Partner, Tangent Capital
November 11th, 2011

The Copper Ring

Oddly, perhaps, one of the most difficult decisions entrepreneurs face arises once the company begins to succeed.   That’s usually when the first really “strategic” potential investors start to show up, presenting the question: sell a big chuck (or all) of the company at today’s valuation, or double down and go for the life-changing money? Read more

Bob Rice , Managing Partner, Tangent Capital
October 31st, 2011

The #1 Rule For Getting Funded

Of course, the most frequent question angels hear from entrepreneurs is: what’s the one key thing investors look for in the funding process?  The answer is below, but don’t cheat. You have to read #3 and #2 first. Read more

Bob Rice , Managing Partner, Tangent Capital
October 21st, 2011

The Rhythm Method of Product Iteration

Of course, Steve Jobs left us a lot of incredible lessons.  Unfortunately, some of the really key ones, like “Be a genius”, can be tough to execute (I’ve been trying for years).  But one crucial one that you can implement might be called the “Rhythm Method”: imparting a well-known beat to your product and service upgrades.

Possibly the most shopworn piece of advice entrepreneurs hear these days is that constant iteration is the key to success.  But that misstates the case.  Undisciplined change can sow chaos among your staff, and even worse, your customers.  Netflix’s botched series of price, service, and brand name changes are just the latest example of what happens when you move too quickly. Read more

Bob Rice , Managing Partner, Tangent Capital
October 14th, 2011

Lost and Found at a Beauty Contest

The Miss Universe contest was perhaps the most devastating loss of my life. Oh, not as a contestant… as an “all in” PR gamble that failed spectacularly and essentially bankrupted our startup.

It was all so tempting. We had created the first portable 3D camera: a laser-bouncing device that captured an object’s geometry while a separate sensor grabbed the 2D image. The output was sent to a computer that would wrap the texture around the triangulated shape in close to real time, creating a photorealistic image of the object that could be panned, zoomed, and spun in any direction. And in 1997, that was pretty cool. Read more

Bob Rice , Managing Partner, Tangent Capital
October 7th, 2011