039. FOMO – The Subtle Knife

FOMO, in the VC Minute playbook, is a subtle knife that cuts through silence to elevate you in a fund's process.

VC Minute – quick advice to help startup founders fundraise better.

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I want to dig in on FOMO a bit more so that you’re not overplaying your hand here. 

I was on the Hate Your Deck podcast recently, (iTunes, Spotify) and the host, Mike Lightman, was a VC in the past and he said he was not a FOMO investor. But he did say that if a round was moving and there was a tight timeframe, he’d move that one up in his process. 

And that’s exactly what I’m talking about. Founders, this is the only bit of FOMO that you need. 

When I talk about FOMO, I’m not talking about artificially creating it, like this is some kind of YC demo day from back in the day.  I’m not talking about heavy handed, “better get in now before I give away your allocation.”  If you use FOMO as a bludgeon, it’ll backfire. 

FOMO, in the VC Minute playbook, is a subtle knife that cuts through silence to elevate you in a fund’s process. 

It’s as simple as this:

You asked me to circle back as the round was coming together. I’m pleased to say that we have 1.3 million committed on a 2 million raise, with enough interest to fill out the round. We’re lining up commitments for the remaining amount, and we’d like to give you an update. Here’s my schedule. 

I didn’t make an ultimatum. I didn’t beat them over the head with a sense of urgency. I didn’t try to play some funny games. I just plainly stated the facts. 

Mike from Hate Your Deck and yes, his company builds start-up decks and yes, I love his company name. He was not a FOMO investor. I’m not a FOMO investor. But we are all subject to its dark powers. Just ask me some time about getting sucked into a FOMO vortex at the airport, on my way to vacation. Just last month. 

When you show investors that other people are in the pool, that will create just enough to get you moving through their process again. And if you have a wide enough net, then real FOMO kicks in at the end, and you can oversubscribe it. 

Thank you, Mike, for the good conversation. And I really look forward to round two. Everyone go check out the Hate Your Deck podcast, and listen to the spirited debate we had on decks and fundraising.  


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