Normal market behavior is that seed companies are pre-PMF and Series A companies have PMF. You can see PMF metrics in this doc.

Overall about 20% of seed companies get to Series A but in my experience PMF is much more selective than that. About 5% of seed companies achieve…

The five most common mistakes founders make in trying to find Product Market Fit (PMF)

I spend time with the twenty or so seed founders in my portfolio every week searching for product market fit. My guiding document is this one. I believe that there is a lot of art…

One of the defining moments for many education startups is deciding what they want to feel like. Often, founders start by wanting to be a library, where students will go and learn things. That feels like the purest mission. After all, that’s the reason we started the company, right?

The…

About 75% of my portfolio is consumer edtech, and half of that is k12. I’m proud to be an investor in Outschool, Epic!, Lingokids, Juni and many more. Over the last few years, I’ve noticed that there are basically two kinds of consumer edtech companies, ones where the student adopts…

I have many companies in my portfolio focused on talent acquisition and development for the tech ecosystem — Lambda School, Major League Hacking, Fourthrev, Contra, Marketerhire, Reforge, and Maven. …

Burn It Down

After I sold my first company, NetGravity, I taught elementary and middle school for three years. Before starting my second company, Rocketship Education, I spent about a year as an entrepreneur in residence with the NewSchools Venture Fund. …

This week, my college age daughter and two friends are staying with me. My daughter is working for Breakthrough Collaborative. One of her friends has two internships. The other is taking two classes. What’s amazing in watching digital natives is how well they have tuned their lives to the post-covid…

One of the persistent myths which provide comfort to both founders and investors is that you have a company once someone invests. And then if higher profile people and funds invest, you have a better company. In an ecosystem full of ‘fake it until you make it’, this may seem…

As a three time founder, and now investor in thirty founders, some patterns are pretty clear to me about the things that make most founders tick and the way that can cause problems as the company grows. Here are ten of them:

1 — You are extremely hard on yourself…

The entire back catalog of Dunce Deals is now on SubStack. Enjoy! https://dunce.substack.com/publish?utm_source=menu

John Danner

Co-founder and CEO NetGravity, Rocketship Education, Zeal Learning, Dunce Capital. john@danners.org https://dunce.substack.com/

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