Good Idea, Bad Startup

I had the privilege of being a guest lecturer at UCLA earlier this year to their Economics 106E: Startups class. It’s incredibly rewarding to be able to give back to my alma mater and help inspire/educate the next generation of entrepreneurs.

Every time I give a presentation like this, I am careful to balance the “goods and the bads” of living the startup life.. It’s a major red flag to me when people want to join startups because they’re, “cool”- it feels like a professional obligation to share the ups and downs of the journey.

I hope you enjoy watching this presentation as much as I enjoyed delivering it:

Slides from the presentation

prioritize people over ideas and opinions.

Before becoming a founder, I assumed that when I had the right idea, I would know it was time to, “go for it”. I spent my first few years in Silicon Valley cutting my teeth and gaining as many skills as I possibly could. I worked on variety of side…

a quick primer on the financial instrument used for startup investing.

Convertible notes are a financial instrument for early stage venture fundraising that provide benefits to both entrepreneurs and early investors. They move much faster than equity financing and give investors a premium for taking on early risk.

In San Francisco (URX is in South Park) coffee shops it’s common to…

thoughts on my last day at Google.

I feel so fortunate to have spent the last 1 year, 11 months as a student at the most forward thinking company in the world. Working at Google, I was surrounded with incredibly talented people solving difficult problems in a culture of creativity, learning and personal growth.

Today is my…

the eulogy from my Mom’s funeral on 17-Oct’12.

My life has changed drastically over the last two months but my love and adoration for my Mom has remained constant. I miss her and think about her every day and can’t help but feel a renewed sense of purpose in life. …

John Milinovich

Data-informed dreamer. Building Aesthetic, a generative design company. Formerly of Pinterest, URX, Google, Yahoo and UCLA.

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