Thought I might take some time to explain the origin of the title and the book cover design for “Acceleration: What All Entrepreneurs Must Know About Startup Law“.
The Title — Acceleration
Quite often a new client will start off our first meeting with something like “We messed up the legal at our last startup so we want to use you.” And then we get into the story of what happened and it’s typically something pretty basic in terms of startup legal. It’s usually something early on, like not having vesting schedules, not really addressing cofounder dynamics, or letting an advisor run over your startup. It’s never really a sensational story about a bad term of a Series Seed or Series A investment.
So I thought, why? Why do so many entrepreneurs have to learn the hard way about “not doing their legal stuff “right”? A lot of this stuff early on isn’t rocket science and you really shouldn’t have to learn the lesson about vesting schedules the hard way or that you shouldn’t grant 20% to an advisor. So many potential traps pop up way before your startup even gets to the seed financing…
Thus, the first 2 parts of the book deal with setting up the entity, vesting schedules, and how to deal and anticipate issues with cofounders, hires, advisors, etc. The last part is about financing.
So “Acceleration” is the title and it’s based notion that if you read this book you may (no guarantee of course!) accelerate past that first startup experience torpedoed by a bullsh!t startup legal reason. And the added bonus regarding the title is that “acceleration” is a concept near and dear to most cofounders as it relates to vesting schedules (i.e., double trigger acceleration and single trigger acceleration).
The Cover — Acceleration
For the cover I was inspired by a few things here.
First, I really like the design of psychology and math textbooks of the 70s and 80s (and earlier), so I wanted sort of a funky retro classic design.
Second, I was a big fan of the ‘choose your own adventure books’ as a kid growing up in the 1980s — and isn’t launching a startup the greatest choose your own adventure book of all time? Like your own personal career “bandersnatch”. So I wanted to pay a little hommage here to this series of books.
Finally, I wanted it to take the concepts of the old school psychology/math books and the choose-your-own adventure books but make it look modern and crisp.
And the way I thought best to do that was to picture this startup law book on a coffee table in a mid-century modern house in Palm Springs, California….in 2019.
Now, growing up in Palm Springs, I figured I had some insight on this but certainly some pictures helped.
So in the end, I was very pleased with the end result.