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Interviewing Pascal Finette (Serial Tech Entrepreneur & VC)

Why Give a Damn:

Watch Pascal Finette, Portfolio Manager at Google Giving (whose job it is to invest in organizations which change the world) divulge his secrets of mustering the courage to take risks that might result in failure, how to keep the main thing the main thing and why your numbers are bullshit.

If you’re not a risk taker, you shouldn’t be an entrepreneur.

Bio: Pascal Finette loves technology and holds the belief that the Internet is deeply impacting mankind. As the Portfolio Manager at Google Giving, Google’s strategic philanthropy initiative, annually investing in best-in-breed organizations that use technology to change the world, he loves to work at the intersection of technology, entrepreneurship & global impact. Formerly the Creator and Director of Mozilla’s Open Innovation Group, he and his team worked toward inventing the future of the Web. Prior to Mozilla, Pascal led eBay’s Platform Solutions Group, consulted many entrepreneurs on their strategy & operations, and invested into startups, among other things. He frequently speaks about Open Innovation on the Web and mentors entrepreneurs at TechStars, Seedcamp, The Unreasonable Institute, and many other places.

The most important thing as a startup is focus. Making the main thing the main thing and cutting out everything else.

Unreasonable Media

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  • Courtlyn Carpenter

    For me, the financial aspect of social entrepreneurship has never been as large of a focus. I tend to think about the social change and the impact that can occur through activism rather than the sustainability of money flow (which is obviously also incredibly important). I thought it was interesting that there is so much trouble with financial projections, though, and I am curious why people might come up with such extreme and inaccurate numbers as projections? In order to maintain credibility, wouldn’t it be important to have financial projections that can be easily explained and understood? Wouldn’t any investors or shareholders find some sort of accurate projection necessary to their choice to support a certain enterprise? I agree that it is good to acknowledge that projections are just projections and might not be entirely accurate, but “being reasonable” in this case still seems important to the success of an enterprise.

  • Robbie Vitrano

    It’s a curious game, projections and their lack of validity. You often wonder if there is a better, more authentic way to establish credibility between entrepreneur and investor/sponsor. Thanks for the insights Pascal, Dan.

  • Peyton Howard

    Pascal Finette’s interview was very interesting. An entrepreneur needs to be confident in front of a potential investor. They want to see your logical thinking process and see if you can think in a way that is going to make a successful business. You have to go in and have the numbers that make sense and are logical and true. You cannot just go in and act like the numbers and revenue is not important and precise numbers are not vital, because that is false. The numbers are crucial in sending the right signals to investors and making your business appear reasonable and worth investing in. Great interview.

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