Much can be said for the type of candor AngelList and Venturehacks co-cofounder Babak Nivi displayed at last week’s jam-packed Startups Uncensored. When listening to the startup expert and successful entrepreneur, you wouldn’t expect “started a rock band” to be among his list of past endeavors, but it appears Nivi has never been one to shy away from alternative territory.

As always, Docstoc‘s very own Jason Nazar was quite the crowd pleaser, eliciting quality conversation while drawing quite a few laughs from the crowd. Without further ado, here are our top 10 takeaways:


“Presell your product before it even exists.”


His best advice? “Show up to work.”


“I would just keep the deal very vanilla, Silicon Valley style.”


“You get rich not by having a slice of pie, but by having a really big pie.”


“Everyone we hire is a one man startup. They are basically a startup within the context of our own startup. It’s like a little internal economy that we have. It’s kind of modeled after the way the Internet is…everything is loosely coupled yet independent.”


“Biggest mistake frankly in my history was over negotiating the deal, and treating it like I was buying a used car.”


“Board seat math is important..there are times when you might want 4 board seats instead of 5. There are more ways for you to lose in a 5 man war vs. a 4 man war.”


“The only rule is there are no rules. That’s the way I like to think about it.”


“If you need to ask the question of whether or not you should go to the incubator, you should probably go to the incubator.”


“Take as much cash as you can. It’s like they say, ‘the hors d’oeuvres are coming around, take two.'”

If you are in the LA area and haven’t made it out to Startups Uncensored, all I have to say is you are seriously missing out. Find all the Startups Uncensored events we’ll be attending, as well as other awesome business talks and networking events, on our events page. 

What’s your experience been like with angel investors? Any advice early stage startups might find beneficial?