How Startup Growth Hacks Resulted in a Formal Investigation by the SEC

How Startup Growth Hacks Resulted in a Formal Investigation by the SEC

sand hill

Sand Hill Exchange, a Silicon Valley startup, was recently closed for running afoul of securities regulations. You can read the company’s version of what happened here.

We love entrepreneurs and the entrepreneurial spirit, but when you’re moving at the speed of light it’s easy to forget that the regulators, while moving much, much, much more slowly, also have a job to do, and eventually they will catch up to you. The regulators remind us of the existential horror thing in the recent movie, It Follows. No matter how fast or how far you run, it just keeps walking slowly toward you, and it never stops.

Regulators may seem like they are there just to say no, but that’s really not the case. They have a job they have signed on to do, and that job gets them pushed and pulled in many different political directions. Still, there is an enormous chasm between what the regulators do, and what entrepreneurs want to do, and that’s just the devil’s bargain we must live with, and work towards improving every day.

So if you want to be a serial creator of the next Dynamic Tesselation-Gesture-Tech Nixie, with a Sensoration Zigmee that sends Quantum Pulse waves out to control the Internet of Things, and you need funding, please keep reading our Terror Tales, and check with your lawyers first.

We Can Be Heroes (for more than one day)

I love reading Maria Popova’s weekly Brain Pickings blog.  It never fails to inspire me in one way or another.

Recently, Maria focused on Joseph Campbell’s work on heroes, and it reminded me of all of the people we come in contact with on a daily basis who I consider to be Heroes of the New Economy.  These people include our clients, the impact investor community, and most importantly, the individuals that I get to work with every day at Cutting Edge Capital and Cutting Edge Counsel.  All of these people are either beginning, or have already begun a journey of sorts, and each one knows the highs and lows that those journeys can take.

As Popova writes, “Campbell’s monomyth model has since been applied to everything from the lives of great artists to pop-culture classics like Star Wars.”  Coincidentally, at Cutting Edge Capital we used Campbell’s thinking as we set out to discover who we wanted to help.  While working with the branding and video production gurus at Free Range Studios, we identified and described who our own heroes would be, and we based our discovery on the hero’s journeys in us all.

CEC heroes can be mapped just like those mapped by Matthew Winkler in his TED video cartoon, also based off of Campbell’s amazing work. These heroes are both the entrepreneurs who seek mission-aligned partners AND the investors who are frustrated with the empty choices shown to them.  What is the hero’s journey of the New Economy?  Watch our video and follow our hero through the same crucial steps of her journey as she builds an idea into a business, overcomes obstacles, and enlists the help of her community and CEC to make her dream a reality.

And while you’re at it, check out our free, downloadable DPO Marketing Guide (for Smarties), designed by heroes for heroes who need a little help.