Fake It Till You Make It

Now that the fundraising process is complete, we can be honest: We had no idea what the F we were doing when we started. Our pre-Skimm lives had nothing to do with a business background. The following are things we learned that  may seem very obvious to many of you. But they weren’t for us. And they aren’t for many out there who are thinking about starting something (don’t let it scare you). 

Valuation

What it means:  How much your company is worth before and after you raise money

How we learned it:  In one of our first meetings in the earliest of Skimm days we were asked what valuation we were raising at. We had never heard this term before so Skimm A held up her hand and put a few fingers down to indicate a number. We didn’t know if we were talking hundreds, thousands, millions, or giving up a kidney. Turns out it can be a bit of a made up number that everyone else like to judge you on.

Pitch Deck

What it means: Essentially your sales pitch presentation you send around, ask others to forward, and bring to investors to look at. It’s your vision and your plan in a few slides. It should get you the meeting or help you close.

How we learned it: Right around launch, a friend sent over examples of some stellar pitch decks. We created our presentation and thought it was brilliant and gorgeous. It was neither.  So then we met with some consultants who said they would do it for us. They’d write out our vision.  It wasn’t until  the end of our raise that we sat on a stoop eating turkey sandwiches and forced one another to present to the other. We realized that no one could explain our vision except, well, us. The rest is history.

Lead

What it means: An investor who likely puts the most money into the round and sets the terms for the deal. It’s a stamp of validation for other investors who want to make sure someone is invested enough in you.

How we learned it: An early potential investor asked us who our lead was and we said we were. We were leading ourselves. That was very, very much the wrong answer. We then learned that everyone likes to say they’ll give you money once you have a lead. It’s as fun finding one as it sounds. You should also seriously consider finding one you really want to have a relationship with because it’s compared to ‘a marriage’. Think about how picky you are just dating. 

Term Sheet

What it means: The terms of the deal as agreed upon with the lead investor.

How we learned it: When we had a signed one we thought our deal  was done and could break out the champagne. Our parents thought we were done and told the world. You are not done until the fat lady sings and your lawyers go through and edit the hundreds of pages of documentation that the term sheet is mean to summarize. You are engaged, you are not married—this is pre-nup time. Again, as fun as it sounds.

New Entrepeneur Lesson of the Day: Fake it till you make it. And have a few close friends and advisors who you can ask A LOT of questions.

Up that resume game—-Insta-Gram style

If you’re thinking of applying for a job at theSkimm, better up that resume game, because Skimm A’s Grandma just applied. And we’re impressed.  See below:

MY RESUME

To whom It may concern:

I hereby offer my services to any and all interested parties (even those not interested).

My qualifications are as follows:

  1.  I don’t drink, smoke or sleep on the job (except on weekdays).
  2. I take minimum amounts of time for lunch breaks and for normal restroom visitations (except when I really have to go)
  3. I smile often and nod my head in agreement even when I disagree with decisions made by higher-ups in the firm (which will probably be often.
  4. I wear attractive and well fitting attire with a demure aspect so far as colors are concerned (altho I’m partial to red, purple, green, yellow and pink all on one outfit).
  5. I can type with the best of them (also with the worst).
  6. I wear drugstore glasses (I’m cheap!)
  7. I’m a Democrat (in moments of need)
  8. I’m a Republican (under duress)
  9. I’m usually an independent (for what it’s worth)
  10. 11. My bank account is nil but I’m hoping to get a salary soon (is this a paying job?)
  11.  I don’t know anything about your company but I’m sure I’m right for this job)
  12. Call me soon as I’m much in demand (oops!  I forgot my e-mail address) (I’m old!)
  13.  When do I start?

Also known as Insta-Gram

Do you know where your skimm’rs are? enjoying the best gift ever #skimmlife #entrepreneur #bitch #selfiehazards

Do you know where your skimm’rs are? enjoying the best gift ever #skimmlife #entrepreneur #bitch #selfiehazards

The first cry

It happens to everyone - the crack. The breaking point. The break down. For Skimm A, that came in the form of — the cry.

We’ve seen entrepreneurs handle stress differently: there’s the overly emotional, the over drinker, the never sleeper, the ‘forget hygiene, must work’ -er. Skimm A and Skimm B even handle stress differently; Skimm A had yet to cry over something work-related in nearly a year of entrepreneurship. Sure, there’s been exhausting days and momentary freak outs, but they were put aside so the problem at hand could be dealt with.
And then it happened.
Skimm HQ had been counting on something to come through and it didn’t. And it was a Friday. And there were mass amounts of exhaustion. And so while watching an ep of “Golden Girls” on Netflix, the tears came. And came. There were lots of them.
But as cliche as the breakdown moment is, it’s followed by the cliche breakthrough moment. The Kleenex did its job. And then it was Saturday and there was work to be done.
Running a startup is hard. Some things will be easier than others and it’s OK to let it get to you . But then you get yourself together and get back to work.
NEW ENTREPRENEUR LESSON OF THE DAY: Cry — scream — break things — whatever: release. And get over it.
In line with this thinking…we are ignoring the formatting issue because there are other things to worry about — thanks!

Read More

#Skimm HQ learning how to celebrate milestones.

Lessons

-chill champagne before use

-do not pop cork near someone’s eye

-buy more than one champagne glass 

What We Do

As you know, we publish a newsletter every morning at 6A ET. But we don’t write ALL day and many of our readers, friends, and sometimes parents have asked ‘what do you do all day’? ‘Do you just sleep?’ Short answer: No.

We are building a business. And we are a full-time team of two.  We each have about 40 different titles which is fun, exciting, and exhausting. 
Here is a sample Skimm day schedule:
5AM ET-Editorial meeting
Attendees: Carly & Danielle
9AM ET-Meeting with potential sponsor
Attendees: Brand rep, Carly & Danielle
10:15 AM ET: Social media strategy
Attendees: Carly & Danielle
10:30 AM ET- Design team meeting
Attendees: Carly & Danielle
11:30 AM ET-Tech meeting
Attendees: Carly & Danielle
12:30 Catered event
Attendees: Carly & Danielle (read: we eat lunch)
1PM: HR meeting
Attendees: Carly & Danielle
1:30PM  IT Meeting (the printer broke)
Attendees: Carly & Danielle. *someone cries
2PM: Interview new hire
Attendees: Carly & Danielle, interviewee
2:30PM Accounting meeting
Attendees: Carly & Danielle
3:30PM New Business development meeting
Attendees: Carly & Danielle, hopefully someone from a new business
3:50PM Talk to maintenance
Attendees: Carly & Danielle (read: we do the dishes)
4:00PM Editorial meeting
Attendees: Carly & Danielle
8:00 PM Intern call
Attendees: Carly & Danielle; interns
8:30 PM Investor call
Attendees: Carly & Danielle
REST OF NIGHT—EDITORIAL
Attendees: Carly & Danielle, sometimes Insomnia Cookies
Once an entrepreneur, always an entrepreneur.  Skimm HQ has been working hard for the money since days of late night #SNICK. #tbt

Once an entrepreneur, always an entrepreneur.  Skimm HQ has been working hard for the money since days of late night #SNICK. #tbt

How to cook like a co-founder

As new co-founders and roommates, we are always looking for ways to have good food on the cheap. One of our New Year’s resolutions is to cook more—for peace of mind, good food, and the sake of our new entrepreneur wallet. All in spite of our very tiny kitchen. 

Tonight’s menu was Greek salad with herbed pita and breaded chicken cutlet.

CHICKEN CUTLET RECIPE:

-4 boneless chicken breasts

- flour

-2 eggs

-breadcrumbs

-olive oil

-salt

-pepper

1. Pat chicken dry and season with salt and pepper

2. Fill three separate bowls with flour, eggs (already beaten), and breadcrumbs

3. Dip each cutlet in flour so it’s fully covered, follow up with the egg batter, and then the breadcrumbs

4. Heat about 1/3 cup of olive oil in pan. Add cutlet and brown on each side. About 10 min later, you are all set!

Things that co-founders cook up…Greek Salad and breaded chicken cutlet
Bon appetit
Bon Skimm!

Things that co-founders cook up…Greek Salad and breaded chicken cutlet

Bon appetit

Bon Skimm!

You know you’re a real company when…

You get corporate Christmas gifts! Look ma we made it!

Christmas time has made Skimm HQ reflect on the amazing year that’s been and how we got through it. Sure there was faith, hope, risks and all that fun stuff, but there was also food. We would like to thank the following local places surrounding Skimm HQ for keeping us going.

Cafe Minerva...for knowing our orders, reminding us when the kitchen closes, and having Wi-Fi.

Tremont…for making us want to work harder so we can afford their prix-fixe. And giving us your Wi-Fi password.

Baracca...for understanding sometimes we need sangria. And giving us your Wi-Fi password.

Hollywood Diner...for delivering us cinnamon sugar toast and a chocolate egg cream at 3am.

La Bonbonniere…for the chocolate chip pancakes. Serious stuff.

*Special shout out to Spring Sun Nail   for understanding that we bite our nails

New Entrepreneur Lesson of the day: Get familiar with your local spots. Make friends. Find Wi-Fi. Be thankful.