CEO Perch, former CEO BCIC, Co-founder of Bootup Labs, Strutta, Peerflix, Spinway.
Short answer, when you know it will pay off.
Long answer, PR gets the word out people to your site/app. If you haven't proven (on at least a small scale) that you can convert these people to users/customers, then you're wasting your money on a PR agency, and worse, you might be doing harm to your brand. My advice is to build your first sets of users by hand, one by one, listen to them and adapt your product until you sense they have become emotionally connected to it. Then amp up your marketing mix, PR being the first (in my opinion). An initial contract could be $5k per month, with the sole purpose to position the company to publications that achieve a specific goal (fund raising, user growth, brand credibility, etc). Contracts will ramp up to $15k-$25k per month after you've proven the value.
Assuming when you say 'vest' you actually mean exercise. It's sounds like an investor doesn't believe you will execute without the extra incentive. I'm not a fan of tranches of any form, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. Also, you didn't mention the strike price, so no way to know if this is a good deal or not. My advice is to ensure you have an experienced tech lawyer, and discuss it with them. They will have the experience to tell you what is normal and acceptable.
AngelList is your best bet. Since you're asking the question, chances are you don't have a way to get introduced to these investors. The simple truth (like it or not) is the chances very low that you'll get a deal done without an introduction from someone they trust. AngelList can help with that, so can going to networking events. And finally, If you're the introverted developer type, you can also get their attention by just building something really cool on your own, followed by some serious traction. Arguably the best strategy of them all.
Great call. I think Danny was the right person for me to speak with and bounce ideas off of. Left the call with a couple action items. Highly recommended.
I would say the call was perfect! Perfect in the advice and the strategies he provided. So good that we are talking with him again tomorrow
I would recommend danny to anyone who needs his expertise
Danny was in charge of Bootup Labs when we were accepted into the incubator program. While a part of the Bootup Labs process we learned a great deal about how to run our start up. Danny's experience and network were an important part of getting us to the point we are at today.
Danny's was the energy and thought leader and architect that enabled Cadence Design Systems to have an effective Windows platform. Prior to his arrival at Cadence, the firm was confined to Sun Microsystems, and, for instance, Unix procmail filters! His contributions can still be felt at Cadence almost 10 years later. He was also a tremendous joy to be around with his infectious smile and genuine servant heart.
Danny is super creative, passionate, and visionary. He is an entrepreneur in the true sense of the word and someone who is always thinking of the next big thing. Peerflix is just one of his many great inventions.