Bursts of Color

By Geoff Donaker

Bursts of Color is a newsletter for start-up leaders who work with Burst Capital. It's meant to include products, people and ideas that I think are interesting and maybe relevant for you.

Bursts of Color is a newsletter for start-up leaders who work with Burst Capital. It's meant to include products, people and ideas that I think are interesting and maybe relevant for you.

By subscribing, you agree with Revue’s Terms of Service and Privacy Policy and understand that Bursts of Color will receive your email address.






Bursts of Color - Email & Calendar Bankruptcy

Inbox ZeroI'm not sure if it was David Allen or someone else who first gave me this framework for thinking about inbound messages:Your task list is the list of things that you think are important to do. Your email inbox is a list of tasks that other people ar…


Bursts of Color - Holidays and PTO

If Your Company’s Holiday Schedule Isn’t Clear…folks may have divergent assumptions that cause stress and ill will. An extreme example I’ve seen: one co-founder worked every day during Thanksgiving week and only paused for turkey on Thursday; the other co-fou…


Bursts of Color - Candy, Booze and Other Nudges

The Corollary for AlcoholI enjoy a cold beer. And I've had fun times drinking with colleagues over the years. But looking back at the prevalence of subsidized alcohol at my various workplaces, I cringe. Beer on tap at the office; offsites at wineries; open ba…


Bursts of Color - Guides and Learners

Guides + Learners = MagicWhat a great metaphor. I think the right combination of guides and learners allows magic to develop in a company. The learners often have bright eyes, bushy tails and creative ideas that aren't yet dimmed by reality. And the guides br…


Bursts of Color - Raising VC in 2021 - Reality Check Edition

For Whom Gravity Doesn't ApplyDespite all this chatter, most of the money, attention and headlines are going to a select group of companies that are:Raising later stage, Series C+ roundsDelivering >$10m net revenue while still growing very fastIn a handful…


Bursts of Color - The Lieutenant and the Sergeant

The officer who stood in front of them was barely older than Abe and looked younger on account of his fair skin and slender shoulders.To his right was a giant of a man, a towering oaf who cast a shadow with his brow. They learned that the giant's name was Gal…


Bursts of Color - Guest Interview: Rachel Williams on Diversity 101

If our small team of friends does want to begin diversifying before they get too far along, how should they get started? To help answer this question, I asked an expert: Rachel Williams, who has led Equity, Inclusion and Diversity programs at Alphabet, StubHu…


Bursts of Color - Tax Planning for Founders

Find A Tax AdvisorSo if you're a start-up leader, I encourage you to get input from an experienced tax advisor as early in your journey as possible to improve your wealth-to-taxable-income ratio. Ask around for someone who has advised lots of other startup fo…


Bursts of Color - Lying and Cheating and Stealing, Oh My!

Honesty in Behavioral ScienceBehavioral Science can teach us a lot about truth-telling, and my favorite book on the topic is The Honest Truth About Dishonesty. Here are a few of my take-aways, first posted in October 2020:


Bursts of Color - SPAC Winds of Winter

Father Always Promised, Didn't He?The Axios post caught my attention, since I have been following the SPAC phenomenon... and also because I'm a sucker for any Game of Thrones reference. You may recall that my partner Rob wrote SPAC - Red Alert in January to s…


Bursts of Color - Hiring a VP of Sales

Using This TableThe table above is meant to provide a rough framework for what level of sales leader to bring in when. Starting with the first row: in the early days of selling, it's often best for a founder to lead the sales effort personally, so she can lea…


Bursts of Color - Vegas, Baby

Elements of Family Fun in VegasHere are a few things that made Las Vegas enjoyable for a full week with the family:Stayed in a hotel with no casino (there are a bunch of them now, which cuts way back on noise and insanity)Got outdoors to kayak, visit the Gran…


Bursts of Color - Don't F-Up The Culture

The Role of Company ValuesCertainly "culture is a thousand things," and is thus a lot more complicated than the handful of values we write down. That said, articulating a few crisp values sure can help newer employees understand the unwritten rules that will …


Bursts of Color - Training New Managers

A Monthly Workshop for Training ManagersLeaderKit from Rising Team is a subscription toolkit for managers that develops one key leadership theme each month. Each kit includes training, a tool or assessment to use with the team, and a fully-guided team-buildin…


Bursts of Color - Raising VC in 2021

What Should My Round Be Called?Here is the typical nomenclature I'm seeing: Seed: $2-5m raiseSeries A: $8-15mSeries B: $20-30mSeries C: >$50mRaises of less than $2m are often SAFEs. They don't need a name, but are often called pre-seed or angel rounds.If y…


Bursts of Color - The Office Reopening Conundrum

Three Approaches to the OfficeAt the risk of over-simplifying, I'm seeing companies take one of three general approaches here:Full In-Person. A small percentage of startups are back to the office and are committed to local hiring only.Full-Remote. A larger pe…


Bursts of Color - And... We're Back!

Fanimal: Live Event Tickets Ballgames and concerts are back! When you're ready for tickets, see Fanimal. Same inventory as old guard sites like StubHub, minus the 10-20% fees. You can also use their cool group-buying feature to avoid collecting money from all…


Bursts of Color - What's Your Hiring Angle?

Hilarious Because It's TrueMost hiring managers know better, but we run into the same buzz saw time and again...Need engineers? Yes, MIT grads from Facebook please.Salespeople? Top performers from Salesforce or Yelp only.Biz Dev or Ops? Sure, as long as they'…


Bursts of Color - From Solid to Liquid

This passage stuck with me because it's funny and well written. It also resonated because it caught me at exactly that point in my young adult life when it felt most relevant.


Bursts of Color - When Less is More

We Really Like AddingThe authors listed numerous other examples where our bias towards addition showed up. For instance, when students were asked what they'd like to change about their college, they were nine times more likely to suggest adding a new program …