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I sold my software company for $100M.

3 years later, I took another one public at $2.7B.

7 things I did differently in my second startup:
Context:

The first company mentioned was Vettery, which sold for $100M.

The second company was Archer Aviation. I built it into a globally recognized aerospace company and took it public at $2.7B.
NFL Draft Style Recruiting

A company's product is only as good as its people.

I started by visualizing my ideal 5-year org chart.

The goal of this chart was to support product development.

I drafted the best team in the world from cold email → offer.
Upfront Definition of Success

The CEO's #1 priority is to establish a long-term shared vision w/ your team.

I spent months building the ideal vision for success.

I wrote the entire Master Plan defining the 10-year vision for the company →

web.archive.org/web/20211127025144/archer.com/master-plan
MVV: Start with Mission, Vision, Values

Clearly define what you stand for.

I wrote and published our MVV on the website.

You define what the company should be when it grows up.

Make these decisions proactively if you want to win.
Create the Brand

I spent time ahead of public launch defining the company’s brand.

I thought through branding for:

→ Name
→ Logo/Icon
→ Messaging
→ Website
→ Etc

It was a large time investment.

But the ROI was high for recruiting, investors, and partners.
Become the Expert

Anyone can learn anything.

Archer was an extremely challenging feat of engineering.

I had to:
→ Read engineering books
→ Attend in-person training courses
→ Learn the ins and outs of aerodynamics
→ Build the company’s first order physics model.
Business Idea

I fell into Vettery — it wasn’t a “choice”.

After the Vettery exit, I spent 12 months researching what I wanted to do next.

This included months of:

→ Research
→ Interviews
→ Talking to industry experts

What you choose to work on sets your fate.
Self-Funding

While I went all-in at Vettery...

I didn’t have the personal balance sheet I did with Archer.

For the first year of Archer, I self-funded MILLIONS.

You’ll never be more careful than when you have your own money on the line.
Conversely, I did one thing the same between companies:

I took an extreme product focus from Vettery to Archer.

I spent 90% of of my time on aircraft design and engineering.

Building great product will and always has been my #1 focus.

I hope you've found this thread helpful.

I'm currently building out my new company called Figure - we are building humanoid robots. Follow me @adcock_brett for more.

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Great guide on how to become a successful #entrelarpeur