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Unit Economics

Introducing Your Venture Coach

To create and build a great venture is an all-consuming work of love. You are investing your time, energy, creativity, and passion into your startup. You want to solve an important problem for this world. This might be the first time you’re starting a business, or perhaps you’ve been part of one before. You might have taken classes in business or venture creation. But this is different. You are committed, and you will succeed or fail based on your work. And given your passion, failure isn’t an option.

By working with Platform Venture Studio, you’ve also chosen to meet our most rigorous criteria – to build a groundbreaking company that is tackling one of the world’s most important problems. You are not creating a lifestyle business that can provide comfort and support for a few entrepreneurs. You are reaching for the stars.

We created Platform Venture Studio to help you build your company. Your Venture Coach is a series of blog posts to inspire and educate you in this journey and for you to educate us. Think of what you’re doing as climbing Mount Everest. You need a strategy, a Sherpa, and supplies to help you as you go from base camp to the peak. We are your Sherpa. We help you lead your company. We help you build your supplies. We help you when times are hard, and when they are exhilarating. We are with you. We also believe that if we coach you when your venture is at its earliest stages, it will have a profound impact on your success. It is at the early stages that you set the culture, the metrics, and milestones, and make the fundamental decisions that will determine the future of the company.

We think of our community of entrepreneurs as a village and these blog posts start the conversation. Everyone in our village brings their insights, anecdotes, and perspectives. As Alan Kay once said, “a change in perspective is worth 80 IQ points,” and so together we are geniuses. We are with you from day one. We are your co-founders. We don’t wait for you to get traction first like pre-seed investors do before we work with you. We help from day 1 as your cofounder, your sherpa, and your village. Imagine 59,000 people standing by to help you from step 1 to IPO.

The primary author of Your Venture Coach is Norman Winarsky. He has had great success in creating, launching, and scaling many successful companies, and is working with Platform Venture Studio because he believes in you and wants to help you build extraordinary companies. He also has a unique perspective, having seen both the 'Venture Builder' model as President of SRI Ventures and the traditional venture model as a partner of Relay Ventures.

Below is a brief summary of his achievements and an answer to the important question – why work with us?

Norman is a strategic advisor to multiple companies and venture capital firms. He was recently a Partner at Relay Ventures, a top Canadian/US venture firm focusing on mobile systems. He is past President of Stanford Research Institute (SRI) Ventures, a division within SRI that he founded, and which has been responsible for all venture development. SRI Ventures launched more than 70 companies with a total market value of over $70B. These companies have been in diverse market areas including robotics, medical and surgical devices, satellite systems, games and entertainment, drug discovery, security, 3D and virtual environments, and more. One of the most well-known startups that Norman co-founded and launched was Siri. He subsequently became a board member and helped lead Siri to acquisition by Apple in 2010.

After leaving SRI, Norman’s primary passion has been to be a venture coach and to help entrepreneurs and founders build groundbreaking companies. Toward that goal, he co-authored the book with Henry Kressel, "If You Really Want to Change the World: A Guide to Creating, Building, and Sustaining Breakthrough Ventures,"​ published by Harvard Press. He is also a Lecturer in Management at Stanford GSB teaching graduate students how to create breakthrough companies. He has a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Chicago and has a particular interest in AI, deep learning, and mobility.

To give you an idea of the blog posts we will be publishing on a weekly basis, below are a few example “teaser” titles of posts. There will be many more, and we will also be asking you what you’d most like to hear about. Each post describes valuable lessons and mental models for the entrepreneur to use in their own ventures, supported by examples. We also hope to have you contribute your thoughts and make these posts an ongoing learning experience.

How Do You Recognize a Great Opportunity?

  • Important problems
  • Unit Economics
  • Painkillers and Vitamins
  • Surprise and Delight
  • Exponentials and Colliding Exponentials

The Psychology of Entrepreneurs

  • Believe in Yourself - Don’t Allow Your Mind to Surrender. And Know Your Weaknesses! For almost every breakthrough venture I ever helped start, when I discussed the idea with others, the resounding response was either, “Impossible”, or “Already Done”...
  • When You Develop a Breakthrough Idea, You Will Pass Through These Stages: People Believe It's Crazy>People Believe It's Impossible>People Believe It's Possible But Can’t Be Done>People Believe It Can Be Done …
  • To Learn, Allow Yourself to Seem Stupid. Asking questions to better understand a concept can feel intimidating. Will I be thought of as stupid? Does everyone else know this? Will I be revealing my lack of knowledge? …
  • Get Out of Purgatory. When you are working, and every day your soul feels lost, tired, and uninspired… are you working on what you love? …

Working With Venture Capitalists

  • How Venture Capital Works. It’s not what you think ...
  • Why work with VCs? Can you just skip them? Maybe …
  • How VCs Think: The Right Brain and Left Brain. The Primitive Brain. How do you think venture capitalists evaluate your venture? What do they most look for? …

Building Great Teams

  • In Periods of Stress. Teams will either Fracture or Fuse …
  • Sometimes Great Leaders Need to Kick the Ball, Drag the Team …

And many more …

Make sure to follow Norm to get notified of new posts!

This will be fun!

Norman Winarsky

Jeremy Burton

Tim Connors


Brett Wischow core team
almost 2 years ago

Chief Growth Officer @ Platform Venture Studio

This is awesome! So excited to read next week!

Norman Winarsky

Jun 22, 2022  - 461 views

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