Great Startup Lessons by Aaron Patzer, CEO of Mint

Let’s say you have an idea for a startup. How do you begin the process of finding cofounders and employees, creating a corporation, handing investors, growing the company, etc.? 

In this great talk Aaron Patzer – CEO of Mint – gives some great and very practical advice. He talks about the early days of Mint, where he lived on $30,000/yr and hired engineers at just a little more salary by offering them significant equity. He also says that, as a rule of thumb, every engineer in a pre-revenue startup adds $500,000 in valuation. Every business guy lowers the valuation by $250,000. In its earliest days, Mint was burning $150,000/year, he says, for 2 founders and 1 engineer/contractor.

Other topics include: financial modeling, how to keep costs low, and Mint’s revenue model. He also gives suggested goals and milestones for each successive funding round. One interesting fact – today Mint, which is free, generates $30/year/user from various offers and value added services.

If you are a startup founder, you’ll want to bookmark this and refer back to it. Seriously.