The Craft

When it comes to startups, the hardest thing is the next thing.

Every startup is a machine, built on the fly to transform uncertainty into certainty, to replace notion with narrative, to spin success into scale.

Every day poses a new set of challenges for founders and their dedicated teams, most of which they’ve never seen before. It doesn’t take one specific skill, it's takes all the skills.

It's not science, it’s not art. It’s craft. We call it Founder Craft.

Who We Help

We work with first-time founders and fast-growing teams as they evolve and grow, from inception through execution.

We support founders, founding teams and other key stakeholders through both one-on-one and group environments to address both strategic initiatives and tactical decisions.

How We Help

We help on two fronts: execution and culture.

We leverage our skills in every operational role to help leaders make pressing decisions about product, technology, sales, marketing, customer success, hiring, fundraising and more.

We apply our experience starting, growing, and scaling teams of every kind to address the invisible, unspoken cultural challenges that potentially undo fast-growing startups.

Let's Get Started

We take advantage of intensive office-hours style engagements that result in either a specific decision or follow-up.

We meet once a week, four times a month, for as long as necessary. We charge a small monthly retainer with no standing committment required.

Let's Chat

Our Crafters

Gregarious Narain

Greg is a serial entrepreneur, having launched a dozen businesses in the last 25 years.

His most recent company, Chute (YC W12), raised $16MM+, grew to millions in revenue, and employed 50 employees before being acquired in 2018.

Prior to Chute, Greg was the first employee and V.P. Product at Klout.

LinkedIn

Experience

  • Founder

    28 years
  • Designer

    24 years
  • Developer

    21 years
  • Product

    20 years
  • Marketer

    9 years
  • Sales / BD

    5 years

Pankaj Jain

Pankaj is an operator, entrepreneur and investor having invested in over 80 startups in the US, India, Europe, MENA and Bangladesh over the last 8 years.

He’s been an angel investor and advisor to multiple startups and funds (including one sovereign wealth fund) over the last few years.

Prior to his advisory work, Pankaj made and managed all investments for 500 Startups in India.

LinkedIn

Experience

  • Investing

    27 years
  • Developer

    22 years
  • Founder

    20 years
  • Product

    15 years
  • Community

    11 years
  • VC / Accelerator

    8 years

What Our Customers Say

As a first-time founding team, we had just as many questions as we had ideas.

Greg stepped in quickly and stayed a central force in shaping our team, product, and business.

Anand Srinivasan, AlphaSheets

As an early stage startup, StartupByte needed help with launching our product and planning new growth initiatives.

Greg was a fantastic mentor and helped us with acquisition tactics to get more traction and streamline our product.

Chethan Mittapalli, StartupByte

When I first met Greg, we were working on ways to partner for his own startup. Over time, he's become a mentor not just for the business, but for me personally as I navigate life as a founder.

His experience founding startups gives him not only tactical insights, but also a wider and more complete purview of the whole startup experience, so that his advice is both effective and empathetic.

Ming Zhao, Proven Skincare

We had created an amazing technology to power Dorsia, but how to deploy it was a big question mark. Greg has helped us quickly brainstorm our options, develop ideas, and test solutions.

Every hour we spend reaps huge benefits.

Dimitris Psaropoulos, Dorsia

Questions & Answers

The Team

Why should we listen to you?

Experience. We've founded and grown more than 15 companies directly, from services to SaaS, from bootstrapped to venture-backed. We've also operated in every role, from engineering to product, marketing to sales, and success to operations.

What proof of your success do you have?

We don't believe past success indicates future success, but we have had our share. To date, we have raised more than $17M across multiple rounds, grown revenues into the millions, negotiated multiple acquisitions, and hired hundreds.

Have you helped anyone else?

We've been advising and mentoring startups for as long as we have been creating them. Formally, we are advisors to dozens of startups. In addition, we have been mentors for YC Startup School, Google Launchpad, and TechStars in addition to many other events.

The Sessions

We need domain expertise, what if you aren't an expert?

We have worked in a wide range of industries which makes us experts in the patterns that work. That said, every industry has its own nuances, and if all you need is spot expertise - we very well may not be a good fit.

Is an hour per week really enough?

Absolutely! Most meetings lack a specific agenda, we don't have meetings without one. We believe in concise meetings that drive at the problem and reach a conclusion. Most meetings inspire new thoughts and require further research, making longer meetings less productive.

Who should be allowed to attend our sessions?

Anyone that matters to the discussion. We don't hold this time precious, it is for everyone. Having the right people present gets all the imporant points of view on the table and spares repeating ourselves.

Why do you focus so much on culture?

From our experience, most decisions are easier to make with a well-oiled, positive environment. At the surface, most startups look like they are operating smoothly enough, but realistically there are always undercurrents working against optimal progress.

The Service

How do we know if you are a good fit?

We don't expect you to take our word for it. Schedule a 30-minute introduction so we can understand what each other needs.

What if we can't afford your service?

We know not everyone can afford to invest in this kind of mentorship up front, but we believe in helping everyone. We also have a podcast and local meetups where you can come by and get some advice for free.

Do you work for equity?

We charge a fee to hold all parties accountable. We'd like to make sure that no one's time or money is wasted. We'd prefer you use your equity for the best full-time hires and investors you need to sustain your success.

Let's Chat