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Slicing Pie: Fund Your Company Without Funds by [Moyer, Mike]
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4.8 out of 5 stars 261 customer reviews

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Length: 218 pages Word Wise: Enabled Audible Narration:
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Mike Moyer is an entrepreneur who has started a number of companies including Bananagraphics, a product development and merchandising company, Moondog, an outdoor clothing manufacturing company; Vicarious Communication, Inc, a marketing technology company for the medical industry;, a site that helps students find the right college; College Peas, LLC which provides publications and consulting on college admissions; and Trade Show Samurai, LLC a company that teaches trade show exhibitors how to capture lots and lots of leads.

In addition to his experience as an entrepreneur he has held a number of senior-level marketing positions with companies that sell everything from vacuum cleaners to financial data services to motor home chassis to luxury wine.

He has taught entrepreneurship at both Northwestern University and the University of Chicago. Mike is the also the author of How to Make Colleges Want You, College Peas and Trade Show Samurai . He has an MS in integrated marketing from Northwestern University and an MBA from the University of Chicago.

He lives in Lake Forest, Illinois with his wife, three kids and the Lizard of Oz.

Product Details

  • File Size: 415 KB
  • Print Length: 218 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0615700624
  • Publisher: Lake Shark Ventures, LLC; 2.3 edition (September 4, 2012)
  • Publication Date: September 4, 2012
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0096EFHBI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,659 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Ryan McGeary on September 7, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I found Slicing Pie after reading an introduction about the book and realizing that the partnership dispute scenario that I just went through is unfortunately all too common. Like many, my business partner and I split equity too early during the formation of the company. Things were great until my partner abandoned the company without cause and this left us in an unfortunate battle for how to move forward. I wanted to buy him out, but he demanded a ridiculous amount of money even though the business had almost no revenue yet. This put an immense amount of stress on the business.

I read the entire book in one sitting. Everything resonated with me as I reminisced over the past 7 businesses that I've been part of over the years. Even though the most recent business is the only one where I had a serious partnership dispute, all the past partnerships could have been handled better and more fairly if we had the kind of moral and pie slicing agreements that this book discusses.

I really like the fact that the book distills the most common partnership scenarios down to basic formulas for determining everyone's slice of the pie. I see myself using Slicing Pie as the moral operating agreement for future ventures. It really covers a lot of scenarios in a much more simple way than any other business structure advice that I've heard before.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
How many companies are screwed from the beginning because of their cap table and giving away equity too easily based on optimistic hopes of the future?

If you're doing a startup, then equity is one of the most important decisions you'll make. It's the lifeblood of startups (from your own personal financial outcome if you're successful to your ability to hire employees). Equity is also a direct reflection of you as a manager. If a VC is trying to get to know you (and what kind of manager you are) after only a couple meetings to decide whether or not to invest in your company and they see how careless you were with doling out stock in your company, their mind is going to immediately jump to thinking how careless are you going to be when you have millions of their investment dollars at your disposal.

The fact of the matter is that 1 in 4 Y Combinator founders in the last batch (S2012) had a breakup. If the most successful accelerator in the world is going through founder breakups at that rate, then there's just as high (25%) of a chance of you going through a founder breakup (and most likely the odds are higher).

That is where Slicing Pie comes in. Mike lays out a framework for a dynamic equity split where stock is automatically adjusted on a sliding scale based on contributors of all the 'grunts'. You may make up your own principles or adjust some of the numbers in his proposed framework, but this is by far the best guide I've come across to systematically divide equity fairly.

Seriously, this book will pay for itself many times over if it just prevents just one squabble over equity or co-founder renegotiation. It should be mandatory reading for anyone even remotely thinking about doing a startup.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Really, really fantastic book. As someone who has started several companies with partners, the moment of "how do we divide up ownership" is always a complicated one, and this book walks through a process of making those decisions that I found exceptionally helpful. In fact, I immediately bought copies to hand out to the collaborators I'm working on a new startup with. There are a lot of different philosophies on ownership splits, and this is only one of them, but he does such a great job of explaining complicated decisions in simple language that it is one that I believe with address many of the problems you see with equity splits.
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I came across the "Slicing Pie" website through a reference on Quora: "Whats the best way to split equity between partners": [...]

At first, I was just going to try using the spreadsheet, but then I realized that I had lots of unanswered questions. The book is well worth the $8 Kindle price!

Possibly the book meant a lot to me as I've lived through the mistakes, specifically a time back in the late 1990's when I co-founded a company with an equal split. I did the engineering and the partner was the business guy. At one point, we brought on some more developers, and next thing I knew, the new developers told the business guy they could do it better, and then I got squeezed out through a heart-wrenching experience. Of course, the new engineers didn't work out any better. I've also been through the entrepreneurship program at UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business during my MBA, and this topic was never clearly addressed. Mike presents a very simple, yet effective system for fairly dividing up the equity of an early stage startup. He covers about every what-if scenario that was on my mind.

The bottom line is that if you're thinking of applying the principles in books such as "The Lean Startup" and "Rework" to see if there's really a market for your super-duper idea, and you're going to be working with any co-founders on the validation, then you should definitely consider the "slicing pie" technique.

Here's a few of my favorite quotes:
"Grunt Funds aren't for mean people.", Moyer, Mike (2012-09-04). Slicing Pie: Fund Your Company Without Funds (p. 105).

A Grunt Fund, at its core, is about treating people fairly.
Read more ›
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