Michael Hyatt: founder and CEO of BlueCat Networks, an international provider of network solutions for visibility, management and control of IP infrastructure, including DNS/DHCP:
1. When building a technology-based asset, great market comes first, then people, then product, in that order. It's all about great management in a great market. As a market matures, the product becomes more important. Great investors can supplement great management.
2. Where there is mystery, there is margin. Most people build "features," not products – a major point of failure. The "when" has less to do with the "who" and "what."
3. Try to stay in the majority seat when it comes to funding. The terms are as or more important than valuation. Ask yourself: "Who do you want to be stuck in a foxhole with?" Like any relationship you really need to like the partners because there will be plenty of tough times.
Value is an art, not a science. The best valuations (for innovative, technology-based companies) come from competitive terms sheets, and likely from American VC's, not Canadian.