Being In The Flow

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I have been investing in developer tools since the earliest days of my VC career. The first investment I led in the late 80s was a financing that provided the funds to acquire a programming editor called Brief. It was a text-based editor for PCs. That investment worked out but we didn’t make a...

We are running the Venture Deals Online Course again. Registration is now open and it runs from March 8, 2020 – May 1, 2020. It’s produced by Techstars and Kauffman Fellows. We’ve run the course six times now and have had over 25,000 people take it. It’s free, although it’s...

Entertainment Vs Utility

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The news this week that HQ Trivia has finally called it quits reminded me of this post I wrote back in 2012 about the difference in sustainability (and thus value) between entertainment and utility apps. What is interesting to me is if you could use a social app or an entertainment app to get to...

When I started blogging in 2004, there weren’t many VC bloggers. I followed Fred Wilson and David Hornik’s lead and just started writing what was on my mind about, well, anything that was on my mind. Today, VC content pieces are everywhere. I’ve become less interested in writing this kind...

The tech sector is the fastest growing sector of the economy in NYC and around the US and around the world. The tech sector offers high paying jobs and a growing number of them. But, as we all know, the tech sector lacks the gender and racial diversity that would allow everyone to benefit from...

Debt is Coming

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Ten years from now, what seismic change will we reflect back on and think, “well that was pretty obvious, in retrospect”?   Debt is going to finally come to the tech industry.   Plenty of people these days preach “startups need to rely less on fundraising”; it’s harder to find anyone...

When Glossier founder and CEO Emily Weiss first had the idea of launching a beauty startup, she began with a simple question: how could you make a beauty brand whose sweatshirt people would want to wear? As founder of beauty blog Into the Gloss, which she started in 2010, Weiss had worked with...

Justworks

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I just posted about USV’s investment in Justworks on the USV blog. I have known Isaac Oates for over a decade and he’s a terrific entrepreneur and has built a great company which offers a fantastic HR solution to small and mid sized companies. If you don’t love the payroll and benefits...

The Management Rights Letter

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A friend asked me over the weekend “why do VCs ask for a management rights letter when they make an investment?” A management rights letter is a short agreement between a company and an investor to allow them certain “management rights.” These are typically the ability to attend board...

I was talking with my friend who works at Keap (formally known as Infusionsoft) and he was breaking down how people still make millions of dollars selling info products and ebooks. Now, I don’t sell info products as heavily as I used to, but when I focused on it 100% of the time, my numbers...

The word brand or logo is often cast-off in the technological world and though it is one of the most important factors to work on digitally. Branding has been stated to companies for a long time, but nowadays almost every next person has its own brand. Not the majority of the people know about that...

Marketing

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I used this title for possibly the most regrettable blog post I have written on AVC back in 2011. My friend Alex’s post on the topic this weekend has made me revisit my thoughts on the subject of marketing. Alex starts off his post with this assertion: 2019 was the year when VCs and...

If money is stopping you from pursuing your dreams, there’s no reason to worry. There are many ways to create a successful company. While creating and running your own business in India may be challenging, it’s also immensely fulfilling and rewarding. You’ll get to explore numerous things...

Welcome to Series A — and your blind spotsPhoto by Alex SamuelsGetting what you wish for can be a mixed blessing. So it is with startup companies. They begin as an idea; progress into a founding team and initial product. And then, if they’re lucky, work hard, and don’t unravel from the...

Our favorite golden nuggets from the experts we brought in to share their knowledge with our portfolio founders, CEOs, product/sales/marketing leaders, and managers of all kindsOur Learning Labs and LabXs (taking a cue from TEDx) were built to create a community focused on learning and inspiring...

Image Credit: d3sign/Getty ImagesOriginally published on VentureBeat.Years ago, I watched a talented director of marketing take a high-profile startup from stealth to launch to millions in revenue.She built out product marketing, corporate communications, PR, brand, and partner marketing teams. In...

I’ve noticed a degradation in presentation styles when displaying slides on a screen. This is starting to become a pet peeve of mine, so feel free to ignore me or tell me to get over myself if you disagree with this advice. Assume a conference room with a large screen TV (or two) on the wall...

Frog in a Blender

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The phrase “frog in a blender” was in my head all afternoon. Earlier in the day, one of my partners described a situation as the cliche-ish “boil a frog slowly” and I responded with “We’d all be better off if we just put the frog in a blender.” That generated grimaces. I...

What To Work On

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My partner Brad likes to ask about the distinction between doing things right and doing the right thing. His observation, which I totally agree with, is that many people and companies do things right but don’t do the right thing. Taking the observation one step further, I have seen that doing the...

I’ve been a remote worker for 24 years. While I have an office in Boulder, I’m physically in my office for a small amount of time. For many years, this was a function of travel. My investments have always been geographically distributed across the US and I spent the majority of my time...

You are a visionary. Eyes set on top of the hill. Seeing your startup as the next big thing. And five years down the line— you have a huge customer base, money flooding in and your startup scaled into a huge organisation. It feels good.  But the thing is — to get to the top, your startup has...

What Happened In The 2010s

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My friend Steve Kane suggested I take a longer view in my pair of year end posts this year: What, no decade end/decade ahead posts? — Steven Kane (@stevenkane) December 26, 2019 And so I will. Here are the big things that happened in tech, startups, business, and more in the decade that is...

“Entrepreneurship is a trap.” That’s the best piece of advice I’ve given to anyone wanting to “try their hand” at entrepreneurship in Singapore. In the last few years, I’ve worked in both the corporate and startup world.  These are my findings. School and tuition classes dominated my...

“A growth hacker is a person whose true north is growth.” – says Sean Ellis, the growth hacking guru. Growth hacking is the revolutionary element in the world of startups which has changed the fate of many business ventures for good.  Here are 5 growth hacking tips that you must consider for...