“These are small gestures toward a grander project of molding phones to match the way people use them—reversing what has been the usual course, in which we contort ourselves and our lives around technology. Why shouldn’t phones care deeply about where we are, who we’re with, and why we’re picking it up?”—Matt Buchanan on the Moto X, which is considered the first true product of Motorola’s union with Google: http://nyr.kr/13qHW50 (via newyorker)
“Human, flawed, chaotic, raw, ugly, beautiful, wrong, right, emotional, argumentative, frustrating and deeply satisfying — that is what Twitter is. Just like the world it is supposed to mirror.”—7 years of tweeting (via om)
The following are my thoughts on sourcing deals after having worked at USV for (gasp!) just over a year now. I will focus on run my own process, separate from the day-to-day collaboration with other members of the investment team. While every firm is different, there is hopefully something in here…
I really like the idea of proactive deal sourcing, especially in an environment where you have an opportunity to evaluate existing trends through reactive sourcing.
In yesterday’s post I ripped on Paywalls a bit. I should elaborate.
Fact-Based Information has value. Its value is often *inversely* proportional to its distribution. (Think: the value of knowing Warren Buffet’s latest trade before and after he announces it to the world).
“There’s no fun, no risk and no imagination in luxury design”
With the available capital and customers hunger for unparalleled opulence, there really is no excuse for this. Its all to easy to tar luxury design with an ornate gold leaf brush, a wasted opportunity if there ever was.
Hello fellow Wash U Law students. As some of you are aware, SBA has begun an aggressive initiative to connect with you over the internet. Facebook, twitter, and this blog are all aimed at giving you greater access to the SBA, and giving us a greater access to you.
New York Times article about the fine line between genius entrepreneur and legitimately insane guy. The drive and focus of these guys is truly astonishing, and really reinforces the importance of passion in the formation of a successful company.
This article by Andy Swan, an entrepreneur and investor, lays out 10 “commandments” for startups. To me, the most interesting point is that entrepreneurs should “burn the ships that they would retreat in.” The discussion after the article about this point hammers home an important difference between investors and entrepreneurs. While “passive” investors must hedge their portfolio, entrepreneurs must adopt a singleminded focus on their project in order to achieve success. To that point, Swan writes in the comments that he would NEVER invest in an entrepreneur who lacked “focus and passion on executing his idea.”
“I think the only lessons you ever actually learn in life are the ones you pay for. I call this ‘tuition’, and it rarely comes with a diploma, and it almost always costs a lot more than ‘just money’.”—
Investment in an early stage company is a risky proposition and investors look for signals that a company is investment-worthy. One of the strongest signals is that other sophisticated entities view the company as investment-worthy. This article discusses the power of this social proof and how entrepreneurs can use it to their advantage in the fundraising process.
Awesome article detailing the different approaches to early stage valuation taken by founders and financiers. I had never realized the value of options as both a tool to attract talent (on the entrepreneur’s behalf) and a countervailing force on the VC’s valuation of the company.
"Deciding (with woefully incomplete data) that someone who works their butt off, does a terrific job, and loyally contributes to your mission won’t be with you three years from now takes you to a dark place. It’s a place of information hiding, dishonesty, and stilted communication. It’s a place where prejudice substitutes for judgment. It’s a place where judgment replaces teaching. It’s a place where teamwork becomes internal warfare. Don’t go there."
Horowitz’s firm was an investor in the recent FourSquare Series B financing. Of particular interest is his preference for founder CEOs. This article mirrors the traditional conception of investment-worthiness (management team, product quality, product fit/ market size).
When assessing the strength of a possible investment (or in the case of a lawyer, client), the quality of the management team has been listed as the most important characteristic to consider. A good management team serves both a functional and signaling function to a potential investor. This link gives some characteristics of successful small business owners, and accordingly potentially successful investment opportunities.
“My grandfather looked at me, and after a bit of silence, he gently and calmly said, “Jeff, one day you’ll understand that it’s harder to be kind than clever.” What I want to talk to you about today is the difference between gifts and choices. Cleverness is a gift, kindness is a choice. Gifts are easy — they’re given after all. Choices can be hard. You can seduce yourself with your gifts if you’re not careful, and if you do, it’ll probably be to the detriment of your choices.”—