When is a Dollar not a Dollar?

"All dollars are equal, but some dollars are more equal than others."

- George Orwell's imaginary capitalist twin

In my college economics class, I was taught that money is fungible because there's no difference between one dollar and another dollar. Over the last five years as a VC, I've learned that that's not exactly true and that some dollars are much more valuable than others to a business.

From a startup's perspective, there are three common reasons why the value of a dollar can vary:

  1. Money has different marginal value to a customer depending on where it falls on their balance sheet.
  2. Some types of revenue require a lot more effort and resources to earn than other types.
  3. Timing matters, and a dollar today is worth more than a dollar next year.

This post offers several concrete examples of these principles. The goal is to encourage thinking about revenue, Continue reading "When is a Dollar not a Dollar?"

Behind the Scenes at a VC Fund, Part 3: Fund Structure, Fundraising, Investor Relations, and FAQs

VCs have 3 principal jobs: picking startups to invest in, helping startups after investing, and raising capital for investing. Each of these jobs will be covered in its own post. This post, the third and final one in the series, focuses on how VC funds are structured and raised. It also covers some venture capital FAQs, which were sourced from the following Twitter thread:

Table of Contents

Part 1: Deals, Deals, Deals

A post on how VC funds source, analyze, and choose companies to invest in.

Part 2: Helping Founders and Time Allocation

A post on how investors interact with companies after investing, and how they allocate their time on a day-by-day basis.

Part 3: Continue reading "Behind the Scenes at a VC Fund, Part 3: Fund Structure, Fundraising, Investor Relations, and FAQs"

Behind the Scenes at a VC Fund, Part 2: Helping Founders and Time Allocation

VCs have 3 principal jobs: picking startups to invest in, helping startups after investing, and raising capital for investing. Each of these jobs will be covered in its own post. This post, the second in the series, focuses on how VCs spend their time (charts and graphs included!), and how they help the companies they invest in.

Table of Contents

Part 1: Deals, Deals, Deals

A post on how VC funds source, analyze, and choose companies to invest in.

Part 2: Helping Founders and Time Allocation [this post]

Part 3: Fund Structure, Fundraising, Investor Relations, and FAQs

A post on the basic mechanics of how VC funds are structured and raised, how VCs interact with their own investors, and

Continue reading "Behind the Scenes at a VC Fund, Part 2: Helping Founders and Time Allocation"

Behind the Scenes at a VC Fund, Part 1: Deals, Deals, Deals

My fund, Susa Ventures, just added Natalie Dillon to our team. She's our first-ever investment team hire and we're very excited to work with her. While speaking with dozens of wonderful candidates for the role, I was reminded of how opaque venture capital is as a profession. Many of the candidates asked what a typical day and a typical month are like for a VC. Is it schmoozing at parties for 40 hours a week? Taking back-to-back investment calls while lounging on some tropical beach? Making million-dollar decisions using coin flips? Reading technical research papers? (Answers: no, no, no, and hardly ever.) Now that I've been doing this job for a while, I thought it might be useful to document what working in venture capital is like for anyone who may be curious. This 3-part series is a summary of my experience being one of three partners at Susa Continue reading "Behind the Scenes at a VC Fund, Part 1: Deals, Deals, Deals"

Behind the Scenes at a VC Fund, Part 1: Deals, Deals, Deals

My fund, Susa Ventures, just added Natalie Dillon to our team. She's our first-ever investment team hire and we're very excited to work with her. While speaking with dozens of wonderful candidates for the role, I was reminded of how opaque venture capital is as a profession. Many of the candidates asked what a typical day and a typical month are like for a VC. Is it schmoozing at parties for 40 hours a week? Taking back-to-back investment calls while lounging on some tropical beach? Making million-dollar decisions using coin flips? Reading technical research papers? (Answers: no, no, no, and hardly ever.) Now that I've been doing this job for a while, I thought it might be useful to document what working in venture capital is like for anyone who may be curious. This 3-part series is a summary of my experience being one of three partners at Susa Continue reading "Behind the Scenes at a VC Fund, Part 1: Deals, Deals, Deals"

A Return to Blogging

I'm embarrassed by how much I've fallen behind on writing new blog posts. I've been unusually busy at work for the last few months, but I am finally at the point where I can start writing regularly again. This is a short housekeeping post about recent things I've produced outside of this blog + upcoming posts that I'm finishing up.

Table of Contents

Upcoming Posts

Social pressure helps me get things done, so I'd like to publicly list the posts I'm planning to publish in August:
  • A post on the day-to-day work in a venture capital firm. I crowdsourced questions for this a few months ago, got many excellent suggestions, and have been working on the post ever Continue reading "A Return to Blogging"

A Return to Blogging

I'm embarrassed by how much I've fallen behind on writing new blog posts. I've been unusually busy at work for the last few months, but I am finally at the point where I can start writing regularly again. This is a short housekeeping post about recent things I've produced outside of this blog + upcoming posts that I'm finishing up.

Table of Contents

Upcoming Posts

Social pressure helps me get things done, so I'd like to publicly list the posts I'm planning to publish in August:
  • A post on the day-to-day work in a venture capital firm. I crowdsourced questions for this a few months ago, got many excellent suggestions, and have been working on the post ever Continue reading "A Return to Blogging"