Second-Order Market Innovation and The Future of Drones

Lady Gaga at Super Bowl LI; Image courtesy of Intel
One of the most exciting parts of watching a new technology and market develop is observing the ancillary opportunities created that may not have been obvious initially. Often, these second-order innovations present meaningful investment opportunities, as the initial technology has enabled a market to develop and created fertile ground for new, related ideas to take root; sometimes, these ideas are actually solutions to brand new problems that this technology has created. Happy Returns is a great example from my own experience — the team is tackling a problem (convenient, in-person retail and broken reverse return logistics) that never existed before the rise of e-commerce, and is creating real value to all involved stakeholders. I am also watching the rise of the commercial drone industry closely and am excited about drones’ ability to drive huge business value in both the short and long
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DroneBase: Long Term Disruption, Immediate Business Impact

Aerial footage via DroneBase
At the risk of stating the obvious, the very industry of venture capital is about investors taking a chance on companies, industries and markets that are not yet fully developed. That’s because true value creation — the kind of billion dollar-plus businesses — takes time, unbelievable effort, and more than a little good fortune. We are investing on the potential of a market or solution, in most times years before the business will have a scalable product. Sometimes, that means we pick companies with potential for long-term global impact or in companies with a bleeding-edge product that will be a catalyst for making a currently niche market a mass market one. We also invest in a phenomenal founder with the proverbial “unfair advantage” in a category, even if all they have is an idea or an early working prototype. In any of these scenarios, investing for long-term disruption is a
Continue reading "DroneBase: Long Term Disruption, Immediate Business Impact"

DroneBase: Long Term Disruption, Immediate Business Impact

Aerial footage via DroneBase

At the risk of stating the obvious, the very industry of venture capital is about investors taking a chance on companies, industries and markets that are not yet fully developed. That’s because true value creation — the kind of billion dollar-plus businesses — takes time, unbelievable effort, and more than a little good fortune. We are investing on the potential of a market or solution, in most times years before the business will have a scalable product. Sometimes, that means we pick companies with potential for long-term global impact or in companies with a bleeding-edge product that will be a catalyst for making a currently niche market a mass market one. We also invest in a phenomenal founder with the proverbial “unfair advantage” in a category, even if all they have is an idea or an early working prototype.

In any of these scenarios, investing for long-term disruption is a

Continue reading "DroneBase: Long Term Disruption, Immediate Business Impact"

GOAT raises $5 million to help sneakerheads buy and sell covetable kicks

Footwear is evaluated for authenticity and condition before being shipped to a GOAT customer. Los Angeles startup GOAT (incorporated as 1661 Inc.) has raised $5 million in new venture funding to grow its mobile-only marketplace for used and collectible sneakers. The GOAT app features everything from Adidas’ Yeezys to Nike’s Jordans and Flyknits, in men’s or women’s sizes, new and used condition. Instead of operating like an open marketplace such as E-bay, letgo… Read More

GOAT: In Defense of the Pivot

The “pivot.” If you spend much time in the VC industry or reading tech press, it starts to sound like a cliche. Like a punchline. A last, desperate scramble to make something out of a business that, rightly or wrongly, couldn’t make their model work the way originally thought or how early metrics had indicated it might.
And when you’re surrounded by examples of failed pivots, it can be easy to become jaded about them. For every successful pivot like a Twitter, Instagram, or Slack, there are countless others, high profile and low profile, that never managed to find product-market fit and simply ran out of runway. I sometimes say be careful with pivots, as the referee will blow the whistle for traveling. You can lose your key players, key coaches and influential fans and supporters. And yet, sometimes that pivot can create a clear path to the basket leading to
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Who is #LongLA?

This is a list of known firms and individuals with a home base or whose investment focus includes Southern California. It includes Accelerators, Angels, Corporate VCs, Family Offices, Hedge Funds, Seed Funds and Traditional VCs. The list was inspired by @shaig‘s seed fund google doc. Tweet or comment additions, corrections or deletions. “Home base” definition and right to add is at my discretion. Investors w/ known funds are listed under Fund Name (ie: Matt Mazzeo via Lowercase Capital and Michael Eisner via Tornante Company) Google Doc is accessible here. Originally created July 5, 2014 and has been modified many times. #LongLA Tech Investor List

Who is #LongLA?

This is a list of known firms and individuals with a home base or whose investment focus includes Southern California. It includes Accelerators, Angels, Corporate VCs, Family Offices, Hedge Funds, Seed Funds and Traditional VCs.

The list was inspired by @shaig‘s seed fund google doc. Tweet or comment additions, corrections or deletions. “Home base” definition and right to add is at my discretion. Investors w/ known funds are listed under Fund Name (ie: Matt Mazzeo via Lowercase Capital and Michael Eisner via Tornante Company)

Google Doc is accessible here. Originally created July 5, 2014 and has been modified many times.

#LongLA Tech Investor List