Why Tesla will never be Apple

I regularly argue with my partners about how amazing Tesla is or isn’t. We all agree Tesla’s technology and product are a leap forward, but the question is whether the company will become a significant or even dominant worldwide auto player (and justify its orbital valuation).  Despite its buzz, Tesla has only a bit more … Continue reading Why Tesla will never be Apple

Fixing things and building people – why we invested in Fixer

We recently announced our investment in Fixer, led by Founder Collective and including Chicago’s Impact Engine. Fixer is a service that fixes anything in your home reliably, on-time and at a fair price – founded by a contingent of Grubhub’s early employees, including Grubhub co-founder and long-time exec, Mike Evans. Fixer is also our first … Continue reading Fixing things and building people – why we invested in Fixer

Four paths to entering B2B markets and clearing table stakes

As modal B2B software investors we frequently see entrepreneurs struggling with the drag of table stakes. How do you focus resources on an innovative or novel approach to the market when customers keep asking for table stakes? An example of this problem: Let’s say a company, Resu, is developing a software that reads knowledge worker … Continue reading Four paths to entering B2B markets and clearing table stakes

Flying for money: How to raise Series A and B outside Silicon Valley

Our strategy – serving our mission of great returns for our investors and entrepreneurs – is to assist our portfolio companies in raising a strong late Series A or B funding from a large fund, often (but not necessarily) coastal. Once through the gauntlet of finding product-market-fit, building out a team and finding repeatable sales, … Continue reading Flying for money: How to raise Series A and B outside Silicon Valley

Why I’m long the US economy (and millennials will buy cars and houses)

I’ve spent the last year scratching my head over the continued (and rapid) stock market rise amidst government uncertainty at home, geopolitical threats abroad and an increasing and ominous distance from our last recession. Large tax cuts for corporations certainly explain the recent run-up, but what of a near doubling over the last five years … Continue reading Why I’m long the US economy (and millennials will buy cars and houses)

The PMF sales equation

I experienced an Aha! moment the other day with CEO Sean Chou of our portfolio company Catalytic. Sean is an experienced enterprise startup founder and exec through his time as CTO of Fieldglass (sold to SAP). Sean and his VP Product, Jeff Grisenthwaite, had prepped an investor brief with a simple expression summarizing their pursuit … Continue reading The PMF sales equation

People, Part 2: the characteristics that matter in startup teams

In “People, Part 1”, I outlined the combinations of three key “inspection” characteristics of founding teams (professional, startup and industry experience) that favor startup success. These characteristics are “inspected” because they can largely be assessed from LinkedIn, resumes and surface discussions. They describe what people have done and achieved (outcomes), less so how they achieved … Continue reading People, Part 2: the characteristics that matter in startup teams