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

Time to Heal, Learn, Unify

Like many of you, I was surprised by election results. As we each individually decide what is next, what we do next, we need to see this in the context of 250 years of peaceful transitions across all imperfect leaders. We are so fortunate to be upset or ecstatic at the functioning of democracy rather […]

Punch, type, click, swipe, gesture, speak, THINK

The user interface (UI) has markedly changed in the past few quarters. From “mobile first, native vs web and responsive” story lines, founder and investors’ dreams now echo the next revolution of UI, voice (or is it gesture?). The chart below defines a recent history of internet/human interface device sales, starting with broad adoption of the keyboard […]

Ethics of failure and the rule of transparency

Benedict Evan’s outstanding recent post “In praise of failure” pointedly demonstrates how startups and venture work: a few big successes making up for many failures (and some middling outcomes). This is like no other business – imagine a world where Fortune 1000 companies posted for Senior Directors of Operations who are “right at least 50% […]

Career advice: don’t listen to it, but if you must…

For endeavoring on a career with a statistically low chance of success and being qualified for little if I fail (a good motivator), I receive a surprising number of requests for career advice. My first rule on career advice is not to listen to anyone – it is easier to give and receive advice on almost any […]

What startups can learn from Brexit

As a startup investor, I am pro-trade because my companies benefit from selling software anywhere in the world. I am pro-immigration because my companies need the best talent no matter where it may be found. It’s not hard to figure out where I would land on Brexit were I a Brit. But I’m not, so who […]