Reflections on Board Members By Some Great Ones


This post is by Brad Feld from Feld Thoughts


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I spent the past few days in Tokyo at the Kauffman Fellows Annual Summit. Over the past five years, there has been a large increase globally in the number of venture capitalists and people interested in becoming VCs. As a result, an organization like Kauffman Fellows is more important than ever as it helps build an incredible community of the next generation of VCs to learn from each other.

In the mid-1990s, I learned how to be a board member by sitting on a lot of boards, learning from other experienced board members, and making a lot of mistakes. I still make a lot of mistakes (that’s that nature of venture capital, and of life in general), but I like to believe that I’m a much more effective board member than I was 25 years ago. That said, I still have my bad days and walk out of a board

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Category Collapse


This post is by Brad Feld from Feld Thoughts


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It’s the second week of December, which is about the time that all of the predictions for 2019 start occurring. Last week’s announcements of the confidential S-1 filing of Lyft, Uber, and Slack helped prime the pump for some of these. By the way, did anyone other than me think it was a strange turn of events that companies are now announcing their confidential S-1 filing?

Fred Wilson’s post Thinking Ahead To 2019 is worth reading. Unlike the endless stream of predictions that are about to come out, it’s an analysis of the spread between the public market and private company valuations. Fred is not predicting anything in particular but makes several useful observations, including the following:

“And yet storm clouds are on the horizon for the capital markets in 2019. Rates have risen significantly in the last eighteen months, pulling capital out of the equity markets and into the

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Every Generation Learns The Same Lessons


This post is by Brad Feld from Feld Thoughts


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While it’s easy to tell people things, it’s much more powerful to learn things. And, as I get older, I see the same lessons being learned by subsequent generations. While this isn’t a post that says “everything is the same as it was before”, there are foundational lessons in life that play out over and over again.

I spent the weekend with a friend from the last 1990s who was the lead banker on the Interliant IPO (I was a co-founder and co-chairman.) Last night, at the Aspen Entrepreneurs event, I was asked to describe several failures and I rolled out my story about Interliant, which, for a period of time (1999 – 2000) appeared to be hugely successful before going bankrupt in 2002. If you like to read IPO prospectuses, here’s the final S-1 filing after INIT went effective and started trading on July 8, 1999.

A few

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Capital Should Follow Talent


This post is by Brad Feld from Feld Thoughts


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




I love today’s post from Fred Wilson titled The Valuation Obsession. It has some good hints in it about valuation vs. ownership dynamics for founders, employees, and investors. It also calls out the silliness about focusing on the wrong things.

Go read it.

I’m even a bigger fan of a statement Fred makes in the post that William Mougayar calls out in the comments.

“I like to invest in companies that smart people are joining. Capital should follow talent, not talent following capital.

This is not just a statement on capital. It’s another hint to the importance – to a founder – of building an awesome team at every level of the journey. It matters at the beginning, as things ramp, and as a public company.

Capital should follow talent. That’s a line I know I’ll be using. I’ll try to remember to say “Fred Wilson says capital should

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The Past, Present, and The Future


This post is by Brad Feld from Feld Thoughts


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The past is ungraspable,
the present is ungraspable,
the future is ungraspable.

– Diamond Sutra

Now that it’s 2018, the inevitable predictions for 2018 are upon us.

I’m not a predictor. I never have been and don’t expect I ever will be. However, I do enjoy reading a few of the predictions, most notably Fred Wilson’s What Is Going To Happen In 2018.

Unlike past years, Fred led off this year with something I feel like I would have written.

“This is a post that I am struggling to write. I really have no idea what is going to happen in 2018.”

He goes on to make some predictions but leave a lot in the “I have no idea” category.

I mentioned this to Amy and she quickly said:

And that, simply put, is my goal for 2018.

As I read my daily newsfeed this morning, I came

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The Past, Present, and The Future


This post is by Brad Feld from Feld Thoughts


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




The past is ungraspable,
the present is ungraspable,
the future is ungraspable.

– Diamond Sutra

Now that it’s 2018, the inevitable predictions for 2018 are upon us.

I’m not a predictor. I never have been and don’t expect I ever will be. However, I do enjoy reading a few of the predictions, most notably Fred Wilson’s What Is Going To Happen In 2018.

Unlike past years, Fred led off this year with something I feel like I would have written.

“This is a post that I am struggling to write. I really have no idea what is going to happen in 2018.”

He goes on to make some predictions but leave a lot in the “I have no idea” category.

I mentioned this to Amy and she quickly said:

And that, simply put, is my goal for 2018.

As I read my daily newsfeed this morning, I came

Continue reading “The Past, Present, and The Future”

Lessons From The Internet Bubble: Growth vs. Profitability


This post is by Brad Feld from Feld Thoughts


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Over the weekend, Mark Suster and Fred Wilson each put up awesome posts discussing the idea of profitability in startups. Mark’s is a master class about how to look at the financial characteristics of a startup and Fred’s discusses what he’s been working on with some of his more mature companies.

They are both worth reading right now. I’ll be here when you get back.

Between the spring of 2000 and the end of 2001, I had the worst, most stressful, and most painful business period of my life. While I’m sure the financial crisis of 2008 was worse for many people, for me it paled in comparison to the misery of this 21-month stretch.

A very simple thing happened that year in my world. The market shifted from rewarding (and funding) growth to rewarding (and funding) profitability. It happened over a few quarters, but with the perspective of time

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The Best Time To Invest In Something Is …


This post is by Brad Feld from Feld Thoughts


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




At 18 minutes into this awesome talk that Fred Wilson did at MIT a few weeks ago, he finishes the statement “The best time to invest in something is ...”

… when nobody wants to invest in it but you.” He adds “And – you have to believe in it and know why.

Truer words have never been spoken about investing as, or in, VC. Just don’t forget the phrase “and – you have to believe in it and know why.”

Fred is one of my closest friends in the VC business and someone I’ve learned an amazing amount from him since first meeting him in 1996 when he was just starting to work with one of my male soulmates Jerry Colonna.

Watch the video. Listen carefully. Learn from his experience.

Fred – thank you for everything you’ve done for and with me

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Monthly Match: National Immigration Law Center #NILCMatch


This post is by Brad Feld from Feld Thoughts


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Fred Wilson, Joanne Wilson, Amy, and I are doing our second Monthly Match. This one is in support of the National Immigration Law Center. We will be matching $20,000 of contributions that our respective communities make to NILC.

We’ve made it easy to contribute – simply go to this page on Crowdrise.

Any level of contribution is super helpful. Since we are matching 1:1, each dollar you contribute gets NILC another dollar.

The four of us did this on an impulse last month after the Executive Order on Immigration hit. We were all extremely upset about the executive order and decided to do something about it. We ended up raising over $120,000 for the ACLU over the weekend during a period where the ACLU got a lot of visibility for making the first major move against the executive order and ended up raising over $24m.

As a result,

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Why the Micro-VC Surge Will Drive Innovation Across the US


This post is by Ezra Galston from BreakingVC


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The following was co-authored by Ezra Galston of Chicago Ventures(@ezramogee) and Samir Kaji (@samirkaji) of First Republic Bank. Over the last several years much has been made of the opportunity, or perceived lack thereof in technology centers outside of the Bay Area and NYC. From Steve Case’s Rise of The Rest Tour, to Google for […]

We Were Right – Just a Decade Early


This post is by Brad Feld from Feld Thoughts


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




This is a line my friend Jerry Colonna uses when something like the AT&T – Time Warner deal occurs. As time passes, the line has shifted to “We were right – just fifteen years early.”

Jerry was Fred Wilson‘s partner at Flatiron Partners. We were all investing in Internet-related stuff at the end of the 1990s. Jerry and Fred had one of the most successful VC funds during this time period until the Internet bubble burst and blew us all up for a while. We made plenty of investments together and I sat on a number of boards with Jerry – we had some big winners and a handful of craters in the ground.

At the peak, AOL bought Time Warner for $162 billion. We only know that was the peak in hindsight – at the time it looked like it validated a lot of what we were doing

Gartner Hype Cycle

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Love and Venture Capital


This post is by Brad Feld from Feld Thoughts


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If you’ve missed me, it’s because I spent a week in Australia. Ten days ago, after being there for a few days, I came down with salmonella poisoning. I’m finally starting to feel normal again although I’m still exhausted. This has easily been the sickest I’ve ever been.

While I was gone, the gang at Reboot put up the Reboot Podcast #45 – What’s Love Got to Do with It?- with Fred Wilson and Brad Feld which was a delightful conversation between me, Fred, and Jerry Colonna.

The three of us have a 20+ year history that gives me joy every time I think about it.

I first met Fred in the suburbs of Boston at Yoyodyne in 1996. It was also the first time I met Seth Godin. I had just started working with Softbank and had been commanded to go to Yoyodyne and do “due diligence” by Charley Lax. I had

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Reflections on Nice Going Into The Weekend


This post is by Brad Feld from Feld Thoughts


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




I woke up feeling subdued this morning. I didn’t know why but after talking to Amy I realized that the emotional impact on me of the horror in Nice is weighing on me. Amy described her connection to it to me – she’s been physically in the same spot that the tragedy happened – and even though we are far away, something very personal hit home about the whole thing.

We are long-time friends with Fred and Joanne Wilson. After my call with Amy, I did my daily news routine, which includes a few minutes in Feedly skimming all the blogs I subscribe to and reading the ones that catch my attention. Both Fred’s and Joanne’s did today.

I read Joanne’s post from yesterday titled Pledge 1% first. It perked me up a little and made me smile, as Pledge 1% is the evolution of the Entrepreneurs Foundation of Colorado

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The Hidden Challenges of Starting a Company in Secondary Markets


This post is by Ezra Galston from BreakingVC


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Fred Wilson’s much debated post, Second and Third Tier Markets and Beyond, sparked an important discussion about operating and investing in businesses outside of the Valley. Case in point: within 48 hours, the piece generated a heated Twitter exchange (including input from the one and only Bill Gurley), a Pitchbook analysis of the best M&A outcomes […]

Fred Wilson and Tim Armstrong say policy matters for New York’s tech growth


This post is by Jonathan Shieber from Venture Capital – TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




tcdisrupt_NY16-4843 Against a backdrop of a New York investment scene that’s been long on promise and press and somewhat lacking in terms of exits, tech icons Fred Wilson, co-founder of Union Square Ventures, and Tim Armstrong, (my boss’ boss’ boss) chief executive of AOL, have come together to launch Tech:NYC, a new lobbying group for the technology community in New York. While Wilson conceded… Read More

What bubble? USV’s Fred Wilson says the future of tech investing remains strong


This post is by Jonathan Shieber from Venture Capital – TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Fred Wilson While many people in the venture community bemoan the near-term fate of the industry, Fred Wilson, the co-founder of Union Square Ventures and one of the architects of the resurgence of New York’s technology sector, expressed nothing but confidence in the state of the industry and its prospects for the future. Read More

Do You Regret Failed Investments?


This post is by Brad Feld from Feld Thoughts


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




This weekend I’m co-hosting the Reboot.io VC Bootcamp at my house in Boulder. It starts tonight and goes through mid-day Sunday. It’s an experiment with Jerry Colonna and about 15 other VCs to see if the Reboot.io bootcamp construct, where the tag line is:

Practical Skills + Radical Self-Inquiry + Shared Experiences = Enhanced Leadership + Greater Resiliency

It’s either going to be valuable to this group or not. We’ll know more on Monday. The only way to learn is to try.

As part of the pre-work for the weekend, I went back and re-listened to several of the Reboot.io podcasts that Jerry recommended in advance (for you Soundcloud people I made a Reboot.io VC Program collection.)

So, my brain was already trending toward the headspace around radical self-inquiry in the context of

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What I Use My Phone For


This post is by Fred Wilson from AVC


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Bijan asked me about this in the hallway chat I did with him and Nabeel last week. 

According to my battery usage data (which may be a bad proxy for usage), I use my phone for:

  1. Gmail
  2. Soundcloud
  3. Chrome 
  4. iMessage
  5. Swarm
  6. Twitter
  7. Phone (voice)
  8. Foursquare
  9. Google Now
  10. Kik

I wrote this post on my phone too

Artificial Art


This post is by Fred Wilson from AVC


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Last week we opened up a new thread on USV.com to think about and discuss the intersection of creativity (art) and artificial intelligence.

We have seen a lot of interesting companies in this area but have not yet made an investment.

Of course, the entire notion that machines will help us make art or even make it without human intervention gets to the essence of what art and creativity are.

Last summer I posted an art project by Ian Cheng that my daughter was involved in. The cool thing about that art project is that it evolves over time based on rules provided to a machine. The art is initially made by humans but it evolves and changes over time using a machine. That is one of many interesting ideas that artists are exploring at the intersection of creativity and computing.

An existential question that society is grappling with right now is how humans and machines will co-exist in the future. And one of the roles of art, maybe it’s most important role, is to force us to confront issues like this.

So while the idea of using a machine to make a song or an image or a novel or a sculpture without human intervention is at some level disturbing, it is also revealing. We expect that artists will push the envelope of what is possible with technology and we also expect that technologists and entrepreneurs will be willing collaborators in this effort.

Whether this will lead to interesting investment opportunities is anyone’s guess, but we think it might. And so we are going to spend some of our time and energy thinking about it and we’ve created a public space to do that. If you are interested in this area you can follow the thread and contribute to it here.