Failure to Execute vs Failure to Raise


This post is by hunterwalk from Hunter Walk


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14 for 14. Homebrew’s first fund (2013-2015) has 20 core investments of which 14 went market for a Series A. All 14 successfully completed this fundraise. The six who didn’t go out for a Series A either (a) shutdown/acquihired prior to this milestone [founder disagreement; lack of product traction], (b) exited due to an early M&A opportunity or (c) in one case, is currently an ongoing concern that hasn’t needed to raise additional capital.

I was thinking about this stat last month while preparing a slide deck for our annual LP meeting. As an industry we often say a startup “failed to raise” when a funding round doesn’t come together and while it’s factually correct, in some ways it strikes me as a downstream implication of a core issue: they didn’t fail to raise, they failed to execute. The company most likely did not accomplish the milestones required to move Continue reading “Failure to Execute vs Failure to Raise”

Helium


This post is by Fred Wilson from AVC


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One of the areas of blockchain innovation I am most excited about is building open, permissionless, and decentralized technology infrastructure.

The three areas that seem most obvious to me for decentralized infrastructure are compute (code execution), storage (storing files, etc), and bandwidth (network infrastructure).

And today, we are excited to announce that USV has made an investment in a decentralized network infrastructure project called Helium.

My partner Nick, who led this investment for USV, wrote about Helium on the USV blogand explains why we made the investment (as is our practice with all new investments). I would encourage you to read that blog post as it explains a lot about how Helium works, how the token economics builds the supply side of the network infrastructure, and why it fits so neatly into our investment thesis.

I would just like to point out how cool Helium is.

Anyone can run

Continue reading “Helium”

MLB.Com Is Stupid


This post is by Jeff Carter from Points and Figures


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I have been a Cubs fan my whole life.  I was given the disease by a neighbor when I was a little kid. He was a WW2 veteran named Bill Schultz.  Bill and his wife Dorothy didn’t have any kids.  I used to go over and they had candy all over the place so I would eat it and watch the Cubs with Bill.  Of course, in 1969 the Cubs broke our hearts.  Little did I know then that in 1986 I’d be working for Rich Nye who pitched for them.  Back in the day, everyone had an AM transistor radio and when you were doing stuff you’d have Vince Lloyd and Lou Boudreau on.  Introducing someone to become a Cubs fan was a special form of child abuse up until 2016.

An aside, my grandfather was a huge Minnesota Twins fan. 

Continue reading “MLB.Com Is Stupid”

Turning Streetlights Into EV Charging Stations


This post is by Fred Wilson from AVC


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Owning an EV in a dense urban city is challenging. Most people don’t have their own garages and so they park on the street or in large parking garages. We do the latter.

About five or six years ago, I walked into our parking garage and saw that the garage operator had installed a ChargePoint charging station in the garage.I literally walked back across the street to our apartment and bought our first EV. We now own three.

But charging with ChargePoint is not ideal. There are a limited number of these charging stations in our parking garage and more and more EVs. They are often filled up. And the rates that ChargePoint supplies electricity at are borderline gouging. They have a monopoly on our garage and price accordingly. I believe the rate we pay in our parking garage in NYC is literally double the rate we buy electricity

Continue reading “Turning Streetlights Into EV Charging Stations”

SEC and Kik


This post is by Jeff Carter from Points and Figures


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I was sort of surprised by the SEC’s move to go after Kik.  But, Kik decided to poke the bear so I guess they knew it was coming.  I will leave it to the legals to figure it all out.  Kik Chief Executive Ted Livingston welcomes the chance to have a court decide whether its cryptocurrency functions like a share of stock, which the SEC alleges. “This is not about kin; this is about crypto broadly,” he said. “What’s exciting to me is that this industry is finally going to get the clarity it so desperately needs.”

He might not get the win he wants.  The SEC could act decisively and put the entire crypto sector out of business in the US with a ruling.  Or, they could act narrowly and focus just on the Kik question and make sure it doesn’t apply across Continue reading “SEC and Kik”

New Book: Secrets of Sand Hill Road


This post is by htidnam from Andreessen Horowitz


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About 18 months ago, I sat down over a holiday and reflected on the many conversations I’d had over the years with friends, aspiring entrepreneurs, start-up employees and students about venture capital and entrepreneurship. The questions were varied, but they …

Open Up Vs Break Up


This post is by Fred Wilson from AVC


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There have been many calls to break up the large Internet monopolies; Amazon, Google, Facebook, Apple, etc.

Breaking up a large monopoly feels like a very 19th/20th century move to me.

I would prefer that politicians and policy makers think about opening up as the better intervention.

A good way to explain this is to go back to the architecture that Twitter used in its early days when there were many third-party Twitter clients. Imagine if Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc were protocols, not applications, and there were many high-quality clients to participate in these networks.

Then the clients could innovate on things like content filtering, promotion of high quality content, business model, etc

If we are going to “break up” these large social media platforms, I would urge elected officials and regulators to think about pushing them to move from platforms to protocols instead of just ripping them apart.

Continue reading “Open Up Vs Break Up”

How Do You Know?


This post is by Jeff Carter from Points and Figures


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I listened to a podcast by Russ Roberts on the drive home.  (Link to come later) It was about uncertainty.  It was also about certainty.

Life sometimes has Aha moments when everything comes together and you see everything. The veil lifts.

Everyone has them.  If you live your life with uncertainty then you don’t do anything.

Sometimes  certainty happens in the moment. I had it happen several times to me in the trading pit.  Things just came together and you acted.  Others around you thought you were nuts.

The danger is you read or see things through your confirmation biases.  You need to drive yourself to uncertainty to make sure your filters are right.

Uncertainty is okay.  You have to be comfortable with it.  It’s a part of life.  If you use it right it’s a good part of life.

Uncertainty causes learning

SaaS: How will your 10th sale be 10 times easier than your first?


This post is by guyhturner from vcwithme


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There was a period early on when we called ourselves a SaaS fund, playing just slightly on the “me too” side of the biggest trend of the 2000s, the saasification of software. We have since honed our message, but in those earliest of days, being a SaaS entrepreneur or investor was differentiating. Fast forward more … Continue reading SaaS: How will your 10th sale be 10 times easier than your first?

The Data Would Tell Them They Are Wrong


This post is by Jeff Carter from Points and Figures


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One of the things I hear from a lot of folks is that they are “data dogs”. Usually, it means they manipulate data to prove their point. What they don’t want to tell you is they are fanatics. The Democrats in Illinois are like that.

On Memorial Day when everyone had a day off and were supposed to be remembering the fallen, Illinois Democratic lawmakers passed the largest tax increase in the history of the state. It goes on the ballot in 2020. But, my guess is a lot of people won’t be hanging around to vote on it.

Remember, on a state level they are increasing:

  1. gas taxes
  2. water taxes
  3. internet streaming taxes
  4. grocery bag taxes
  5. health care provider taxes
  6. beer, wine and liquor taxes
  7. car registration and licensing taxes
  8. cab taxes for using services like Uber/Lyft
  9. hotel taxes
  10. cigarette taxes
  11. sales taxes

Here is some data for Continue reading “The Data Would Tell Them They Are Wrong”

Blood Money…


This post is by ontheflyingbridge from On the Flying Bridge


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Not sure if it was the penultimate episode of “Game of Thrones” or recent press coverage of Ambrosia LLC, which was marketing, and subsequently reprimanded by the FDA, “longevity” blood plasma transfusions for $8,000 that caused me to look more closely at the blood supply industry. And what a strange set of dynamics at work – a product with a relatively short shelf life, largely dependent on donors, and one that appears to have terrific gross margins. With advances in technology and business model innovation, the amount of blood required to meet current needs has dropped dramatically but unfortunately for an increasing number of individuals, their precise blood type has likely become very hard to find.

First, some context. Over 13.6 million units of whole blood are collected every year in the U.S. for the 4.5 million Americans who will require a transfusion which is nearly

blood

Continue reading “Blood Money…”

Why Hasn’t An Occupy White House Emerged?


This post is by hunterwalk from Hunter Walk


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I. New York City

I’ve lived in San Francisco long enough to consider myself a Local, if not a Native. But no number of elapsed years or distance can dull my strong attachment to New York City, my birth city. A combination of family and work obligations pull me back at least a half-dozen times annually. That frequency, plus some serendipity, has allowed me to inhabit my hometown during some interesting 21st century moments despite lacking residency. I was walking Manhattan’s streets a few days post-9/11 and the homemade “missing” flyers taped to any surface to which an adhesive would stick, still stands out vividly in my brain. Election nights where the streets were filled with celebration or with quiet resignation. Spontaneous celebrations following sports championships. The memories span all emotions.

In autumn I’m an especially frequent visitor – it’s my birth season, my favorite climate-wise, and the chance to

Continue reading “Why Hasn’t An Occupy White House Emerged?”

Happy Memorial Day


This post is by Jeff Carter from Points and Figures


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Remember the ones that didn’t return today.  We think about the folks we knew from WW2 to today, but many have fallen since Crispis Attucks was taken down at Lexington Green in April of 1775.   It’s not really the numbers that matter.  In WW2, 16 million Americans went to war.  405,000 of them didn’t come back.  The thing that matters is their personal story and their memory.

I heard a great line at the National World War 2 Museum.  “Don’t thank veterans for their service.  Thank them for their sacrifice.”

My friend Al Lynch who received the Medal of Honor in Vietnam put it this way on his Facebook. I can’t say it any better.
Memorial Day for me is a day of remembering those who have given the “Last Full Measure” of their lives for our freedom. Many who died for Continue reading “Happy Memorial Day”

What To Do About A Company Like Equifax?


This post is by hunterwalk from Hunter Walk


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I froze my credit file across all three bureaus. I’ve been comped various identity theft and monitoring services which seem to pepper me with really uninteresting updates about their “dark web scans” and erratic increases or decreases to my card limits. And I have Google Alerts set up for my social security number and other personal information that may one day make their way to the public web. These minor frictions aren’t all attributable to the 2017 Equifax breach but that’s the incident which sticks in my mind to this day. Because what do you do about a company like Equifax?

Moody’s just downgraded their outlook, which has real implications for their financial wellbeing (borrowing interest rates, etc). Is the market the ultimate regulator? Businesses and consumers decide that a hacked institution is no longer someone they trust, and Equifax experiences more difficulty hiring, partnering, and so on? Or

Continue reading “What To Do About A Company Like Equifax?”

The Grifters


This post is by Jeff Carter from Points and Figures


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Stuff like this turns my stomach.  I hope it turns yours as well.  This isn’t entrepreneurship.  It’s crony capitalism at best or fascism at worst.  It’s insulting to any entrepreneur that is out building a company.  It’s insulting to people that are trying to build a cash flow business.  More than offensive.

Rep Elijah Cummings used his power to enrich his wife. From the linked article,

Cummings, 68, a Maryland Democrat, is chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. His wife, Maya Rockeymoore, 48, is the chairman of the Maryland Democratic Party and briefly ran in the state’s gubernatorial race last year.  Rockeymoore runs two entities, a nonprofit group called the Center for Global Policy Solutions and a for-profit consulting firm called Global Policy Solutions, LLC

Global Policy Solutions received more than $6.2 million in grants between 2013 and Continue reading “The Grifters”

The Mathematical Cost of Winning


This post is by Jerry Neumann from Reaction Wheel


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I submitted the grades for my class, and suddenly found myself a bit idle. So it’s time for more things you already knew proven with math you long-ago forgot. This was supposed to be a mere bagatelle of a post, something to occupy an idle Friday afternoon. And it would have been if the distribution […]