Author Archive

Suster: Why You Should Ban Laptops & iPads at Board Meetings

Mark Suster (GRP) reminds all of us to check our laptops, iPhones, Blackberries, and other electronic devices at the door at board meetings. CEOs should enforce this, as should the other VCs and board members in the room.

No “full partial attention” – just full attention.

 

 

 

 

Wilson: What’s The Difference Between A CTO And A VP Engineering?

Today’s VC Post of the Day is from Fred Wilson (Union Square Ventures) titled VP Engineering Vs CTO. This is a topic near and dear to our hearts, especially since I (Brad) have been a CTO but never been a VP Engineering (nor would I ever want to be one – I’d suck at that.)

I’ve written about this on Feld Thoughts before in a post titled CTO vs. VP Engineering (I wonder how Google is going to deal with that SEO – eh, not really, Fred has more Google juice than me) and our friend Todd Vernon (Raindance co-founder / CTO; Lijit founder / CEO) has also written several really good posts about this titled CTO vs. VP Engineering (another take) and CTO vs VP Engineering (reprise). It’s worth noting that people who write about the difference between CTO’s and VP Engineering’s don’t seem to be very creative in the Title category.

I just noticed a late breaking post from Werner Vogels, the CTO of Amazon, referenced in the comments on Fred’s blog. It’s titled The Different CTO Roles and is a nice addition to the mix.

Horowitz: Lead Bullets

The VC post of the day is from Ben Horowitz (A16Z) and is titled Lead Bullets. Ben tells a story from his time at Netscape when he discovered Microsoft’s IIS was about to ship, was 5x faster than the Netscape Server product, and was free. He went searching for a bunch of silver bullets to solve the competitive issue (e.g. different market segment, acquire someone, scale back and re-segment the product). Ultimately, the solution was simply to use lead bullets – make the Netscape Server product better than the IIS product. Sure – they still addressed the other things but if they hadn’t taken on the product issues and made a superior product, the rest probably wouldn’t have mattered much.

Ben ends with a strong call to action for any entrepreneur:

There comes a time in every company’s life where it must fight for its life. If you find yourself running when you should be fighting, you need to ask yourself: “If our company isn’t good enough to win, then do we need to exist at all?”

Skok: Multi-axis Pricing: A Key Tool for Increasing SaaS Revenue

David Skok (Matrix) has today’s great post up titled Multi-axis Pricing: a key tool for increasing SaaS revenue. If your business uses a subscription pricing model, this is a must read post. While David positions it as SaaS related post, it applies to any subscription model, including consumer and add-ons to hardware products.

Mentors, Revenue Based Financing, and Misperceptions About Venture Capital

It’s Monday and our friendly neighborhood VCs stored up their posts over the weekend and launched a few with a vengeance. Today, we have three great ones.

Roger Ehrenberg (IA) writes about mentors in his post Mentors: an essential engine for growth. While he wrote it on Saturday, it’s still applicable on Monday.

Fred Wilson (USV) has his normal MBA Mondays series with a guest post from Andy Sack titled Revenue Based FinancingIt’s an advertorial for Andy’s firm Lighter Capital but is a really good explanation of how revenue based financing works.

Charlie O’Donnell (First Round Capital) wraps up our posts of the day with a dynamite one titled 10 Misperceptions About Venture Capital.

Roberts: You’re Doing It All Wrong

I love this post from Bryce Roberts (OATV) titled You’re Doing It All Wrong.

Every great company I’ve ever worked with has its own style, personality, approach, strengths, weaknesses, and quirks. Experience – and inexperience – when combined with an amazing new opportunity, creates really unique characteristics that – over time – mix with other company DNA to create new characteristics. Funny – just like humans.

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Go: Startup Jargon Series: DISRUPTION

This is going to be fun. Rob Go (NextView) is taking on “Startup Jargon” with a new series. His first post is about Disruption, a word I never manage to type correctly the first time (I always type it as distruption.)

Many moons ago Fred Wilson wrote a great blog series on VC Cliches. It’s timeless. Let’s hope Rob lives up to Fred’s standard with the Startup Jargon series. Go Rob Go (sorry – couldn’t help myself on that one.)

Wenger: Tech Tuesdays

We’ve got Fred Wilson blogging the incredible MBA Mondays series. I (Brad Feld) have started a Finance Friday series. And now Fred’s partner Albert Wenger has started a Tech Tuesday series.

Albert is a hard core developer turned VC. He’s started five companies, has an undergrad degree in Computer Science from Harvard and has a Ph.D. in Information Technology from MIT. Yes – he codes. His first post in the new series, Tech Tuesdays: Computing’s Building Blocks (Overview), is up.

Wednesday and Thursday are still available? Anyone out there ready to take them on?

Weiss: Looking Bigger

The post of the day is from Scott Weiss (Andreesseen Horowitz) titled Looking Bigger.

Scott’s a new VC blogger – I’ve gotten to know him over the past few years on the Return Path board and he’s a dynamite thinker. He’s got amazingly useful experience (and stories) from his last company – IronPort – and this post is a good example of his insights which are backed up with real experience.

I expect to see Scott, as well as his partners Ben Horowitz, Marc Andreessen, John O’Farrell, and Jeff Jordan at A16Z who are all blogging, show up in the VC Post of the Day on a regular basis.

Brisbourne: The Math Behind Anti-Dilution (With Examples)

Well – I fell off that particular horse. That would be the “I’ll blog daily about the best VC blog post of the past 24 hours.” I could make some snarky comment about how there weren’t any for the last few weeks, but that wouldn’t be true. I just fell of the horse. But yesterday, when I was at an SVB event talking to a bunch of SVB people, a long time friend said “thanks so much for writing the VC Post of the Day – it saves me a ton of time looking through all the VC blog posts.” So I got back on the horse.

Today’s post of the day is from Nic Brisbourne (DFJ Esprit) and it titled What is anti-dilution/downround protection? Nic covers narrow-based, broad-based, and full ratchet anti-dilution with real examples using real math.

Note to self: that was easy – five minutes, done.