Archive for the ‘VC Post of the Day’ Category

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.

Suster: The Problem with Collecting Logos at Startups

Mark Suster (GRP) nails it with his post The Problem with Collecting Logos at Startups. He explains the problem with the following subtopics:

  1. Leaderless rounds
  2. Not enough skin in the game
  3. Nobody’s head on the chopping block
  4. Fights over follow ons
  5. Information leaks

He also answers the question “is there any good case for taking a large number of VCs into your deal?” and lists the “top 5 excuses for taking many investors in a round.”

Mark’s punch line is priceless:

“You don’t need logos. Logos are for insecure people. Just like they were in high school when the cool kids had to wear the right logos on their shirts, shorts and handbags. Show strength & conviction. Make the tough decisions and choose the investors with whom you feel the closest fit. Make sure they own enough to be motivated to work with you in good times & bad.” 

Bingo. Go read the post.

MacLeod: A Series On SaaS Math

Mark MacLeod (Real Ventures) is about to start a blog series on SaaS Math. The topics he’s going to write about follow:

  • Why investors, customers and vendors love SaaS
  • SaaS Metrics 101: Acquisition, Activation, Retention, Referrals, Revenues
  • What and how to measure
  • Per User Economics broken down
  • Measuring tools: custom vs. off the shelf
  • How to bill your customers
  • Pricing your service
  • Freemium in depth
  • Case studies
  • SaaS Valuations
  • Putting it all together: SaaS Best Practices

Based on the importance of SaaS in the software ecosystem along with the ability to deeply track all metrics on a real time basis, this looks like a series worth reading.

Roberts: You Can Never Size a Market in Excel

Bryce Roberts (OATV) totally nails it in his post titled You Can Never Size a Market in Excel. The punch line is:

“In every single case that I’ve seen this question (“how big can it get”) persist over more than 2 meetings, it has NEVER been resolved. NEVER.”

There’s plenty of great stuff in the post – go read it.

Remember – Ask the VC reads all of the VC bloggers for you so you only have to read the best posts!

Suster: Avoid Monoculture

Mark Suster (GRP) gets the VC post of the day with his post Avoid Monoculture. Travel. Read Widely. Let Experience be Your CompassIt’s a really great post to read just before the weekend to remind you to make sure you are living your life and constantly exploring new things, rather than just being heads down on whatever you are working on. I’ve spent much of the summer in Europe (in Paris and Tuscany) “just living” – which includes plenty of work, but a completely change of context for how I live my every day life. I’ll write a lot more about this on Feld Thoughts after I get back to Boulder, but in the mean time much of what Mark said rang true to me as I read it, especially:

“Challenge conventional wisdom. Fight monoculture. Question authority. Take lots of inputs but then let your internal compass set your course. If “all the cool kids are doing it” make sure you have strong internal logic for why you’re going to follow them. Often it’s not the best course.”

Bryce Roberts (OATV) gets runner up with his post There Is No i In Apple. It’s a great reminder of the difference between “i” and “we”. The paragraph that nails this is:

“Reading through the many compilation of Jobs’ quotes last night a similar theme emerges. When speaking of personal foibles or lessons learned he uses I and Me. But, when he speaks of the company he founded, was fired from and helped resuscitated to life he speaks in We and Us.”

If you are in the northeast US this weekend, be safe!

Sheehan: Putting Together Your Perfect Seed Round

Today’s VC Post of the day is from Chris Sheehan (Common Angels) titled “Putting Together Your Perfect Seed Round.” Chris and his colleagues are active seed investors in New England (primarily Boston and New York) and have great perspective on the dynamics of the composition of a seed round. Chris has also been very supportive of TechStars (thanks Chris) and he’s very familiar with the financings that have happened for many of the teams. He’s got great advice for any entrepreneur raising a seed round.

Levine: Should The Current Market Environment Change Your Fundraising Strategy?

Today’s VC Post of the Day is from my partner Seth Levine (Foundry Group) and is titled Should the current market environment change your fundraising strategy? I think it’s right on the money and captures / synthesizes much of the valid advice flying around from VCs and pundits about how entrepreneurs should think about fundraising right now. Do yourself a favor – read it slowly and think about it.

The runner up post of the day is from Bryce Roberts (OATV) titled A Year Ago. It’s a heartfelt reflection from Bryce on living in Silicon Valley for a year after uprooting and moving his family from Salt Lake City.

Hower: Your Startup Probably Isn’t A Platform

Today’s VC post of the day is from Lee Hower (NextView Ventures) titled Odds Are, Your Startup Probably Isn’t A Platform. Lee totally nails it in this post and reminds us of two important things.

“Simply having an API doesn’t make your company a platform.  Similarly, simply having a piece of software that gets embedded in other products doesn’t make your company a platform… that just means your product is usefully extensible or perhaps you’re a dev tools business.”

The word “platform” became the overused word of 2010 – I wrote a post titled Your Platform Is Not In My Space where I actually referred to it as the most annoying word of 2010. Eventually words peak and disappear as tech cliches (thankfully the word “space” isn’t used 3,541,947 times a day anymore.) Until then, just know that every time someone calls something that isn’t a platform a “platform,” a puppy pivots somewhere.