Today’s post of the day is from Mark MacLeod (Real Ventures) titled The Model Board Package. Mark shares my intense frustration with the structure of most board meetings and offers up some great suggestions along with a solid template for a board presentation. As some of you may know, I’m working on a book on Startup Boards with Mahendra Ramsinghani - if this is a topic that is interesting to you do us a favor and fill out our survey on startup boards.
Posts Tagged ‘vc post of the day’
Fred Wilson (USV) has today’s VC Post of the day titled Herky Jerky Investing. In it he refers to a WSJ article where several very prominent VCs have recently said they are backing off investing at frothy valuations and now going and looking off the beaten path.
Fred – as usual – has very a very focused reaction to this:
“I am not a fan of this start and stop style of investing. Nobody can time markets. You can’t deliver great returns to your investors by being a momentum investor during some periods and a value investor in others.
I believe the only way to be a top performing investor in any asset class is to have a disciplined investment strategy and approach and apply it consistently and actively in all markets all the time.”
I (Brad) strongly agree and weighed in with my own comment with a cynical view:
“I had the same reaction to the WSJ article. Actually, I had a stronger reaction: “what a load of bullshit – why does the WSJ publish stuff like this and why do VCs say things like this?”
The only thing I could come up with is that it’s actually a head fake from the people saying it with the goal of getting some of their fast followers – VCs who are investing with them, competing with them on “hot deals”, and driving prices up to “slow down and blink” so there’s less competition.”
The comment thread on Fred’s post is very interesting – I encourage you to go take a look and form your own opinion.
There’s a beautiful post up today by Charlie O’Donnell (First Round) titled The Race is Long. It starts out:
“Jordan Williamson, the Stanford kicker who missed three field goals in the Fiesta Bowl, will wake up today and feel like crap. Tomorrow, he’ll wake up and still feel like crap, but a little less… and a little less the day after that, and less the day after that.
His Stanford e-mail is undoubtedly filled with two things… love and hate. If there ever was a moment in someone’s life where you get to find out who your real friends are, this will be it.”
As we start a new year, Charlie riffs nicely on important lessons that come out of a failure. Powerful stuff – and a great way to start the day.
Brooks describes the Haimish line through a description “I know only one word to describe what the simpler camps had and the more luxurious camps lacked: haimish. It’s a Yiddish word that suggests warmth, domesticity and unpretentious conviviality. It occurred to me that when we moved from a simple camp to a more luxurious camp, we crossed an invisible Haimish Line. The simpler camps had it, the more comfortable ones did not.”
I spend a lot of time on both sides of the Haimish line and – as Mark says – much prefer being on the same side that Brooks describes as “the simpler camps.” Mark gives a ton of examples of how he does this as a VC, including going to SxSW, visiting companies at their offices (rather than having them come to him), participating in TechStars, having dinner with entrepreneurs, and his accelerator LaunchPad LA.
This philosophy is at the core of my passion for Startup Communities. It’s also part of the beauty of the Startup Community in Boulder.
Mark – stay haimish!
Oopsie – we forgot to do the “best VC post of the day” for the last month or two. You might have thought there weren’t any great VC posts, but you’d be wrong. We were just being lazy. As with all good things that start up again on January 1st, we’ll try to get back in the “best VC post of the day” groove.
There weren’t many on 1/1/12 so Firas Raouf’s (Openview) titled What Made Alex Ferguson a Great Manager stood out amidst the silence of the morning of the new year. I didn’t know who Alex Ferguson was until I read the post; he’s the “manager” (CEO) of Manchester United and has been since 1986. Firas summarizes Ferguson’s management principles, as they apply to a CEO of an early stage company.
- Identify yourself with your company brand
- Cultivate every interest group in your company
- Gather information everywhere
- Seek total control, but recognize when you cannot have it
- Don’t let others cause you stress
- Remember that crises blow over
- Always be unsatisfied
Go read What Made Alex Ferguson a Great Manager to get the bullet points for what’s behind this post. Happy new year Firas!
Today’s post of the day is from my partner Seth Levine (Foundry Group) and is titled Trends in M&A Deal Terms. Seth has been involved in several significant acquisitions recently, including Google’s acquisition of AdMeld and Federated Media’s acquisition of Lijit, so he’s been deep in the contemporary negotiating dynamics. He also includes a great link to an M&A deal terms report from Shareholder Representative Services.
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.
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.
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.
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 Financing. It’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.