Tim O'Reilly recently wrote a great essay on the virtues of not raising external capital. It led me to reflect on one aspect of having outside investors that can feel like a gigantic chore -- reporting. This is irrelevant if, like Tim (or Craig Newmark), you haven't raised external capital. But if you have, these five guidelines might be worth considering:
Because I do so much long haul travel, I feel somewhat qualified to opine on the United-Dao saga. The current narrative misses two key things. The far more important one is the fact that the TSA was handed sweeping authority over travel in the post 9/11 dispensation.
Over the years I've had hundreds of conversations with CEOs about "the next round". This usually takes the form of a question: "What metrics do I need to hit to raise the next round?" In itself the question is rational; what is troublesome is when the question is asked right after a round has been raised, and when business decisions are made based on a theoretical future raise.Here are five concrete reasons to spend little time thinking about the next round in the context of building your business.
Earlier this week I took the GRE. I'm middle aged, not going to grad school (well, not any time soon), this is an extraordinarily busy time for me, it's several hours in the middle of the work day, so how did this make any sense? Three reasons (which may still not add up to much sense):
I've been reflecting recently on how the VC-founder relationship evolves with time. As I see it, a VC's job falls into three buckets: 1. Cheerleading; 2. Helping to solve problems ("adding value"); and 3. Holding management accountable. The mix between these changes as companies grow. At the seed stage it's mostly buckets 1 and 2; at the Series A stage it's more of bucket 2, some bucket 3, and a fair dose of bucket 1; and at the Series B stage and beyond, it mostly bucket 2 and 3 with a bit of bucket 1.
Every year, at about this time, I and over 10,000 of my fellow alumni interview applicants to Penn. Penn seeks to offer alumni interviews to all of its undergraduate applicants -- this year, that number is over 40,000. It's a major logistical exercise, and works only because Penn is committed to it and because alumni freely volunteer their time.
Here’s the best of what I read in 2016. All, to varying degrees, enlightening, entertaining and infuriating. It was tough to winnow down to a short list — this was a decent reading year.
I offer a line or two of commentary on, and a quote from, each work. The titles link to the Amazon Kindle page for the book. Page numbers are provided for the quotes if available and Kindle locations if not..
P.S. The answer to one obvious question is “on far too many long haul flights”.
The nature of human communication — that which makes us an animal unlike any other species — is now at a remarkable juncture. The revolution that started with the telegraph (the first innovation that allowed for communication faster than the velocity of animal power) has accelerated to the point where human society is being radically transformed. The world we know is ending; it is being made anew.
In the fall of 1995 I cold called Jeff Bezos. I was an associate at General Atlantic, a growth-stage investor in software companies. I was the first VC to call him; he took the call and we got along well immediately, in part because I’d found my way to him after purchasing this weird and compelling book on the Amazon web site.