“Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last?”

It's been an extraordinary few days in Silicon Valley — a high-profile VC firm has been “blasted off the earth” and the industry is reacting in unusually visible ways.

The reactions have varied from the half-assed apology to the pre-emptive apology to the we-took-care-of-it apology to the high-minded-appeal-to-principles apology to the apology-of-the-day apology, from prominent VC firms (Lightspeed, Lowercase, 500Startups, Greylock and Binary respectively). Sadly all immediately put one in mind of Captain Renault in *Casablanca*.

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Raising The Next Round: Five Reasons Not To Think About It Until You Have To

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.

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The Three Roles Of A Venture Capitalist

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.

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Interviewing for Penn

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.

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My Best Books of 2016

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”.

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The Networked Episteme

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.

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