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You raise many valid points.
I believe that "mid" stage firms can thrive by developing their abilities to create combinations from failed startup technologies. This will require a more technology-focused/savvy VC, but great companies have been formed by the combination of existing technologies found in the trash heap of failure.
2 months ago on VCs, Sears, and the disappearing middle market
An interesting aspect of this business model is whether the portals and angels will be able to be profitable with a "carry"-based environment.
That assumes enough successful outcomes to compensate for the investment and time opportunity costs.
2 months, 2 weeks ago on Fred Wilson’s predictions for AngelList come true
Crowdfunding/crowd investing/crowd capital is definitely a new and viable option for startup capital formation and VentureDeal has supported in.
My take is that it really won't disintermediate traditional VC very much. VCs are in the business of detecting and investing in the next huge, game-changing, disruptive company. Frequently, when really disruptive companies go out for initial investment, a typical investor, even many VCs, will scratch their head and fail to "get it", fail to understand how the company could possibly succeed. But the visionary VC is willing to make a bet on it.
A perfect example is Twitter. When it launched, the vast majority of the population, even techies, could not understand why they would care to know about what their friends had for lunch. So, in my opinion Twitter would not have been successfuly crowdfunded, since the typical crowdfund investor would not have been able to understand the business model or the utility and potential value proposition of it.
Ironically, Fred Wilson invested in Twitter at the very earliest stage. He is a perfect example of a VC who is capable of making a bet on something that other people don't understand.
I do think, however, that crowdfunding will be very good at funding "fast follower" type companies. These "me too" companies will be able to receive funding from a typical small crowdfund investor, because they will presumably have a reference point in which to make a judgment on writing that check.
I also believe that the ultimate question over time for crowdfunding portals will be about the supply of money - investment return performance that attracts repeat investors to the concept. Will any of the crowdfunding portals share their aggregate investment financial results? I'm not talking about how much money was raised by startups, but how much money was RETURNED TO INVESTORS.
Show me a crowdfunding portal that publicizes that its INVESTORS prosper and I'll show you a sustainable portal.
5 months ago on How the sharing economy will kill mediocre VCs
I would add that most startup founders/early CEOs are fairly limited in displaying the finer points of corporate communications. The informal nature of disruptive startups reinforces and contributes to this casual environment. Mistakes will be made, feelings a little bruised. If you can't stand the heat...
5 months, 2 weeks ago on Stop pretending it’s all a party: The social contract of working at a startup
Agree with the general thrust of the piece, we should avoid the vapid cliche spinners.
Being an entrepreneur is about "undertaking" something difficult and I don't begrudge weary souls from seeking shelter with like-minded folk from time to time.
It's just the "sermon" that wasn't worthy of the faithful.
9 months ago on The fake church of entrepreneurship
With Wall Street/big finance disgraced, media needs to create a new "hero" for the American zeitgeist.
It has all the elements - the hero's quest of building something from nothing, rags to riches success as a beacon for the masses, pursuing the "progress" of making the world a better place through technology - the futuristic promise of a better life.
9 months, 1 week ago on Does anybody care about non-entrepreneurs?
The consumer sure seems to win - lower prices (even after dynamically changing them throughout the day), great selection, incredible convenience. Amazon is awesome.
10 months, 2 weeks ago on Jesus, Amazon, does the land grab ever end?
To FB, Graph Search is all about a-d-v-e-r-t-i-s-i-n-g...
10 months, 3 weeks ago on What Graph Search tells us: Facebook’s true power lies in connections, not social
It's so easy to start a consumer startup now: the friction that used to be there in terms of getting financing, launching online and having the initial resources is now much lower due to the wider availability of angel stage funding, metered cloud services, social media leverage and accelerators/incubators everywhere.As a result, the space has received over-investment along with too much "me too" technology development.But, this will probably result in a few of the smartest entrepreneurs combining pieces of these technologies with their own in order to create the next great innovation.
11 months, 1 week ago on Why Silicon Valley innovation has stalled
I'd be curious to learn whether SF empties out during the holidays (I suspect it does). With so many young people living there, it may see a net drop in souls within the city limits, as young folks leave town to visit family elsewhere.
11 months, 2 weeks ago on San Francisco: On Christmas, the mobile town that wasn’t
As The Economist has highlighted recently, the critical issue is whether a developing nation "gets rich before it gets old". According to their statisticians, China will not do so, partially due to their 1-child policy. India is a great question mark as well, since their rigid, bureaucratic structures continue to thwart badly needed reforms.However, the United States continues to enjoy a youthful influx of immigrants, and thus an ever-rejuvenating source of talent, creativity and wealth.Western Europe is indeed graying and has the additional burden of the Euro zone financial problems to work out, when they should be focused on competing harder on the world stage. They are definitely at risk of being the major loser in the decades ahead.
11 months, 3 weeks ago on As Western Europe grays, the money in emerging markets’ digital populations are leapfrogging it
On a successful Disney channel kid show (I have an 8 year-old), the lyric to the theme song goes like this: "I am, you are, we are, exceptional, exceptional."
How can everyone be "exceptional"?
Not to pick on Disney - they all do it - this is just Disney's version of an entertainment sugar fix, meant to give kids the feeling they're "exceptional", if they watch the show.
1 year ago on What you believe is irrelevant
If they don't want to go public, then get out of the kitchen, to mix a metaphor.
Can institutional VC make their "top-quartile" numbers on M&A? Duh, no.
"It is terrible. Everyone I know who is running a public company is not having a good time." Oh, the horror!
Running a public company is about "having a good time"?
1 year ago on Mercenaries in the midst: The lesson from Facebook and Zynga’s IPOs
Since the dot com boom of the late 90's, venture became an official "asset class" hard coded into the investment allocation matrix of LPs. Few of those LPs want to admit their error. They also hope that venture will return to trend - anything to help offset the dismal returns of their other portfolios.
1 year ago on That venture capital shakeout is still taking way too long
Physical stores can succeed by offering something that a generic Wal-Mart cannot: a more memorable and unique "experience". You can't beat Wal-Mart or Amazon on price, selection or convenience, but you can beat them on making shopping something different.
1 year, 1 month ago on More than just a place to buy things
The key ingredient you didn't emphasize is hiring "A" level management. A great manager can marshal resources to motivate, educate and enforce standards so that the team achieves more together than they would each operating individually.
1 year, 1 month ago on We all talk about recruiting “A Players,” but that’s not how the Valley actually works
@Todd Dunning Jackson's beliefs are called "identity politics" and they lead to the worst kind of politics.
1 year, 2 months ago on Samuel L Jackson’s Patronizing, Hypocritical Viral Message To Obama Voters
Homo Sapiens no doubt successfully evolved in part due to our ability to adapt to new situations, opportunities, threats, etc. One of the most powerful attractive words is "New", simply because it triggers the idea of potential benefit or advancement.
1 year, 2 months ago on Lost in a Haze of Distraction
I guess by the standards of "raising money", the US Federal Govt. would be the gold standard:
9/4/2012 USA debt = $16,000,000,000,000
1 year, 3 months ago on The Ecosystem Of Hype
We've been testing promoted account ads on Twitter and have been *very* pleased with the relevancy and quality of new followers. Twitter seems to be doing a pretty good job on their targeting algorithms...
1 year, 3 months ago on Will Twitter’s Uncanny Luck Ever Run Out?