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Michael, you know I am a big fan of yours and most of what you write, but your assessment of @Ryan Swag'ar and @Brandon Zeuner's strategy as being a long shot is off. (disclosure: They are friends and investors).
"Venture51 is essentially planning on hitting multiple inside the park homeruns, an exceptionally rare event that early on resembles a double or triple, but which typically requires that a few lucky bounces go its way before the player touches home plate."
Knowing them since before they raised their first fund, and watching first hand their entrepreneurial approach to venture, their decision to sit between the seed and A round is solid. The shift in the venture industry is that the Series A has become more like a traditional B (need for significant traction; an acceleration round) vs. simple indicators of potential success. Based on this reality, sitting in a (call it) Seed+ position is akin to being a Series A investor a few years back.
Now, V51 can invest in rounds that are not overly overpriced (probably more realistic) given the need for traction and time, and they aren't investing in pure potential of success.
Other firms, such as Bullpen Capital, have taken somewhat similar approaches, and have found some success with the strategy.
The "Series A Crunch" is not a new or surprising development. The dirth of seed investors and companies creates a real need for a clear metric to determine long-term viability of early stage (usually) first-time founder companies. This KPI often takes time to achieve. Given startups always have a small amount of time, many will die either because they couldn't achieve a positive high growth KPI, or because they just ran out of funding(time).
V51 is taking advantage of this reality by (hopefully) picking companies that just need more time to be successful.
Makes sense to me.
1 year, 4 months ago on For Venture51, the early stage investing opportunity is all about the “traction gap”
I live the sentiment in this post. And thats not a typo.
2 years ago on Sure, being in a tech hub matters, but there’s scant benefit to being the poster-child
Paul - 100% not being sarcastic when I say, please send me more fucking email. Seriously. A weekly top stories email would be rad.
2 years, 1 month ago on On Monday I thought email was dead. On Monday I was an idiot
@Pv 1) I am saying being an entrepreneur is genetic. 2) skills can be taught, but not the fundamentals of being an entrepreneur. Its like athletic talent, we all have some, but some optimize that talent into a phenomenal skill set. 3) the definition has never changed. It is still and always will be someone who starts an enterprise.
2 years, 4 months ago on How Do You Identify a Jedi Knight?
@Pv Makers are a type of entrepreneur, and yes, companies like DYI are showing that age is not a direct connect to the ability. (Meaning its innate, not a teachable skill) But there are also "Thinker" entrepreneurs that operate more like academics, spending time understanding problem sets and usecases. Its one of the reasons that the most powerful team is one of a Maker and a Thinker.
@daan_kinderfee there are two interesting components to your comment: entrepreneurs = humans like everyone else. Yes, that its relatively true in terms of general human characteristics (excluding physical). Entrepreneurship is just like life. Entrepreneurship is something that is practiced by entrepreneurs, and to a lesser extent most people. I would argue that entrepreneurs are inherent experts at entrepreneurship, which can be defined as a loose set of skills, at a level that normal humans cannot obtain.
Therefore a specialized school to help optimize the natural talents of entrepreneurs could in fact be an amazing boon to the positive effect entrepreneurs have on the world, and more generally, life.
oh you think your text-based books are bad? Imagine pushing a 20-200 page graphic-heavy children's book or graphic novel. its one of the things we have focused on at Graphicly. How to minimize fees and optimize revenue for publishers.
And yes, this is a totally self-serving comment. BUT -- its a real issue for those that are developing content that is not text-based.
2 years, 5 months ago on Amazon Charges “Gigantic” Data Fees To Authors, Whiny Bitches Report
Beyond the fact that I respect Ben immensely and consider him a close friend; he was never the fucking healer.
2 years, 6 months ago on “Silicon Valley” May Be a Train Wreck, But Bravo Gets It Right with Ben Huh
Congrats @scottbelsky and team! Amazing news for an amazing company. With this group of investors, your positive effect on the creative space will only accelerate.
2 years, 6 months ago on Behance Goes from Bootstrapped to VC-Backed with $6.5 Million Funding
Amazing news Nikhil! Its been awesome watching your company grow over the past few years!
2 years, 6 months ago on Adaptly’s $10.5 Million Round Will Buy the Social Marketing Platform a Sales Force
Dan has a deep understanding of the importance of support that comes only with the experience of building companies. He took his belief, and like a great entrepreneur, made it into a company. The great thing about Clarity is that now when I tell a founder to call me anytime, they can. Wait. That's a good thing? :)
2 years, 6 months ago on Mark Cuban Will Now Take Your Call (For $10k an Hour)