11 Business Buzzwords We Used in 2015

Entrepreneurs' Organization

Which business buzzwords from 2015 did we miss? The post 11 Business Buzzwords We Used in 2015 appeared first on THE BLOG. Company Culture general PR/MARKETING Technology #EOlooksback 2015 buzzwords language

Five Ways We Stayed Motivated in 2015

Entrepreneurs' Organization

Here are the top five ways we stayed motivated in 2015: Thanks to our newly-remodeled office space, we have access to white boards, furnished meeting spots and an innovation lounge, which we use to hold frequent group meetings.

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EODC 2015: Looking Back and Feeling Grateful

Entrepreneurs' Organization

The post EODC 2015: Looking Back and Feeling Grateful appeared first on THE BLOG.

21 Facts and Statistics from 2015 Research Reports

Entrepreneurs' Organization

Here are 21 noteworthy facts and statistics from this year: Statistics from “ 2015 Kauffman Index of Startup Activity, National Trends “: 1. Most new entrepreneurs in 2015 were male, making up 63.2%

Our Top Three Most Engaging Stories of 2015

Entrepreneurs' Organization

Here were the top three most engaging stories in 2015: 1. “The World’s Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs of 2015” by Emily Inverso, published on Forbes.com. The post Our Top Three Most Engaging Stories of 2015 appeared first on THE BLOG.

Bill DeBlasio's Uber targeting is in danger of making NYC a tech joke

This is going to be BIG.

Mayor Bill DeBlasio is on the verge of making NYC one of the most unfriendly cities in the world for technology companies to operate. It first started with Airbnb, which got caught in a crackdown aimed at people who turn "affordable" residential housing into full time hotel space. Don't concern yourself with the fact that Airbnb is simply an outgrowth of the lack of affordable housing--where no one would ever bother renting out their place if they didn't have to struggle to afford to live here.

Why @UpfrontVC invested in Disruptive Rental Car Startup @Skurt

Both Sides of the Table

Rental cars. I have never met a person who loved their rental car company or the experience of turning up at an airport, waiting in line, paying a huge fee and then dealing with returns, airport shuttle buses and so forth not to mention half-washed and smelly cars. I think the closest parallel I have is the feeling I had for taxi cabs (inconvenient, smelly, expensive) before Uber. The rental car companies have a million scams to get more money out of you – mostly notably the gasoline scam.

Why We Invested in @FerrisApp – A New Kind of Video Sharing App

Both Sides of the Table

Imagine if your friends could all contribute the Burning Man 2015 album and create a group story. Mark Suster (@msuster) April 23, 2015. We recently released the video sharing app Ferris and announced that Upfront Ventures led the funding in the company in our seed round of $2 million and I personally joined the board. We hit the top spot recommended on Apple’s iOS App Store on the day of the launch, which is a testament to the team and all of their hard work.

What To Do When Your Competitor Gets Funded?

Both Sides of the Table

This morning Clutter.io announced they raised $9 million from Sequoia , arguably the best venture capital firm that exists. Congratulations. Sincerely. Conventional wisdom says I shouldn’t tell you this because I invested in their main competitor, MakeSpace. I know my MakeSpace friends will forgive me because I just don’t believe the conventional wisdom is right. And it’s part of what can go wrong in startup land.

An Investment Fund for NYC Foodies

This is going to be BIG.

I don't remember whether it was over a meal at Good Fork , Rucola , Martha , or maybe over an Ample Hills ice cream cone, but I've definitely said the words "Wouldn't it be cool if you could setup a way to invest in the growth of the food and beverage scene in Brooklyn--like, the whole thing. Maybe like a fund." Well, my friend Tom Potter, who I know as a fellow kayaker, but who is much better known as the co-founder of Brooklyn Brewery, is making that happen.

Why I F **g Hate Unicorns and the Culture They Breed

Both Sides of the Table

Something is rotten in tech startup land. Don’t call me a hater for saying so. It’s not that I’m anti innovation or a disbeliever in disruption or calling it a full-scale bubble or saying every darling startup is going to fail. None of those. Still. Somebody posted too many party fliers. The uninvited crowds have all turned up.

Six Reasons Not to Invest in a Venture Capital Fund

This is going to be BIG.

I recently met up with an investor who I'm not totally sure is a fit for my second fund , so it was important to me that I was upfront about all the reasons why he shouldn't come in. The last thing you want as either a founder or even a VC is to have an investor get stuck with you when you're not on the same page about expectations. So here's all the reasons I told him he shouldn't be in: 1) Fund investing is boring. Let's be clear.

Questions from Hunter #MondayMailbag

This is going to be BIG.

I''ve known Hunter Walk for almost a decade. He found me through my blog and I didn''t think he was real. Hunter Walk can''t be any blog commenters real name, can it? Turns out that not only is he real, but he''s one of the most genuine, thoughtful, and egoless people I''ve met in the startup world--a real breath of fresh air. I look forward to connecting with him when he''s in NYC and when I head out his way.

What I’ve Learned About Venture Funding

Both Sides of the Table

VC funding. Our perspectives on the topic wax and wane with market cycles. We love capital efficiency until we love land grabs until we abhor over funding until we get huge payouts and ring the bell for more funding until we attract every non-VC on the planet to invest in startups until it crashes and we start the cycle all over again none the wiser. Amnesia sets in and we get back on the merry-go-round. I saw this great image on Twitter courtesy of Simon Wardley , CC3.0 by SA. blog here ).

What Everyone Should Take Away from Twitter’s 8% Staff Reductions

Both Sides of the Table

Today Twitter announced it had laid off around 336 jobs or 8% of its workforce. Nobody should celebrate, cheer or shout, “it’s about time.” ” This is about 336 people whose lives are altered and need to begin looking for work, saying goodbye to friends & colleagues and go on that journey of transition that most people dread.

My Investment in Hungryroot: A Tasty Lesson in Products vs. Services

This is going to be BIG.

Brooklyn Bridge Ventures recently joined Lerer Hippeau Ventures, Crosslink Capital, and KarpReilly in Hungryroot 's $2mm seed round. The NYC based company makes ready-to-cook meals comprised of 100% organic, fresh-cut vegetable noodles paired with all-natural chef-designed sauces, toppings and optional pre-roasted proteins--and they're delicious. The food has become a staple of my diet, which wasn't the case after trying various food delivery services out on the market.

The Fantastical, Stupendous, Wonkariffic Tale of How Ample Hills Creamery Raised a $4 Million Venture Capital Round

This is going to be BIG.

At least, that would be the title if somebody made a kids movie out of it. It just seemed like a fitting title for a company built around narrative by a founder who used to write stories for a living. It's a story that just hit a milestone--a $4mm round of venture funding that I'm ecstatic to say Brooklyn Bridge Ventures just led.

The Coming Zombie Startup Apocalypse

This is going to be BIG.

Are we in a bubble? And if so, when will it burst? Everyone likes to debate it, and statistically, almost no one gets it right. Not only is it notoriously difficult to time the market, but even if you did, you''d miss out on individual winners. Sam Altman of YC recently pointed out that pulling back during the downturn in 2008 would result in several big misses: In October of 2008, Sequoia Capital—arguably the best-ever in the business—gave the famous “RIP Good Times” presentation (I was there).

Here Are the Details About Upfront Ventures’ Newest EIR – @Chamillionaire

Both Sides of the Table

Five-and-a-half years ago I first met Chamillionaire at a tech conference in LA. I saw him on stage at the event talking about how he used social media to engage audiences. This was 2009 and his understanding of audience engagement was far beyond anything I was hearing from most people at that time. I reached out after the event to learn more. We started hanging out a bit and discussing technology and entrepreneurship.

Survivors

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Failure. It smells. People are afraid of it. It’s like cancer. When you have it you find you who your true friends are because they’re the ones who double down on helping, on being available, on listening, on understanding. Most people run from failure or disease because they’re hard to handle. Hard to know how to deal with.

Tips for Investing in Startups if You're a Celebrity

This is going to be BIG.

I've wanted to write this post for a while, but now that my friend Beth has joined WME, feels like the perfect time to do it. I don't really know many celebrities. If I threw a dinner party in NYC, I think I could get Morgan Spurlock, Gabrielle Corcos & Debi Mazar, Carmelo Anthony, and maybe former Met pitcher Glendon Rusch if he happened to be in NYC as we're randomly Twitter friends. I met Brooke Shields a few times at the Union Square Hyatt where she was holed away writing her recent book.

Founders from MIT With a Plan to Change How We Grow and Eat Food

Both Sides of the Table

In our industry we always talk about funding big ideas or funding things with more meaning. It’s something Yves Sisteron & I have been talking about for years at Upfront Ventures. Today we’re proud to talk more about Grove Labs – we really hope you’ll quickly check out this innovative product and we think many of you will be as impressed with Grove as we have been.

Excited to be the Least Stylish Investor in the Most Stylish Company: Backing Bradford and Bezar

This is going to be BIG.

To date, I''ve backed three fashion related companies--Refinery29, chloe + isabel, and Ringly--and now I have the pleasure of joining the syndicate of investors in Bradford Shellhammer ''s new company, Bezar. Could I a less likely candidate for such a portfolio? :). Bezar is where you find people who design the kinds of things that I see in other people''s apartments and stop to pick up, inspect, wonder at and think, "That''s awesome. I would have never thought of adding that to this place.".

Some Thoughts on Twitter as a Micro-Blogging Tool

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Mark Suster (@msuster) May 29, 2015. Mark Suster (@msuster) May 29, 2015. Mark Suster (@msuster) May 29, 2015. Mark Suster (@msuster) May 29, 2015. Mark Suster (@msuster) May 29, 2015. Mark Suster (@msuster) May 29, 2015. Mark Suster (@msuster) May 29, 2015. Mark Suster (@msuster) May 29, 2015. Mark Suster (@msuster) May 29, 2015. Mark Suster (@msuster) May 29, 2015. Mark Suster (@msuster) May 29, 2015.

When Should You Allow Exclusivity in Deals?

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PR Malloy (@diddly_do_indy) June 13, 2015. I’ve heard many investors and some executives repeat the mantra, “Never offer exclusive deals,” and since this blanket statement is generally bad advice I thought I’d offer the less conventional but I believe more practical version of why exclusive deals can actually be a huge bonus for a startup and why I actively encourage them.

What to Make of Amazon’s Work Practices?

Both Sides of the Table

There is much discussion about this weekend’s article in the NY Times regarding Amazon’s work practices. People seem polarized between, “that’s what it takes to succeed” to “I can’t believe what a heartless, intolerant and misogynistic company culture they’ve built.” ” I’ve heard the gamut from reading opinions online and even hearing the debate in circles of my close friends and family.

Disappointed Billions are the Best Thing Ever

This is going to be BIG.

"Square, the payment technology company founded and led by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, this evening raised $243 million by pricing its initial public offering at $9 per share, which would imply an market value of around $2.9 billion. It is a major disappointment for the San Francisco-based company." Can we just all let that sink in for a second? A "major disappointment". What I wish for every single entrepreneur out there is to be so majorly disappointed in their lives.

Be Someone that People Want to Work With

This is going to be BIG.

I mentioned this in my newsletter yesterday and decided to make a post out of it. People ask me all the time how you find talent, money, etc. My startup Golden Rule is this: Be someone that people want to work with. That's how you get funded. That's how you get hired and how you can hire the best people. It's why you get press and even how to get customers. It's key to getting into venture capital.

Fauxmentum

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__. faux·men·tum. fōˈmen(t)əm,fəˈmen(t)əm/. when a technology startup, its investors or the market believe in robust growth rates writ large. “the ecommerce company gained fauxmentum by raising artificially high amounts of venture capital and spent lavishly on customer acquisition despite long payback periods and questionable LTV” __. We live in heady times.

The Idea Stage is Broken and a Tool to Fix It

This is going to be BIG.

Almost a majority of the time, when I pass on an investment opportunity, there's something wrong with the company that can be traced back to the moment the entrepreneur came up with the idea. I find myself thinking, "You should really be doing something else." People are excited about the idea of starting a company, but don't spend nearly enough time vetting what to work on.

What to Expect When You're Expecting Venture Capital Returns

This is going to be BIG.

One of the first things I did when I joined the venture asset class as a lowly institutional LP analyst in 2001 was to build the VC fund cashflow model. Just about every analyst who looks at fund investing has built one. You incorporate expected company returns, mortality rates, and fee structures to try to predict how a venture capital fund works from a cash in, cash out, and NAV standpoint.

The Nature of Greatness

This is going to be BIG.

I was talking to someone recently about striving and desiring to be great at what you do. That brought up the question of what makes someone truly great at something. We refer to people as "great entrepreneurs" in the startup community all the time--but are they? I've noted for a long time that too many people have untested, hollow reputations based on things like social proof that go untested.

Why Lawsuits Are On the Rise at Startups and What To Do About It

Both Sides of the Table

Because even in 2015 I still see people riffing on ideas and working on business plans, product flows or coding on projects without first forming a company, signing contracts that assign intellectual property to that company and trusting that “friends” would never sue you. *. Lawsuits. I’m so tired of the nature of the legal system in the United States where bullying, intimidation and mobster-like shake-downs are becoming prevalent.

How the Hell do I Prioritize Work, Blog & Find Balance?

Both Sides of the Table

Tuvia Elbaum (@Tuviae) July 14, 2015. Mark Suster (@msuster) July 14, 2015. I noticed this post today from Ezra Galston titled “ Dear Brad, Fred & Mark: How The Hell Do You Do It?

Disrupting the Screen: Backing Tinkergarten to Get Kids Out to Play

This is going to be BIG.

A little more than a year ago, I got a note from Brian Fitzgerald, a Product Manager I met while I was at First Round. He was "taking time with family" to figure out what's next. Most people take that to mean that they'll stop spending as much time with their family and go on to work at another startup or be a founder themselves. Brian, on the other hand, doubled down on family and decided to work on the side project he started with his wife Meg. Brian and Meg are parents of three little girls.

What is The Best Way to Explain Your Startup?

Both Sides of the Table

Here’s a short video we did of our 2015 Upfront Summit : We also shot this one last year to highlight some of our portfolio companies. Anybody who reads the blog regularly will know that I’m long video. I’ve made 5 investments in the sector and I hope to make 5 more. Between the US & Europe alone the video sector is worth around $500 billion. And TV / Film / Video Games / Virtual Reality / Augmented Reality and frankly the Internet will all merge.

Does a VCs Culture Really Matter? The Upfront Story

Both Sides of the Table

I’m often asked about the differences between being at a VC and being an entrepreneur and whether I prefer one or the other. The biggest difference I cite is that Venture Capital often feels like an “individual sport” while startups are a “team sport.”