A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

The Opening

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

I like to think of investing in new things a bit like a football running play. Imagine you are the running back. You’ve been handed the football and you are looking for a hole to open up and run through. What you really want is some running room beyond the opening.

Betting On The Price Of Carbon

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

My partner Albert shared this article yesterday which suggests that the price of carbon will have to reach $150/ton by 2030 in order to create the conditions for the world to get to zero carbon by 2050.

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The Bad Marriage Problem

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

Over the last 18 months, the early-stage financing market has seen dramatic changes characterized by these three things: A shift from in-person fundraising to virtual fundraising A reduction in financing process timelines from months to weeks A continued increase in the amount of capital available for early stage companies. I believe that for the most part, these changes will be permanent.

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The Globalization Of Venture Capital Investing

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

I’ve written a bunch about the globalization of the startup economy. You can start and build a tech company almost anywhere these days. That has been true for at least the last decade. But until very recently, raising capital for your startup was significantly easier if it was located in the major startup hubs, most notably Silicon Valley. I believe the pandemic changed that equation dramatically and USV’s “deal log” is a great example of that.

Reaching Unreachable Candidates

Speaker: Patrick Dempsey and Andrew Erpelding of ZoomInfo

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How Not To Regulate Innovation

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

The Secretary Of Treasury, in his last month in office, is giving us a textbook case of how not to regulate important technology innovation. The issue is “unhosted wallets” and how regulated exchanges and other “hosted wallets” interact with them.

Funding Friday: Pattern Alphabet cards for exploring nature

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

Longtime AVC reader Alex Wolf has a Kickstarter project that I think is awesome. She has long been working on a “pattern alphabet” to encode the patterns of nature and life. This project turns this alphabet into cards that can be used by kids in school and at home to learn.

Decentralized Media

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

Back in the early 2000s, it was exciting to blog and use social networks to create our own media and move away from the traditional media outlets. That was the pull that got me into blogging and got me investing in Twitter. It was a powerful feeling.

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Short and Sweet

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

This should be obvious to AVC readers but I am a fan of short and sweet. Why take two pages to say something you can say in one page? Why take two paragraphs to say something you can say in one paragraph?

Blinking

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

Back in 2005 Malcolm Gladwell wrote a book called Blink that was about how our subconscious allows us to make fast decisions that are often as good or better than slow considered decisions. I was talking to someone yesterday evening about how the venture capital business has changed over the last decade and I explained that we used to have weeks, if not months, to make our investment decisions and now we have days or if we are lucky a week or two.

Going to Market Smarter in the New Economy

In 2021, as companies continue to move more functions online, employees will take a more virtual -- and flexible -- mindset and lifestyle in parallel to the digitization of businesses. To succeed, you must change the way you conceive and build new products as a digital business. Download the report today to discover more!

Meme Investing

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

I remember when a friend of mine told me five or six years ago that he had bought some Dogecoin. I thought “what is he doing?” ” and dismissed it as something silly and or crazy. Dogecoin was initially introduced in late 2013 and 7 1/2 years later it has amassed a market cap of $43bn and is one of the most popular crypto assets in the world. It may be silly and crazy, but it has also been a good investment for my friend and anyone who bought it in the early years.

Cash on Cash vs IRR

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

The two most used measures of a venture fund’s performance are the “cash on cash” return and the “internal rate of return” (IRR). One measures how much an investor got back divided by how much they put in (cash/cash). The other measures what the effective rate of return is on the investor’s money. You might think these measures go hand in hand, but that is not the case.

Return/Hybrid/Remote

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

With vaccinations topping 90mm doses in the US and upwards of 75mm doses likely to be injected into arms in the US in March, many companies are starting to think about what a return to the office might look like this summer and fall. I read two great posts this weekend talking about what this all means for knowledge workers and the companies that employ them: Imagine Your Flexible Office Work Future – Anne Helen Petersen. We’re Never Going Back – Packy McCormick.

Telegraphing

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

I recall when my partner Brad and I were raising our first USV fund, back in 2003, and potential investors wondered about my blogging habit. They asked if I was making a mistake telegraphing our investment thesis for everyone to see, including our “competitors.” ” We strongly defended the practice and explained that the benefits of telling the world what we were looking to invest in, and why, strongly outweighed any costs.

The Forrester Wave™: B2B Marketing Data Providers, Q2 2021

In our 24-criterion evaluation of B2B marketing data providers, we identified the 11 most significant vendors — Data Axle, Dun & Bradstreet, Enlyft, Global Database, InsideView, Leadspace, Oracle, SMARTe, Spiceworks Ziff Davis, TechTarget, and ZoomInfo Technologies — and researched, analyzed, and scored them. This report shows how each provider measures up and helps B2B marketing professionals select the right one for their needs.

Computer Science Is For Everyone

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

Many/most of you know that a lot of my philanthropic time and energy is dedicated to making sure that all K12 students, but particularly young women and students of color, have access to a high quality computer science education.

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What Is Going To Happen In 2021

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

Hi Everyone. Happy 2021. Today, as is my custom on the first day of the new year, I am going to take a stab at what the year ahead will bring. I find it useful to think about what we are in for. It helps me invest and advise the companies we are invested in. Like our investing, I will get some of these right and some wrong. But having a point of view is very helpful when operating in a world that is full of uncertainty. Let’s start with the elephant in the room.

Sticking With The Plan

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

Managing a business is about having a plan, sticking with it, and not panicking or looking for hail mary passes. There are no silver bullets or shortcuts to success in life. You need to have a five to ten-year plan and you need to stick with it and execute against it day after day, week after week, year after year. I was reminded of this watching my NY Knicks navigate the off-season after making the playoffs for the first time in eight years.

The De-Carbonization Of The Economy

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

Over the last decade, the Gotham Gal and I have moved away from oil and gas in our homes and have installed solar panels for electricity and heat pumps for heating and cooling. It has gotten less expensive to do this swap out as solar and heat pump costs have come down.

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4 AI Hacks to Make Sales Teams More Efficient

Over the last two years, there’s been a 76 percent increase in AI adoption across sales organizations. For sales teams, AI opens up a world of new possibilities, including automating outreach, identifying best-fit buyers, and keeping CRMs flush with fresh data. Read on to learn the four AI hacks sales teams need to improve their performance. Download the eBook today!

Stablecoins vs CBDCs

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

I have written about stablecoins in the past. I think they are a very important part of the crypto asset landscape. Two of the top ten crypto assets by market cap are stablecoins, Tether ($62bn) and USDC ($27bn). You don’t buy these assets to generate gains because they are price stabilized. You hold them like cash, to be able to move in and out of trades, purchase things, etc.

Funding Friday: Ethereum: The Infinite Garden

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

ETHEREUM: THE INFINITE GARDEN is a “feature-length documentary film that explores the innovative real-world applications of the Ethereum blockchain, the die-hard community of enthusiasts and developers, and its creator, Vitalik Buterin, whose vision for the internet has the potential to change the world.”

Splitting Ownership and Display/Consumption

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

I wrote about NFTs last week and said this in that post: But when a party emerges online that anyone is invited to attend and the 500 person group picks up a punk with a party hat and they all change their social network avatar to this, well that got my attention. link]. Fractional/collective ownership is something we have been interested in at USV for a while. It fits well with our thesis about expanding access.

Educating Electeds

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

A number of members of Congress sent a letter to the Office of Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) on Tuesday. I have embedded it below but readers via email may need to click here to read it. Letter to the OCC on Fintec… by CoinDesk. These elected officials are correct that way too many people in the US are unbanked or underbanked.

How to Overcome the Pain Points of Your CRM

CRM software is a powerful tool when used correctly, yet another obstacle to a sales team’s efficiency when it’s not. Leveraging research and commentary from industry analysts, this eBook explores how your sales team can get back valuable time by overcoming some pain points with your CRM, such as low adoption rates, integrations, and data quality.

Science To The Rescue

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

It would be easy to get depressed reading the morning news. Climate change is happening more quickly. The Covid pandemic shows no signs of abating. And there are all sorts of other things that are challenging our way of life. But on days like today, I find it helpful to remember that science and technology helps us address these challenges. We understand the carbon cycle and how far it is out of equilibrium. We also have many of the technologies we need to bring it back to equilibrium.

A Failing Grade

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

I wrote yesterday , about the quarterly numbers for VC investing activity: If this was a student coming home with a report card, it would be straight As.

The Vision Thing

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

A well-known entrepreneur turned VC, who will go unnamed because I am not sure he would want me to share this conversation publicly, once told me “if you remove a founder, you must sell the company within a couple of years or it will start to decline in value.” ” I don’t entirely agree with that and my experience with it has been different, but it brings up an incredibly important topic about leadership.

My 1985 Nike Air Jordan Investment

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

Earlier this week I purchased 1% of a collection of five 1985 Nike Air Jordan sneakers using our portfolio company Otis’ mobile app. I paid $330 for ten shares (out of a total of 1000 shares) implying a value of $33,000 for the five pairs, or roughly $6600 each.

4 Data-Driven Steps To Drive Successful B2B Demand Generation

Fact: Good data lives at the core of every successful B2B demand generation strategy. Without quality data, it’s nearly impossible to identify and segment your target audience and create messaging that speaks to their values and interests. Whether you’re stepping into a new position or you’re new to demand generation, learning the tricks of the trade can be, well, tricky. In this eBook, you’ll discover how to improve your demand generation program—and your bottom line.

Analog Summer

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

It is officially summer now and with adult vaccination rates passing 70% in many parts of the US, people are out and about. I’ve heard the term “analog summer” used to describe this moment. If the past 15 months have been a digital lockdown, then the next three months are going to mark a return to analog activities; beaches, parks, concerts, bars, restaurants, nightlife, etc, etc.

Rapid Innovation

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

When people ask me why I prefer to invest in software-based innovation vs other important areas like biotech, hardware, energy, etc, I always point to the speed at which software can be built, released, and iterated on. This is a personal comfort thing for me. I am not saying that these other areas are not important. They are. Society needs innovation in areas outside of software. And there are fantastic returns to be had to those who are prepared to take on those risks.

In-Person vs On-Screen

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

Last week I spent three hours with my six partners in a conference room talking through what we are investing in and why. It was a terrific session and I had more “ahas” in those three hours than I have had in many many months. There really is no substitute for sitting together with your colleagues working things out face to face. This week our team met with a founder in Singapore via Zoom. It was midnight in Singapore and noon in NYC.

Innovation In Capital Markets

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

A few years ago, maybe in 2016, we held a discussion of blockchain and crypto technologies at the annual meeting of our limited partners. I recall someone in the audience suggesting that the NYSE and Nasdaq could rebuild their markets on top of these technologies. I replied that I thought it was more likely that new markets built on blockchains and existing for crypto assets would emerge to compete with them.

The Modern Customer Success Playbook

The evolution of every high-functioning, effective customer success strategy centers around three C’s: connected experiences, an engaging customer journey, and a culture built on customer-centricity. Satisfaction won’t cut it. Quarterbacking your customers to long-term success and growth is proven to combat churn and transform customer success teams into revenue-drivers. But where do you start? Download the playbook today!

From The Lab To Your Home

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

My family has a history of irregular heartbeats, from PVCs to AFIBs. So when I saw my cardiologist recently, I asked him how I could track my beats. I have worn a Holter Monitor a few times and did not want to do that again unless it was absolutely necessary. He pointed me to this Kardia Mobile device which I purchased on Amazon a few weeks ago. This Kardia Mobile 6L device is remarkable.

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