A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

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A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

The advances in AI over the last year are mind-boggling. I attended a dinner this past week with USV portfolio founders and one who works in education told us that ChatGPT has effectively ended the essay as a way for teachers to assess student progress.

Innovation Indicators

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

Tech:NYC is the industry association for NY’s tech sector. They play a number of important roles and one of them is to educate and inform about the impact of the tech sector in NY. To that end, they launched a valuable resource last month called Innovation Indicators.

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The Buy And Hold Mindset

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

When markets are in turmoil, like they have been for most of this year, I like to have a buy-and-hold mindset when it comes to making new investments. It is hard to know when you’ve reached the bottom and can start buying again, but if you think about a ten or twenty-year hold, then it becomes a bit easier. The Gotham Gal and I buy and build a fair bit of real estate on the side and we generally use a “cap rate” of between 5 and 10 when we acquire and develop real estate.

Taking A Long Term View Of Web3

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

This post was co-written by Katie Haun and Fred Wilson. The events surrounding FTX have shaken the confidence of many. How did one of the largest crypto exchanges collapse so quickly? Why do meltdowns like this seem to keep happening? At times like this, it helps to have a long-term view of web3 as a sector, not just a forward-looking long-term view, but also some perspective on where we have come from.

7 Ways to Supercharge Your ABM Strategy with Real-Time Intent

Streaming real-time intent is a homerun for marketing and sales’ account-based marketing (ABM) strategies—the ultimate competitive advantage. With the help of the fastest, most frictionless way to target strategic accounts with in-the-moment behavioral data, marketers can reach prospects at the very beginning of their buyer’s journey. Even before they’ve engaged with any sales or marketing channels. With real-time buyer insights, you can be first-in-line to provide solutions and lead better, hyper-personalized conversations, helping you prioritize sales outreach with companies that are ready to buy.

How This Ends

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

Back in February of last year, I wrote a blog post with the same title and said this about the asset price bubble we were living in and investing in over the last few years: The big question is how does this end? I believe it ends when the Covid 19 pandemic is over and the global economy recovers.

The Founder Resolve

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

Investing in founder-led businesses is comforting to me. They have the ability to see the forest through the trees and do what is necessary to evolve the business. Two great examples of this are Microsoft in the mid 90s and Facebook a decade ago.

Bridge Loans

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

When fundraising gets tougher for startups, the existing investors (insiders) will often provide a bridge loan to the company to extend the runway for getting another round done. There is more of this sort of thing happening in today’s fundraising market and I thought I’d share some of the things I have learned about setting up bridge loans. First, bridge loans are a bridge to something else. Most commonly they are a bridge to a round of financing with new investors (outsiders).

Seed Rounds At $100mm Post Money

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

We have been seeing quite a few seed rounds getting done in and around $100mm post-money and that concerns me for a few reasons: Seed stage is when a company has a good team, a good idea, but has not yet proven product market fit and a go to market model, and has not yet demonstrated a sustainable business model.

Face To Face

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

As we all prepare for the fall back to school/back to work season, I thought I’d touch on a topic that has been top of mind for me for the last six months. The covid pandemic taught many of us that we can be productive and our companies can succeed in a fully remote work environment. But just because you can does not mean you should. In the venture capital business, this has meant making investments in teams we don’t meet face to face.

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4 Data-Driven Steps To Drive Successful B2B Demand Generation

Entering a new demand gen position in a volatile market is nerve-wracking. All eyes are on you to make an impact — fast. That’s where your data comes in. In demand generation, data is essential for knowing who you should target and how. In this eBook, you’ll learn how to identify and target your ideal prospects — when they’re most receptive to hearing your message — using different types of data.

The Great Formation

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

On Friday, the US jobs report produced a confusing result. From Bloomberg : The jobs report is composed of two surveys — one of employers and the other of households.

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.

NYC’s Tech Resurgence (continued)

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

A few weeks ago, I wrote about NYC’s Tech Resurgence. I observed that NYC continues to develop as one of the world’s leading centers of tech innovation. And then yesterday, I saw this tweet : NYC startups are getting funded at 2/3 the rate of Silicon Valley startups.

The Range Anxiety Weekend

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

Electrified cars were greater than 10% of the US market in 2021 and EVs were about 5%. EV sales are growing at nearly 100% YOY and could reach 25% of the US market in a few years. This is good news for the effort to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.

16 Go-to-Market Plays for Your Entire Sales Funnel

After gathering some of the best go-to-market plays from our own B2B sales and marketing pros, we've package them here for you. Try one of these 16 plays in your next salesflow or as inspiration for your next winning sales engagement strategy.

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.

Valuing a Venture Capital Portfolio

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

Every quarter our firm goes through a process to value our entire portfolio. Those values, on a schedule of investments we publish to our investors every quarter, flow through to our financial statements and capital accounts and establish how much an interest in our partnerships are worth at that time. We have always taken this process very seriously and approach it with a lot of rigor. Every partner is highly engaged with this process.

Changing Public Perception

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

Nuclear power (both fission and fusion) has the potential to provide much of the energy the world needs without the damaging effects of carbon emissions which are warming our planet. And yet nuclear power is politically unpopular in many parts of the world and that has led to a massive underinvestment in nuclear power over the last fifty years. It will take a much different attitude about nuclear power among the public before nuclear power can remerge as a major source of energy for the world.

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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.

The 5 Stages of Account-Based Marketing — and How to Win Them All

Successfully complete the five stages of ABM: define, identify, engage, convert, and connect. We’ll show you how to create a unified system with your sales team to help them land more qualified opportunities and connect with prospects like never before.

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.

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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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.

Competing To Win Deals

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

So I saw this tweet by Semil Shah yesterday: A friend who works in an industry far from tech startups & VC asked what would be the single article I’d share to read on each topic. Here’s what I sent him: 1/ Startup = Growth by PG: [link] 2/ Competing To Win Deals by Fred Wilson: [link] pic.twitter.com/q7GG2k7UAX — Semil (@semil) March 27, 2022. So I clicked on the link to my Competing To Win Deals post, which I wrote in 2010, and read it.

The Ultimate Guide to Executive Recruiting

Sourcing the right executive candidates and filling key managerial roles in an organization can be difficult, even in the best of times. Download this eBook to level up your discovery process, talent sourcing, and strategies for reaching your best-fit candidates.

Remote, Hybrid, or In-Person?

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

We have been watching our portfolio of ~130 technology companies wrestle with this decision for the last two and a half years. Brought on by the covid pandemic and the work from home moment that it created, there has been a sea change in the way that technology companies organize themselves to get work done. Ben Horowitz observed this in a piece last week where he described A16Z’s decision to embrace a hybrid model that he called “ HQ in the Cloud.”

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.

The Case For EVs

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

The Gotham Gal and I own five EVs and have been driving electric-powered cars since 2014. I don’t drive gas-powered cars and haven’t for a few years now. We have purchased two Chevy Bolts, two Tesla Model Ss, and one Rivian truck.

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.

12 Plays to Kickstart Your Recruitment Process

To stay ahead in this race, every recruiter needs a good playbook. In this eBook, we lay out 12 recruiting plays that can automate key steps in your recruitment process, helping you reduce both the cost and the time it takes to hire the best candidates.

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.

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.

The Partnership

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

I have worked in three venture capital firms in the thirty-six years I have been doing venture capital investing. They have all been small partnerships, between three and seven investing partners, where there is little to no hierarchy amount the partners. There are many models out there for building and managing investment firms. They vary from a single partner to an organization structure that looks like a Fortune 500 company. There is no best way to structure an investment firm.

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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12 Tips for Selling to the C-Suite

The question for sales pros is this: Are you ready for the challenge, and opportunity, of selling to the C-suite? The following 12 tips can help ensure that you and your team are.

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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