A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

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.

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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.

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.

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

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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.

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.

Gotham Gives

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

Gotham Gives is a public charity that the Gotham Gal and I started one year ago to complement the family foundation that we have been using to make philanthropic gifts for over two decades. A public charity allows us to raise capital from others in addition to our family’s philanthropic gifts. We use this public charity to put together syndicates of donors and raise more capital for our projects than would be possible on our own.

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.

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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.

Tech Year NYC

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

Tech:NYC is launching a new initiative, Tech Year NYC , which helps young people from underrepresented backgrounds get access to careers in NYC’s fast-growing tech sector. Tech Year NYC is a rollup of several existing city programs into a single point of entry and engagement for tech companies and students. The idea is to make it easier for local tech companies to engage with this population and easier for the students to get access to these pathways to jobs.

Keeping It Simple

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

Investing is humbling. At 60, with 35 years of venture investing experience, I still get most things wrong. Which is why I like to keep things simple. And when I do I am rewarded. My friend Gordon asked me last night how I got into Bitcoin. I told him the story of how I bumped into Rikki Tahta walking through the garment district in NYC in the spring of 2011 and Rikki told me he was working on a Bitcoin startup. I replied, “a what coin startup?”

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.

12 Plays to Kickstart Your Recruitment Process

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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.

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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Why Web3?

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

Over the last month, there has been a ton of debate and conversation about web2 vs web3 with many leading voices raising doubts about web3. Debate and doubt are healthy. And web3 enthusiasts, particularly on Twitter, remind me of missionaries trying to recruit the unwashed to their belief system. Frankly, it is all too much for me.

12 Tips for Selling to the C-Suite

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A Return To Fundamentals

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

I wrote a fair bit last year about the disconnect between how companies were being valued and the fundamentals of those businesses. It seemed to me that many companies, from the founders, to the leadership teams, and the rank and file employees got more focused on raising capital and valuations than the basics of a business (people, product, customers, revenues, profits, etc). That is starting to shift. I can feel it.

Getting Together In Person

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

Last week we held USV’s annual Portfolio Summit here in NYC. Every year we invite the leaders of our portfolio companies to come to NYC and spend a couple of days with us and each other. However, we were not able to do that in 2020 and 2021 so this was our first Portfolio Summit since 2019.

What Is Going To Happen In 2022

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

So last year I made a bunch of predictions that with one exception were kind of obvious. I don’t want to do that again, so I am going to list five things that I think will happen this year that most people would not likely agree with. 1/ As the pandemic evolves into an endemic in the first half of 2022, companies will reopen their offices and their employees will largely opt to go back to working together in offices.

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.

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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.

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.

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.

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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100 Pipeline Plays: The Modern Sales Playbook

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The Benefits Of Venture Capital In Web3

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

There is a lot of criticism of venture capital in web3. Bitcoin did not have or need venture capital. Ethereum did not have or need venture capital. So why would any web3 project need venture capital? It is a good question. In the age of community-funded projects, why would a web3 project want to take funding from venture capitalists? Well buried deep in a 66 page blog post on the Flow blockchain by Packy McCormick lies the answer.

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.

Buying Crypto Assets

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

A number of friends have been asking us how to buy crypto assets. This is not the first time we’ve gotten this question and it won’t be the last. When I first started getting this question, my answer was “open a Coinbase account and buy Bitcoin.” ” Then there was a period when my answer was “open a Coinbase account and buy Bitcoin and Ethereum.” ” Today, my answer is “open a Coinbase account and buy a diverse set of crypto assets.”

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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Your Guide to Using Conversational Marketing to Drive Demand Generation

What is conversational marketing really about? This guide will examine the market forces at play, shifting buyer trends, how to leverage conversation marketing, and the tactics involved in adopting it for a B2B demand generation strategy.

Founder Led Companies

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

I remember about fifteen years ago, a well-known VC said to me “you need to sell a company within a few years of the founder leaving. Companies can’t sustain their innovation after a founder leaves.”