A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

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.

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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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.

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.

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 Education Week

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

The second week of December every year is Computer Science Education Week. It is a week to celebrate efforts to get computer science education into the K12 system around the world, and it is also a week in which schools do events, like The Hour of Code , to encourage students and teachers to get excited about learning computer science. Most AVC readers know that my passion project for the last decade has been getting computer science education broadly available in the NYC public school system.

Your Guide to Using Conversational Marketing to Drive Demand Generation

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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.”

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.

What Happened In 2021

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

As is my custom here at AVC, I like to end the year looking back and start the year looking forward. This post will be the look back and I started by revisiting my look forward into 2021 that I wrote on New Year’s Day 2021. In my typical optimist fashion, I was dead wrong about how quickly the pandemic would fizzle out. I predicted that vaccines plus immunity from those who had been infected would end the pandemic by mid-year 2021.

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Web3 vs Web2

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

Now that we are beginning to see what consumer applications are like in the decentralized web (web3), it is interesting to compare that to what consumer applications are like in the centralized web (web2). It became clear early in the 2000s that the big opportunity in the web would be to build large networks of engaged users.

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Startups Galore

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

When you look at the recent Q3 numbers on seed and early-stage VC fundraising, you might think we are in the late stages of a VC bubble: The words I would use to describe the current environment in early-stage VC are “fast and furious.”

Exciting Protocol Lead Opportunity

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

Last month our portfolio company Kickstarter announced the creation of a protocol organization that will develop a web3 protocol for the crowdfunding of creative projects. They are now assembling a protocol team and are talking to candidates to lead that effort. The protocol lead role is an exciting one that combines product leadership, smart contract development, team management, and a lot more.

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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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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A Recruiter’s Guide To Hiring In 2021

With vaccination rates rising, consumers spending more money, and people returning to offices, the job market is going through a period of unprecedented adjustment. As the New York Times observed, “It’s a weird moment for the American economy.” And recruiting professionals are caught in the middle. To make the most of this disruption, you need to understand the economic drivers, develop a strong strategy for unearthing valuable talent, and use the latest tech tools to get the job done. Read this guide to get your recruiting practice ready to thrive in the new normal.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Reaching Unreachable Candidates

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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.

NYC’s Tech Resurgence

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

Early in the pandemic, we were all deluged with stories of tech workers, companies, and founders leaving Silicon Valley for Miami and Austin. And that was true. But from my personal experience, they also left for many other places too, including Los Angeles and New York City. I met with a founder last week who has left the bay area for good and now splits his time between homes in LA and NYC.

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.

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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Going to Market Smarter in the New Economy

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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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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.

IRAs and Wealth Creation

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

A couple of years ago, I wrote about buying crypto in an IRA. I went and did that with an old unused IRA that was sitting in cash and I have 8x’d the value of that IRA in the last 18 months. While my family is fortunate that we don’t have to rely on our IRAs to generate wealth like this, many folks do. Tens of millions of people in the US rely on IRAs to save money tax-free for their retirement.

Tracking Crypto For Taxes

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

For the last ten years, my tax prep on crypto was pretty easy. I have always had a buy and hold mindset and have custodied with Coinbase. So a simple report on Coinbase was all I needed to send to my tax folks. Pretty simple. But as DeFi and NFTs have exploded on the scene, things have gotten more complicated. Swapping, bridging, staking, buying with ETH, SOL, FLOW, yield farming, liquidity mining. Across chains. On hardware wallets. On mobile wallets.

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Partnerships

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

Like many did, we spent much of this weekend watching Peter Jackson’s wonderful documentary of the Beatles making Let It Be, titled Get Back. I enjoyed so much of the film, particularly the music, but the big thing I took away is the power of real partnerships. While this was the Beatles last recording session, what you see in the film are four partners working together creatively and wonderfully. I wasn’t really expecting that and I found it so enjoyable to watch.