A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

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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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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.

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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.

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.

The Best Sales Forecasting Models for Weathering Your Goals

Every sales forecasting model has a different strength and predictability method. It’s recommended to test out which one is best for your team. This way, you’ll be able to further enhance – and optimize – your newly-developed pipeline. Your future sales forecast? Sunny skies (and success) are just ahead!

Rooftop Solar

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

I’ve been thinking a lot about the economics of rooftop solar. Our family has invested in rooftop solar over the last five years in an attempt to reduce our carbon footprint and reduce our electric bills.

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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 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.

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.

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.

B2B Pocket Playbook: End-to-End Guide to Sales Enablement

Sales enablement is the strategic process of providing sales teams with the content, guidance, and mentorship needed to engage targeted buyers. It’s all about equipping sales professionals with the tools they need to put their best-selling foot forward. And if sales teams want to continuously sell better -- and faster -- their sales enablement process must have a game-winning strategy. It's time for you to start selling smarter - and hitting your sales number - with the best B2B database in the market. Get started today.

Half Of All VCs Beat The Stock Market

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

There has been this narrative about investing in VC funds that you have to get into the top quartile (25%) or possibly the top decile (10%) in order to generate good returns. I have heard that for as long as I have been in VC and probably have written it here a few times. Well, it turns out that is not right. Half of all venture funds outperform the stock market which is the benchmark most institutions measure VC funds against.

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.

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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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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Pressure Points: How to Ensure Your B2B Pipeline Passes Inspection

This eBook highlights best practices for developing a pipeline management process that helps sales leaders and their team C.L.O.S.E (you’ll see what we mean in this eBook) more revenue through data-driven prospecting, stage analysis, and subsequent sales enablement.

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.

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.

Geothermal

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

We have a house in the northeast United States where the summers are warm and the winters are cold. We have solar on the roof and we heat and cool this house with electricity.

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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.

Marketing-Led Post-COVID-19 Growth Strategies

Businesses are laying off workers, shutting their doors (some permanently), and struggling to react to the radical destruction that coronavirus (COVID-19) is doing to our society and communities. However, there’s no team better suited to lead that charge than the marketing department.

Paternalism In The Office

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

Jason Fried, CEO of Basecamp, posted a message to his team yesterday in which he outlined a bunch of changes they are making to the way they run the business. Some will be familiar as others have done similar things (no more politics on the company’s communication channels, no more committees, rethinking the review process). I think it is a good thing to revisit the ways a company does things and make changes when issues arise.

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Dapper Labs, Flow, and NBA Top Shot

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

I have written about all of these things here at AVC before. But I am writing again as there is likely to be a bunch of chatter about Dapper, Flow, and NBA Top Shot as the news of a financing round comes out today. Financings don’t really interest me but companies do. And this is a fascinating company. Dapper Labs came out of an incubator called Axiom Zen back in 2017. The Axiom Zen team was looking at interesting things they could build using Ethereum.

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.

Venture Funding Trends Intact

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

The NVCA and Pitch Book are out with their Q3 report on the VC industry and what they report is that the VC industry continues to be very active throughout the pandemic. Deal counts and deal values are stable to up over last year.

How ZoomInfo Helps Overcome the Top Pain Points of Inside Sales

Recent digital transformation has shifted the B2B landscape by ushering in the era of buyer empowerment. With more access to user reviews, analyst opinion, and industry research, decision-makers are more informed than ever while navigating what is now known as the “buyer’s journey.”

E-Commerce and Retail

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

Most of us have seen some version of this chart that shows how the Covid pandemic has accelerated e-commerce adoption: What is interesting to me is that it has also impacted in person retail experiences. Most restaurants in NYC are not passing out menus anymore.

The New Builders

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

My friend Seth Levine and Elizabeth MacBride have written an important book about the changing face of entrepreneurship in the US. It is called The New Builders and it came out this week. You can purchase it at all the places listed here. This bit from the book’s Amazon page explains The New Builders’ message: The dominant image of an entrepreneur as a young white man starting a tech business on the coasts isn’t correct at all.

The Bolster Board Diversity Survey

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

Last June, I wrote about board diversity and suggested some things we are doing and that you can do to diversity your board. In the ten months that have passed since I wrote that I am pleased to say that we have seen a noticeable increase in board diversity in our portfolio.

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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.

Marketing Ops: The New Revenue Hero

As data continues to play a starring role in today’s B2B organizations, both marketing and sales operations professionals are poised to solidify their place as critical revenue drivers. In particular, the evolution of the Marketing Operations (Ops) role has created a new standard in marketing and has become a vital component of an organization’s success.

Nuclear Energy

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

When I was in my early 20s, I had a conversation with my dad. I told him I was against nuclear power because it was dangerous and because it created radioactive waste that we had no idea how to safely dispose of. He replied that there certainly were problems with nuclear energy but that they paled in comparison to those of burning fossil fuels. This was before greenhouse gases and climate change were front and center in my mind and the minds of most people.

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The Work-Life Balance Revolution

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

Yesterday, I had a gap in the middle of the day. So the Gotham Gal and I took an hour-long walk with our dog Ollie. It cleared my head and when I got back to work, I was full of energy and clarity. I’ve been working exclusively from home since the end of November 2019 when we left NYC to go to LA. It has been a stretch of incredible productivity for me. I am not arguing against going back to the office. As I’ve said in many posts recently, I can’t wait to go back to the office.

Digital Art Frames

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

I have a Samsung Frame in my home office. I think I posted a photo of it here at AVC once before. But for those who did not see that post, here it is: I’ve had it for something like three years and I change the digital art on it from time to time.

The Rise Of Everywhere

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

This is a theme I have come back to many times over the last decade but in the wake of all of the headlines about high profile founders, VCs, and companies leaving the bay area, I thought I would return to it. There is no question that the bay area is losing some talent to other markets but I don’t think that is anywhere near the most important thing. It is also the case that Google and Apple show no signs of leaving the bay area any time soon.

What We Learned From Our Own Data-Driven ABM Strategy

ZoomInfo has created the following eBook to help other B2B organizations gain insights on how to launch their own data-driven ABM strategy. In this eBook, we will reveal the good and the bad from our own campaign and highlight some key takeaways on how to improve your ABM strategies moving forward.

Resilience

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

A friend and I dined last night at a restaurant that opened in our neighborhood last summer, in the middle of the pandemic. For the first six months of its existence, they could not welcome diners into the space that they had spent time and money creating. They carried on, figured out how to make money serving customers outside. As the NYC economy starts to recover, they are still standing. And they are now welcoming diners into the lovely space they created for them a year ago.

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