2016

How to Perform Inception on a VC

This is going to be BIG.

One of my favorite phrases is "performing inception". Inception is one of my favorite movies and I love the idea of meticulously planning out the placement of an idea in someone else's head.

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And Then They Came for Me …

Both Sides of the Table

Yesterday was Halloween in the United States where children dress up and try to scare people as they “trick-or-treat” for candy. Yet the only horror I experienced was watching Peter Thiel stand in front of a national media audience and re-endorse Donald Trump for President.

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From Accelerators to Venture Capital: What is best for your startup?

Gust

With startup growth up 61% since 2014 and more investment programs emerging, it can be overwhelming for founders to know just where to jump in. As the most startup-friendly accelerator on the planet, MassChallenge has helped 835 startup companies around the world, who have raised over $1.1

Pixar President’s Wisdom

Venture Hacks

Some highlights from Ed Catmull’s Creativity Inc. Ed is the President of Pixar. “If If there is more truth in the hallways than in meetings, you have a problem. The desire for everything to run smoothly is a false goal. The truth is, the cost of preventing errors is often far greater than the cost of fixing them. Rules can simplify life for managers, but they can be demeaning to the 95 percent who behave well.

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Building Healthy Innovation Ecosystems for Your Projects

Speaker: Nick Noreña, Innovation Coach and Advisor, Kromatic

In this webinar, Nick Noreña will walk through an Innovation Ecosystem Model that he and his team at Kromatic have developed to help investors, heads of product, teachers, and executives understand how they can best support innovation in their own ecosystem. He'll also go over metrics we can use to measure the health of our ecosystems as we build more resources for innovators.

The lion and the ant: A managerial lesson

Berkonomics

This story has been making the rounds lately, and I confess that our research cannot find the source. So, with thanks to whomever created this great little parable, here it is: “Every day, a small Ant arrived at work early and started work immediately, she produced a lot and she was happy.

More Trending

How Google is using Machine Learning and AI

Don Dodge

Machine Learning will impact everything we do at Google. You can already see the results in Google products you use today. Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Deep Learning, and Big Data are buzzwords we hear every day. What do these words mean? How will Machine Learning make my life better?

Missing Quantative Easing for unicorns will change private investment markets

Thomas Grota

Some months ago I was arguing the end of the unicorn era?—?meaning meaning startup companies driven to +1bn. investing vc quantative easing Mergers and Acquisitions exit private equity startups

On the Road to Recap:

abovethecrowd.com

Why the Unicorn Financing Market Just Became Dangerous…For All Involved. In February of last year, Fortune magazine writers Erin Griffith and Dan Primack declared 2015 “ The Age of the Unicorns ” noting — “Fortune counts more than 80 startups that have been valued at $1 billion or more by venture capitalists.” By January of 2016, that number had ballooned to 229.

What was Nike like as a startup?

Unvalidated Learnings

And what you can learn from it Can you imagine Nike was a startup once? A lone guy in his parents’ garage hustling his way through importing cheap running shoes from Japan and selling them door to door (or rather race track to race track).

State of MENA Startups 2019, Report

MAGNiTT and 500 Startups jointly launch first 'State of MENA Startups 2019" report. Survey findings reveal insights on trends in fundraising exercise, exit opportunities, hiring, and growth optimization.

Cities Building Community Wealth

Surdna Foundation

In cities across the nation, a few enjoy rising affluence while many struggle to get by. This situation is created in part by the practices of traditional economic development. Current trends threaten to worsen, unless we can answer the design challenge before us. Can we create an economic system—beginning at the local level—that builds the wealth and prosperity of everyone. Published By: Democracy Collaborative. Download Related Document(s) : Cities Building Community Wealth.

Excited to be an Investor in The Wing

This is going to be BIG.

It means a lot to me to find financial opportunities investing in companies that I can be really proud of--education companies like Tinybop and Tinkergarten , or companies at the forefront of fair labor practices like Homer Logistics. There are others that haven't launched that I'm equally as proud and excited about--and now one more has launched. I'm thrilled to be an investor in The Wing --a Home Base for Women on Their Way.

How I Promise You One of the Most Meaningful Days of Your Life

Both Sides of the Table

I know the title “I promise you one of the most meaningful days of your life” sounds grandiose but I mean it and I hope you’ll read through to the end and choose to take one small, totally free action, that will change your life and likely those of others.

Valuation Part I: Peeling the Onion, or How Top Investors Value the Startups They Invest In

Gust

Early-stage technology company valuations are generally a crap-shoot. Bill Payne did a great post about this in October 2011. This post builds on top of his work, and attempts to shed additional light on the valuation process.

The Startup Funding Gap

This resource discusses the gap between early funding from friends/family and the more substantial rounds from angel groups and VCs. Why does this gap exist and what can be done about it?

Conscious Capitalism

Fink About It

In June of 2010, something really extraordinary happened in the world of Philanthropy. Bill Gates and Warren Buffet began recruiting for what is known as “The Giving Pledge.”

Eye of the needle? Why worry over your bottlenecks.

Berkonomics

Think for a minute whether there is any process or person that could be classed as the eye of the needle in your organization. Is there anything, process or person, that stalls the flow of work from start to finish?

Land, Expand, Retain

Tomasz Tunguz

In ServiceNow’s Q1 Investor presentation are the first semblances of SaaS metrics in public company reporting. If you sift through the 40+ public SaaS businesses, you won’t find mention of annual recurring revenue, churn, account expansion, or cash collection cycles in most of them - even though these are the the metrics the management teams employ to evaluate and steer their businesses.

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Welcome to The Unicorn Hedge

500 Hats

Yeah, There’s a Bubble… But it Ain’t in Tech Continue reading on 500 Hats

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Next phase of #Fintech and #Insurtech is coming in 2017

Thomas Grota

Beginning of the year I blogged about the Outlook on #Fintech and #Insurtech in Europe here. insurtech fintech venture venture capital invest market ai big data

Benchmark’s New General Partner: Scott Belsky

abovethecrowd.com

The partners at Benchmark are delighted to announce that Scott Belsky has joined the firm as our newest general partner. It is rare for us to encounter a partner candidate who has so much experience as an operator, investor, and advisor at such a young age. We have confidence that Scott can be one of the best investors of his generation, and we are excited by the opportunity to have him as a member of our team.

The Toastmasters Secret Sauce On Running Successful Meetups

Unvalidated Learnings

8 Tips To Onboard New Users And Keep Old Users Engaged Following a friend’s recommendation, I attended my first Toastmasters event last week. Having no idea what to expect, I left amazed by how well thought out and choreographed the event was.

Google machine Learning news December 2016

Don Dodge

“Google’s Hand-Fed AI Now Gives Answers, Not Just Search Results” (Wired, Nov 29): “These ‘sentence compression algorithms’ just went live on the desktop incarnation of the search engine. They handle a task that’s pretty simple for humans but has traditionally been quite difficult for machines. They show how deep learning is advancing the art of natural language understanding, the ability to understand and respond to natural human speech.

How come VCs are. jerks?

This is going to be BIG.

That was a question posed to me by a new analyst at a venture capital fund. Admittedly, I finished this person's sentence after their long pause. but the word "jerks" was agreed to as the direction they were taking the question. While there are lots and lots of really kind, generous people working in venture capital--the recently retired Howard Morgan, Hunter Walk, Brad Feld, and Karin Klein for example--it's really tough to argue that there isn't widespread jerkery.

Why Acceptance of Failure is Critical to Startup Success

Both Sides of the Table

I talk about failure a lot because I think it can be tremendously instructive and I think that success without failure often masks underlying lessons.

The Expanding World of Accelerators

Gust

In some ways, it is now difficult to imagine a world without accelerators. Many of the globe’s most well-known and disruptive startups were propelled from the hallways of legendary accelerators such as Y Combinator, TechStars, and 500 Startups.

EPI Report Highlights Where the Gap between Richest and Poorest Is Widest

Surdna Foundation

According to a new report by the Economic Policy Institute, finds that income inequality has risen in every state since the 1970s and in many states is up in the post–Great Recession era. In 24 states, the top 1 percent captured at least half of all income growth between 2009 and 2013, and in 15 of those states, the top 1 percent captured all income growth. In another 10 states, top 1 percent incomes grew in the double digits, while bottom 99 percent incomes fell.

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After 20 years: Updating the Berkus Method of valuation

Berkonomics

Well, it had to happen.

Why Demand Generation Can Be So Challenging For Startups

Tomasz Tunguz

Demand generation is a critical limiting factor to the growth of many startups. I had the opportunity to moderate a panel of demand generation experts recently at Heavybit , an incubator in San Francisco. I asked the panelists, how well understood is demand generation, considering it is one of the core elements of business needs to sustain its growth? Unanimously, the panel concluded it’s not very well understood.

Do Androids Get Songs Stuck in Their Heads? My investment in Amper Music.

This is going to be BIG.

This weekend, Heathens by Twenty One Pilots has been stuck in my head. It has such a great sound--and I wanted to figure out what else I could listen to that sounded like it. I don't mean bands that are liked by other people who like Twenty One Pilots. I literally mean songs that sound like it. or maybe just remixed versions of it. I wanted to engage with music, but I can't, because I don't have the ability to manipulate the "source code" of the song.