Incumbent and Insurgent: Adding Value Together

TechStars

Today, global energy corporation Equinor and startup Crux OCM are working together to test Crux OCM’s software, which functions as an “autopilot” for oil and gas control room operators.

[Varo Money in The Financial Brand] U.S. Challenger Banks Turn Up the Heat on Incumbents

OurCrowd

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The Future of Corporate Venture Capital

500

Conventional wisdom dictated that incumbents should focus their innovation efforts on R&D and growing their cash cows while investing in a few startups. The following is an excerpt from 500’s CVC report. How has corporate venture capital changed? In the decade since the Great Recession, we have seen digital upstarts – taking advantage of disruptive technologies from AI to IoT – reshape the economy and the corporate pecking order.

The Duolingo English Test

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

The “incumbent provider” of English proficiency tests, Test Of English As A Foreign Language (aka TOEFL), has had all of the companies and universities who accept it locked up for many years. But in some markets, incumbency matters more than better. I wrote about our portfolio company Duolingo’s English Proficiency Test back in August of last year.

How To End Your Pitch with Your Vision

Dream It

As all investors know from the case of Uber, you cannot size a market based on an incumbent. Getting investors excited about your product is a critical part of raising capital.

Understanding How The Innovator’s Dilemma Affects You

Both Sides of the Table

The thesis of the book is that incumbents in markets – especially large and well entrenched markets – seldom survive fundamental technology changes in their industries. It should affect how you think if you are an incumbent but also if you’re a startup.

How to Get a CISO to Buy Your Product

Dream It

Find out how incumbent products you are likely to replace are performing. To keep an organization safe, a CISO depends on as many as 50 to 100 different products. This presents a huge opportunity for startups. However, this means that a CISO sees a LOT of pitches in their role.

The Market Diversifies: International Innovation Captures Larger Share Of Startup Funding Applications

Gust

Quarterly data from Gust, the online platform for the global angel investment industry, reveals that while incumbent leaders show no sign of slowing down, new industries and areas Read more >.

Unsung Hero Spotlight: Norris Krueger

Ecosystem Builder Hub

As ecosystem builders, we are new entrants coping with well-entrenched incumbents who are well-motivated to hold their turf. To you, what is an Ecosystem Builder? We amplify the voice of the innovators and entrepreneurs, of small business and new ventures. All of them. ALL of them.

How COVID-19 is Changing Digital Health

Dream It

However, if you’re already an incumbent at a large health system with a compelling Covid-19 use case, then you’re in a really good spot.

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The Future of Hospitality is Here

Revolution

and by substantial amounts of invested capital in formal amenities required by incumbent brands that are frequently cost centers rather than profit centers (lobby restaurant, room service, etc.). Image courtesy of Mint House Real estate lies at the core of our everyday lives?—?it

#GiveFirst In Action

TechStars

Then a large incumbent announced a new module that filled the same function as her product. #GiveFirst is a Techstars mantra. Simply put, it means giving—advice, resources, assistance, etc.—with with no expectation of getting anything specific back.

What To Do When Your Competitor Gets Funded?

Both Sides of the Table

And our competitors are not really each other but the incumbent businesses that have 99.9% ” In summary: The competitors are the incumbents. This morning Clutter.io announced they raised $9 million from Sequoia , arguably the best venture capital firm that exists. Congratulations. Sincerely. Conventional wisdom says I shouldn’t tell you this because I invested in their main competitor, MakeSpace.

How to Predict the Future (Don’t)

Jason Calacanis

They have studied their market, talking to customers and doing competitive intelligence on incumbents. Nobody can predict the future. Everybody can tell you what’s possible. The art is in knowing what’s probable.

The First Rule Of Disruption

OnStartups

In just about all cases, to successfully disrupt a large incumbent, your best case scenario is that they completely ignore you and what you're doing. You want the incumbent to act "rationally", because an emotionally fired-up incumbent will come try to crush you simply out of spite and ego.

5 Predictions for 2020

Tomasz Tunguz

And incumbents desire as much of that as possible for themselves. Startups begin to siphon off important but underserved segments of SaaS incumbent's customer bases. Here are my 5 predictions for 2020. The direct listing becomes the standard way for startups to go public in 2020. The idea has been proven by Slack and Spotify, and many others will follow. Most startups at IPO have plenty of cash and don't need to raise more in the public markets.

How to Decrease the Odds That Your Startup Fails

Both Sides of the Table

So when Sam Rosen came to me with the idea of disrupting storage with a product that is priced cheaper than existing incumbents and he could build a product that is a better service I was intrigued. dominated by a few very large incumbents who control much of the distribution or are you going into a market that is “fragmented” where nobody controls the industry. Incumbent Strengths & Weaknesses. Many startup businesses – tech or otherwise – fail.

Opportunity Amid Volatility

Haystack

They’ll have to back up the truck for their best companies, take acquisitions off the table, and go right after the incumbents head-on. Speaking of acquisitions — many leaders of larger VC funds have privately given up on the incumbents buying their companies. Instead, they would prefer to back their winners to take on the incumbents head-on — hence, we have larger funds and longer hold periods to get liquidity. It’s an unusual time in the markets.

A Startup’s Guide to Maximizing Last Mover Advantage

Tomasz Tunguz

It’s the company that pursues an incumbent with faster, better or cheaper solution and in particular a solution that cannibalizes the incumbent’s business model typically because of a lower cost structure.

The Uber that Never Was

This is going to be BIG.

Using the proliferation of newly GPS-enabled mobile devices to enable taxi hailing and beat out stagnant incumbent providers was always going to be a big win for consumers. It provided a better service than existing cabs were going to be able to do for at least several years—cutting out lots of unnecessary overhead in the system. Had it been built differently, it could have been a better company and honestly I’d like to believe maybe even a more valuable one in the long term.

Mapping The Haystack Portfolio Across The United States

Haystack

Hello. It has been a while since I’ve posted here, nearly 3 months. My fingers are well-rested, but my writing prowess is likely rusty, so please forgive any rustiness in this post. I do plan to write a lot more this summer, so stay tuned.

The Breakout Tech Company Of 2018

Haystack

Airtable isn’t the only company in this collaboration space — incumbents have invested resources in “low-code” platforms, such as Google’s App Maker, Microsoft’s PowerApps, Dell’s Boomi, and Intuit’s Quick Base; other great products on the startup side include Superhuman, Notion, Front, Coda, and a few others.

Which Categories of Seed Startups are Thriving? Which Aren't?

Tomasz Tunguz

FinTech - challenger banks, new electronic stock brokers, AI-powered investment advisors; startups are besieging the incumbents of this regulated world and assailing them in ever greater numbers. Which sectors see more startup company formation than others?

Capturing Luck with “or” instead of “and”

A Smart Bear

Can you compete in a niche where incumbents don’t care or cannot move quickly? I won a fake stock market competition in elementary school.

Should Your Startup Differentiate On Pricing?

Tomasz Tunguz

There are spaces where pricing innovation is welcome, especially when there is a large, expensive incumbent. Startups are innovation machines. They identify market opportunities, develop novel products and go out to change the world.

The Truth About the Scooter Economy?—?An Insider’s Perspective

Both Sides of the Table

You can’t simply drop a bunch of electric scooters in a market and hope to compete with the data and software advantages of the incumbents. The Truth About the Scooter Economy?—?An

1% of Salesforce's Revenue Makes a Unicorn

Tomasz Tunguz

We have reached a point in SaaS where a small fraction of an incumbent is a billion-dollar company. the industry has been looking for ways to compete with some of these incumbents for a long time. I suspect old-fashioned product marketing may be the disruptive force to prise $1 billion worth of market away from some of these incumbents. Salesforce is worth $113 billion. 1% of $113 billion is $1.13 billion. ServiceNow is worth $34B and Workday is worth $33B.

MakeSpace Raises an Additional $17.5 million and Unveils Strategy to Make Public Storage the Next Blockbuster Video

Both Sides of the Table

Incumbents became increasingly annoyed with our successes in the country’s largest market – NYC – that they started even taking out ads against us. It’s no wonder incumbents don’t want us to exist.

Bites At The Apple, Sharpshooting, And Shots On Goal

Haystack

The conventional wisdom is to wonder if these firms are getting too big — the counterargument is equally as valid, with technology seeping into every sector and spreading across the world, and with private markets bulging, new companies are able to raise enough capital where they can directly challenge and overtake incumbents rather than waiting for them to acquire them.

How I Invest

Both Sides of the Table

I love businesses that aim to massively reduce the costs of products or services in a way that makes a product or service vastly more accessibility and in which incumbents would have a hard time competing. I was speaking recently to the team at NuOrder , an LA-based company we’re an investor in about “realism in startups” — an impromptu talk I have given to any of our portfolio companies who ask.

Why I Backed a 24-Year-Old Trying to Assess Human Potential

Both Sides of the Table

Incumbents launch products, VCs throw cash at other competitors, team members quit, the economy dips — whatever.

The Rising Stakes in SaaS

Tomasz Tunguz

Incumbent client/server technologies have lost their market dominance to new incumbents. Last week, I participated in two discussions about the changes in the SaaS world. I believe they are fundamental. The most important force shaping the industry today is competition. The level of competition in many core SaaS segments is intense. The SaaS era is about 20 years old. Salesforce was founded in 1999. Since then, many major categories of software have been saasified.

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Why Reed Hastings Should be Applauded for Netflix Split

Both Sides of the Table

Incumbents can’t react. The reason that incumbents can’t react is that their revenue and defensibility are continued by serving the high-end of the market for which it would take too much time & money for any competitors to effectively challenge.

Amazon “Swipes Left” On New York City

Haystack

Given how polarizing “the stakes” can be and how critical persuasion is to winning, it is now incumbent upon politicians to improve their own dealmaking skills and to effectively communicate their positions repeatedly to their constituents. Start spreading the news, indeed. Today, Amazon announced it will entirely abandon its plans to build its second headquarters (a/k/a “HQ2”) in Long Island City, a residential neighborhood in the borough of Queens, New York City.

Pinduoduo and The Rise of Social E-Commerce

Y Combinator

This was strategic for two reasons: 1) incumbents were focused on non-perishable items, so competition was limited and 2) fruits and vegetables are lower order value, high frequency goods, which means users had a reason to use Pinduoduo regularly.

How Much Should You Raise in Your VC Round? And What is a VC Looking at in Your Model?

Both Sides of the Table

So it’s incumbent on you to know what a smart business plan and use of cash looks like. There’s a quick litmus-test conversation any early-stage VC will have with the founder and it’s one that you should be as prepared for as your elevator pitch.

The AI Agency - A Novel GTM for Machine Learning SaaS Startups

Tomasz Tunguz

Finding scant market demand from the incumbents whose owners prefer status quo, these startups start their own agency. In 2015, I wrote about the trade-off facing vertical SaaS companies. Vertical SaaS companies focus their efforts on a particular group of customers. Procore targets construction with their software and Veeva targets pharmaceuticals with their CRM. This concentration limits the market size, but improves product market fit.