Investing in Autonomous Transportation.

We've seen a recent wave of cash washing over innovations in autonomous driving, ML, sensors. Granted: that chart is dominated by Zoox's $790M and Xpeng's $708M investment levels [edited: Xpeng announced another $587M on August 3rd!], but you get the idea. I pay close attention when segments start capturing more "wallet share" of investors than … Continue reading Investing in Autonomous Transportation.

Bring me Problems.

The management-craze of "bring me solutions" has gone too far. I recently met with two spin-out teams of enterprises where the engineers and interim-CEO were scared to share any challenges or problems with corporate management because they were expected to be more "solutions-oriented." When I went back to one of the senior executives with a problem … Continue reading Bring me Problems.

“Every Day we cross invisible thresholds to who we are becoming.”

lindsey.a.elliott Every day -- silently, and without notice -- we cross invisible thresholds to who we are becoming. It explains that feeling of waking up and not recognizing your life, or how you got there. A disorientation I often feel in the craze of entrepreneurship. These words from David Whyte reminded me to take notice -- … Continue reading “Every Day we cross invisible thresholds to who we are becoming.”

“I don’t know.”

As an investor, I am more interested in finding out where knowledge ends and where a discovery process starts. It's astonishing in how many pitches entrepreneurs avoid "I don't know" and instead suddenly change topics or point to a statistic where when asked they cannot explain how that would be relevant to the question. "I … Continue reading “I don’t know.”

It’s not done until it’s done.

Deals seem to fall apart last second. Investors step away from their commitment. A large customers is having some hiccups just when you're closing the round. A partner leaves the venture firm just when you're trying to get the signatures. A clause with the employee stock options pool confuses a corporate investor and they put … Continue reading It’s not done until it’s done.

Developer-centric Startups for Critical Applications

Most DevOps centric startups are focusing on the Dev, not the Ops. Many tools and startups start in Test & Dev (versus "production" or "in-revenue" applications). But really hard problems in DevOps are often connected to in-revenue, critical applications. These applications have real-time and high-availability requirements and "exactly-once" execution of commands. I have the privilege … Continue reading Developer-centric Startups for Critical Applications

Scaling First Revenue: Why Are We In This Account?

I've written about Core, Near-Core and the Outfield. There will be scope creep. And the Definition of Core will continue to develop. With usually longer enterprise sales cycles that can be a problem. Ask your salespeople: Why are we in this account? This is especially true with Near-Core opportunities: There will be a class of … Continue reading Scaling First Revenue: Why Are We In This Account?

The Last-Mile Delivery Experience Sucks.

The last-mile delivery experience sucks. There are so many venture-capital-subsidized delivery services in the bay area. They double park, block traffic, dump the stuff on the front door, sheepishly smile if you happen to catch them, some even might utter a word or two. They are the workforce behind the "sharing economy" (I wonder who … Continue reading The Last-Mile Delivery Experience Sucks.