Last night a dinner discussion turned again to private equity markets, blockchain, stablecoins, and money. The argument went that public markets had less risk because they have stricter audits, governance. In private equity, you also have to find a buyer and negotiate a price and terms of your private equity stake. Stocks that are traded … Continue reading How to think about risk in Blockchain, Private Equity, Public Markets
When I came out of my own startup in 2002, I decided to focus my efforts on public land preservation and low-income housing. I signed a bunch of different (financial) products, and quite frankly didn't know much about US products, closed-end funds, and tax implications. When I had to restructure our family trust, I had … Continue reading $125M Evergreen Fund
Aside from the Books I Recommend, I noticed that every two weeks or so someone asks me about good blogs or podcasts to follow. For the longest time I had mixed feelings about it. Books are static. The opinion (and sanity) of bloggers and podcasters might change. I also don't catch every podcast or blog … Continue reading Podcasts and Blogs I Recommend.
Statistically, startups mostly fail. We love to think of ourselves as great investors. But Venture Capital fundamentals still didn't change: Fund returns are driven by outliers, and returns are concentrated in few firms. All VCs are constantly evolving and refining their thinking, processes, conviction. That's why we write long investment memos: Not because be need … Continue reading Venture Capital: Preparing for Failure.
If your employees had magically one additional workday more per week than your competitor, what would you have them work on? If you would magically have $50,000 more budget per week, what would you spend it on? Many startups are struggling with pricing when their product or solution is saving cost or time (or both): … Continue reading The Most Important Pricing Questions for Cost Saving and Efficiency Products
"We've created a Minimum Viable Product. It's doing well. Now we're focusing on repeatable sales motion." You probably created a minimum viable technology that could potentially address a need or be part of a product. You did not create an MVP. A product has a price, positioning, can clearly communicate a solution to a real … Continue reading MVP: “Viability” is Decided by the Market and not by You!
I had two pitches last week where the entrepreneurs were talking about huge billion Dollar markets ... but the initial "customers" they were talking to didn't feel the urgency and sales were lagging. "I know this is a huge market. There is a lot of research about it. We need to spend more money for … Continue reading Huge Markets with No Revenue: Initial Product-Market-Fit
I got a late-stage secondary opportunity today, shopped around by a bank. A major bank. They attached a list of comps and calculated the "risk": Enterprise Value to Revenue to Revenue growth (aka "EVRG"). It's almost worse than a Price-to-Earnings-to-Growth (aka "PEG") ratio. I think the idea here was that there is a high EV-to-Revenue … Continue reading Bullshit Metrics: PEG and EV/R/G
Grab your CEO and have lunch. Chances are, she has once started just like you. And everybody has to eat at some point. Here are some questions that are great for getting some insights on strategy, challenges, and culture -- even if you only have five minutes: What the biggest frustration in your job? What's … Continue reading Lunch with Your CEO: 7 Great Questions to Ask.
It is confusing for me why people are talking about "we're using AI to do <XYZ>". AI is a system, not a technology. You need to operate with the system. You cannot replace a specific technology or platform with AI if you don't replace all the systems as well. AI is a system of: People … Continue reading AI is a System, not a Technology.