[There are countless obvious lessons from Jocko's books and podcasts that apply to all people and all companies. Here are some insights that might be less obvious from the last #muster.] As board members and VC investors, we often get asked: "What are your other companies and CEOs doing? Am I a good leader?" Most … Continue reading Jocko and Startups: Am I a good Leader?
After the last blog post (Startups: Don't compete on "nimble" and "cash burn.") I got a lot of questions on how to look at these public companies with negative EBITDA or negative Net Income. Here are some ideas. Dataset 1: Public Companies with Negative EBITDA Some companies have a negative EBITDA, but massive revenue growth, … Continue reading Datasets for Public Companies with Negative EBITDA or Net Income
Fifteen years ago I was sitting on a panel with senior executives of large enterprises. We were discussing how startups, with their limited resources, are competing against established, well-funded public enterprises. A Corporate R&D executive of a public company quipped: Publicly traded companies usually can't afford to lose money. Internet companies and startups can, at … Continue reading Startups: Don’t compete on “nimble” and “cash burn”.
Thorsten,We are raising our Series B now. We have a great lead investor. One of our strategic partners and suppliers also wants to invest: they want to participate with $4.5 million, almost 30% of the round. I'm not so much concerned about the signaling effect, but about the alignment of investor interest: assures me they … Continue reading CVCs and Financial Returns.
2018 felt like CVCs were in almost every deal. So what do the numbers say? [Below graphs are based on Pitchbook data. Early tracking of data, before 2008, is not that reliable. After that, not every transaction is reported accurately. But the data is reasonably good at showing trends. I'll try and point out some problems along the way] CVCs Participate in More Deals Than Before. While the number of reported number of venture capital rounds in … Continue reading Corporate Venture Capital: 2018 In Numbers.
I often ask entrepreneurs during pitches "What's hard to make this a successful company?" I am particular about this one. I am not asking "what's difficult." Difficult is fundraising, hiring great people, finding customers, making customers pay on time, getting renewals, opening a new office, etc. "What's Hard" is something that hopefully the entrepreneurs are better … Continue reading What’s Hard and What’s Not as a VC.
Reactions to my last blog post, Cap Table Changes over Time and Founder Dilution (Excel Worksheet Included), were interesting: There were some founders and entrepreneurs who said that this was a great example how venture capital investors squeeze out founders and CEOs who actually have the idea and are actually executing (versus VCs who just … Continue reading Venture Capital Financing and Investor Dilution (Excel Worksheet Included).
I recently got some questions from first-time founders on dilution, what is a typical A round, what does a typical cap table look like (not the format, but the progression over time). My answer is always the same: It depends. Here's an Excel worksheet that lets you play around with different round sizes and investors: … Continue reading Cap Table Changes over Time and Founder Dilution (Excel Worksheet Included)
We scroll for hours through the (literally!) bottomless feeds on our phones. We are looking for the two-second smile, zoom in on that face, that cleavage, that wreckage, that fail, that cat for six seconds. We heart the post when we think others might find it smart that we hearted the post. We might even … Continue reading Rant of the Month: Recommendation Algorithms — You’re Doing it Wrong!
I talk a lot with very large enterprises in Europe, Asia, and Latin America. Sometimes they have a question regarding their IT infrastructure, sometimes they want to hear about shifts in industry trends (few of them want to hear 'trends in the Silicon Valley,' thank god!). Sooner or later they tell me about their digital … Continue reading Digital Transformation Strategy — You Don’t Need One.