The Entrepreneur's 12 Days of Fund Raising
On the 1st day of Fund Raising my VC gave to me- an expiring term sheet at $4mm Pre. On the 2nd day of Fund Raising my VC gave to me- a due diligence list from Ato Z. On the 3rd day of Fund Raising my VC gave to me- a junior associate with ADD. On the 4th day of Fund Raising my VC gave to me- a meeting with a blackberry-addicted GP. On the 5th day of Fund Raising my VC gave to me- a CEO...
D Bag of the Year
It’s that time of year again. The time when the Yearly honors are bestowed. One of the best known is Time Magazine’s Person of the Year. The annual magazine cover used be ”Man of the Year” but the PC police replaced “Man” with “Person.” I suspect at some point it will be “Organism of the Year.” We don’t want to leave out animals...
Apple has desktop computers, portable media players, mobile phones, tablet computers, a media gateway (AppleTV) and a vast library of content. AppleTV is a weak sister to Apple’s other products because it doesn’t share the same level of design, user experience and simplicity as Apple’s other, more successful products. If I were Apple, I would consider making a TV that combines...
A blight looms on the horizon. An engineering talent blight to be exact. The bumper crop of consumer internet seeds and start-ups cropping up around the country (with concentrations in SF/SV and NYC) and binge hiring of engineering talent by companies such as Google and Facebook are creating a shortage of talent. A blight ensues when there are hundreds of companies looking for the same...
In anticipation of Apple’s new iBox product due out in 2011, we announcing a new, $100m Fund dedicated to investments in companies building Apps for the iBox. Below is a description of the product. We intend to begin evaluating companies immediately. If you are developing an iBox App, please forward a summary to Apps@iWantmyiBox.com. We were treated to a sneak peak of the iBox and were...
The Planting of the Seeds
As a participant in the start-up world I am always trying to gauge the supply and demand function. How many companies are being funded, by whom, in what segments and with how much capital? The trending topic in the start-up market is Seeds. Lots of Seeds. Angels are back with a vengeance after lying low following the Dot Com bust. The Financial Meltdown in October, 2008 didn’t dampen the...
Deal or No Deal
The Private Sale space is taking on a life of its own. The combination of E-commerce, social networking, supply imbalances, and People’s desire for discounts all enable the space. The space can be divided in to 2 main segments: 1) private sales groups like Gilt, Rue LA LA, and HauteLook; and, 1) Group buying sites like Groupon, Living Social, Scoop Street and a host of knock-offs. The...
The Entrepreneur's 12 Days of Fund Raising
On the 1st day of Fund Raising my VC gave to me- an expiring term sheet at $4mm Pre. On the 2nd day of Fund Raising my VC gave to me- a due diligence list from a to z. On the 3rd day of Fund Raising my VC gave to me- a junior associate with ADD. On the 4th day of Fund Raising my VC gave to me- a meeting with a blackberry-addicted GP. On the 5th day of Fund Raising my VC gave to...
Regulating the Little Guy Down.
The Government is regulating the “Little Guys” into a lower financial class. By Little Guys I mean individual investors with less than $1mm in assets. By lower financial class I mean these Little Guys can’t invest in a multitude of financial services products that are available to the Rich Guys. The meltdown of the financial markets and ensuing finger pointing are exacerbating the problem. ...
Covestor goes Live
About a year ago Spark invested in a start-up called Covestor that we hoped would give people an alternative means of managing their money. If you look at the data, the Institutional Money Managers haven’t done a great job beating the basic indexes. This means that people are paying fees for active management and not doing any better than if they passively invested in the market indexes...
How to deal with Hate
Unfortunately, we regularly encounter hate in our lives. Hate is just depression turned inside-out. The best way to kill hate is to disarm it. To that end, here are some responses to people that elicit hateful behavior or utter hateful comments. I call these DBH (Don’t Be Hatin’) responses. These statements are designed to disarm the individual manifesting the hate. Pease feel...
10 Things an Entrepreneur won’t say to a VC
Real-time is nice but predicting the future-...
Real-time is hot right now. Real-time messaging, Real-time social networking, Real-time search. These are powerful movements based on the value of what is happening right now. But, what is more valuable that knowing what is happening now? That’s easy- knowing what WILL happen. Imagine having insight into what will happen tomorrow or next year. I will argue all day long that nothing is...
Classic Def Leppard Rock of Ages Video →
Rock of Ages Broadway Connection →
Rolling Stone dishes on Rock of Ages →
Get REAL- time
I had an interesting conversation last week about the media and entertainment landscape with a guy that advises people running the major media and new media companies. We discussed the state of the market and where things are headed. We talked about what’s happening with the traditional media companies i.e. the studios, the TV networks, the radio stations groups and such. The conversation...
Grumpy Old VCs
Lately, I’ve been hearing statements like: “the Venture Capital market will never be the same”, “the good ole days of Venture Capital are gone” and “Venture is dead”. I would expect these comments from bloggers seeking attention or journalists throwing out controversial headlines. However, these words are coming from the mouths of Venture Capitalists. Et tu...
Fix the Cause, not the Symptom
The trouble with makig batter cars is that they are still cars. They are pretty inefficient becasue they suck on dinosour juic, glog the roads, cost a lot and are idle about 90% of the time.
The War between Free and Pay
There are clear signs that the content distributors (MSOs, Telcos, Wireless) are making careful little plans to limit the distribution of rich content (video being the main item) over the web. Witness AT&T’s desire to limit the flow of video over their mobile networks. Time Warner Cable is planning to go to tiered pricing for bandwidth in an attempt to charge more for video and music...
The Constipation of Innovation
Well another quarter passes and no IPO’s. That’s 0, nada, nichts, niente, 余, 无 in the last 2 quarters. In fact, the IPO market has been largely dormant for 8 years. The space between the private and public equity markets is severely constipated. Few deals have snuck out and they weren’t necessarily the ones that should have made the move. The problem created by the lack of an...
english to japanese
My Wish List for 2010
I have been thinking about what devices and services I would like to see introduced in the next few years. These are somewhat random and not in any particular order. Some are things I want and some are things I would like to see made available to the public. Here’s my current list: Foldable OLED 7’ OLED screen for Blackberry and IPhone for e-book reading and web surfing. IPhones...
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Spark Capital →
Don’t hit at all if it is honorably possible to avoid hitting; but never...– - Theodore Roosevelt