In search of things new and useful.

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The Shape of Traction

We do a fair bit of investing in companies pre-product and spend a lot of time speaking with entrepreneurs before they have found strong product/market fit. The tricky thing about the period before strong PMF is that it’s rare that things are obviously not working.  If you are a smart, competent team building quality products, usually […]


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Quick Post on Post-Money Valuations

When I first started out as a VC nearly 9 years ago, most early stage company valuations were expressed as pre-money valuations. That is, the valuation of the company prior to the investment of new capital. Most term sheets talked about the valuation in these terms, and you added the dollars invested to get a post-money […]


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Doing References on Potential Investors

Raising money is often challenging, and a lot has been written about how to optimize the process to get the most attractive deal with the right investors. But relatively little has been written about actually selecting the “right” investor. When VC’s evaluate a founder or team, they rely heavily on references in their due diligence. […]


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Placing Bets or Making Investments?

Sometimes, I hear people talk about early stage investing in terms of “placing bets”. It’s something that has rubbed me the wrong way for a while. In my first year as a VC, an old colleague of mine remarked that we shouldn’t talk about VC’s “doing deals” but instead, talk about “making investments”. Similarly, I think […]


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The Summer Slowdown

VC’s are notorious for slowing down their activity during the summer. Raising capital in August is a definite no-no, but overall pace and engagement sometimes starts to slide well before that. This year, I’m guessing that the summer slowdown will be the most pronounced than we’ve seen in a while. The soft first quarter VC […]


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The VC Death Trap

Contrary to what one might think, the biggest problem for VCs isn’t making an investment in a company that fails.  All VC’s invest in lots of companies that don’t work out.  It’s a known risk, and the main one everyone thinks about. But this is not typically where VCs really get into trouble. The much […]


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Non Recurring Revenue Businesses

I’ve been thinking a little about non-recurring revenue businesses.  Particularly, businesses where transactions are large, but infrequent. I’m coming to the belief that these are under-appreciated categories of investment, especially since the gospel of recurring revenue, subscription commerce, and SaaS has been preached in recent years. The basic downsides of these sorts of businesses vs. […]


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Living Forever

I’ve been thinking about our lifespan recently. That sounds grim, but it’s actually not. One thing that spurred this thinking is that my wife’s great aunt just turned 100. She is essentially my wife’s grandmother figure and they are very close. I first met her over 10 years ago when she was turning 90, and […]


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Don’t Pivot, Do the Eurostep

In honor of the NBA Playoffs, I thought I’d sprinkle a little basketball lingo into this post I’ve been thinking about for a while. I think the most dangerous place to be for an early stage, venture funded company to be is where things are “sort-of-working”. When things are totally working, it’s clearly better. When […]


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Saying Farewell to my Favorite Feature

Earlier this week, we got the inevitable news that support for the Sunrise Calendar was coming to an end. This was very bittersweet for the team there, and for me since I was a very avid user and early investor and board member of the company. I’m particularly sad however because I must now say […]


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