The structure of the VC industry is changing. This matters not only to entrepreneurs raising capital — but it also impacts the finance industry overall, because companies are staying private longer (fewer IPOs) and public investors (including hedge funds, mutual funds, publicly held corporations) are getting into the VC game, too. So in that sense these changes affect everyone who is in the market.
But the real question is: Why now? What’s really behind the structural transformation happening in venture capital — and by extension, the tech industry? And finally: How do we reconcile the seeming paradox of it being cheaper to start companies today… but at the same time needing to raise more capital? MORE
Spending time in the developing world, one can always marvel at the resourcefulness of people living in often extraordinarily difficult conditions… Here in the U.S., we’re all familiar with the transformative nature of mobile phones in our lives. And for those in extreme poverty, the mobile phone has been equally, if not more, transformative.
One particular challenge faced by many in Africa, especially those living in fairly extreme poverty (less than $500 a year in purchase power), is dealing with money and buying things, and how the mobile phone is transforming those needs. MORE
There are around 1.6 to 1.7 billion* PCs in use today, and there are already perhaps 2 billion iOS and Android devices**. Over the next few years the great majority of the mobile base will convert to these devices: there will be 3 to 4 billion smartphones in use*** and hundreds of millions more tablets.
So, mobile means there will be two to three times more personal computing devices connected to the internet. But actually, that understates the change massively. The difference in how those smartphones are used is actually just as important as the raw numbers. MORE
“Real quick, whole squad on that real sh*t
0 to 100, n***a, real quick”
—Drake, “0 to 100/The Catch Up“
I am a giant advocate for technical founders running their own companies, but one consistent way that technical founders deeply harm their businesses is by screwing up the budgeting process. Yes, the budgeting process. How ridiculous is that? How does it happen and why is it particularly problematic for engineers? I’ll begin by describing how I screwed it up in my company… MORE
“To whoever think their words affect me is too stupid
And if you can do it better than me, then you do it”
—Kanye West, “Cold”
One obvious yet under-appreciated law of business physics is: For any given company, the larger the company becomes, the more opportunities emerge to screw it up.
Another obvious, but not well understood law: The more screwed up your company, the more people will complain about it and blame you.
If we take these two together, it is easy to see that without intervention the larger your company becomes, the more people will complain and blame you.
This seems simple enough, but CEOs often fail to understand the logic, become overwhelmed by the criticism, lose confidence in themselves, and decide that they are no longer capable of running their own companies. This can be tragic as I explained in “Why We Prefer Founding CEOs”.
If you are a logical and open-minded person, it is difficult not to take a 10X increase in criticism seriously. More importantly, it’s difficult not to take a 10X increase in criticism personally. So how can a CEO keep from getting ground into sawdust by complaints from her own people? The answer comes from a simple CEO aphorism: You either apply pressure or you feel pressure. MORE