For most companies, fundraising isn’t about $100-million rounds and “unicorns”. It’s often an anxiety-ridden, lonely, frustrating process filled with uncertainty and self doubt.
Despite the stories out there, raising venture capital isn’t easy for most startups. Entrepreneurs are always evaluating tradeoffs, such as valuation and structure (which we’ve written about before). But there’s much more, so we’re sharing this list of FAQs to help shed light on the realities of raising capital. MORE
The classical description of disruption in business, and especially technology, is that a new product (method, business model, etc.) appears that’s not as good as the existing way of doing things, but that’s much cheaper… The future always comes looking like a toy. You can see this basic story over and over again in the history of the technology industry.
Right now, the tech industry is being reset by the mobile. And in mobile, disruption tends to work the other way around: That is, in tech the cheap weak product generally gets better quicker than the good expensive product gets cheaper. But in mobile, the good expensive product has generally got cheaper faster than the cheap, weak product got good. Moore’s Law is operating in both cases, but the effects are different. MORE
A big part of managing two-sided marketplaces involves managing tensions between the two, often opposing “sides”. Typically these are consumers on one side and micro-entrepreneurs or small businesses on the other. Depending on the type of marketplace it is, this tension could be between buyers and sellers (Amazon, eBay, etc.); diners and reviewers and restaurants and establishments (OpenTable, Yelp); guests and hosts (Airbnb); riders & drivers (Lyft, Uber); and so on.
So what should you do when you believe introducing a new product or feature will benefit the marketplace as a whole — but one or both of the sides have trouble seeing that big picture? Here are some tactics that I have deployed while managing different marketplaces… MORE
You’ve heard the story: Slack began as a game. But 1 year ago today, the internal tool the team built for its own use became a team communication app that anyone can use — and is now one of the fastest growing ones at that. What can an app like Slack tell us about how we work today, and how the nature of work will change (fewer meetings? less emails)? MORE
As smartphones have subsumed more and more consumer electronics products, you could end up just owning fewer things. But smartphones also enable new products, as I’ve written elsewhere: the smartphone supply chain generates small, cheap, and very powerful sensors, processors, and other components that can be used for new types of devices. Some of these will be purely utilitarian — fitness trackers, connected door locks or thermostats. But others will tap into the desire for objects that are pleasing. MORE