Venture Alignment

Do venture capitalists get paid very well to lose other people’s money? That is the thesis of a piece by Diane Mulchay, director of private equity at the Kaufmann Foundation. Along with misaligned fee structures and the limited downside risk, the core of her critique is particularly brutal: despite a claimed expertise to recognize and reward new ideas, the venture…

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Five Best Blogs: June 2014

We are catching up on the venture capital scene this month, with a good profile of Sequoia Capital (the VC "It Girl" of the past, oh few decades), a primer by Bill Janeway on the future of venture capital, a piece on the changing nature of competition, some great data on the VC Power Law for exits, and the invaluable…

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Bitcoin of the Realm

2013 in a word? According to at least one economist it was: Bitcoin - a secure peer-to-peer payment system and digital currency created in 2009. New Bitcoins are mined by software programmers, and although users can remain anonymous, central to the system is a public database and sequential record of all transactions (as if one could track the use of…

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Five Best Blogs: January 2014

If blogs aren't visual enough for you, WonkBlog has a series on the best graphs of the year, while back on the blog side, here are some thoughts from Ben Horowitz on taking the mystery out of scaling a company; Tim Harford on why there are no new ideas, only remixes; the folks at First Round suggest the best advice for entrepreneurs in 2013; a…

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Five Best Blogs: December 2013

This month, read some very cogent reasons why an entrepreneur turned down $5 million in venture funding, or go the other direction and get Paul Graham's advice on how to raise money, and if you have already tried, take comfort in some reasons why you can't raise money; elsewhere there is Tim Harford on 10 email commandments to stay efficient; Freakanomics…

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The Little Start Ups That Couldn’t

In entrepreneurial culture, success dominates the airwaves. A brand new company can succeed in many ways: attracting press, landing influential seed investors, winning contests, and through stories of individual users. This culture is so strong, that the second act of an entrepreneur is often seeding additional entrepreneurs. But the success of a new company quickly fades into the mundane, and…

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One Cool Thing: Easyshift & Gigwalk

Smart phones are expensive -- often too much so for younger users, or even those suffering through the economic downturn.  But there are now apps to help an smart phone pay for itself.  As this article outlines, apps such as easyshift and gigwalk (both VC backed) allow users to do simple local tasks: take a photo of a menu, or product placement in a drugstore. The…

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Venture Consolidation and Control

The good news?  Venture capital investment equaled $5.9B in Q2 of this year, up considerably from the $2.6B in Q2 of 2011.  The bad news?  The number of funds raising capital decreased to 38 (from 45 in the same period a year ago, an 18% drop). The result, as this story (registration required) in the Financial Times aptly demonstrates, is…

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Series B is for Suckers

2011 saw a modest recovery, as venture capital firms raised $18.2 billion from their limited partners – up from $13.8 billion the year before.  However, most of the money was raised by established funds with very few new entrants and a number of VC’s morphing into the Walking Dead. While these are clear signs of the long-anticipated industry consolidation, the…

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