Kinnernet 2006 – geek camp

BeyondVC

I just got back from a week in Israel having spent some time in Jerusalem for an Answers board meeting and then making my way to the Ohalo Resort on the Sea of Galilee for Kinnernet 2006. The post Kinnernet 2006 – geek camp appeared first on BeyondVC. Kinnernet is a techie geek camp organized and run by Yossi Vardi (cofounder of ICQ). At Kinnernet, I had the privilege to spend time with some great people from Israel, Europe, and the US.

Seven Steps to Creating a Data Driven Decision Making Culture.

Occam's Razor

The title of my presentation at the Washington DC Emetrics summit was: Creating a Data Driven Web Decision Making Culture – Lessons, Tips, Insights from a Practitioner.

Excellent Analytics Tip#5: Conversion Rate Basics & Best Practices

Occam's Razor

It is only fair to follow up a post titled " Stop obsessing about conversion rate " with this post. Just in case you have not read the Stop Obsessing post that please read that first for more context). Conversion rate is a very important metric, used properly.

Explaining why TMT M&A deals at highest level since 2006

The Equity Kicker

Over the weekend the FT wrote that the value of TMT M&A deals in Q1 was $174bn, the highest level since 2006 and up 65% on the year ago period. The market is hot right now. No doubt about it. The $174bn includes a bunch of cable deals that aren’t relevant for the startup community, but even with those stripped out I’m sure the picture is still very healthy. ‘Is this a bubble?’ ’ I hear you say. I don’t think so.

July, 2006 in Review

Spencer Fry

Globalization and the world economy

BeyondVC

I remember 2 years ago the brouhaha over globalization and how every startup needed to adapt or it would die. I truly am a fervent believer in globalization and how offshoring some development work can make a ton of sense from a cost and time advantage (24×7).

Global 102

The 10 / 90 Rule for Magnificent Web Analytics Success

Occam's Razor

Numerous studies have pointed out that while almost all Fortune 500 companies have great investments in "Web Analytics" they still struggle to make any meaningful business decisions. Most people complain that there are tera bytes of data and giga bytes of reports and mega bytes of Excel and PowerPoint files. Yet no actionable insights, no innate awareness of what is really going on through the clutter of site clickstream data.

Excellent Analytics Tip#1: Statistical Significance

Occam's Razor

We all wish that our key internal partners, business decision makers, would use Web Analytics data a lot more to make effective decisions. How do we make recommendations / decisions with confidence? How can we drive action rather than pushing data? The challenge is how to separate Signal from Noise and make it easy to communicate that distinction. This is where Excellent Analytics Tip #1, a recurring series, comes in. Leverage the power of Statistics.

Experimentation and Testing: A Primer

Occam's Razor

This post is a primer on the delightful world of testing and experimentation (A/B, Multivariate, and a new term from me: Experience Testing).

Excellent Analytics Tip #7: The Adorable Site Abandonment Rate Metric

Occam's Razor

How many metrics can you call adorable? Site abandonment rate is an adorable metric, to me : ), for these reasons: Money, money, money baby.

Trinity: A Mindset & Strategic Approach

Occam's Razor

Some of you have heard me speak at a conference , I always have a deep passion and excitement when I talk about the “Trinity” I wax and wane about it and go on and on about how fantastic the “Trinity” is.

August, 2006 in Review

Spencer Fry

Web 28

Lab Usability Testing: What, Why, How Much.

Occam's Razor

On this blog we have talked about the importance of the “Why” often. Web Analytics usually simply helps us understand the “What” Clickstream data typically does not tell us why something happened.

HTML 83

Top Ten: Signs You Are A Great Analyst

Occam's Razor

I am often asked what we look for when we hire Web Analysts or what quality do good Analysts possess or how to measure if a resource that already exists is optimal or how to mentor / motivate / guide our more junior Analysts to propel them to become great Analysts.

Paul Graham 2006: Advice to entrepreneurs – Don’t get your hopes up

The Equity Kicker

Someone just linked me to a Paul Graham essay from 2006 titled The hardest lessons for startups to learn. All seven lessons are great, but the last one really struck a chord with me: 7. Don’t Get Your Hopes Up. Startup founders are naturally optimistic. They wouldn’t do it otherwise. But you should treat your optimism the way you’d treat the core of a nuclear reactor: as a source of power that’s also very dangerous.

Lean 94

Having too much money can be a curse, not a blessing

BeyondVC

Trust me, I love having well capitalized companies. However, having too much money can be a curse, not a blessing. More often than not, I see management lose financial discipline and avoid making hard decisions when capital is abundant and not scarce. To many executives, money does solve all problems. And yes, having money allows an entrepreneur to do many things with his business like hire more talent, scale the back-end infrastructure, and ramp up sales and marketing.

The state of consumer security

BeyondVC

I had the pleasure, and I mean pleasure, of recently rebuilding two of my home PCs running Windows XP because of performance degradation and other issues. I ended up doing a clean wipe of the hard drives and reinstalling Windows XP from scratch.

Dual mode phones – convergence of cellular and wifi

BeyondVC

VOIP and IM World Update

BeyondVC

Congrats to the Sipphone team (full disclosure-portfolio company and I am on board) for getting the Gizmo Project client out for the Nokia Internet 770 Tablet (see Andy Abramson’s blog for more on this).

Setting unattainable goals can hurt your company

BeyondVC

It is near the end of the year and I would hope by now that most companies have been through a revision or two of their strategic plan and budget for 2007. While strategic planning and budgeting is a task that some may find quite onerous or even useless, it is an imperative process and one that will help align your team and continue driving the growth of your business.

When to hire a VP of Sales

BeyondVC

As I mention in an earlier post , companies evolve and need different types of management with different profiles as they grow. A clear kiss of death that I have seen more often than not is hiring a VP of Sales too early. Here is the typical scenario – you just signed 3 or 4 customers in a couple of different verticals and you feel that all you need is some bodies on the street to grow your business.

Overview & Importance of Qualitative Metrics

Occam's Razor

Imagine walking into and out of a supermarket. If you did not purchase anything then the supermarket managers probably don't even know you were there. If you purchased something, the supermarket knows something was sold (they know a bit more if you use a membership card). Visiting a website, you leave behind a significant amount of data, whether you buy something or not.

Cracking The Code: Betting on the right guy

Cracking the Code

Saturday, December 16, 2006. ▼ 2006. (7). Cracking The Code. Thoughts from a Venture Capitalist on Software, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Cloud Computing, Internet and more. Betting on the right guy.

Cracking The Code: Zune vs. Ipod

Cracking the Code

Thursday, December 07, 2006. ▼ 2006. (7). Cracking The Code. Thoughts from a Venture Capitalist on Software, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Cloud Computing, Internet and more. Zune vs. Ipod. Is the Zune going to dent Apples disproportionate share of the online music market?

Is the bar lower for a tech IPO?

BeyondVC

From the introduction of our solutions in 2000 through September 30, 2006, our enterprise subscriber base has grown to approximately 1,500 companies who spend from $2,000 to more than $100,000 annually, including companies such as Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Procter & Gamble, Merrill Lynch, UPS and Cisco Systems. From April 2001 through June 30, 2006, we achieved 21 consecutive quarters of revenue growth. million of cash in the three months ended June 30, 2006.

IPO 60

McKinsey highlight #1 - Cracking The Code - Yes

Cracking the Code

Saturday, December 09, 2006. ▼ 2006. (7). Cracking The Code. Thoughts from a Venture Capitalist on Software, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Cloud Computing, Internet and more. McKinsey highlight #1: the art of cost cutting or how to save 70m with a measuring spoon.

Podcast: Having A Candid Conversation with Angel Investors.

Tim Keane

Managing Investor Relationships » June 28, 2006. Its a talk for Entrepreneurs (this recording is from the State Entrepreneurs Conference in June 2006) about how to select angel investors and also meet their expectations. Its a talk for Entrepreneurs (this recording is from the State Entrepreneurs Conference in June 2006) about how to select angel investors and also meet their expectations. Startups and angels: Along the way to success.

When competitors are acquired…Socialtext and Jotspot

BeyondVC

Socialtext will migrate JotSpot wiki content and provide one year of Socialtext Professional hosted wiki service to any JotSpot customer who signs up by the end of November 2006. In an earlier post titled "When Competitors are acquired" I discussed that rather than sulk and wish it were you who was bought, smart companies will go out and capitalize on the opportunity as their competition is temporarily distracted and inwardly focused on creating synergies.

Wiki 60

The myth of the Rock Star CEO

BeyondVC

Attraction to fame is part of our culture. There are dozens of magazines, tv shows, and websites devoted too all things celebrity. This attraction to fame also extends to the business and tech world as well – bringing a household name to your company can instantly elevate the perceived status of your business. All that being said, I personally have a serious problem when anything related to fame creeps into personnel decisions for an early stage company.

What are the key drivers of your business?

BeyondVC

Scott Maxwell has another excellent post on his blog. This time it is on a company’s need to measure and monitor their business. In an early stage business, I typically see two types of companies. There are those companies that do not measure and monitor much and instead drive their business by a "seat of the pants" decision making process. Other companies manage and monitor everything. The key is not to get stuck in the weeds and get paralyzed by analyzing too much data.

Why wireless apps are tough

BeyondVC

"We expect roughly a 10 percent to 20 percent revenue impact across the second quarter of 2006 to the third quarter of 2006." As you know, it is no secret to look to Europe and Asia to understand the future of new wireless services. As I mentioned in the past, having a hit wireless app can be a big play, but the chances of making it happen are far and few between, especially since business success hinges on relationships with the carriers.

China 60

Bringing the Valley to New York

BeyondVC

There are many things that I am thankful for this year, but one of the best things that could happen to the New York tech scene is the growth of Google. Last year Google opened a huge office in Chelsea and moved about 500 employees into the new location.

Small business startup kit for 2007 – mostly free!

BeyondVC

A friend of mine called me the other day to ask for advice on what services (email, voice, apps) he should use to run his business with the caveat being that he wanted to spend as little upfront capital as possible and also have minimal ongoing maintenance headaches.

The future of television advertising (continued)

BeyondVC

In my last post on television advertising , I mentioned that while video advertising on the web will grow rapidly over the next few years, the $60 billion currently spent on television advertising per year will not go away overnight. What is needed for the industry is a way to make television commercials more relevant, targeted, and dynamic. In other words, some of the best practices and technology from Internet advertising should be brought to television advertising.

The similarities between venture capitalists and social workers

BeyondVC

I had an interesting call this morning with an entrepreneur who had been up until the wee hours of the morning reviewing legal documents for a big strategic partnership. He apologized about his state of mind which wasn’t exactly calm and cool, and we proceeded to discuss the issues and parse out the major ones from the minor details. As I reminded him of a conversation I had with my wife several years ago, we all had a good laugh.

Set my music free – thank you EMI

BeyondVC

Thank you EMI for releasing music singles without any DRM protection on it. While I continue my love/hate relationship with the IPod, I do believe that my music needs to be portable and free. I recently bought the new Treo 680 for my wife and was in the process of loading music on her device when I remembered that my selection was limited. I also have the same issue with the new Blackberry Pearl I just bought for myself. Why is this the case?

Cloud 60

What startups can learn from Nintendo

BeyondVC

James Surowiecki has a great article in the New Yorker this week about the new Nintendo Wii system, titled "In Praise of Third Place." " What James really asks is if you are a distant third in a market, how do you compete with the big boys?

The future of television advertising (continued)

BeyondVC

A little over 2 years ago, I wrote a post about the future of television advertising. While I have always been bullish about broadband video advertising, I have never believed that the $60b television advertising industry would disappear overnight.

Yahoo’s manifesto for change

BeyondVC

If you are a big company getting your butt kicked, it seems like the thing to do is issue a memo. Bill Gates did it after Microsoft lost out on the first wave of the Internet. Ray Ozzie wrote one for Microsoft about the importance of software as a service last year (see an earlier blog post ).

Consumers want instant gratification

BeyondVC

Greg Linden has a great post summarizing a talk that Marissa Mayer of Google gave at the recent Web 2.0 conference. I encourage you to read it because Marissa talks about how Google ran a user test where users wanted more search results. Surprisingly, traffic and revenue dropped by 20% and what Marissa discovered was that load times for less searches was.4 seconds and load times with more searches was.9 seconds.

Flash 60

CBS going early

BeyondVC

As I wrote early last year, my perspective is that one must go early, go late, or go home to make money in the venture market. Given that we at Dawntreader have always been early, that is where we will continue to focus. What is interesting is that on the heels of the new seed funding plan that Charles River Ventures recently announced, CBS just brought in an Allen & Co deal maker to head up its Interactive division with an eye on going early as well.

Utility computing for the web and startups

BeyondVC

There is a great BusinessWeek article outlining Amazon’s ambition to be a utility for web businesses. This reminds me of a conversation I had last month with a founder and former CTO of one our of our prior portfolio companies who said his goal was to have a highly successful SAAS play with 1 operations guy instead of 20. When I asked him how he would do it, he quite simply said Amazon – Amazon EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud) and Amazon S3 for storage.

Web 60

Where are your sales boulders and how are you going to move them?

BeyondVC

I had 2 board meetings last week, and it seemed that we spent a fair amount of time digging into each company’s sales process, understanding and mapping out each phase of the sales cycle from sales lead to to actual installed customer. Many times one can focus too narrowly and only look at a sales pipeline or customer conversion rate and spend too much time talking about the numbers – did we make or miss our quarter and did we grow our sales pipeline and by how much.