Putting 2012 To Bed

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

But it comes across as a whiny complaint about the shitty year that 2012 was. But the reason I couldn't publish that post is it didn't capture the greater picture that 2012 represents for me. And I feel that 2012 is the next demarcation year for me but this time I have to do it in an existing firm with an existing portfolio. It was reported a few weeks ago that I had not made a single new investment in 2012.

Design Staff ? Hiring a designer: how to review portfolios

Design Staff

Hiring a designer: how to review portfolios. It’s easy to spot a beautiful portfolio. You likely have experience reading résumés and interviewing candidates, but how should you judge a design portfolio? A portfolio isn’t a collection of pictures.

Trending Sources

Hiring a designer: how to review portfolios

Google Ventures

It’s easy to spot a beautiful portfolio. You likely have experience reading résumés and interviewing candidates, but how should you judge a design portfolio? A portfolio isn’t a collection of pictures. Writers have entire portfolios without a single image.) A portfolio is just a collection of past work. Before I look at the portfolio, I usually look at the résumé to establish some baseline expectations: How many years of experience do they have?

The State Of E-Commerce Checkout Design 2012


UX Study The State Of E-Commerce Checkout Design 2012. September 4th, 2012. Portfolio Design Study: Design Patterns. September 4th, 2012 7:05 am. September 4th, 2012 7:21 am. September 4th, 2012 7:33 am. September 4th, 2012 11:46 pm. Portfolios.

Add Startups to Balance Your Portfolio, If You Dare

Startup Professionals Musings

With all these considerations, I recommend the following steps and considerations for investors newly interested in startups: Build a balanced investment portfolio. entrepreneur risk startups portfolio investors business

The Power Of Diversification

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

All the profit in that ten investment portfolio comes from the big winner. " Let's look at the same portfolio with a set of random initial investment amounts. I have written about this topic before but it's important and I want to say it again.

Duck Duck Go Passed 1mm Searches Per Day

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

I'm a bit late with this news about our portfolio company Duck Duck Go but I am super excited about it so I'm posting it anyway. duckduckgo (@duckduckgo) February 14, 2012.

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Disqus2012 Launches

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

The speedy new commenting system built from the ground up by our portfolio company Disqus is generally available today. Disqus 2012 - The Web's Favorite Discussion Platform from Disqus on Vimeo. Today is launch day for Disqus2012.

The Twitter "Patent Hack"

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

And we will recommend to our existing portfolio companies that they adopt it as well. Fast forward ten years or so and Nielsen sued two of my portfolio companies, comScore and TACODA, and a bunch of other companies too, on the basis of the Thinking Media patents. So IP that was partially funded by our firm was used to sue other portfolio companies. Yesterday Twitter announced that they plan to amend the assignments agreements that they sign with their employees.

Mobile Is Where The Growth Is

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

We have seen this in our portfolio too. If you look at any of the top web properties on comScore, Quantcast, Alexa or any other third party reporting service you will see that they all have been fairly flat over the first half of the year. You might think that all these big web services are flatlining. From board meeting to board meeting, we are seeing a similar pattern. Web is flattish. But mobile is growing like a weed.

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Rethinking Mobile First

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

Most notably Instagram, and also our portfolio company Foursquare. I wrote the Mobile First Web Second blog post a few years ago. In that post, I talked about apps that were designed to be used on mobile primarily with the web as a companion. There have been a number of startups that have taken that approach and done well with it. It has become a bit of a orthodoxy among the consumer social startup crowd to do mobile first and web second. But is it the right thing to do?

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A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

Behance isn't the only recent USV portfolio company to bootstrap its way into our portfolio. Three of the six portfolio companies in our new fund, raised late last year, were bootstrapped for an average of 3 1/2 years before we invested. With all the talk of massive amounts of cash sloshing around the web/mobile startup ecosystem (including things I've said recently), you would think that nobody bootstraps anymore. But that is not true at all.

The Future of Corporate Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Steve Blank

Companies will have to maintain a portfolio of new business model initiatives, not unlike a venture capital firm, and they will have to accept that maybe only 1 out 10 initiatives might succeed.

The New Networking: Ultimate LinkedIn Guide For 2012 Grads


Find a job, discover new connections, and share your portfolio by taking advantage of these great tools on LinkedIn.

Cloning Successful Startups

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

Jeff Leventhal, the CEO of our portfolio company WorkMarket , emailed me yesterday. There are a few examples of USV portfolio companies that were not the category creator. He said: i would love to see an avc post about copycats like samwer bros. what do u think of this form of entrepreneurs, etc? I looked back over my archives and I guess I've never addressed this topic here at AVC. So here goes. It's a free market out there. People can do what they want.

Why Innovation Dies

Steve Blank

That’s why they invest in a portfolio. Solutions are found by betting on a portfolio of low-cost experiments. Faced with disruptive innovation, you can be sure any possibility for innovation dies when a company forms a committee for an “overarching strategy.”.

Let Your Winners Run

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

So the youngest portfolio company in that portfolio is four years old now. We still have fifteen investments active in that portfolio including Zynga and Twitter and we own large blocks of stock in both of those companies. We own stakes in thirteen other portfolio companies most of which we believe are super strong companies that are building large and sustainable businesses. We will likely exit a few weaker investments in that portfolio over this year and next.

It’s Morning in Venture Capital

Both Sides of the Table

But in 2012 a visit to any major college in America will show you the massive increase in aspirations of our young talent to become the next Mark Zuckerberg and build a future Facebook. Fast forward to 2012 and none of these conditions hold. This article originally ran on PEHub.

How VCs Can Accelerate Portfolio Company Returns

David Teten

Koen, Gyorgy, and Adham are all Columbia Business School MBA 2012 students and former consultants with McKinsey and BCG. Best Practices in Venture Capital Portfolio Company Value Creation. In addition, in light of increasing competition in the startup funding space, a methodology for helping portfolio companies consistently is a strong competitive advantage. We think that VCs can add tremendous value by systematically actively supporting their portfolio companies.


A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

But as I have said a number of times on this blog, they are the most complete company in our portfolio. The first great investment we made at USV was Indeed in the summer of 2005. Brad had been looking for a search engine for jobs and I saw this post on John Battelle's blog in late 2004. I forwarded it to Brad and he reached out to Paul and Rony. It took two tries before we could convince them to take our money.

Advice for 2013: Deliver On Your Promises

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

They had huge ambitions for 2012 and we thought they were delusional. But as I look around the broader startup market (and certainly in our portfolio too), I don't see a ton of those stories in 2012. There has been a lot of discussion out there about the Series A crunch, the consumer sector falling out of favor, VCs getting more conservative, the need to focus on revenues instead of users, and so on and so forth.

The Valuable Unsung Heroes of Startups

Both Sides of the Table

And a heartfelt thank you to my VC friends, lawyers and portfolio executives who have spent their personal time counseling me in 2012. I got a call Sunday from a business colleague while I was sitting in the lounge at LAX waiting for yet another delayed flight.

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Lockups and Insider Selling

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

That is why many VC firms have a policy of moving the public stocks out of their portfolios as quickly as they can. There is a lot of sturm und drang out there in the worlds of social media, finacial media, and just plain media about all the lockups coming off and all the insider selling going on in some big internet stocks. As someone who has played this game a few times, I tought I'd post some thoughts about this.

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Pink is the New Purple!

500 Hats

disclosure: shameless pimping above of 500 Startups portfolio companies EcoMom , Daily Muse , Daily Worth , ActivityHero , PicCollage … all founded or co-founded by women Dear Marissa: Think Different.

Innovate Israel Conference Brings 28 Israeli startups to London

VC Cafe

Innovate Israel 2012 aims to connect Israeli web, mobile & digital entrepreneurs & businesses with their UK & European counterparts. Check out the 28 Israeli startups coming to London next week to showcase at the Innovate Israel 2012 portfolio.

Coming Of Age

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

They meet with tons of companies every week, work hard for their portfolio companies, and are on planes flying around to the important confereneces and demo days. I’m out here slingin bringin the drama, tryin to come up in the game and add a couple of dollar signs to my name - Memphis Bleek Coming Of Age by Jay-Z. I'm not going all Ben Horowitz on you. But imitation is the finest form of flattery and I do like how Ben rolls on his blog and in the venture capital business.

How Much Information Should you Give VCs for Due Diligence?

Both Sides of the Table

So I have taken to recommending to some of my portfolio companies a small addition to my statement above to say, very casually. This is a hot topic I’ve been asked a lot about recently. You’re on a first date with a VC – how much should you tell them?

Top Female CEOs of the 2012 Inc. 500

Inc Startups

million Three-Year Growth: 4,112% AustinCSI specializes in business optimization and program and portfolio management. Of the 500 companies on this list, women lead just 10% of them. But the most successful among are in industries as diverse as consulting, private jets, and IT.

VC Evolution: Physician, Scale Thyself.

500 Hats

Hell, there are still plenty of VCs who don’t even have a blog or use twitter, and many more who have no idea on how to use data services to analyze and collect metrics on their own portfolio.

Why You Should Think Twice Before You Send That Intro Email

Both Sides of the Table

Usually it’s on behalf of a portfolio company. My belief – unless you know the VC really well (you’re a portfolio company of theirs, for example) I’d always ask for permission first. Intros.They’re the lifeblood of networking – the currency of mavens.

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How to Develop Your Fund Raising Strategy

Both Sides of the Table

But the short answer is that the best intro is from a portfolio company of that VC or by other entrepreneurs whom that VC respects. You need to build genuine relationships with these portfolio startup founders as well as trust with them and the rest will follow. Raising money is hard.

Staying Independent

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

Angels and early stage investors who have portfolios with high loss ratios might hold on to their strongest performers for five to ten times their money. Possibly the most interesting running conversation I've been having with entrepreneurs lately is how they can keep their companies independent without having to go public and turn their cap table into a casino. There are a bunch of entrepreneurs thinking seriously about this issue and I've been thinking seriously about it too.

Shark Tank 2012 Holiday Episode Breakdown

Lightspeed Venture Partners

Although Sharktank has been running reruns on Fridays the last few weeks, the show ran a Sharktank 2012 Holiday special on Tuesday night. The most interesting company to present was The Coop , a modern, design-focused, indoor-outdoor children’s playspace in Los Angeles.

A Stroll Through The NextView Portfolio

Rob Go

A year ago, I wrote a post detailing some tidbits about our portfolio. Second best is to understand their portfolio. So here is an unscientific cut of our portfolio and some commentary below. I’m quite pleased at how the portfolio is taking shape so far – 7 of our companies have raised up-rounds from terrific VC’s with more on the way. One year later, we’ve made more investments and learned a lot.

How to Remain King of the World amidst Titanic Disruptions

Lightspeed Venture Partners

To bring an additional perspective to the conversation, I invited Lightspeed portfolio companies BloomReach, EdgeSpring, MapR, Nutanix, PernixData and Virtual Instruments who are focused on helping companies store, manage, analyze, and surface next-generation data and content.

The Magic Moment When You Shift To Executing As Fast As You Can

Feld Thoughts

My friend Chris Moody , President/COO at Gnip , refers to this as the execution phase of a business and there is no better example of execution in our current portfolio than the team at Gnip.

From The Archives: The Poker Analogy

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

  But if you play your hands right, the subseqent rounds are much less so, and the fact that you can put most of your capital to work in the later rounds makes the total portfolio a much less risky proposition than the upfront ante. I've written 5,680 posts according to Typepad. There are a lot of gems in the back catalog here at AVC. So I'm occasionally going to feature old and possibly forgotten posts under the tagline From The Archives.

A Quick Hack for Speeding up Term Sheet and other Negotiations

Both Sides of the Table

The VC mostly to come back and say some version of, “In all of the 50 deals we’ve seen in our portfolio we’ve never seen this term approved.” I’ve started a series on negotiations in startups. In it I list some books and also link to some of my previous posts.

Convertible Debt

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

USV does a fair bit of seed investing and we have never done a convertible debt deal (although we have done bridge loans for our existing portfolio companies). Back in the summer of 2010, I wrote a post outlining why I don't like convertible debt investments. My wife, aka Gotham Gal , does a fair bit of seed investing and she has done her share of convertible debt investments, always with a reasonable cap, but she also prefers a priced equity round.

When Do Venture Capitalists Owe Fiduciary Duties To Their Portfolio Companies?

Recent Buzzes - VC Experts, Inc.

In the typical venture-backed company, the Board often includes some members designated by the venture capital firms who are investors in the company. When things go awry, lawsuits often follow, and litigators are left to figure out the contours of the duties that the venture-appointed directors owed to the company and others