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Introducing NextView III and Our Focus on the Everyday Economy

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What will the future hold? It’s a question every VC asks themselves and the entrepreneurs they invest in. Some conclude that certain sectors or technologies — like AI, blockchain, VR — will define the next decade.

Home Is Where the Innovation Is

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If a man from 1987 stepped into a time machine and emerged in 2017, he would find the modern world fantastically different in many ways. Mobile computing means that he has the world’s information and entertainment at his literal fingertips.

Introducing the Hitchhiker’s Guide to New York City Tech

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New York City is a dream but can also be a navigational nightmare, equal parts crammed circus and rat race mixed at warp speed. This holds for the city’s tech sector. NYC Tech is bursting at the seams with nightly networking events at floors and floors of co-working spaces.

Announcing NextView Operator Guilds

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When we create new platform initiatives, our team tries to think about how we can be the most impactful with our portfolio companies. We don’t sit in a room and pontificate about what they need — we just ask.

How Much Traction Do I Need to Raise from Seed VCs?

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A couple weeks ago, my partner Rob penned a blog post about the “shape of traction” which really resonated with a number of folks. The quick summary is that the shape of a startup’s traction (with time/product-quality on the x axis and traction on the y axis) and isn’t at all a linear path.

How to Build a Startup Marketing Team from Zero [Traction #33: Mike Volpe, Cybereason]

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So much of digital innovation has changed the way people communicate and create or access content. As a result, few departments in business have changed how they work quite like marketing, and few functions look so fundamentally different today than a decade ago. So hiring your first marketer as a startup founder can be a daunting task. What’s the profile of the candidate? When do you hire someone? How do you run your process?

All Entertainment in the Next Decade Is Digital Entertainment

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Certain areas of the Everyday Economy , such as home and food , have been largely insulated from the internet and other technological forces. But one aspect of our daily lives has already changed dramatically since the dawn of the internet: How we are entertained. We now take for granted technologies that fairly recently seemed like far-off predictions, such as affordable and ubiquitous broadband along with smartphone penetration.

New York City Tech Podcast: Eli Bronner, Growth at AngelList

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New tech ecosystems often benefit from entrepreneurs who will dive in blind and figure out their direction along the way. This profile of founder tends to be younger, obsessively driven, and inclined towards making big, bold, necessary mistakes early and often on the path towards product-market fit. In 2010, Eli Bronner and his Lua Technologies co-founders were this exact profile of entrepreneurs, and New York City was an exuberant tech ecosystem without much structure or identity.

The Great Retail Reinvention: How the Internet Is Reshaping the Way We Buy Clothing

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Apparel is currently one of the most fascinating categories within the Everyday Economy. It’s a $1T+ global industry undergoing tectonic shifts. We are currently seeing the most rapid collapse of retail since the Great Recession, due to the internet changing consumer demand and purchasing patterns. In 2017 alone, we’ve seen widespread store closures or bankruptcies from apparel retailers, including: True Religion. JC Penny. Macy’s.

Stop Generating Ideas & Start Solving Problems [Traction #24: Nadia Boujarwah, Dia&Co]

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Startups are exciting for any number of reasons, not least of which are all the fresh new ideas for products and various approaches to doing the work. But we forget that building successful startups is not actually about coming up with ideas.

Magic Graph: How Much Seed Capital Should You Raise?

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When thinking about how much seed capital to raise, we need a more sophisticated lens than just the old rule of thumb of “18 months of runway.”

Behind-the-Scenes of Parody Video Group Vooza, the Tech Startup World’s Spinal Tap

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Today, we talk to startup legend and self-made millionaire, Matt Ruby, founder of Vooza — thought leader, disruptor, and the next Steve Jobs. Alright, alright, so none of that is true — but we DO talk to a guy named Matt Ruby who parodies the startup world through his video production company, Vooza. Not only are they hilarious, but they partner with some REAL startups to create hilarious videos too. Follow Matt on Twitter: twitter.com/voozahq. Watch Vooza’s videos at vooza.com.

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How Andela Finds and Trains World-Class Engineers in Africa [Traction #41: Christina Sass]

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Christina Sass is co-founder and COO of Andela, a company that locates, trains, and staffs world-class engineers in Africa for hire by tech companies in the US and elsewhere. They’ve sparked a movement, cracked the code on finding great coders, and have attracted investors like Mark Zuckerberg. Visit andela.com to learn more, or follow Christina at twitter.com/sasschristina. Channel Links: iTunes , SoundCloud , Stitcher , Google Play.

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Make a Living, Not a Life: Inside WeWork’s Seed Stage with Jesse Middleton [Traction #23]

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On this episode of Traction, we go inside the thinking behind a $16B startup — worth more than Twitter, Pinterest or Dropbox as of this recording.

Five Recruiting Metrics Every Founder Should Track

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Ask a founder of a growing startup what they need most, and you’ll often get an answer along the lines of, “We need great people, and we need them fast.”.

Taking Corporate VC: When It Makes Sense

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In recent years we’ve seen more and more corporations become more active or establish strategic VC arms.

The Investment Memo

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VC evaluation of seed-stage startups can seem arbitrary or imitative at times. Internally, the scarcity of tangible business metrics – product usage or revenue multiples for example – can make an investment decision feel daunting. Presented with various unknowns from any one pitch, VCs often lack an existing information infrastructure to examine in forming an opinion.

How to Ditch the False Silver Bullets and Run a Growth Hacking Process

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Sean Ellis and Morgan Brown are entrepreneurs, growth experts, and co-authors of the book Hacking Growth. Today, we talk about this notion of growth hacking and debunk some myths, then walk through a smart process you can use to start running a growth engine strategically, instead of seeking false silver bullets. Find their book, Hacking Growth , on Amazon. Follow Sean and Morgan on Twitter: [link] and [link]. Channel Links: iTunes , SoundCloud , Stitcher , Google Play.

HBS Entrepreneurs Founded the Most Startup Unicorns of Any MBA Program

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As a second-year Harvard Business School student and NextView Ventures MBA Associate, constantly keeping up-to-date with the start-up world, I have heard some skepticism about the ability of MBAs to found top companies.

For Startups, Where Does Brand Marketing Fit? [Traction #32: Nancy Go, Wayfair]

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When you hear “brand marketing,” what do you think about? Maybe big brands, big budgets, or even big wastes of money and time as a startup, right? But what if brand marketing could help you get actual results, whether that’s user acquisition or raising a Series A? In this episode, we talk to the VP of Brand Marketing at ecommerce company Wayfair, Nancy Go.

What Are Pre-Seed Rounds and Why Do They Exist?

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This is the first of several blog posts discussing pre-seed rounds. To ensure you receive the rest, subscribe here. In this post, I want to answer the question, “What are pre-seed rounds?” ” I’ll also address why they’ve become fairly common.

The State of NYC Seed: Startup Trends & VC Data [REPORT]

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At NextView, we’ve never been higher on NYC tech. Today, we’re excited to launch the State of NYC Seed — a comprehensive report on the ecosystem, authored by our own Tim Devane. Since joining NextView, we’ve talked often and excitedly about the New York startup ecosystem.

Why We Invested in Attentive

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Five years ago, TapCommerce CEO & Co-Founder Brian Long had a vision of helping brands deliver customers, revenue, and ROI across mobile devices. A lot has changed since then, but one industry megatrend has remained constant: consumers’ radical adoption of mobile commerce and retailers’ desire to reach them on these devices.

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How to Find the Perfect Startup Job [An Insider’s Guide to Finding, Vetting, and Negotiating]

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Editor’s note: Today, NextView is excited to release this ebook from partner David Beisel. Below, find an excerpt and free download of How to Find the Perfect Startup Job. Spend a few hours browsing content about startups, and one thing becomes painfully obvious: There’s a TON of it.

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The Man Who Coined “Product-Market Fit” Shares Mental Models for Entrepreneurs [Traction #47: Andy Rachleff]

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On the podcast today, NextView cofounder Rob Go sits down with Andy Rachleff, VC veteran and the president, CEO, and executive chairman of Wealthfront. They talk about how Andy came up with the term product-market fit, how he applied his own lessons (and updated them) in building Wealthfront, and the mental models founders can use to unlock their real unfair advantage in a tactics-obsessed world: how you think. Follow Andy on Twitter. Follow Rob on Twitter.

Inside Mattermark’s Ubiquitous Newsletter: Principles and Process

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You probably know them well. If you’re not already subscribed to a number of them yourself, you’ve seen pop-up messages—on any number of sites—that urge, beg, plead with you to sign up to receive them regularly.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Boston Tech: 2016 Update

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Today, we are excited to re-release an updated Hitchhiker’s Guide to Boston Tech ! This guide is a living and breathing site, so we make a bit of a push to update it on an annual basis to keep things fresh.

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Gotham Alpha # 5: Skillshare’s Alex Qin on NYTech’s Diversity Gap and How To Fix It

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NYTech does not mirror the diversity of its host city… Today on Gotham Alpha, I talk to Alex Qin, Skillshare engineer and founder of Code Cooperative, about the reality of New York Tech’s diversity gap…what factors actually reinforce hiring prejudice here…and how we can all start to fix this problem, right now. Follow me and Alex at twitter.com/tdevane and twitter.com/alexqin.

The 4 Types of Stories Founders Need to Tell When Fundraising

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As a child, I believed logical arguments were enough to convince anyone of anything. You just needed enough time to explain them in painstaking, rational detail—others would listen and understand. As an adult, I know the world operates on story first and logic second.

How a Seed VC Approaches Pre-Product Startups

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Editor’s note: At a recent team meeting at NextView, we looked at the high number of startups we invested in which were pre-product at the time. The question arose: What is a seed VC’s process like when a company is pre-product? The below article answers that question.

How One Startup Combines Boston’s B2B Sense with the Valley’s Social Media Style

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This is a guest post by Alignable CMO Dan Slagen about the missed opportunity the company has identified in social networking, and why they’ve chosen to build the business on the East Coast. Full disclosure: NextView is an investor in Alignable.

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NYC Tech Podcast: Shai Goldman of SVB on Local Growth & Who Makes His All-Startup Basketball Team

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NextView’s NYC podcast rolls on. Today, I talk to Shai Goldman, one of the most active community builders in NYC Tech, on his background, the evolution of the local startup scene … and who he’d draft to an all-startup pickup basketball game. Follow me and Shai at twitter.com/tdevane and twitter.com/shaig.

How to Found a Startup in a New Industry

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Most startups’ founding mythologies are full of the same phrases : “hard work,” “agile strategy,” “smart scaling.” But one of the most undervalued and elusive factors is timing. As they say, timing is everything. Arrive to the market too soon and there’s no demand for the product.

The VC Meeting Map: What to Expect After a Successful First Pitch

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Nearly all of the guidance for meetings with VCs is centered on the very first meeting: how to get it, how to prepare a pitch deck , how to run the meeting , etc. But then the tactical advice stops. What about the rest of the VC fundraising process?

Startup Founders’ Favorite Interview Questions to Judge Early Team Fit

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At seed-stage startups, especially companies with well-networked founders and investors, finding applicants who can do a job on paper is not overly difficult. The true challenge is to find candidates who will mesh into a small, budding team and culture.

Startup Shootaround: Inside a VC Team Meeting on Autonomous Vehicles

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Editor’s note: The NextView team periodically holds internal “shootarounds,” where we discuss a startup topic or trend and try to make sense of it for everyone involved: entrepreneurs, investors, and consumers. We’ve decided to share these publicly. Below is a lightly edited transcript of our discussion on drones. You can also read past shootarounds on voice interfaces and drones. LEE HOWER: I think everybody here is enthusiastic about autonomous vehicles.

City Made: Why NYC Is A Great Place To Be An Entrepreneur

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New York City is a tremendous place to be an entrepreneur.

Mattermark’s Clever Origin Story and Why Their CEO Loves Arguing with VCs [Traction #11]

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The NextView podcast Traction explores all the clever, creative, and atypical things entrepreneurs do to make initial progress against the odds. If startups should do things that “don’t scale,” then this podcast asks a simple question: What ARE those things?

Startup Competition Slides: A Common Red Flag in Pitches

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Guess what is often the worst slide in an investor pitch deck ? For me, it’s the competition slide. At best, it’s a list of competitors plotted in some 2×2 or Harvey-ball chart that isn’t terribly helpful. At worst, it’s hurtful.

Playing Startup

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I’ve observed what may be an emerging trend, at least in some startups, that I find somewhat unsettling. It has an impact at an individual level, a company level, and an ecosystem level.