June, 2017

Global EIR and Silicon Valley Bank Funding Match

Feld Thoughts

Today Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) announced their support for Global EIR , a cause for which I care deeply. As you may know, over breakfast in 2015 Jeff Bussgang and I launched Global EIR with the hope of advancing the startup visa effort on a local and state level after it stalled in Congress.

Tesla Lost $700 Million Last Year, So Why Is Tesla’s Valuation $60 Billion?

Steve Blank

Automobile manufacturers shipped 88 million cars in 2016. Tesla shipped 76,000. Yet Wall Street values Tesla higher than any other U.S. car manufacturer. What explains this more than 1,000 to 1 discrepancy in valuation? The future.

Doing The Heavy Lifting

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

Most venture capital investments are made, over time, by syndicates. This means a group of venture capital firms develops around a company, usually built over multiples rounds. Some of the firms in the syndicate agree to (or require) having a partner from their firm join the Board of the company. If you look at the roughly dozen boards I am on, most of them have multiple venture capitalists on them.

Mary Meeker’s Internet And Digital Trends for 2017


The much awaited Mary Meeker digital trends report is out. Lo and behold, Internet growth is stagnating if you take out India. India still is at only 27% Internet penetration so there’s a lot of growth opportunity. It makes me wonder how connected we will be when the next billion is online.

Guest Post: Introducing The Customer Happiness Canvas

Grasshopper Herder

The Customer Happiness Canvas is a tool for teams to visualize strategies for getting and keeping customers. The post Guest Post: Introducing The Customer Happiness Canvas appeared first on GrasshopperHerder.com.

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The UrbanTech Movement is Transforming Cities


Urbanization is a defining process of modern life. More than half of the world’s population now lives in cities, and the number of urban citizens around the world is projected to rise to 66% by 2050.

Open Source Funding Documents

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

Cooley, one of the top startup law firms, has open sourced the legal documents required to do a Series Seed or Convertible Note financing. They are available on Cooley’s CooleyGo document generation platform and also on GitHub. Kudos to Cooley for doing this. We need to make the transaction costs of getting a financing done as low as possible and putting the legal docs into the public domain is a great step forward in doing that.

Details of Upfront Ventures New $400 Million Fund

Both Sides of the Table

I am so proud and humbled to be able to formally announce that Upfront Ventures has raised its 6th venture capital fund in the past 21 years. Upfront VI is our latest core fund and is $400 million to invest in early stage entrepreneurs.

5 Reasons Entrepreneurs Need To Highlight Small Wins

Startup Professionals Musings

Managing and motivating a team in a startup is more than just using the right interpersonal skills. It’s more than providing recognition, tangible incentives, and clear work goals.

Does VC Fund Differentiation Matter?

Feld Thoughts

I’ve met and emailed with many pre-seed and seed GPs in the past year. Over sushi last night with two of them, who are also long-time friends, one of them asked me “Brad, how do you think we are differentiated?” ” This generated a rant from me that went something like this.

Why a Company Can’t “Be More Like a Startup”

Steve Blank

This article originally appeared in the Harvard Business Review. As more and more companies face disruption from globalization, new technology, and startups that have more capital than the incumbents, the continuing cry from Wall Street investors is, “Why can’t companies be as innovative as startups?”. Here’s one reason why: Startups can do anything. Companies can only do what’s legal. Startups can do anything.

Summer is Not Here Yet, But Holiday Marketing Time Is!

Rembrandt Communications

Christmas starts in October. Are you ready for holiday marketing? It’s that time of year when you prepare for graduations, Father’s Day and upcoming vacations. But there is something else you need to think about now… Christmas. That’s right.

Video Of The Week: Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends Report

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

This is a few weeks old, but I finally got around to watching it. Mary always does a nice job of summarizing the latest trends.

What is the Right Burn Rate for your Startup?

Both Sides of the Table

One of the hardest decisions entrepreneurs make when they start a company and raise outside capital is figuring out what an acceptable “burn rate” is.

Do You Have The Right Stuff For A Growth Business?

Startup Professionals Musings

As an angel investor, I get approached regularly by aspiring entrepreneurs who can talk endlessly about their latest great idea, and little else. While I recognize that every new venture starts with an idea, a successful business of lasting value is all about people and execution.

Lessons From The Internet Bubble: Growth vs. Profitability

Feld Thoughts

Over the weekend, Mark Suster and Fred Wilson each put up awesome posts discussing the idea of profitability in startups. Mark’s is a master class about how to look at the financial characteristics of a startup and Fred’s discusses what he’s been working on with some of his more mature companies. They are both worth reading right now. I’ll be here when you get back.

Hacking for Defense @ Stanford 2017 – Lessons Learned Presentations

Steve Blank

We just finished our second Hacking for Defense class at Stanford. Eight teams presented their Lessons Learned presentations. Hacking for Defense is a battle-tested problem-solving methodology that runs at Silicon Valley speed.

Video 155

5 Reasons a Coworking Space Makes Sense for Your Startup

Up and Running

So, you’ve started your business—where are you going to work? About half of U.S. startups choose to run their business from home , but your home office may not be a suitable environment if your startup is growing and you want to bring more people on board or meet with clients.

The Good, Bad And Ugly Of Entrepreneurship

YFS Magazine

Entrepreneurship is a lifestyle completely customized to your own liking and it can bring you success, the good and the bad of it. Lifestyle business lessons Entrepreneurship lifestyle personal development

One Simple Way You Can Make an Actual Difference in Somebody’s Life

Both Sides of the Table

Fresno State students receive supplies for school with help from Renaissance Scholars staff John Hunt, Jr. left) and Kizzy Lopez (right). We’re all bombarded with social media campaigns asking for us to Tweet, share, like, change our badge, use a hashtag or generally show outrage at a topic du jour.

Fresno 178

10 Guidelines For Storytelling To Hype Your Startup

Startup Professionals Musings

The entrepreneur’s challenge is to effectively communicate their value proposition, not only to customers, but also to vendors, partners, investors, and their own team. Especially for technical founders, this is normally all about presenting impressive facts. But in reality facts only go so far.

Learn To Do Everything Lightly

Feld Thoughts

An hour into dinner last night with Alex Rigopulos, he picked up his phone, tapped away at it for a few seconds, and slid it across the table to me. I then read the following: “It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them. I was so preposterously serious in those days, such a humorless little prig.

We Have A Moral Obligation

Steve Blank

I was in Boston and was interviewed by The Growth Show about my current thinking about innovation in companies and government agencies.The interviewer was great and managed to get me to summarize several years of learning in one podcast. It’s worth a listen. At the end of the interview I got surprised by a great question – “What’s the Problem that Still Haunts You?” ” I wasn’t really prepared for the question but gave the best answer I could on the fly.

11 Questions to Help Your Business Start Off on the Right Foot

Up and Running

It’s easier than ever to start a business! Which is great, except too many people jump into entrepreneurship without any preparation. There’s a learning curve no matter what you do, but I’d much rather see your business start off on the right foot than struggle unnecessarily.

3 Lessons From High Achievers On Work-Life Balance

YFS Magazine

Take a look at 3 valuable lessons from high-achievers who have successfully maintained fulfilling personal lives while advancing in their career. Lifestyle lifestyle success advice work-life balance


Should Startups Care About Profitability?

Both Sides of the Table

There are certain topics that even some of the smartest people I talk with who aren’t startup oriented can’t fully grok. One of them is whether profitability matters.

9 Reasons Why Execution Trumps Thinking In Business

Startup Professionals Musings

In my role as an advisor to entrepreneurs and new businesses, I often get asked to critique an idea, but rarely get asked to comment on an implementation plan, or execution actions to date.

I Don’t Accept This Apology

Feld Thoughts

I don’t believe that one starts an apology with the sentence “ The past 24 hours have been the darkest of my life.” In my world, the apology is to another person. It’s not a tone setting exercise, or a plea for sympathy, for the one making the apology. I was fuming after seeing the public apology on Axios from Justin Caldbeck. I could be wrong, but it felt like it was written by a crisis management PR firm. I spent most of Friday evening angry and upset. Embarrassed by the behavior of some men.

27 Entrepreneurs Explain Why They Started Their Business


Each business has a story. No matter if the business is a Goliath like Wal-Mart, or a local business owned by a couple or family, the business has roots in an idea. For each business owner, the story of their journey can range from monetary needs or the passion for a unique project.

Agile Marketing: How to Implement Scrum for Digital Marketing


Agile marketing may not be a phrase you hear often, but it’s becoming increasingly popular and important. Traditionally associated with development and product management, agile is a lightweight and, well, agile framework for software development and bringing features and products to market.


5 Lessons Public Speakers Can Learn From Stand-up Comedians

YFS Magazine

For an aspiring public speaker, stand-up comedy can do more than crack you up. Here are 5 lessons to improve your next keynote. Grow Marketing & Sales communication personal development public speaking

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

View from Seed

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.

9 Keys To Maximizing Your Business Leadership Impact

Startup Professionals Musings

In this age of social media and world-wide Internet, message delivery from business leaders needs to change, just like the message changes from leaders in your personal lives.

Julie Sandler Joins Pioneer Square Labs As A Managing Director

Feld Thoughts

In October 2015, Pioneer Square Labs launched. We led the financing, and I joined the board to work more closely with Greg Gottesman, Geoff Entress, Mike Galgon, and Ben Gilbert to build a long-lasting and enduring startup studio in Seattle. Today, Julie Sandler joined Pioneer Square Labs as the fourth managing director. Julie previously was a partner at Madrona Venture Group and is deeply involved in the Seattle startup community.