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.

Does the enterprise matter?

deal architect

I love Mary Meeker’s annual Internet Trends report. This year though it struck me that over 95% of her 355 slides focused on consumer world – digital advertising, ecommerce, ride-sharing, gaming. wearables and digital healthcare etc. The “vertical” growth in. Industry Commentary

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.

4 Ways Start-Ups Can Make Their Virtual Meetings More Productive


by Brian Zeng, owner of Ponbee.com. “We We spend as much as half our days in meetings.” – ‘ State of Modern Meeting ’ by Blue Jeans Network. It is therefore essential for business owners to think of ways to make meetings more productive and reduce the time spent in the conference rooms.

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.

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.

Go For Culture Add, Not Culture Fit

Feld Thoughts

I’ve come to despise the phrase “culture fit.” ” I don’t remember when I first heard it, but it was many years ago. Over time, it became woven into the world of entrepreneurship, as companies used it as a primary frame of reference for hiring.

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Dalhousie University Commencement Speech – 2017

Steve Blank

Light a path for the better angels. Thank you, Chancellor McLellan, President Florizone, Dean Charlebois, Dr. Hewitt, and Dr. Kilfoil for the invitation to speak today and thank you for the honorary degree. I’m honored to speak at a university whose motto is: Pray and Work.

7 Content Marketing Tips For Small Business Owners


by Keval Padia , co-founder and CEO at Nimblechapps. What makes aspiring small businesses different from their big brothers is that they have an insufficiently small budget to fulfill big dreams. But interestingly, such dreams are worthy enough in the level playing field of content marketing.

7 Business Lessons You Can Learn From A 7-Year-Old

Startup Professionals Musings

Parents, it’s never too early to start nurturing entrepreneurial talents in your kids! As an active business advisor and angel investor, I’m convinced that we are rapidly entering a new age of the entrepreneur, and those who are best prepared will be the first to reap some big rewards.

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.

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.

The US is a leader in Clean!

deal architect

The French President tweeted yesterday "Tonight the United States has turned its back on the world, but France will not turn its back on Americans," He is talking about President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord. Turned. Industry Commentary

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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.

5 Small Business Killers That Will Destroy Your Progress And How To Tackle Them


By Paula Conway, President of Astonish Media Group. If you want to build a business and expand your brand and wealth base, you have to show up and make it count. Now is the time to put all of the old baggage behind you and push your skills and raw talent forward.

If You Can’t Find An Angel Investor, Look Again, Here

Startup Professionals Musings

If your startup is looking for an angel investor, it makes sense to present your plan to flocks of angels, and assume that at least one will swoop down and scoop you up. Or does it? Actually numbers and locations are just the beginning.

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.

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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.

Maybe this will spur SAP?

deal architect

I honestly cannot remember the last time SAP showed in the lower left quadrant – for niche players – in a Gartner MQ. But in the latest MQ for “Cloud Core Financial Management Suites for Midsize, Large and Global Enterprises”. Enterprise Software (IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP

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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.

All Interviewers Watch Out For These Traits


Are you stuck in a rut on the job market? If you are it’s possible that you’re simply not giving the right impression to potential employers. If you apply for a popular position or job, you could be up against at least a few hundred other candidates.

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4 Traits To Strive For To Make You An Extreme Leader

Startup Professionals Musings

By definition, most entrepreneurs are thought leaders. They have the ability to recognize a market need, the skills to design and implement a solution, and the drive to start a business from that solution. It all comes from within themselves.

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.

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.

Son of SMAC

deal architect

Cognizant popularized the acronym SMAC for the stack of Social, Mobile, Analytic and Cloud technologies where most innovation IT dollars are going. Indeed Malcolm Frank, EVP Strategy and Marketing was talking about it as far back as November of 2012.

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.

10 Best Automotive Business Ideas For 2017


The automotive industry is constantly expanding and there are new businesses popping up each year. These are the 10 best automotive businesses in 2017: Comparison Websites. The world of online shopping has exploded in the last decade and now you can even purchase your car tires online.

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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.

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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.

Two Major Supreme Court Decisions on Patents

Feld Thoughts

In moments of political despair, Amy reminds me that we have three branches of government. Around issues that I care a lot about and have engaged in over the years, the Judicial Branch seems to be the most functional right now, at least from my perspective. This was reinforced by two things this week. The first was a conversation Jason and I had with senior staffers of a non-Colorado senator.

Kara Swisher interviews Mark Hurd

deal architect

As part of Recode Decode webinar series, Kara Swisher interviewed Mark Hurd, CEO of Oracle on their Media Day in May. It’s always interesting to hear a consumer tech journalist interview an executive in enterprise tech. Kara did a nice. Enterprise Software (IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP

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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.

Use Instagram To Engage Audiences With Your Brand, Intelligently


by Meenakshi Venugopal, co-founder of Hashtag17. You could be a new entrant to the world of entrepreneurship or a seasoned veteran; you need your business to communicate with your audience and reach them in a way that is effective and makes them your loyal followers.

Is Your Leadership Style Motivating or Demoralizing?

Startup Professionals Musings

Every business leader realizes their primary objective is to motivate people to do what is required, yet all of us with any experience in business tend to remember most those times when we felt highly demotivated by our leaders.

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

Feld Thoughts - Untitled Article

Feld Thoughts

I’m a huge Charlie Munger fan. I spent the weekend stewing on a few things, including why human beings do what they do. Andrew Wilkinson sent me this animated and abridged video of a famous Charlie Munger speech called The Psychology of Human Misjudgement.

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More Slow-Motion Automation

deal architect

In this Strategy+Business article I summarized a century of automation from Silicon Collar like UPC scanners in groceries and ATM machines in banking and related impact of jobs. The summary: History shows that new technologies evolve faster than society adopts. Silicon Collar