2017

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Just Finish It

Feld Thoughts

An exec at a company I’m an investor in sent this to me this morning. Does this feel like your life at your company? I’m an enormous fan of Eric Ries and The Lean Startup. His, and Steve Blank’s, thinking and writing changed how we approach startups.

The No Excuses Culture

Steve Blank

Getting ready for our next semester’s class, I asked my Teaching Assistant why I hadn’t seen the posters for our new class around campus. Hearing the litany of excuses that followed –“It was raining.” (The The posters go inside the building.) “We We still have time.” (We

What Is Going To Happen In 2017

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

Happy New Year Everyone. Yesterday we focused on the past , today we are going to focus on the future, specifically this year we are now in. Here’s what I expect to happen this year: Trump will hit the ground running, cutting corporate and personal taxes, and eliminating the preferential treatment of carried interest capital gains.

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Understanding What’s Going on in #LATech

Both Sides of the Table

Upfront Ventures was created 20 years ago as one of the original VC funds in Los Angeles. Back then only 15% of our dollars were invested locally whereas today 50% of our dollars are invested in LA.

The Investment Memo

View from Seed

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.

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Hello, 2017

Instigator Blog

2016 was one heck of a year. It started with a fairly big shakeup professionally. I didn’t end up taking much time off; instead I started meeting with lots of people and looking for my next adventure. In July, 2016 I announced the launch of my new startup, Highline BETA. Over the second half of […]. Personal Development

8 Entrepreneurs Share What’s New in Their Business in 2017

Hearpreneur

Share It’s a new year and right after the ball drops, it’s time to go to work. Often entrepreneurs and business owners create their New Year’s Resolutions around their business.

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Getting A VC Job

Rob Go

I get asked a lot about how to get one’s start in the VC industry. I have a somewhat standard response, but realized that I never put it into a blog post. So, here it is. FYI – this is tuned towards an individual who is still in the relatively early stages of their career.

The Three Machines

Feld Thoughts

Lately, I’ve been stewing over increased complexity being generated by companies around their organization approaches.

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Don’t let process distract you from finding the strategy

Steve Blank

When you’re up to your neck in alligators, don’t forget the goal was to drain the swamp. I love teaching because I learn something new every class. This time it was, “Don’t let process distract you from finding the strategy.”.

The Bloomberg Startup Barometer

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

I came across this index from Bloomberg that tracks the health of the US startup ecosystem. This index “incorporates both the money flowing into VC-backed startups, as well as the exits that are making money for investors.

Mark Cuban on Why You Need to Study Artificial Intelligence or You’ll be a Dinosaur in 3 Years

Both Sides of the Table

Mark Cuban opened the Upfront Summit in an epic interview by Jason Hirschhorn , founder of Media REDEF.

Taking Corporate VC: When It Makes Sense

View from Seed

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

10 Personality Types That Shouldn’t Be Entrepreneurs

Startup Professionals Musings

People who get stressed managing their own lives don’t make good entrepreneurs. Small businesses require multi-tasking, work prioritization, and decision-making, with no assistants or help from specialists. That’s why Fortune 500 executives usually don’t survive as startup CEOs.

7 Strategies of Digital Marketing for Busy Entrepreneurs

Blogtrepreneur | Entrepreneur Blog

The average entrepreneur these days has much more to think about and is quite a bit busier than 40 years ago. There was a time where you simply opened your doors and the local public was excited about the opportunity to go into the new store.

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Look what we did

A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks

“You must be so proud of what you created” — the reflexive conclusion delivered by visitors to our building at WP Engine, struck by a beautiful place teeming with energy and activity, coming upon the little office of the founder. “What we created,” I always respond.

Why eCommerce Product Filtering Is Broken (and How to Fix It)

ConversionXL

Discoverability and findability are two important terms that optimizers should be familiar with. Discoverability is when you find the perfect book, even though you were not necessarily looking for it.

35 Entrepreneurs Explain How They Came Up With Their Business Name

Hearpreneur

Share The idea of exactly what your business is going to be usually comes first. Secondly, most often, is giving a title to your idea. What exactly is going to be the name of your business? Some people turn to their childhood for inspiration or a beloved family pet.

Artificial Intelligence: Implications On Marketing, Analytics, And You

Occam's Razor

A rare post today. It looks a little further out into the future than I normally tend to. It attempts to simplify a topic that has more than it’s share of coolness, confusion and complexity.

The Ideal Financial Reporting Tempo For A VC-Backed Company

Feld Thoughts

Over the past few days, I’ve had a similar conversation about reporting tempo with three different people (2 CFOs and 1 CEO). In each case, we snuck up on the issue, rather than starting with it. The fundamental question addressed what the reporting tempo to the board should be. A number of years ago, I decided to shift to quarterly board meetings. Historically, the number of board meetings I had per company was all over the place.

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Marketing Communications

Steve Blank

I was having coffee with the CEO of a new startup, listening to her puzzle through how to communicate to potential customers. She was an academic on leave from Stanford now selling SAAS software to large companies, but was being inundated with marketing communications advice. “My

Convertible and SAFE Notes

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

Angel/seed rounds used to be done via priced equity securities, either common or preferred. Then, starting about ten years ago, we started to see convertible debt being used in the angel and seed rounds. By 2010 this was the norm and Paul Graham tweeted this in Aug 2010: Convertible notes have won. Every investment so far in this YC batch (and there have been a lot) has been done on a convertible note. Paul Graham (@paulg) August 28, 2010. Which led me to write this blog post here on AVC.

What Jonah @Peretti, CEO of BuzzFeed, Sees in the Future of Digital Media

Both Sides of the Table

BuzzFeed. It conjures up a range of emotions anytime I’ve privately expressed my opinion to thought leaders in our industry that I believe it is one of the most innovative companies in digital media.

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The Coming Ubiquity of Voice Tech [Traction Podcast #38: Adam Marchick, VoiceLabs]

View from Seed

Adam Marchick, CEO of VoiceLabs, sees the disruptive force on the horizon that is voice technology. Whether it’s voice-based apps or voice inputs and outputs, all of us in tech should be watching this trend, and Adam is at the forefront of it. Adam has led a remarkable career, spanning six different startups and seven-plus years as an investor.

Every Startup Needs Intellectual Property To Thrive

Startup Professionals Musings

A large portion of your competitive advantage and your potential value to investors is the size of your intellectual property portfolio. When someone says Intellectual Property (IP), most entrepreneurs think only of patents.

5 varieties of remote working in companies

joel.is

I've recently found myself reflecting a lot on being a distributed team, and the nature of a company where the team works from remote locations to accomplish our work. Scaling remote working has been a challenge as the team has grown.

The wrong question: Is now the right time to start a company?

A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks

The answer is always yes. But it’s the wrong question. I started Smart Bear in a recession (2002) and it went great. I’ve been explaining for eight years why recessions are a great time to start a company.

How to Optimize an Affiliate Marketing Program for Profitability

ConversionXL

Bo Bennett once said, “Affiliate marketing has made businesses millions and ordinary people millionaires.”. Of course, affiliate marketing has this mysterious aura about it. Many of the top search results for the term are focused on what it is and whether you can make money from it.

52 Entrepreneurs Explain Why They Started Their Business

Hearpreneur

Share 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.

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It's Not The Ink, It's The Think: 6 Effective Data Visualization Strategies

Occam's Razor

Ten years, and the 944,357 words, are proof that I love purposeful data, collecting it, pouring smart strategies into analyzing it, and using the insights identified to transform organizations. In the quest for that last important bit, I am insanely obsessive about 1. simplification and 2.

Kindred Spirits – Our Investment In Founder Collective

Feld Thoughts

Herding Cats – Using Lean to Work Together

Steve Blank

When Colonel Peter Newell headed up the Army’s Rapid Equipping Force (REF) he used lean methods on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan to provide immediate technology solutions to urgent problems.

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Reserves

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

Reserves is the term VCs use to describe funds they “reserve” for follow-on financings of their portfolio companies. Here are some things entrepreneurs should know about VCs and reserves: One very important thing that separates a strong VC firm from all other sources of capital is that the best VC firms reserve capital for follow-on financings for their portfolio companies and can be counted on to participate in subsequent financing rounds.

Why 2017 Should be a Great Year to Raise Venture Capital

Both Sides of the Table

Recently Upfront Ventures published its outlook for the technology startup world and venture capital overall titled it “ WTF Happened to Winter ?” The conclusion of our report was that winter did come, but it was mild and short.