Category

Venture Capital

meeting overload

The last couple of months have been tuff ones for me. I’ve felt constantly behind (thus the lack of blogging consistency) and most days consisted of running from one meeting to the next (typically 10 minutes behind). This has contributed to my feeling both burned out and feeling that I was letting too many things…

Deals

I’m trying to purge the word "deal" from my lexicon – at least as it relates to investments (i.e., companies are not a "deal", it’s an "investment opportunity"; the actual transaction itself is still fair game).  I’m amazed how often the term comes up in the venture industry. To me it seems somehow demeaning and…

Saying "no" can be hard to do

At the risk of opening myself up to a landslide of snide comments expressing sympathy for the "difficult" job a VC has saying no to so many potential investments, but in the interest of being open about the experience of venture capital from the inside I offer up the following thoughts: Sometimes it’s very easy…

The glamorous life of our accounting group

I caught this shot as Melissa from our accounting department was preparing some kind of mailing to go out later this afternoon. This is actually only about 1/2 of the envelopes she was working on.  It’s all glamour here in venture capital!

Positive trending

I was thinking earlier today about one of the more subtle litmus tests that I use when considering an investment opportunity – my excitement trend line.  My partner Ryan really helped me think through this a few months ago (I had been doing it but hadn’t been explicit about it).  For every investment opportunity we…

How do you make money on the Internet?

My partner Brad Feld was interviewed yesterday on NPR’s Talk of the Nation on the topic of how companies make money online. You can listen to the broadcast here.  The key take-away ultimately is that is you aggregate enough traffic you have a handful of options for turning those eyeballs into cash (probably worth of…

Why I don’t sign NDAs

An entrepreneur started a meeting with me a few days ago by asking me to sign a non-disclosure agreement.  I politely declined and thought I’d back that up with a post on the subject (I recall reading a few other VC blogger’s views on NDAs in past years – there’s certainly no lack of thought…

Digital Analog

A few years ago, my partner Brad Feld suggested that entrepreneurs “take a giant step back” and look for a non-technology based analog for describing their business/idea (the “analog analog“). Today at a board meeting we spent some time working out our analog as a way of describing our young company. It occurred to us…

CEO Reviews

Probably the most consistently overlooked “best practice” in venture backed companies is the CEO review. In my experience most companies provide little, if any, structured feedback at the CEO level. Perhaps the board or the members of the compensation committee might provide the CEO with limited (and mostly ad hoc) feedback at the beginning of…

What do you do for a living?

It’s not that I’m ashamed of being a venture capitalist, but I do find that when people I don’t know ask me what I do, rather than say “I’m a venture capitalist” I typically say “I work for a finance company”. Writing this, I suppose that probably makes me sound like I sell mortgages or…