disrupting_disrupted

Household names such as Amazon, Netflix and AirBnb are celebrated for having disrupted the leaders in their industries via radical new thinking, technology and business models. But why do we rarely hear about companies servicing the incumbents to help them fight back against disruption? Renting Disruption A great article came out recently called “Disruption’s Long, Slow,… Read More


Segmentation

Note: this is a follow-up to Dave McClure’s “Niche to win, Baby“ At LionBird, we often invest in B2B companies developing strong core technology platforms with multiple use cases. The challenges for these companies are that it’s easy to underestimate the time and resources cost of pursuing too many top of funnel opportunities at once, and… Read More


erosion of reciprocity in early-stage VC

Note: this article originally appeared on TechCrunch Reading the comments on my recent TechCrunch post, it seems most founders believe investors asking for “extras” on the side are simply greedy and short-sighted. While it’s easy to criticize investors, I believe this behavior is driven in large part as a response to conditions founders have created… Read More


ESOP

Note: this article originally appeared on TechCrunch As valuations continue to rise, early-stage investors are getting more “creative” with their deal structuring. In particular, lately I’ve seen a rise in requests for extra shares to be allocated to lead investors for their “value added services”. It’s common to give options to Advisors for their value add,… Read More


No

Every VC says they are looking for great Founders that are solving real problems in big markets. So why is it that so many “good” companies that seemingly meet these requirements still fail to raise money from VCs? Hits driven business Venture Capital is a hits driven business, with ~4.5% of dollars invested generating ~60%… Read More


buy:hold:sell

Note: this article originally appeared on TechCrunch A common rule of thumb among early stage VCs is to reserve 2–3X dollars for every $1 initially invested in a startup. This is in order to maintain ownership levels in selected portfolio companies and to support them through good times and bad. But obviously, it’s not optimal… Read More


footindoor

Note: this article originally appeared on TechCrunch VCs get asked all the time by startups to meet pre-pitch. Usually these requests are positioned along the lines of “we aren’t looking for money yet, just advice”. Of course, we all know this is just a nice way of getting your foot in the door for a… Read More


Seller beware

Note: this article first appeared on TechCrunch So you’ve made it past all the VC grilling and received a term sheet. Congratulations! But don’t celebrate just yet. Term sheets are non-binding, and even though they should signify a VC has conviction in investing in you and is ready to move towards closing, this is sometimes… Read More


Linkedin for marketing

B2B companies selling products that are purchased infrequently need a way to stay top of mind over time among their prospects. And while there are many feature rich full stack marketing solutions for B2B marketers today, when it comes to top of funnel lead gen and nurturing, none have the potential of Linkedin. A day-to-day… Read More


competingracers

Note: this article first appeared on TechCrunch While declaring “competition is for losers” has become fashionable among unicorn chasing VCs, most Founders still reject this line of thinking. They know there is a grey area, and that large markets with multiple similar companies can produce multiple success stories. Nevertheless, any startup that can’t explain why… Read More