My idle thoughts on tech startups

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Entrepreneurial Success & Alchemy

I watched the first episode of HBO’s Silicon Valley last night. Yes I know I’m several weeks behind at this point, but I wasn’t sure if I was going to get into this series (still not sure actually). FWIW I’m a big fan of Mike Judge’s films like Office Space and Idiocracy, and also enjoyed […]


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Facebook Paid

Like most folks in the tech ecosystem, I’m still slightly slack-jawed this morning by the announcement late yesterday that Facebook is buying WhatsApp for approximately $19 billion in total consideration.  There are so many remarkable aspects of this event… from the sheer size, to founder Jan Koum’s personal story, to the way it caught most […]


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What TAM Really Means

It’s widely known we VCs focus on just a couple of key dimensions when making our investment decisions:  team, market, product / technology, and investment parameters or “deal”.  While all of these parameters are loosely connected and there are many paths to “yes” at the end of the day market size is the prime reason […]


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Revenue = Product Market Fit

Most consumer web/mobile companies focus on user growth and usage early in the company’s lifecycle before shifting to monetization.  This is a logical thing to do… when we started LinkedIn, my mentor Reid Hoffman instilled a mantra of Growth –> Usage –> Revenue which still holds for many consumer companies.  This is especially true for […]


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Change Collective: Helping Create A Better You

Change Collective announced their seed round today, in conjunction with their broader launch of the company.  I thought I’d share a little of what makes us enthusiastic to partner with Ben, Derek, and their team to help them as they build their business. I first met Ben about 5-6 years ago. This was before we […]


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Angel Investing: Know (What Motivates) Thyself

I was recently talking with another member of LinkedIn’s founding team.  It’s been awhile since we worked together on a daily basis so a lot was just general catch up, but one of the primary reasons for our chat was that this person was starting to become a more active angel investor and was just […]


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Putting Twitter’s IPO in Perspective

As many of you know, in the past I’ve done a series of posts deconstructing the S-1s of VC-backed internet startups going public. A few years ago this was sort of a novelty… not that many startups were going public and not that many bloggers or mainstream journalists took the time or had familiarity with […]


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The Imperceptible, But Very Real Boom

I believe we’re going to look back in 2-5 years and realize that we’ve been in a once a decade boom for internet & software startups. It doesn’t feel much like a boom actually.  The macroeconomy has been stuck in a tepid recovery in the US, a period of decelerating growth in emerging markets, and […]


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Microsoft, Near Death, & Enterprise Cloud

We all woke up to the news that Microsoft is buying Nokia for ~$7B (ok, not the carrier infrastructure biz but the main part of Nokia that anybody cares about).  This isn’t totally out of left field since they’ve had a close partnership for a year, but I tweeted my reaction:  “Microsoft buying Nokia core […]


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There Is No Subprime Model for VC

I was having breakfast this morning from someone I know from the LP world.  We were talking about what’s “working” in the broader VC ecosystem and this person expressed their enthusiasm that today there are a range of different models that are producing attractive returns for LPs. Historically there was just one model… VCs had […]


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