Re: Crowdfunding for start-ups: A durable trend or a bull market phenomenon? -
"This is a fantastic analysis. Thanks for sharing." - Roger
Re: Crowdfunding for start-ups: A durable trend or a bull market phenomenon? -
"In theory, you are undoubtedly right, but it is not clear that what you want is either best in the long-run or palatable to multi-partner GPs. Let's break a firm down into its elements: (1) partners with different preferences and skill sets that move in and out of favor; and (2) fungible capital that can be allocated according to what investments are most attractive at a given point in time. In theory you could seed individual partners to run "hot-of-the-moment" funds when you believe their expertise lines up with the current market opportunity. However, this model contains many risks such as: (a) how rapidly trends change and the market opportunity wanes; (b) lack of cross-fertilization provided by smart managers whose sectors are not currently in favor; and (c) the manager getting discouraged by being pigeonholed into a particular discipline which waxes and then wanes, inhibiting the creation of a durable business. These risks are traditionally mitigated by investing in firms, not..." - Roger
Re: Crowdfunding for start-ups: A durable trend or a bull market phenomenon? -
"Personally, I don't think so. Being a successful angel investor is not the same as being a successful venture investor, especially as check sizes go up. Why? Money management. This is the hardest part of early-stage investing: institutional investors demand this and most angel investors have little to no skill with it. What exactly is money management? It has to do bet sizing, follow-on decisions and deal structuring. Each of these variables change as circumstances change and they also interact with each other. There has been more money made - and lost - in the follow on decision, and it is easy to get it wrong. And at larger check sizes, the cost of being wrong can damage the return profile for an entire fund. I've been doing venture now for five years (after having been an angel for five years with a much less keen appreciation for and experience with venture money management principles, except for the fact that I spent nearly 20 years on Wall Street doing this on the liquid end of..." - Roger
Re: To My Wife, On Mother’s Day -
"Beautiful words, Mark. And 100% true. I feel blessed in exactly the same way. Thanks for penning this." - Roger
Financial interaction: the next generation -
Re: Venture Capital and “Innovation” -
"What you refer to as "long term" is what I'm referring to above. Your hierarchy maps quite well to my own thinking, so I'm not clear about what you mean by "public finance obligation." Are long-lived battery technologies "strategically interesting?" I'd say so. Is the VC community well-positioned to accept the losses along the time scale necessary to secure step-change breakthroughs? No. This is where I see DARPA and other agencies picking up the slack, or perhaps GE and other massive firms with R&D budgets in the tens of billions and time scales measured in decades." - Roger
"If you can’t do something willingly and joyfully, then don’t do it. If you give up... -
Re: Venture Capital and “Innovation” -
"Mark, interesting comment about pension funds. Certainly Ontario and a handful of others have invested in the infrastructure to do direct investing, but most are ill-equipped to assess such risks. I worry that "dabblers" will fall victim to adverse selection, get smoked and pull away. If they built the right team, however, I could see them as being a viable long-term financing source." - Roger
Evidence is mounting that people at the bottom are increasingly stuck without skills or pathways to... -
"Dear Friends, We are, no doubt, shocked by yesterday’s events at the Boston marathon. Many of..." -
The response to the terror in Boston: Channeling for good -
Reflections on IA Ventures, 3.5 years in -
Re: VC funding vs. Crowdfunding - let’s get real -
"I think in the scenario you painted you are right. My only comment is on the likelihood of that scenario playing out. Look, plenty of people build awesome bootstrapped companies and then are begged by growth equity firms to take their money, so it is certainly possible that a founder could take in crowdsourced capital and build a great business that is sought after by VCs. I'm merely saying in my experience that this (with the "this" being a first-time founder taking angel or crowdsourced money) is a very unusual occurrence as it requires a level of maturity, instincts and knowledge that most first-time founders lack." - Roger
Re: VC funding vs. Crowdfunding - let’s get real -
"Makes sense." - Roger
Re: VC funding vs. Crowdfunding - let’s get real -
"I agree." - Roger
Re: VC funding vs. Crowdfunding - let’s get real -
"I would rather take crowdfunding than take money from a bad partner, every day of the week. Risks are high, but working with someone whom you don't like, trust or respect introduces even higher risks. As from my perspective, people is the most important decision criterion." - Roger
VC funding vs. Crowdfunding - let's get real -
Focus, focus, focus: Understanding your value stack -
Re: You Can't Just Hack Your Way to Social Change -
"Jake, this is fantastic. The article is a service to everyone who is deeply committed to data science and, more importantly, problem solving. Thanks for de-bunking the mythology of the data scientist and highlighting them for what they are - talented practitioners, not miracle workers." - Roger
Taking the long view (when building the business) -
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