How I Promise You One of the Most Meaningful Days of Your Life

How I Promise You One of the Most Meaningful Days of Your Life

I know the title “I promise you one of the most meaningful days of your life” sounds grandiose but I mean it and I hope you’ll read through to the end and choose to take one small, totally free action, that will change your life and likely those of others. On September 10th of this […]

Venture Capital is About Human Capital

Venture Capital is About Human Capital

Gregg Johnson, CEO of Invoca For the first 5 years or so after I became a VC I didn’t talk much about what I thought a VC should be excellent at since frankly I wasn’t sure. I was mostly doing my job and trying to figure out how to be better every day. After a decade […]

Why I Backed a 24-Year-Old Trying to Assess Human Potential

Why I Backed a 24-Year-Old Trying to Assess Human Potential

Last week Upfront Ventures announced backing Rebecca Kantar’s startup Imbellus, a company designed to assess human potential and ultimately change the way we teach children. We led a $4 million investment along with Thrive Capital, GLG and Sound Ventures. The news blogs  covered the what, how and how much but I want to focus on the […]

How Do VCs Choose Their Investors (and should entrepreneurs care?)

How Do VCs Choose Their Investors (and should entrepreneurs care?)

I recently read a blog post by Beezer Clarkson, Managing Director of Sapphire Ventures about why entrepreneurs should care about from whom their VC funds raise their capital. I spent a bunch of time thinking about this position — especially since Beezer is an investor in Upfront Ventures. There are a lot of things I […]

What to Make of Andreessen Horowitz’s Returns?

What to Make of Andreessen Horowitz’s Returns?

Rolfe Winkler wrote a piece in the WSJ about A16Z’s returns in which he says they “lag behind Sequoia, Benchmark and Founders Fund.” Scott Kupor of A16Z responded with a comprehensive overview of valuation methodology in a post that while accurate feels more targeted at sophisticated Limited Partners (LPs) who invest in funds. Let me […]

The Pivot You Need to Read About

The Pivot You Need to Read About

GOAT just announced it raised $5 million in venture capital led by our friends at Matrix Partners. On the surface that sounds unremarkable — fundings happen daily. But this isn’t just any funding. GOAT (“Greatest of All Time) is a sneakerhead marketplace that is en fuego, but we led the company’s last financing round in […]

Why Computer Vision Tracking the Flow of People Will be a Huge Market

Why Computer Vision Tracking the Flow of People Will be a Huge Market

  As I’ve written before I believe Computer Vision will become a major factor as a Human-Computer Interface (1) as sensors and cameras help us make sense of our physical world. There is so much in the media about “The Internet of Things” that it has lost meaning and for many for some strange reason […]

Why We Can’t Let Luddites Ruin Global Trade

Why We Can’t Let Luddites Ruin Global Trade

  Luddites. It’s a term most of you know as being somebody who is backward or uninterested in learning new technology. Actually, the Luddites were worse than this. They were a movement in England during the Industrial Revolution who had the objective of ruining machinery that was used to build products at scale. They thought […]

Why Raising Too Much Money Can Harm Your Startup

Why Raising Too Much Money Can Harm Your Startup

Amongst the most often asked questions I get from founders is, “How much money should I raise?”   Reflexively founders want to raise as much money as they can because they figure it will give them more resources, better chances of competing and a longer runways before they have to do the often painful job […]

Why Acceptance of Failure is Critical to Startup Success

Why Acceptance of Failure is Critical to Startup Success

  I talk about failure a lot because I think it can be tremendously instructive and I think that success without failure often masks underlying lessons. I even prefer to fund entrepreneurs who have experience some level of set-backs in their careers or startups because I think it brings a humility to decision-making that I […]

The Corrosive Nature of Over-Introducers

The Corrosive Nature of Over-Introducers

  In modern society we’re all over-worked and over-loaded with information and tasks and to-dos and obligations. Nowhere is this more apparent than working in a startup where you are definitionally under-resourced and trying to make big accomplishments in compressed periods of time. That’s why focus is critical. Saying “no” often to people who want […]

Changes in the Venture Capital Funding Environment

Changes in the Venture Capital Funding Environment

Changes in the Venture Capital Funding Environment The funding environment for tech startups is an ever shifting ground as we go through predictable shifts that go hand-in-hand with the slowing of the overall market. The most important shift I would characterize as the market moving from “high conviction” and thus strong follow-ons to “limited conviction” […]