Power Laws in Venture

…The more rightward-skewed the distribution is, whether Pareto-Levy, log normal, or some related form, the more difficult it is to hedge against risk by supporting sizable portfolios of innovation projects. The potential variability of economic outcomes with Pareto-Levy distributions is so great that large portfolio draws from year to year can have consequences for the […]

Best of Reaction Wheel

The other night someone asked me “Have you ever thought about ____?” I can’t believe you’re asking me that, I thought, I wrote a 20 page post on that four years ago. I’ve written 270 posts over the last seven years. Most of them suck, especially those prior to 2010. A few of them I […]

Who profits from innovation? Startups or incumbents?

The idea that only startups can innovate and that incumbents can’t respond is wrong. Apple, obviously no longer a startup, is quick to respond to innovation: just yesterday they put a score of startups out of business with innovative products. Apple was not the innovator, but the products were innovative all the same. And not […]

The Lewis and Clark Business Plan Competition

Jefferson sat in his office, looking out the window towards the Potomac. In the distance he imagined he could see Alexandria, though the heavy swamp air on a hot day (they were all hot in this swamp!) certainly made that impossible. It was a pleasant house, though it sat forlornly in a vast empty field. […]

Automated Ad Buying is Already Mainstream, Whether Most Marketers Understand it or Not

The Wall Street Journal has the startling news that “Most Marketers Don’t Understand Automated Ad Buying.” Ten years into the programmatic revolution and most marketers don’t understand it! ANA Chief Executive Bob Liodice is quoted, saying “confusion about how the technology works might be slowing its adoption.” Are we failing? It’s almost certainly true, as […]

Midas List Feeder Angels

Like the feeder firms, but with angels. I used AngelList’s API to figure out which angels invested in the companies that the Midas List firms invested in. The list is ranked by what percentage of the firms these angels reported to AngelList are also Midas List investments. Some caveats on this list. The data was […]

Midas List Feeder Firms, 2014 Edition

It’s that time of year again. Midas List time of year. I bet you’re out right now, buying drinks for your nine favorite Sequoia partners (and the two who got away.) Cheers! Wait, what? You don’t know any of the nine Sequoia partners that made the list? You don’t know any of the Midas List […]