Why do VCs insist on only investing in high-risk, high-return companies?

Sorry this is so short. It’s an interesting topic that I don’t have time right now to do justice. Last week I updated my “am I going to run out of money before I die” spreadsheet, as I’ve been doing every January for ten years. I need to do this because, aside from the paltry […]

Power Laws in Venture Portfolio Construction

Every article that has ever given advice on investing in venture capital has said that you need to invest in a portfolio of companies, because each investment on its own is probably going to be worth nothing and if you invest in just a few you will almost certainly lose all your money. This is […]

Heat Death: Venture Capital in the 1980s

The history repeats itself crowd thinks that that there must be a bubble sooner or later. “Now?” they constantly ask, “Is it a bubble now?” as if history has to repeat whatever was most memorable about the last time. History may repeat itself, but there’s an awful lot of history that this particular venture capital […]

Betting on the Ponies: non-Unicorn Investing

Twenty fucking five to one My gambling days are done I bet on a horse called the Bottle of Smoke And my horse won – The Pogues I have decided to angel invest. Any advice? I spent some time decades ago in the horse-racing world, as a guest of someone who was actually in the […]

In Praise of the Business Plan

I’m all lean startup, just like you. I love being efficient and building things and MVPing them and getting out of the building. I love setting up analytics and iterating and learning and experimenting. All of that stuff is awesome. I recommend it to the founders I work with, I teach it in the class […]

On Corporate VC

I know I’m a bit late to this, but I just ran across Fred Wilson’s comments about corporate VC from two months ago. “I am never, ever, ever, ever, ever going to do that again,” he said of investing with corp VCs, because “they suck.” Why do they suck? “They are not interested in the […]

Why I’m Not an Angel

If you bootstrap your business it’s your prerogative to make any stupid decisions you want–so long as you don’t run out of money. But if you decide you want your bootstrapped business to be as successful as possible, you probably make pretty much the same decisions a businessperson backed by outside capital does. The process […]

How to kiss your elbow

Even before Paul Graham’s Growth post the recent VC meme was that entrepreneurs just aren’t as ambitious as they used to be. They are too careful, husbanding their cash rather than boldly investing it in growth. I’ve heard this kvetch four or five times since Labor Day, each time from a smart and well-respected VC. […]

Response to comments: Training VCs

Many of the comments on yesterday’s post were about training future VCs, or not. Both Brad Feld and Fred Wilson said they did not have junior VCs because they did not want to burden entrepreneurs with inexperienced VCs. This makes a ton of sense. But, then, where should experienced VCs come from? Andy Weissman comments […]

On fixing VC ourselves

What good is it for me to sing helplessness bluesWhy should I wait for anyone else? – Fleet Foxes, Helplessness Blues That’s for Fred Wilson. In his post last month “Can the Crowd Be More Patient“, Fred says We need new medical approaches to preventing and/or curing disease. We need new scientific approaches to generating, […]