Venture Capital Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Venture Capital. Here they are! All 100 of them:

America is the greatest engine of innovation that has ever existed, and it can't be duplicated anytime soon, because it is the product of a multitude of factors: extreme freedom of thought, an emphasis on independent thinking, a steady immigration of new minds, a risk-taking culture with no stigma attached to trying and failing, a noncorrupt bureaucracy, and financial markets and a venture capital system that are unrivaled at taking new ideas and turning them into global products.
Thomas L. Friedman
Never go into venture capital if you want a peaceful life.
Georges F. Doriot
Around 2010, Peter Thiel, the PayPal cofounder and early Facebook investor, began promoting the idea that the technology industry had let people down. “We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters” became the tagline of his venture capital firm Founders Fund. In an essay called “What Happened to the Future,” Thiel and his cohorts described how Twitter, its 140-character messages, and similar inventions have let the public down. He argued that science fiction, which once celebrated the future, has turned dystopian because people no longer have an optimistic view of technology’s ability to change the world. I
Ashlee Vance (Elon Musk: How the Billionaire CEO of SpaceX and Tesla is Shaping our Future)
venture capital funding in robotics is growing at a steep rate. It more than doubled in just three years, from $160 million in 2011 to $341 million in 2014.
Alec J. Ross (The Industries of the Future)
there's an entire sector of venture capital now devoted to funding start-ups as “talent farms” for Big Tech
Rana Foroohar (Don't Be Evil: How Big Tech Betrayed Its Founding Principles -- and All of Us)
After meticulously analyzing videos of 185 venture capital presentations — looking at both verbal and nonverbal behavior — Lakshmi ended up with results that surprised her: the strongest predictor of who got the money was not the person’s credentials or the content of the pitch. The strongest predictors of who got the money were these traits: confidence, comfort level, and passionate enthusiasm.
Amy Cuddy (Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges)
S.T.O.P. = Start To Open Possibilities
Richie Norton
We need to start to talk about money in ways that dethrone it and make it subject to human ethics and standards of love and decency.
Joel Solomon (The Clean Money Revolution: Reinventing Power, Purpose, and Capitalism)
A lot of folks look to non-profits as platforms to solve major societal scale problems. But the major capital allocators like banks, Hedge Funds, Venture Capital firms and so forth - these are the kinds of ent that have the capacity to affect real change.
Hendrith Vanlon Smith Jr.
In Silicon Valley, entrepreneurs and their backers got drunk on the overflowing optimism and abundant venture capital and threw a two-year-long party. Capital was cheap, opportunities seemed limitless, and pineapple-infused-vodka martinis were everywhere.
Brad Stone (The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon)
A lot of folks look to non-profits as platforms to solve major societal scale problems. But the major capital allocators like banks, Hedge Funds, Venture Capital firms and so forth - these are the kinds of entities that have the capacity to affect real change.
Hendrith Vanlon Smith Jr.
There are whole industries, such as venture capital, that are currently organized around the belief that innovation is essentially a game of playing the odds. But it’s time to topple that tired paradigm. I’ve spent twenty years gathering evidence so that you can put your time, energy, and resources into creating products and services that you can predict, in advance, customers will be eager to hire. Leave relying on luck to the other guys.
Clayton M. Christensen (Competing Against Luck: The Story of Innovation and Customer Choice)
Hartnell had no idea what Murray would be doing with his life if he wasn’t ordering animals to kill people in the name of a shadowy junta of ousted special interests. Probably something in investment banking or venture capitalism, any trade where an utter inability to empathise with the people he hurt was considered a positive boon.
Adrian Tchaikovsky (Dogs of War (Dogs of War, #1))
No cause was won that wasn't first mocked, no gate stands wide that wasn't at first locked.
Karl Sjogren (The Fairshare Model: A Performance-Based Capital Structure for Venture-Stage Initial Public Offerings)
Building a business doesn't mean getting venture capital funding. It means finding customers and making money.
Ziad K. Abdelnour (Economic Warfare: Secrets of Wealth Creation in the Age of Welfare Politics)
Venture capital is for expansion, not exploration.
Jim McKelvey (The Innovation Stack: Building an Unbeatable Business One Crazy Idea at a Time)
Venture capital, a realm that had just begun in Silicon Valley with Arthur Rock’s financing of Intel,
Walter Isaacson (The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution)
I had no idea that Black women only get 0.2 percent of all venture capital investments until I was looking and saying, “Where’s the money?
Akiba Solomon (How We Fight White Supremacy: A Field Guide to Black Resistance)
This is said to civilized men who are to venture into countries where sacred cows are fed, while children are left to starve - where female infants are killed or abandoned by the roadside- where men go blind, medical help being forbidden by their religion - where women are mutilated, to insure their fidelity - where unspeakable tortures are ceremonially inflicted on prisoners - where cannibalism is practiced. Are these the ‘cultural riches’ which a Western man is to greet with ‘brotherly love’? Are these the ‘valuable elements’ which he is to admire and adopt? Are these the ‘fields’ in which he is not to regard himself as superior? And when he discovers entire populations rotting alive in such conditions, is he not to acknowledge, with a burning stab of pride - of pride and gratitude - the achievements of his nation and his culture, of the men who created them and left him a nobler heritage to carry forward?
Ayn Rand (Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal)
No one funds a mere idea, especially if you are looking at venture capital. Funding is made to something that has proven a small part of a business model or proven a business model on a small scale.
Rudrajeet Desai (Breaking Out and Making Big: A No-Nonsense Book on New Age Start-Ups and Entrepreneurship)
The key is to take a larger project or goal and break it down into smaller problems to be solved, constraining the scope of work to solving a key problem, and then another key problem. This strategy, of breaking a project down into discrete, relatively small problems to be resolved, is what Bing Gordon, a cofounder and the former chief creative officer of the video game company Electronic Arts, calls smallifying. Now a partner at the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins, Gordon has deep experience leading and working with software development teams. He’s also currently on the board of directors of Amazon and Zynga. At Electronic Arts, Gordon found that when software teams worked on longer-term projects, they were inefficient and took unnecessary paths. However, when job tasks were broken down into particular problems to be solved, which were manageable and could be tackled within one or two weeks, developers were more creative and effective.
Peter Sims (Little Bets: How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge from Small Discoveries)
In 2010, the Northwestern University researchers who oversaw the team of computer science and journalism students who worked on StatsMonkey raised venture capital and founded a new company, Narrative Science, Inc., to commercialize the technology.
Martin Ford (Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future)
I just invented an Applause Machine. You turn it on by clapping. I figure I'll have no trouble securing Venture Capital funding, because VCs love congratulating themselves, and this time when they do, my machine will respond by adding to their self-kudos.
Jarod Kintz (Powdered Saxophone Music)
During a recent visit to the United States, French President François Mitterrand stopped to tour California’s Silicon Valley, where he hoped to learn more about the ingenuity and entrepreneurial drive that gave birth to so many companies there. Over lunch, Mitterrand listened as Thomas Perkins, a partner in the venture capital fund that started Genentech Inc., extolled the virtues of the risk-taking investors who finance the entrepreneurs. Perkins was cut off by Stanford University Professor Paul Berg, who won a Nobel Prize for work in genetic engineering. He asked, ‘Where were you guys in the ’50s and ’60s when all the funding had to be done in the basic science? Most of the discoveries that have fuelled [the industry] were created back then.’ Henderson and Schrage, in the Washington Post (1984)
Mariana Mazzucato (The Entrepreneurial State: Debunking Public vs. Private Sector Myths)
those companies, I knew they existed, and with a little time, capital, and effort, they would have their moment. I’d soon come to see that there were other people with checkbooks who believed that, too. Marlon Nichols, Troy Carter, and Suzy Ryoo at Cross Culture Ventures; John Henry at Harlem Capital Partners; Kesha Cash and Stefanie Thomas at Impact America; Aaron Holiday at 645 Ventures; Monique Woodard at 500 Startups; Charles Hudson at Precursor; Austin Clements at Ten One Ten; and Freada
Arlan Hamilton (It's About Damn Time: How to Turn Being Underestimated into Your Greatest Advantage)
The majority of the employees here are civilians," explained my Alderman guide/protector/companion/would-be-executioner as we strode without a word to the security guards through the foyer towards the lifts. "They conduct themselves within perfectly standard financial services and regulations. There is one specialist suboperational department catering to the financing of more...unusual extra-capital ventures, and the executive assets who operate it have to undergo a rigorous level of training, psyche evaluation, personality assessment, and team operational analyses." We stared at him, and said, "We barely understood the little words." "No," he replied, "I didn't think you would.
Kate Griffin (The Midnight Mayor (Matthew Swift, #2))
But I also believe that technology has greater potential than the mundane, profit-seeking ventures to which it has been relegated under the current system.
Wendy Liu (Abolish Silicon Valley: How to Liberate Technology from Capitalism)
It's not that Twitter isn't successful, it just isn't successful enough to justify all the money investors have pumped into it.
Douglas Rushkoff (Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus: How Growth Became the Enemy of Prosperity)
If you're not constantly testing, you're going to be tested constantly.
Henry Joseph-Grant
If building a startup is a roller-coaster ride, then fund-raising is a roller coaster in the dark - you don't even know what's coming!
Uri Levine (Fall in Love with the Problem, Not the Solution: A Handbook for Entrepreneurs)
Private equity enables the growth and development of unlisted businesses.
Oscar Auliq-Ice
Private equity is a growing form of financing.
Oscar Auliq-Ice
We call these GPs (or combination of GPs) the “key men” (and, yes, I realize that is not gender neutral, but old habits die slowly in the private equity world). If
Scott Kupor (Secrets of Sand Hill Road: Venture Capital and How to Get It)
In fact, you’ll often hear VCs say that they like founders who have strong opinions but ones that are weakly held, that is, the ability to incorporate compelling market data and allow it to evolve your product thinking. Have conviction and a well-vetted process, but allow yourself to “pivot” (to invoke one of the great euphemisms in venture capital speak) based on real-world feedback.
Scott Kupor (Secrets of Sand Hill Road: Venture Capital and How to Get It)
much of Silicon Valley’s investment has gone to some eighty “unicorns,” with valuations over a billion dollars, which have shunned the overregulated U.S. public market. This is a bizarre and unsustainable situation. Venture capital cannot function without liquidity events. Unless the United States follows China and begins to deregulate its public companies, China will soon take the lead in venture capital as well. The
George Gilder (The Scandal of Money: Why Wall Street Recovers but the Economy Never Does)
Investors who focus on currencies, bonds, and stock markets generally assume a normal distribution of price changes: values jiggle up and down, but extreme moves are unusual. Of course, extreme moves are possible, as financial crashes show. But between 1985 and 2015, the S&P 500 stock index budged less than 3 percent from its starting point on 7,663 out of 7,817 days; in other words, for fully 98 percent of the time, the market is remarkably stable.
Sebastian Mallaby (The Power Law: Venture Capital and the Making of the New Future)
Whatever the evidence, the fundamental question VCs are trying to answer is: Why back this founder against this problem set versus waiting to see who else may come along with a better organic understanding of the problem? Can I conceive
Scott Kupor (Secrets of Sand Hill Road: Venture Capital and How to Get It)
Entrepreneurial management in the new venture has four requirements: It requires, first, a focus on the market. It requires, second, financial foresight, and especially planning for cash flow and capital needs ahead. It requires, third, building a top management team long before the new venture actually needs one and long before it can actually afford one. And finally, it requires of the founding entrepreneur a decision in respect to his or her own role, area of work, and relationships.
Peter F. Drucker (Innovation and Entrepreneurship (Routledge Classics))
The head of the initiative was the former CEO of a website that served as a repository of humorous images and videos optimized for social media virality—mostly cats doing improbable things, like riding robotic vacuum cleaners and getting stuck in hamburger buns. The website had raised nearly forty-two million dollars in venture capital. He would be working alongside another entrepreneur, a woman who had founded an on-demand housekeeping platform that had shut down amid a spate of lawsuits. The audacity was breathtaking.
Anna Wiener (Uncanny Valley)
Indeed, the recurrent critiques of the lack of diversity of Silicon Valley's VC sector and the companies that it backs can be seen as a reflection of the importance of social capital. We might speculate that the reason VC's can seem like a clique is not because they the venture capitalists are unusually bad or cliquish people, but because the underlying model of the VC business thrives on dense social networks which will always tend to gravitate to cliquishness in the absence of the countervailing effort, and perhaps even then.
Jonathan Haskel (Capitalism without Capital: The Rise of the Intangible Economy)
It was the combination of EC2 and S3 - storage and compute, two primitives linked together - that transformed both AWS and the technology world. Startups no longer needed to spend their venture capital on buying servers and hiring specialized engineers to run them. Infrastructure costs were variable instead of fixed, and they could grow in direct proportion to revenues. It freed companies to experiment, to change their business models with a minimum of pain, and to keep up with the rapidly growing audiences of erupting social networks like Facebook and Twitter.
Brad Stone (The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon)
Every business, theoretically is a lifestyle business, in that each represents your choice of how you want to live. If you want to work in the fast-paced corporate world, you have to accept that your life will have little room for something else. If you choose the growth-focused venture capital world, you have to accept being beholden to two groups of people: investors and customers (and what each wants could be vastly different). And if you work in a company where enough profit is acceptable, then your lifestyle can be optimized for more than just growing profit.
Paul Jarvis (Company Of One: Why Staying Small Is the Next Big Thing for Business)
Truly transformative businesses are never exclusively about the discovery and commercialization of a great technology. Their success comes from enveloping the new technology in an appropriate, powerful business model. Bob Higgins, the founder and general partner of Highland Capital Partners, has seen his share of venture success and failure in his 20 years in the industry. He sums up the importance and power of business model innovation this way: “I think historically where we [venture capitalists] fail is when we back technology. Where we succeed is when we back new business models.
Mark W. Johnson (HBR's 10 Must Reads on Strategy)
Apple and went on to be a partner in the venture firm Sequoia Capital with Don Valentine) repudiated it by complaining that his reporting had been “siphoned, filtered, and poisoned with gossipy benzene by an editor in New York whose regular task was to chronicle the wayward world of rock-and-roll music.
Walter Isaacson (Steve Jobs)
Ben Horowitz uses the difference between a vitamin and an aspirin to articulate this point. Vitamins are nice to have; they offer some potential health benefits, but you probably don’t interrupt your commute when you are halfway to the office to return home for the vitamin you neglected to take before you left the house. It also takes a very, very long time to know if your vitamins are even working for you. If you have a headache, though, you’ll do just about anything to get an aspirin! They solve your problem and they are fast acting. Similarly, products that often have massive advantages over the status quo are aspirins; VCs want to fund aspirins.
Scott Kupor (Secrets of Sand Hill Road: Venture Capital and How to Get It)
Many of our friends who grew up here now live in Brooklyn, where they are at work on “book-length narratives.” Another contingent has moved to the Bay Area and made a fortune there. Every year or so, these west-coasters travel back to Michigan and call us up for dinner or drinks, occasions they use to educate us on the inner workings of the tech industry. They refer to the companies they work for in the first person plural, a habit I have yet to acculturate to. Occasionally they lapse into the utopian, speaking of robotics ordinances and brain-computer interfaces and the mystical, labyrinthine channels of capital, conveying it all with the fervency of pioneers on a civilizing mission. Being lectured quickly becomes dull, and so my husband and I, to amuse ourselves, will sometimes play the rube. “So what, exactly, is a venture capitalist?” we’ll say. Or: “Gosh, it sounds like science fiction.” I suppose we could tell them the truth—that nothing they’re proclaiming is news; that the boom and bustle of the coastal cities, like the smoke from those California wildfires, liberally wafts over the rest of the country. But that seems a bit rude. We are, after all, Midwesterners. Here, work is work and money is money, and nobody speaks of these things as though they were spiritual movements or expressions of one’s identity.
Meghan O'Gieblyn (Interior States: Essays)
But the cruelest of our revenue laws, I will venture to affirm, are mild and gentle, in comparison to some of those which the clamour of our merchants and manufacturers has extorted from the legislature, for the support of their own absurd and oppressive monopolies. Like the laws of Draco, these laws may be said to be all written in blood.
Adam Smith (An Inquiry Into The Nature and Cause of The Wealth of Nations)
In Webvan’s case premature scaling was an integral part of the company culture and the prevailing venture capital “get big fast” mantra. Webvan spent $18 million to develop proprietary software and $40 million to set up its first automated warehouse before it had shipped a single item. Premature scaling had dire consequences since Webvan’s spending was on a scale that ensures it will be taught in business school case studies for years to come. As customer behavior continued to differ from the predictions in Webvan’s business plan, the company slowly realized it had overbuilt and over-designed. The business model made sense only at the high volumes predicted on the spreadsheet.
Steve Blank (The Four Steps to the Epiphany: Successful Strategies for Startups That Win)
While we might expect to see venture capital develop further in an increasingly intangible economy, it is not clear that governments can or should do much more to promote it than they already do. As Josh Lerner showed in The Boulevard of Broken Dreams (2012), once tax breaks or subsidies for venture capital get beyond a certain level, they tend to encourage dumb investments (since the tax gain on its own is enough for the investors to profit); since the entire point of venture capital is smart investment, very large tax breaks are self-defeating. For a country to grow its venture capital sector, time and favorable framework conditions are more important than additional subsidies.
Jonathan Haskel (Capitalism without Capital: The Rise of the Intangible Economy)
The environmental movement has palsied two generations of American youth. It has diverted much of our high school curricula into the phony field of environmental science. (As legendary physicist Richard Feynman observed, “If a science has an adjective it probably isn’t science.”) At the same time, the movement has turned many universities into apocalyptic nature cults that divert money from education to an obscurantist debauch. Seventy-two percent of Harvard students in late 2012 actually voted to have their university disinvest from all fossil fuels. This movement has already corrupted most branches of government with a carbon dioxide fetish. Now it is debilitating America’s most precious venture assets.
George Gilder (Knowledge and Power: The Information Theory of Capitalism and How it is Revolutionizing our World)
In May 2014 Deep Knowledge Ventures – a Hong Kong venture-capital firm specialising in regenerative medicine – broke new ground by appointing an algorithm named VITAL to its board. Like the other five board members, VITAL gets to vote on whether or not the firm invests in a specific company, basing its opinions on a meticulous analysis of huge amounts of data.
Yuval Noah Harari (Homo Deus: ‘An intoxicating brew of science, philosophy and futurism’ Mail on Sunday)
Over the past ten years, we’ve gone from $300 million in funds under management and a three-person team to managing more than $7 billion in funds and roughly 150 employees. Most of our employees focus on that “something more,” spending their days building relationships with people and institutions that can help improve the likelihood of our founder CEOs building enduring and valuable companies.
Scott Kupor (Secrets of Sand Hill Road: Venture Capital and How to Get It)
Indeed the offset market has created a new class of "green" human rights abuses, wherein peasants and Indigenous people who venture into their traditional territories (reclassified as carbon sinks) in order to harvest plants, wood, or fish are harassed or worse...The added irony is that many people being sacrificed for the carbon market are living some of the most sustainable, low-carbon lifestyles on the planet.
Naomi Klein (This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate)
Each year about 600,000 start-ups are launched. Less than 0.5 percent attract VC. Of Inc. magazine's annual list of the 500 fastest growing companies in the United States assessed over a decade (1997–2007), less than 20 percent of companies were venture backed” - “62.4 percent of VC investments were completely lost while 3.1 percent of the investments accounted for 53 percent of the profits for roughly 600 investments
Mahendra Ramsinghani (The Business of Venture Capital: Insights from Leading Practitioners on the Art of Raising a Fund, Deal Structuring, Value Creation, and Exit Strategies)
Capitalism is one of those words with a highly contested definition: how you define it is a function of your stance toward it. So even venturing a definition requires navigating tricky political terrain. For my analysis, I’ll take as a starting point a straightforward definition: a mode of production in which actors are driven by the accumulation of capital, which is made possible through private ownership of the means of production.
Wendy Liu (Abolish Silicon Valley: How to Liberate Technology from Capitalism)
Darwin has interested us in the history of Nature’s Technology, i.e., in the formation of the organs of plants and animals, which organs serve as instruments of production for sustaining life. Does not the history of the productive organs of man, of organs that are the material basis of all social organisation, deserve equal attention? And would not such a history be easier to compile, since, as Vico says, human history differs from natural history in this, that we have made the former, but not the latter? Technology discloses man’s mode of dealing with Nature, the process of production by which he sustains his life, and thereby also lays bare the mode of formation of his social relations, and of the mental conceptions that flow from them. Every history of religion, even, that fails to take account of this material basis, is uncritical. It is, in reality, much easier to discover by analysis the earthly core of the misty creations of religion, than, conversely, it is, to develop from the actual relations of life the corresponding celestialised forms of those relations. The latter method is the only materialistic, and therefore the only scientific one. The weak points in the abstract materialism of natural science, a materialism that excludes history and its process, are at once evident from the abstract and ideological conceptions of its spokesmen, whenever they venture beyond the bounds of their own speciality. [Chapter Fifteen: Machinery and Modern Industry; Footnote 4]
Karl Marx (Capital: A Critique of Political Economy, Volume 1)
But increasing the amount of equity finance in an economy is easier said than done: it is a project that would take decades rather than years. Some of the barriers are institutional: outside of the very small world of venture capital (of which more later) and the even smaller and newer field of equity crowdfunding, most businesses do not raise equity, and most financial institutions do not provide it. There are established agencies that can rate the creditworthiness of even quite small businesses, and algorithms to allow banks to quickly and cheaply decide whether to lend to them. Nothing similar exists for equity investment, and the equivalent analytical task (working out a company's likely future value, rather than its likelihood of servicing a fixed debt) is more complex. And cultural factors stand in the ways too: despite a very elegant financial economics theorem that shows that business owners should be indifferent between equity and debt finance, for many small business owners there seems a cognitive and cultural bias against giving away equity.
Jonathan Haskel (Capitalism without Capital: The Rise of the Intangible Economy)
Xerox’s venture capital division wanted to be part of the second round of Apple financing during the summer of 1979. Jobs made an offer: “I will let you invest a million dollars in Apple if you will open the kimono at PARC.” Xerox accepted. It agreed to show Apple its new technology and in return got to buy 100,000 shares at about $10 each. By the time Apple went public a year later, Xerox’s $1 million worth of shares were worth $17.6 million. But Apple got the better end of the bargain. Jobs and his colleagues went to see Xerox PARC’s technology in December 1979 and, when Jobs realized he hadn’t been shown enough, got an even fuller demonstration a few days later. Larry Tesler was one of the Xerox scientists called upon to do the briefings, and he was thrilled to show off the work that his bosses back east had never seemed to appreciate. But the other briefer, Adele Goldberg, was appalled that her company seemed willing to give away its crown jewels. “It was incredibly stupid, completely nuts, and I fought to prevent giving Jobs much of anything,” she recalled.
Walter Isaacson (Steve Jobs)
I have a capital story which is quite new to me. The hero is a certain Professor Alexander, a philosopher, at Leeds, but I have no doubt that the story is older than he. He is said to have entered a railway carriage with a large perforated cardboard box which he placed on his knees. The only other occupant was an inquisitive woman. She stood it as long as she could, and at last, having forced him into conversation and worked the talk round (you can fill in that part of the story yourself) ventured to ask him directly what was in the box. ‘A mongoose madam.’ The poor woman counted the telegraph posts going past for a while and again could bear her curiosity no further. ‘And what are you going to do with the mongoose?’ she asked. ‘I am taking it to a friend who is unfortunately suffering from delirium tremens.’ ‘And what use will a mongoose be to him?’ ‘Why, Madam, as you know, the people who suffer from that disease find themselves surrounded with snakes: and of course a mongoose eats snakes.’ ‘Good Heavens!’ cried the lady, ‘but you don’t mean that the snakes are real?’ ‘Oh dear me, no said the Professor with imperturbable gravity. ‘But then neither is the mongoose!
C.S. Lewis (The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis, Volume 1: Family Letters, 1905-1931)
enough to try the patience of an oyster!” “I wish I had our Dinah here, I know I do!” said Alice aloud, addressing nobody in particular. “She’d soon fetch it back!” “And who is Dinah, if I might venture to ask the question?” said the Lory. Alice replied eagerly, for she was always ready to talk about her pet: “Dinah’s our cat. And she’s such a capital one for catching mice, you can’t think! And oh, I wish you could see her after the birds! Why, she’ll eat a little bird as soon as look at it!” This speech caused a remarkable sensation among the party. Some of the birds hurried off at once; one old Magpie began
Lewis Carroll (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass)
Revitalized and healthy, I started dreaming new dreams. I saw ways that I could make a significant contribution by sharing what I’ve learned. I decided to refocus my legal practice on counseling and helping start-up companies avoid liability and protect their intellectual property. To share some of what I know, I started a blog, IP Law for Startups, where I teach basic lessons on trade secrets, trademarks, copyrights, and patents and give tips for avoiding the biggest blunders that destroy the value of intellectual assets. Few start-up companies, especially women-owned companies that rarely get venture capital funding, can afford the expensive hourly rates of a large law firm to the get the critical information they need. I feel deeply rewarded when I help a company create a strategy that protects the value of their company and supports their business dreams. Further, I had a dream to help young women see their career possibilities. In partnership with my sister, Julie Simmons, I created, a website where women share their insights, career paths, and ways they have integrated motherhood with their professional pursuits. When my sister and I were growing up on a farm, we had a hard time seeing that women could have rewarding careers. With Lookilulu® we want to help young women see what we couldn’t see: that dreams are not linear—they take many twists and unexpected turns. As I’ve learned the hard way, dreams change and shift as life happens. I’ve learned the value of continuing to dream new dreams after other dreams are derailed. I’m sure I’ll have many more dreams in my future. I’ve learned to be open to new and unexpected opportunities. By way of postscript, Jill writes, “I didn’t grow up planning to be lawyer. As a girl growing up in a small rural town, I was afraid to dream. I loved science, but rather than pursuing medical school, I opted for low-paying laboratory jobs, planning to quit when I had children. But then I couldn’t have children. As I awakened to the possibility that dreaming was an inalienable right, even for me, I started law school when I was thirty; intellectual property combines my love of law and science.” As a young girl, Jill’s rightsizing involved mustering the courage to expand her dreams, to dream outside of her box. Once she had children, she again transformed her dreams. In many ways her dreams are bigger and aim to help more people than before the twists and turns in her life’s path.
Whitney Johnson (Dare, Dream, Do: Remarkable Things Happen When You Dare to Dream)
Data sliced sufficiently finely begin once again to tell stories. The top 1 percent of the income distribution—representing household incomes in excess of roughly $475,000—comprises only about 1.5 million households. If one adds up the numbers of vice presidents or above at S&P 1500 companies (perhaps 250,000), professionals in the finance sector, including in hedge funds, venture capital, private equity, investment banking, and mutual funds (perhaps 250,000), professionals working at the top five management consultancies (roughly 60,000), partners at law firms whose profits per partner exceed $400,000 (roughly 25,000), and specialist doctors (roughly 500,000), this yields perhaps 1 million people. These are surely not all one-percenters, but they are all plausibly parts of the top 1 percent, and this group might comprise half—a sizable share—of 1 percent households overall. At the very least, the people in these known and named jobs constitute a material, rather than just marginal or eccentric, part of the top 1 percent of the income distribution. They are also, of course, the people depicted in journalistic accounts of extreme jobs—the people who regularly cancel vacation plans, spend most of their time on the road, live in unfurnished luxury apartments, and generally subsume themselves in work, encountering their personal lives only occasionally, and as strangers.
Daniel Markovits (The Meritocracy Trap: How America's Foundational Myth Feeds Inequality, Dismantles the Middle Class, and Devours the Elite)
It is best to be the CEO; it is satisfactory to be an early employee, maybe the fifth or sixth or perhaps the tenth. Alternately, one may become an engineer devising precious algorithms in the cloisters of Google and its like. Otherwise, one becomes a mere employee. A coder of websites at Facebook is no one in particular. A manager at Microsoft is no one. A person (think woman) working in customer relations is a particular type of no one, banished to the bottom, as always, for having spoken directly to a non-technical human being. All these and others are ways for strivers to fall by the wayside — as the startup culture sees it — while their betters race ahead of them. Those left behind may see themselves as ordinary, even failures.
Ellen Ullman (Life in Code: A Personal History of Technology)
As it turned out, Sharpe was right. Cooperation succumbed to market forces, but even more to the war waged on it by the business classes. By 1887 the latter were determined to destroy the Knights, with their incessant boycotts, their strikes (sometimes involving hundreds of thousands), their revolutionary agitation, and their labor parties organized across the country. In the two years after the infamous Haymarket bombing in Chicago and the Great Upheaval of 1886, in which 200,000 trade unionists across the country went on a four-day-long strike for the eight-hour day but in most cases failed—partly because Terence Powderly, the leader of the Knights, who had always disliked strikes, refused to endorse the action and encouraged the Knights not to participate—capitalist repression swept the nation. Joseph Rayback summarizes: The first of the Knights’ ventures to feel the full effect of the post-Haymarket reaction were their cooperative enterprises. In part the very nature of such enterprises worked against them. The successful ventures became joint-stock corporations, the wage-earning shareholders and managers hiring labor like any other industrial unit. In part the cooperatives were destroyed by inefficient managers, squabbles among shareholders, lack of capital, and injudicious borrowing of money at high rates of interest. Just as important was the attitude of competitors. Railroads delayed the building of tracks, refused to furnish cars, or refused to haul them. Manufacturers of machinery and producers of raw materials, pressed by private business, refused to sell their products to the cooperative workshops and paralyzed operations. By 1888 none of the Order’s cooperatives were in existence.170
Chris Wright (Worker Cooperatives and Revolution: History and Possibilities in the United States)
Here’s What I Believe about Good VCs Good VCs help entrepreneurs achieve their business goals by providing guidance, support, a network of relationships, and coaching. Good VCs recognize the limitations of what they can do as board members and outside advisors as a result of the informational asymmetry they have with respect to founders and other executives who live and breathe the company every day. Good VCs give advice in areas in which they have demonstrated expertise, and have the wisdom to avoid opining on topics for which they are not the appropriate experts. Good VCs appropriately balance their duties to the common shareholders with those they owe to their limited partners. Good VCs recognize that, ultimately, it is the entrepreneurs and the employees who build iconic companies, with hopefully a little bit of good advice and prodding sprinkled in along the way by their VC partners. If VCs remain good, they won’t become dinosaurs.
Scott Kupor (Secrets of Sand Hill Road: Venture Capital and How to Get It)
Lucid Motors was started under the name Atieva (which stood for “advanced technologies in electric vehicle applications” and was pronounced “ah-tee-va”) in Mountain View in 2008 (or December 31, 2007, to be precise) by Bernard Tse, who was a vice president at Tesla before it launched the Roadster. Hong Kong–born Tse had studied engineering at the University of Illinois, where he met his wife, Grace. In the early 1980s, the couple had started a computer manufacturing company called Wyse, which at its peak in the early 1990s registered sales of more than $480 million a year. Tse joined Tesla’s board of directors in 2003 at the request of his close friend Martin Eberhard, the company’s original CEO, who sought Tse’s expertise in engineering, manufacturing, and supply chain. Tse would eventually step off the board to lead a division called the Tesla Energy Group. The group planned to make electric power trains for other manufacturers, who needed them for their electric car programs. Tse, who didn’t respond to my requests to be interviewed, left Tesla around the time of Eberhard’s departure and decided to start Atieva, his own electric car company. Atieva’s plan was to start by focusing on the power train, with the aim of eventually producing a car. The company pitched itself to investors as a power train supplier and won deals to power some city buses in China, through which it could further develop and improve its technology. Within a few years, the company had raised about $40 million, much of it from the Silicon Valley–based venture capital firm Venrock, and employed thirty people, mostly power train engineers, in the United States, as well as the same number of factory workers in Asia. By 2014, it was ready to start work on a sedan, which it planned to sell in the United States and China. That year, it raised about $200 million from Chinese investors, according to sources close to the company.
Hamish McKenzie (Insane Mode: How Elon Musk's Tesla Sparked an Electric Revolution to End the Age of Oil)
Lagos, typically for a nonbusinessman, had a fatal flaw: he thought too small. He figured that with a little venture capital, this neurolinguistic hacking could be developed as a new technology that would enable Rife to maintain possession of information that had passed into the brains of his programmers. Which, moral considerations aside, wasn't a bad idea. "Rife likes to think big. He immediately saw that this idea could be much more powerful. He took Lagos's idea and told Lagos himself to buzz off. Then he started dumping a lot of money into Pentecostal churches. He took a small church in Bayview, Texas, and built it up into a university. He took a smalltime preacher, the Reverend Wayne Bedford, and made him more important than the Pope. He constructed a string of self-supporting religious franchises all over the world, and used his university, and its Metaverse campus, to crank out tens of thousands of missionaries, who fanned out all over the Third World and began converting people by the hundreds of thousands, just like St. Louis Bertrand. L. Bob Rife's glossolalia cult is the most successful religion since the creation of Islam. They do a lot of talking about Jesus, but like many selfdescribed Christian churches, it has nothing to do with Christianity except that they use his name. It's a postrational religion. "He also wanted to spread the biological virus as a promoter or enhancer of the cult, but he couldn't really get away with doing that through the use of cult prostitution because it is flagrantly anti-Christian. But one of the major functions of his Third World missionaries was to go out into the hinterlands and vaccinate people -- and there was more than just vaccine in those needles. "Here in the First World, everyone has already been vaccinated, and we don't let religious fanatics come up and poke needles into us. But we do take a lot of drugs. So for us, he devised a means for extracting the virus from human blood serum and packaged it as a drug known as Snow Crash.
Neal Stephenson (Snow Crash)
This book has pushed back against the randomness thesis, emphasizing instead the skill in venture capital. It has done so for four reasons. First, the existence of path dependency does not actually prove that skill is absent. Venture capitalists need skill to enter the game: as the authors of the NBER paper say, path dependency can only influence which among the many skilled players gets to be the winner. Nor is it clear that path dependency explains why some skilled operators beat other ones. The finding that a partnership’s future IPO rate rises by 1.6 percentage points is not particularly strong, and the history recounted in these pages shows that path dependency is frequently disrupted.[5] Despite his powerful reputation, Arthur Rock was unsuccessful after his Apple investment. Mayfield was a leading force during the 1980s; it too faded. Kleiner Perkins proves that you can dominate the Valley for a quarter of a century and then decline precipitously. Accel succeeded early, hit a rough patch, and then built itself back. In an effort to maintain its sense of paranoia and vigilance, Sequoia once produced a slide listing numerous venture partnerships that flourished and then failed. “The Departed,” it called them. The second reason to believe in skill lies in the origin story of some partnerships. Occasionally a newcomer breaks into the venture elite in such a way that skill obviously does matter. Kleiner Perkins became a leader in the business because of Tandem and Genentech. Both companies were hatched from within the KP office and actively shaped by Tom Perkins; there was nothing lucky about this. Tiger Global and Yuri Milner invented the art of late-stage venture capital. They had a genuinely novel approach to tech investing; they offered much more than the equivalent of another catchy tune competing against others. Paul Graham’s batch-processing method at Y Combinator offered an equally original approach to seed-stage investing. A clever innovation, not random fortune, explains Graham’s place in venture history.
Sebastian Mallaby (The Power Law: Venture Capital and the Making of the New Future)
Summary of Rule #4 The core idea of this book is simple: To construct work you love, you must first build career capital by mastering rare and valuable skills, and then cash in this capital for the type of traits that define compelling careers. Mission is one of those traits. In the first chapter of this rule, I reinforced the idea that this trait, like all desirable career traits, really does require career capital—you can’t skip straight into a great mission without first building mastery in your field. Drawing from the terminology of Steven Johnson, I argued that the best ideas for missions are found in the adjacent possible—the region just beyond the current cutting edge. To encounter these ideas, therefore, you must first get to that cutting edge, which in turn requires expertise. To try to devise a mission when you’re new to a field and lacking any career capital is a venture bound for failure. Once you identify a general mission, however, you’re still left with the task of launching specific projects that make it succeed. An effective strategy for accomplishing this task is to try small steps that generate concrete feedback—little bets—and then use this feedback, be it good or bad, to help figure out what to try next. This systematic exploration can help you uncover an exceptional way forward that you might have never otherwise noticed. The little-bets strategy, I discovered as my research into mission continued, is not the only way to make a mission a success. It also helps to adopt the mindset of a marketer. This led to the strategy that I dubbed the law of remarkability. This law says that for a project to transform a mission into a success, it should be remarkable in two ways. First, it must literally compel people to remark about it. Second, it must be launched in a venue conducive to such remarking. In sum, mission is one of the most important traits you can acquire with your career capital. But adding this trait to your working life is not simple. Once you have the capital to identify a good mission, you must still work to make it succeed. By using little bets and the law of remarkability, you greatly increase your chances of finding ways to transform your mission from a compelling idea into a compelling career.
Cal Newport (So Good They Can't Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love)
Was this luck, or was it more than that? Proving skill is difficult in venture investing because, as we have seen, it hinges on subjective judgment calls rather than objective or quantifiable metrics. If a distressed-debt hedge fund hires analysts and lawyers to scrutinize a bankrupt firm, it can learn precisely which bond is backed by which piece of collateral, and it can foresee how the bankruptcy judge is likely to rule; its profits are not lucky. Likewise, if an algorithmic hedge fund hires astrophysicists to look for patterns in markets, it may discover statistical signals that are reliably profitable. But when Perkins backed Tandem and Genentech, or when Valentine backed Atari, they could not muster the same certainty. They were investing in human founders with human combinations of brilliance and weakness. They were dealing with products and manufacturing processes that were untested and complex; they faced competitors whose behaviors could not be forecast; they were investing over long horizons. In consequence, quantifiable risks were multiplied by unquantifiable uncertainties; there were known unknowns and unknown unknowns; the bracing unpredictability of life could not be masked by neat financial models. Of course, in this environment, luck played its part. Kleiner Perkins lost money on six of the fourteen investments in its first fund. Its methods were not as fail-safe as Tandem’s computers. But Perkins and Valentine were not merely lucky. Just as Arthur Rock embraced methods and attitudes that put him ahead of ARD and the Small Business Investment Companies in the 1960s, so the leading figures of the 1970s had an edge over their competitors. Perkins and Valentine had been managers at leading Valley companies; they knew how to be hands-on; and their contributions to the success of their portfolio companies were obvious. It was Perkins who brought in the early consultants to eliminate the white-hot risks at Tandem, and Perkins who pressed Swanson to contract Genentech’s research out to existing laboratories. Similarly, it was Valentine who drove Atari to focus on Home Pong and to ally itself with Sears, and Valentine who arranged for Warner Communications to buy the company. Early risk elimination plus stage-by-stage financing worked wonders for all three companies. Skeptical observers have sometimes asked whether venture capitalists create innovation or whether they merely show up for it. In the case of Don Valentine and Tom Perkins, there was not much passive showing up. By force of character and intellect, they stamped their will on their portfolio companies.
Sebastian Mallaby (The Power Law: Venture Capital and the Making of the New Future)
The VCs were prolific. They talked like nobody I knew. Sometimes they talked their own book, but most days, they talked Ideas: how to foment enlightenment, how to apply microeconomic theories to complex social problems. The future of media and the decline of higher ed; cultural stagnation and the builder’s mind-set. They talked about how to find a good heuristic for generating more ideas, presumably to have more things to talk about. Despite their feverish advocacy of open markets, deregulation, and continuous innovation, the venture class could not be relied upon for nuanced defenses of capitalism. They sniped about the structural hypocrisy of criticizing capitalism from a smartphone, as if defending capitalism from a smartphone were not grotesque. They saw the world through a kaleidoscope of startups: If you want to eliminate economic inequality, the most effective way to do it would be to outlaw starting your own company, wrote the founder of the seed accelerator. Every vocal anti-capitalist person I’ve met is a failed entrepreneur, opined an angel investor. The SF Bay Area is like Rome or Athens in antiquity, posted a VC. Send your best scholars, learn from the masters and meet the other most eminent people in your generation, and then return home with the knowledge and networks you need. Did they know people could see them?
Anna Wiener (Uncanny Valley)
Sin embargo, a lo largo de los últimos miles de años, los humanos nos hemos ido especializando. Un taxista o un cardiólogo se especializan en un ámbito mucho más estrecho que un cazador-recolector, lo que hace que sea más fácil sustituirlos con IA. Incluso los directores a cargo de todas estas actividades pueden ser sustituidos. Gracias a sus potentes algoritmos, Uber es capaz de gestionar a millones de taxistas con solo un puñado de humanos. La mayoría de las órdenes las dan los algoritmos sin necesidad alguna de supervisión humana.[16] En mayo de 2014, Deep Knowledge Ventures, una empresa de capital riesgo de Hong Kong especializada en medicina regenerativa, abrió un nuevo ámbito al designar a un algoritmo llamado VITAL en su consejo directivo. VITAL efectúa recomendaciones de inversión después de analizar enormes cantidades de datos de la situación financiera, ensayos clínicos y propiedad intelectual de compañías potenciales. Al igual que los otros cinco miembros del consejo, el algoritmo tiene derecho a voto en la decisión de la empresa de invertir o no en una determinada compañía. Al examinar la actuación de VITAL hasta ahora, parece que ya ha adquirido uno de los vicios de los directores generales: el nepotismo. Ha recomendado invertir en compañías que conceden más autoridad a los algoritmos. Por ejemplo, con la bendición de VITAL, Deep Knowledge Ventures ha invertido recientemente en Pathway Pharmaceuticals, que emplea un algoritmo llamado OncoFinder para seleccionar y evaluar terapias personalizadas contra el cáncer.[17]
Yuval Noah Harari (Homo Deus: Breve historia del mañana)
MT: The arrival of Christ disturbs the sacrificial order, the cycle of little false periods of temporary peace following sacrifices? RG: The story of the “demons of Gerasa” in the synoptic Gospels, and notably in Mark, shows this well. To free himself from the crowd that surrounds him, Christ gets on a boat, crosses Lake Tiberias, and comes to shore in non-Jewish territory, in the land of the Gerasenes. It's the only time the Gospels venture among a people who don't read the Bible or acknowledge Mosaic law. As Jesus is getting off the boat, a possessed man blocks his way, like the Sphinx blocking Oedipus. “The man lived in the tombs and no one could secure him anymore, even with a chain. All night and all day, among the tombs and in the mountains, he would howl and gash himself with stones.” Christ asks him his name, and he replies: “My name is Legion, for there are many of us.” The man then asks, or rather the demons who speak through him ask Christ not to send them out of the area—a telling detail—and to let them enter a herd of swine that happen to be passing by. And the swine hurl themselves off the edge of the cliff into the lake. It's not the victim who throws himself off the cliff, it's the crowd. The expulsion of the violent crowd is substituted for the expulsion of the single victim. The possessed man is healed and wants to follow Christ, but Christ tells him to stay put. And the Gerasenes come en masse to beg Jesus to leave immediately. They're pagans who function thanks to their expelled victims, and Christ is subverting their system, spreading confusion that recalls the unrest in today's world. They're basically telling him: “We'd rather continue with our exorcists, because you, you're obviously a true revolutionary. Instead of reorganizing the demoniac, rearranging it a bit, like a psychoanalyst, you do away with it entirely. If you stayed, you would deprive us of the sacrificial crutches that make it possible for us to get around.” That's when Jesus says to the man he's just liberated from his demons: “You're going to explain it to them.” It's actually quite a bit like the conversion of Paul. Who's to say that historical Christianity isn't a system that, for a long time, has tempered the message and made it possible to wait for two thousand years? Of course this text is dated because of its primitive demonological framework, but it contains the capital idea that, in the sacrificial universe that is the norm for mankind, Christ always comes too early. More precisely, Christ must come when it's time, and not before. In Cana he says: “My hour has not come yet.” This theme is linked to the sacrificial crisis: Christ intervenes at the moment the sacrificial system is complete. This possessed man who keeps gashing himself with stones, as Jean Starobinski has revealed, is a victim of “auto-lapidation.” It's the crowd's role to throw stones. So, it's the demons of the crowd that are in him. That's why he's called Legion—in a way he's the embodiment of the crowd. It's the crowd that comes out of him and goes and throws itself off of the cliff. We're witnessing the birth of an individual capable of escaping the fatal destiny of collective violence. MT
René Girard (When These Things Begin: Conversations with Michel Treguer (Studies in Violence, Mimesis & Culture))
some small counting house on the coast, in some Salem harbor, will be fixture enough. You will export such articles as the country affords, purely native products, much ice and pine timber and a little granite, always in native bottoms. These will be good ventures. To oversee all the details yourself in person; to be at once pilot and captain, and owner and underwriter; to buy and sell and keep the accounts; to read every letter received, and write or read every letter sent; to superintend the discharge of imports night and day; to be upon many parts of the coast almost at the same time—often the richest freight will be discharged upon a Jersey shore;—to be your own telegraph, unweariedly sweeping the horizon, speaking all passing vessels bound coastwise; to keep up a steady despatch of commodities, for the supply of such a distant and exorbitant market; to keep yourself informed of the state of the markets, prospects of war and peace everywhere, and anticipate the tendencies of trade and civilization—taking advantage of the results of all exploring expeditions, using new passages and all improvements in navigation;—charts to be studied, the position of reefs and new lights and buoys to be ascertained, and ever, and ever, the logarithmic tables to be corrected, for by the error of some calculator the vessel often splits upon a rock that should have reached a friendly pier—there is the untold fate of La Prouse;—universal science to be kept pace with, studying the lives of all great discoverers and navigators, great adventurers and merchants, from Hanno and the Phoenicians down to our day; in fine, account of stock to be taken from time to time, to know how you stand. It is a labor to task the faculties of a man—such problems of profit and loss, of interest, of tare and tret, and gauging of all kinds in it, as demand a universal knowledge. I have thought that Walden Pond would be a good place for business, not solely on account of the railroad and the ice trade; it offers advantages which it may not be good policy to divulge; it is a good port and a good foundation. No Neva marshes to be filled; though you must everywhere build on piles of your own driving. It is said that a flood-tide, with a westerly wind, and ice in the Neva, would sweep St. Petersburg from the face of the earth. As this business was to be entered into without the usual capital, it may not be easy to conjecture where those means, that will still be indispensable to every such undertaking, were to be obtained.
Henry David Thoreau (Walden)
In opting for large scale, Korean state planners got much of what they bargained for. Korean companies today compete globally with the Americans and Japanese in highly capital-intensive sectors like semiconductors, aerospace, consumer electronics, and automobiles, where they are far ahead of most Taiwanese or Hong Kong companies. Unlike Southeast Asia, the Koreans have moved into these sectors not primarily through joint ventures where the foreign partner has provided a turnkey assembly plant but through their own indigenous organizations. So successful have the Koreans been that many Japanese companies feel relentlessly dogged by Korean competitors in areas like semiconductors and steel. The chief advantage that large-scale chaebol organizations would appear to provide is the ability of the group to enter new industries and to ramp up to efficient production quickly through the exploitation of economies of scope.70 Does this mean, then, that cultural factors like social capital and spontaneous sociability are not, in the end, all that important, since a state can intervene to fill the gap left by culture? The answer is no, for several reasons. In the first place, not every state is culturally competent to run as effective an industrial policy as Korea is. The massive subsidies and benefits handed out to Korean corporations over the years could instead have led to enormous abuse, corruption, and misallocation of investment funds. Had President Park and his economic bureaucrats been subject to political pressures to do what was expedient rather than what they believed was economically beneficial, if they had not been as export oriented, or if they had simply been more consumption oriented and corrupt, Korea today would probably look much more like the Philippines. The Korean economic and political scene was in fact closer to that of the Philippines under Syngman Rhee in the 1950s. Park Chung Hee, for all his faults, led a disciplined and spartan personal lifestyle and had a clear vision of where he wanted the country to go economically. He played favorites and tolerated a considerable degree of corruption, but all within reasonable bounds by the standards of other developing countries. He did not waste money personally and kept the business elite from putting their resources into Swiss villas and long vacations on the Riviera.71 Park was a dictator who established a nasty authoritarian political system, but as an economic leader he did much better. The same power over the economy in different hands could have led to disaster. There are other economic drawbacks to state promotion of large-scale industry. The most common critique made by market-oriented economists is that because the investment was government rather than market driven, South Korea has acquired a series of white elephant industries such as shipbuilding, petrochemicals, and heavy manufacturing. In an age that rewards downsizing and nimbleness, the Koreans have created a series of centralized and inflexible corporations that will gradually lose their low-wage competitive edge. Some cite Taiwan’s somewhat higher overall rate of economic growth in the postwar period as evidence of the superior efficiency of a smaller, more competitive industrial structure.
Francis Fukuyama (Trust: The Social Virtues and the Creation of Prosperity)
Peter Drucker challenged executives to capitalize on “unexpected success.” He wrote: When a new venture does succeed, more often than not it is in a market other than the one it was originally intended to serve, with products or services not quite those with which it had set out, bought in large part by customers it did not even think of when it started, and used for a host of purposes besides the ones for which the products were first designed. If a new venture does not anticipate this, organizing itself to take advantage of the unexpected and unseen markets … then it will succeed only in creating an opportunity for a competitor.
Chip Heath (Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work)
Venture capitalists make money by buying shares in companies and subsequently selling those shares for more than the original investment.  It’s a simple game fraught with complexities.
Bill Snow (Venture Capital 101)
In May, Stanton graduated with five other formerly incarcerated adults from Project ReMADE, a 12-week program created by Stanford law students that aims to turn ex-convicts into entrepreneurs. The program matches former prisoners with Silicon Valley venture capitalists and business executives, and with students from Stanford's law and graduate business schools, who mentor the ex-inmates to become small-business owners. "Stanford brings social capital to people who don't have ... the networks that you and I and everyone else leans on and takes for granted," said Debbie Mukamal, executive director of the Stanford Criminal Justice Center, who oversees Project ReMADE. "We're here to open doors for them.
First-time fund is acceptable, but not a first-time investor.
Mahendra Ramsinghani (The Business of Venture Capital: Insights from Leading Practitioners on the Art of Raising a Fund, Deal Structuring, Value Creation, and Exit Strategies)
Amidst all the hype and hoopla around this business, I wanted to emphasize the challenge—it is seductive but the failure rate is very high. And those who fail have no good place to go.
Mahendra Ramsinghani (The Business of Venture Capital: Insights from Leading Practitioners on the Art of Raising a Fund, Deal Structuring, Value Creation, and Exit Strategies)
On a daily basis the venture capitalist was not concerned with historical impact; he worked to create wealth for himself and his limited partners. However, among the Benchmark partners there was awareness that framing one’s professional raison d’être in the language of financial return meant that one was hostage to the vagaries of the market—and even when the market is buoyant, there is little that is soul-quenching about mere numbers. “The really big wins are where all the rewards come from,” Bob Kagle once pointed out, before eBay had gone public. The rewards he was referring to were the emotional ones, not the financial ones, and they were rewards derived not from a game of assuming personal risk—the venture guys had a portfolio across which risk could be spread—but from being backers of entrepreneurs, the ones who commercialized new technology and introduced new products and services—and were the ones who really took on risk. “Nine times out of ten they’re taking on some big, established system of some sort.” He dropped his voice for emphasis: If the individual entrepreneur won, even for the venture guys it produced an “exhilarating feeling”—he groped for the right words—“it’s confirmation that one person with courage can make a difference.” This was the minidrama Kagle and his colleagues had seen play out triumphantly again and again. The work itself did not have any neat demarcations of beginning, middle, and end. The funds seemed to be evergreen, fresh capital materializing as soon as the till was exhausted. The calendars of the partners, revolving as they did around looking at new business plans, meeting new entrepreneurs, considering new deals, gave a feeling of perennially beginning afresh. For them, it was the best place in the cosmos to get the first peek at the future.
Randall E. Stross (eBoys: The First Inside Account of Venture Capitalists at Work)
A Hard Left For High-School History The College Board version of our national story BY STANLEY KURTZ | 1215 words AT the height of the “culture wars” of the late 1980s and early 1990s, conservatives were alive to the dangers of a leftist takeover of American higher education. Today, with the coup all but complete, conservatives take the loss of the academy for granted and largely ignore it. Meanwhile, America’s college-educated Millennial generation drifts ever farther leftward. Now, however, an ambitious attempt to force a leftist tilt onto high-school U.S.-history courses has the potential to shake conservatives out of their lethargy, pulling them back into the education wars, perhaps to retake some lost ground. The College Board, the private company that develops the SAT and Advanced Placement (AP) exams, recently ignited a firestorm by releasing, with little public notice, a lengthy, highly directive, and radically revisionist “framework” for teaching AP U.S. history. The new framework replaces brief guidelines that once allowed states, school districts, and teachers to present U.S. history as they saw fit. The College Board has promised to generate detailed guidelines for the entire range of AP courses (including government and politics, world history, and European history), and in doing so it has effectively set itself up as a national school board. Dictating curricula for its AP courses allows the College Board to circumvent state standards, virtually nationalizing America’s high schools, in violation of cherished principles of local control. Unchecked, this will result in a high-school curriculum every bit as biased and politicized as the curriculum now dominant in America’s colleges. Not coincidentally, David Coleman, the new head of the College Board, is also the architect of the Common Core, another effort to effectively nationalize American K–12 education, focusing on English and math skills. As president of the College Board, Coleman has found a way to take control of history, social studies, and civics as well, pushing them far to the left without exposing himself to direct public accountability. Although the College Board has steadfastly denied that its new AP U.S. history (APUSH) guidelines are politically biased, the intellectual background of the effort indicates otherwise. The early stages of the APUSH redesign overlapped with a collaborative venture between the College Board and the Organization of American Historians to rework U.S.-history survey courses along “internationalist” lines. The goal was to undercut anything that smacked of American exceptionalism, the notion that, as a nation uniquely constituted around principles of liberty and equality, America stands as a model of self-government for the world. Accordingly, the College Board’s new framework for AP U.S. history eliminates the traditional emphasis on Puritan leader John Winthrop’s “City upon a Hill” sermon and its echoes in American history. The Founding itself is demoted and dissolved within a broader focus on transcontinental developments, chiefly the birth of an exploitative international capitalism grounded in the slave trade. The Founders’ commitment to republican principles is dismissed as evidence of a benighted belief in European cultural superiority. Thomas Bender, the NYU historian who leads the Organization of American Historians’ effort to globalize and denationalize American history, collaborated with the high-school and college teachers who eventually came to lead the College Board’s APUSH redesign effort. Bender frames his movement as a counterpoint to the exceptionalist perspective that dominated American foreign policy during the George W. Bush ad ministration. Bender also openly hopes that students exposed to his approach will sympathize with Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s willingness to use foreign law to interpret the U.S. Constitution rather than with Justice Antonin Scalia�
the joint-stock, limited-liability corporation: joint-stock because the company’s capital was jointly owned by multiple investors; limited-liability because the separate existence of the company as a legal ‘person’ protected the investors from losing all their wealth if the venture failed.
Niall Ferguson (The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World: 10th Anniversary Edition)
The $41 billion valuation for the ride-sharing service Uber may or may not be a bubblicious number, but it certainly shows that the venture capital industry is in a bad place. To understand, you need only peruse the startling valuations for other companies that have received venture capital funding in the last few weeks. Here are some of them: ■ Instacart, a same-day grocery delivery service based in San Francisco, began a $100 million fund-raising round valuing it at $2 billion. ■ WeWork Companies, a company that provides shared office space (think Uber for offices), closed a $355 million funding round valuing it at $5 billion. ■ Stripe, an online payment company, completed a $70 million investment round that valued it at $3.5 billion, double its $1.75 billion valuation earlier this year. ■ The mobile games maker Kabam announced that employees and investors were selling $40 million in shares to a group of investors. After an earlier round of investment last summer, the company was valued at more than $1 billion, up from $700 million last year. What do these four companies have in common, beyond the fact you probably haven’t heard of them?
I nostri cinque peccati che scoraggiano ricerca e innovazione Dalla politica all’università, il sistema italiano continua a ostacolare l’economia della conoscenza Start-up al palo Dai laboratori al business: in Italia è ancora difficile riuscire a trasferire le scoperte teoriche nell’industria Riccardo Viale | 831 parole Da quando è stato introdotto il concetto di economia e di società della conoscenza, come importante elemento delle politiche pubbliche, si è iniziato ad analizzare l’insieme delle condizioni di contorno - le «framework condition» - in grado di stimolare o di ostacolare lo sviluppo di questo modello. La strategia di Lisbona del 2000 aveva lo scopo di rendere l’Europa l’area più competitiva a livello mondiale proprio come economia e società della conoscenza. Oggi abbiamo i risultati: in media c’è stato un arretramento, secondo la maggior parte degli indicatori, rispetto ai principali concorrenti internazionali. E l’Italia? Come si può immaginare, non ha realizzato alcun serio passo in avanti: non solo per le condizioni dirette (come finanziamento alla ricerca, numero di ricercatori e di brevetti, indici bibliometrici o rapporto università-impresa), ma per le «framework conditions». Ma più che dare dati vorrei riferirmi ad una serie di situazioni tipiche, ragionando con il modello degli incentivi dal macro al micro. Per mostrare come la dinamica sociale ed economica italiana sia intrisa di incentivi negativi. La logica del breve termine Innanzitutto, a livello di sistema politico e di governo nazionale e regionale, gli obiettivi dell’economia e della società della conoscenza sono in genere percepiti di medio e lungo termine. Di conseguenza, in un Paese che vive lo «shortermismo» della logica emergenziale, nulla è più marginale del sistema della Ricerca&Sviluppo. Questo «bias», d’altra parte, non è solo italiano, se si considera la recente scelta di Juncker di indebolire il fondo «Horizon 2020» per potenziare quello di stimolo immediato all’economia. Seconda tipologia. Le università italiane sono fuori da tutte le graduatorie internazionali. Anche le migliori, come il Politecnico di Milano e Torino o la Bocconi, sono a metà classifica. Si sa che uno degli strumenti prioritari per stimolare l’eccellenza e la diversificazione accademica è la «premialità economica» dei migliori atenei, secondo un sistema simile a quello del «Rae» britannico: lasciando da parte il problema del mediocre sistema italiano della valutazione, mentre in Gran Bretagna l’incentivo economico arriva a un terzo del finanziamento pubblico, da noi si ferma a molto meno (anche se dai tempi del ministro Moratti si vede un certo progresso). Non esiste, quindi, un sufficiente effetto incentivante di tipo meritocratico sulla produzione di conoscenza. Terza tipologia. Anni fa, in Lombardia, una multinazionale della telefonia aveva proposto un centro di ricerca avanzato. Ciò avrebbe consentito una collaborazione con i centri di ricerca già presenti nel territorio, in primis il Politecnico di Milano. Cosa successe dopo? Una lista di problemi, ostacoli ed incoerenze tipiche della pubblica amministrazione. Tutto questo era in contrasto con il programma dell’azienda, che decise di trasferire il progetto in un altro Paese. Quarta tipologia. Spesso si parla di sostenere le nuove idee per garantire la nascita di start-up ed imprese innovative. Ma quale incentivo può avere un ingegnere o un biochimico a creare una «newcom», quando è quasi impossibile trovare il «seed money» (quello per le fasi iniziali) nelle banche ed è quasi inesistente il capitale di rischio del venture capital, mentre non si ha la possibilità di valorizzare finanziariamente una start-up a livello di Borsa, dato che manca, in Italia ma anche in Europa, un analogo del Nasdaq? La crisi del fund raising Infine - quinta ed ultima (tra le molte) tipologia di disincentivi - è la capacità di «fund raising» per la ricerca dei
it was a difficult matter for a private individual to finance the creation of a settlement. And Ralegh’s beloved Virgin Queen was far too cautious with her funds to finance a colonial venture, even if England’s long-running war with Spain had left enough coin in the royal treasury to cover the expense. Then, in 1603, everything changed. Early in the morning of March 24 of that year, Elizabeth I, the queen whose reign was expected to outlast the moon and sun, died in her private chamber in Richmond Palace. The queen’s death and the accession of James VI of Scotland as James I of England brought quick peace between England and Spain; freed private capital that could be used to finance foreign settlements; and made soldiers and sailors available, indeed desperate, for employment. Suddenly, English capitalists were looking hungrily at Virginia as a potential outlet for
Kieran Doherty (Sea Venture: Shipwreck, Survival, and the Salvation of Jamestown)
By late February 1609, three months before the new charter was signed by King James I, Pedro de Zúñiga, a savvy Spanish spy on the lookout for unusual activity in the capital, knew of England’s plans to strengthen and resupply the Jamestown settlement. He sent a series of frantic warnings to his monarch, King Philip III.
Kieran Doherty (Sea Venture: Shipwreck, Survival, and the Salvation of Jamestown)
This Week in Startups” and “This Week in Venture Capital.
She thought it strange that she had never visited Peterborough before; after all it was an incredible focal point for wealth. But after she arrived, she realized it ordered a different sort of money to the type she was used to. Peterborough’s money was active money, it was finance consortium muscle, corporate power, political influence; the only gambling here was the venture capital backing industrial research lab. Nobody hoarded money in Peterborough, they worked it; the static, emasculated trusts which enabled her patrons to indulgently through life shrank from this city’s vitality. Prior’s Fen epitomized the new culture, bold, purposeful architecture sticking two defiant fingers up to the dead past. The antithesis of Monaco.
As Marc Andreessen—the entrepreneur behind Netscape, Opsware, and Ning who, in addition to running a major venture capital fund, happens to be on the board of directors for Facebook, eBay, and HP—explains it, companies need to “do whatever is required to get to product/market fit. Including changing out people, rewriting your product, moving into a different market, telling customers no when you don’t want to, telling customers yes when you don’t want to, raising that fourth round of highly dilutive venture capital—whatever is required.”10 In other words: everything is now on the table.
Ryan Holiday (Growth Hacker Marketing: A Primer on the Future of PR, Marketing, and Advertising)
Shechem was thus, in a sense, the original central shrine and capital of Israelite Canaan. The point is important, since the continuous existence of a sizeable Israelite population in Palestine throughout the period between the original Abrahamite arrival and the return from Egypt makes the Biblical Book of Exodus, which clearly describes only a part of the race, and the conquest narrated in the Book of Joshua, far more credible.62 The Israelites in Egypt always knew they had a homeland to return to, where part of the population was their natural ally; and this fifth column within the land, in turn, made the attempt to seize Canaan by a wandering band less of a forlorn venture.
Paul Johnson (History of the Jews)
Jean-Louis Gassée, Steve’s former Apple nemesis who had segued into venture capital, puts it bluntly: “The iPhone was crippled when it first came out.
Brent Schlender (Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart into a Visionary Leader)
Reid Hoffman, founder of LinkedIn, observed that an entrepreneur is someone who will jump off a cliff and assemble an airplane on the way down.
Jeffrey Bussgang (Mastering the VC Game: A Venture Capital Insider Reveals How to Get from Start-up to IPO on Your Terms)
A $100,000,000 venture capital fund was set up solely for products using a specific computer language.
Cay S. Horstmann (Core Java, Volume 1: Fundamentals)
It’s amazing how many smart people there are, even hard-working smart people, who expect success to come to them rather than realising that they need to push for every bit of it.
Carlos Espinal (Fundraising Field Guide: A Startup Founder's Handbook for Venture Capital)
The biggest secret in venture capital is that the best investment in a successful fund equals or outperforms the entire rest of the fund combined.
Peter Thiel (Zero to One: Notes on Start Ups, or How to Build the Future)
meticulously analyzing videos of 185 venture capital presentations — looking at both verbal and nonverbal behavior — Lakshmi ended up with results that surprised her: the strongest predictor of who got the money was not the person’s credentials or the content of the pitch. The strongest predictors of who got the money were these traits: confidence, comfort level, and passionate enthusiasm. Those who succeeded did not spend their precious moments in the spotlight worrying about how they were doing or what others thought of them. No spirit under the stairs awaited them, because they knew they were doing their best. In other words, those who succeeded were fully present, and their presence was palpable. It came through mostly in nonverbal ways — vocal qualities, gestures, facial expressions, and so on.6
Amy Cuddy (Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges)
the basic principle of capitalism: that the penalties (losses) no less than the rewards (profits) of risk taking shall go to those who embark on a productive venture.
George W. Stocking Jr. (Cartels in Action: Case Studies in International Business Diplomacy)
after meeting the CEO of a company called Rocket Lawyer, Shader recommended Hornik as an investor. Although the CEO already had a term sheet from another investor, Hornik ended up winning the investment. Although he recognizes the downsides, David Hornik believes that operating like a giver has been a driving force behind his success in venture capital. Hornik estimates that when most venture capitalists offer term sheets to entrepreneurs, they have a signing rate near 50 percent: “If you get half of the deals you offer, you’re doing pretty well.” Yet in eleven years as a venture capitalist, Hornik has offered twenty-eight term sheets to entrepreneurs, and twenty-five have accepted. Shader is one of just three people who have ever turned down an investment from Hornik. The other 89 percent of the time entrepreneurs have taken Hornik’s money. Thanks to his funding and expert advice, these entrepreneurs have gone on to build a number of successful start-ups—one was valued at more than $3 billion on its first day of trading in 2012, and others have been acquired by Google, Oracle, Ticketmaster, and Monster.
Adam M. Grant (Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success)
I came here in 1906. I had been in Arkansas and sold some land for a nice profit so I thought I’d try my luck here in Oklahoma. I thought maybe I’d manage to buy some land with oil beneath its surface, but it appears that I might have missed the mark on that goal. I bought 40 acres and opened a boarding house since it presented some difficulty for people of color to find lodging in these parts. I could see that many people were arriving here to work in the oil fields and they needed a place to stay, so I figured I might as well provide that service. It was a small property located on a dusty road but it did quite well. Then I ventured out and built three office buildings where doctors, lawyers, dentists, and realtors could set up shop. Later we added barbershops and beauty salons to take care of the tenants. Those ventures proved to be good investments and provided me with the capital to build this hotel. As you can see, we have a rather tame clientele but they pay the bills.
Corinda Pitts Marsh (Holocaust in the Homeland: Black Wall Street's Last Days)